The minister said the selection process was conducted by three agencies - SME Corp Malaysia, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp.
From a list of 6,000 entrepreneurs, Mustapa said, the three agencies shortlisted 2,500 entrepreneurs and to-date 1,500 had been identified.
"Their names had been identified. By early November, these 1,500 SMEs will be listed on the AliBaba.com platform and they will start penetrating global markets," he told reporters after attending an appreciation networking session organised by the Halal Industry Development Corporation, in conjunction with the 6th edition of the Halal Fiesta ASEAN (HALFEST ASEAN 2017), in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
Mustapa noted that almost 10% of the SMEs participating at HALFEST ASEAN 2017 had already made inroads into foreign markets.
The minister dismissed the conception that the collaboration with AliBaba group would result in Malaysia becoming a dumping ground for China's goods.
He said as AliBaba.com would use Malaysia's Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) as its marketing platform, the listing of local SMEs on the platform would boost sales of local SMEs and help them penetrate China and other foreign markets.
"We will monitor their performance and ensure that they gain from being listed on the platform," he added.
Mustapa also reiterated that Miti maintained its forecast of 5% growth in trade for 2017 amid global uncertainty that may persist in the second half of the year.
Touted as the largest Asean halal trade and Consumer Expo, HALFEST ASEAN 2017 kicked off on Aug 23 and will end on Aug 27 at the MINES International Exhibition and Convention Centre. - Bernama