International Trade Centre and Alibaba.com Join Forces to Support MSMEs in Developing Countries to Embrace Digital Trade

HANGZHOU, China, July 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Alibaba.com, a leading platform for global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce, signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with International Trade Centre (ITC) on June 30 with the goal of encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in global digital trade. The signing ceremony was held during the third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo held in Changsha in China’s Hunan Province.

Alibaba.com signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with International Trade Centre (ITC)

Following the MOI signing, Alibaba.com and ITC will work together to support SMEs in developing countries, including those in Africa, in aspects such as accelerating their digital transformation, raising their international competitiveness, helping them explore opportunities in global digital trade, and boosting local employment. The collaboration will see enhanced efforts to onboard SMEs in developing countries to the Alibaba.com platform, which currently facilitates online sourcing and online sales for over 40 million active buyers and sellers across the world, the majority of whom are SMEs.

Alibaba.com and ITC have previously teamed up in 2021 to launch a program named the “Global Digital Trade Accelerator” for SMEs in developing countries. As a result, SMEs from 22 African countries including Egypt, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa have embraced B2B e-commerce as a cost-effective means to enter the international market and effectively manage their global trade business.

In late February 2023, Alibaba.com has taken further steps to boost digital trade adoption in Africa by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Rwanda Development Board. This is expected to allow the first group of 20 Rwandan SMEs to start digital exports through Alibaba.com.

“MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) are the backbone of most economies worldwide, and Alibaba.com’s efforts to help them connect and trade globally are significant. The digitalization of trade is a game-changer and can help MSMEs tap into new markets and grow their businesses. Alibaba.com is a strong partner in this journey,” said Annabel Sykes, E-commerce and SME Digital Transformation Adviser at the International Trade Centre (ITC).

In celebration of the World MSME Day, which took place in late June, Alibaba.com also co-hosted a webinar with ITC to share insights into the latest digital trends and tools available MSMEs worldwide. During the webinar, ITC emphasized that small businesses can reap significant benefits from e-commerce if they transform their organizational structure, invest in digital skills and establish a strong online presence. It also advised businesses to prioritize B2B e-commerce and select appropriate sales channels to engage in international e-commerce successfully.

Alibaba.com concurred on the value of digital transformation for MSMEs during the webinar, shedding light on its benefits of reducing business risks, expanding customer reach, improving productivity and cost management, and boosting company profits. It also highlighted the growing popularity of B2B livestreaming as a viable digital marketing means for MSMEs, which has been gaining traction on its platform and accumulated more than 13 million viewers by 2022, a year-on-year increase of 198%.

“We are proud to celebrate World MSME Day 2023 and the important role of MSMEs in the global economy with ITC. Alibaba.com is committed to helping MSMEs succeed by providing them with the tools and resources needed to thrive in the digital age. We believe that with our support, MSMEs can break barriers and build bridges towards a more prosperous future,” remarked Andrew Zheng, Head of Global Supplier Business at Alibaba.com.

For a replay of the Alibaba.com-ITC webinar, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/595cfp3y

About Alibaba.com

Launched in 1999, Alibaba.com is a leading platform for global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce that serves buyers and suppliers from over 190 countries and regions around the world. It is engaged in services covering all aspects of commerce, including providing businesses with tools that help them reach a global audience for their products and helping buyers discover products, find suppliers and place orders online fast and efficiently. Alibaba.com is part of Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group.

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