Alibaba to empower small businesses, says Ma

(FILES) This file picture taken on March 23, 2017 shows China's Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma gestures while talking to mediapersons in Kuala Lumpur. Wang Jianlin, the head of the Wanda Group, lost his title as China's richest man to the property tycoon Xu Jiayin, head of the group Evergrande and owner of a Chinese football star club, according to Hurun's annual ranking of billionaires in the world's second largest economy. / AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA

SEPANG: The main aim of the Alibaba Group is to empower small businesses and raise them to a higher level, thus creating a sustainable environment for them to grow.

Founder/executive chairman, Jack Ma, said the group has no plans to globalise its brand but the sole target was to open the world’s doors to e-commerce through the Internet.

“That is the difference between us and other digital platforms. We are not aiming to globalise Alibaba but what we want is to empower and globalise the small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” he said at a press conference in Sepang on Friday.

After the launching of the first phase of Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) on Friday, Ma said, the next aim was to bring in cloud computing for the SMEs to ensure they have the latest system to work with.

The group was looking forward to collaborate with the Education Ministry to teach students how to learn to do business online, he said.

“Nobody should be scared to venture into e-commerce sector. Use the platform and for the young people, it is an advantage for them as they are born in the technology era,” he said.

Ma said the presence of DFTZ would enhance the opportunity for SMEs to reach out not only to China market but also Russia, Europe and the Middle East.

“Soon, all businesses must be globalised if they want to sustain because the world is moving towards e-commerce,” he said.

Ma said the module of DFTZ could be replicated elsewhere and in five years’ time, other countries would have the similar module which would benefit not only the major economic players but also SMEs.

“By sustaining small businesses, we can go on for a longer period of time, but with big companies, we can only sustain only for a short period, let’s just say, five years,” he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Ma brought to life Malaysia’s DFTZ by flagging off over 1,972 export-ready SMEs onboard.

The world’s first DFTZ is a key component in driving Malaysia’s digital economy, facilitating SMEs to capitalise on the convergence of exponential growth of the Internet economy and cross-border trade.

DFTZ would increase the SMEs’ exports to US$38bil (RM160.8bil) create over 60,000 jobs and support US$65bil (RM275bil) worth of goods moving through DFTZ by 2025.

It would make Malaysia Asia’s leading transshipment hub by 2025. - Bernama
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