Alibaba commits to $320-million investment in Thailand

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Alibaba Group on April 20 signed an agreement as scheduled with the Thai government to build a “Smart Digital Trading Hub” in the country, while also to develop its capabilities in e-commerce, digital logistics, tourism and training at a total investment of ten billion baht ($320 million.)

Alibaba’s founder and CEO Jack Ma, who met with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and Minister of Commerce Sontirat Sontijirawong,  said his company would work with Thailand on everything from boosting efficiencies in trade to educating Thai entrepreneurs and SMEs in digital commerce. The partnership will give Thailand access to technologies and processes that can help advance its economy, while Alibaba gains a stronger foothold in an important market in Southeast Asia where its rivals are already building up.

The new facility which will be located in Thailand’s newly created Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) southeast of Bangkok, will leverage technologies from Alibaba and its logistics platform to streamline trade between Thailand and China and other markets, including digitising the customs process.

The EEC is a key part of government programme called Thailand 4.0 which is aiming to expand the economy beyond heavy industry and agriculture to technology and other innovations. Alibaba’s digital hub is being described as a key part of that effort.

In terms of skills development for staff, courses will be co-developed by Alibaba Business School and Thailand’s ministries of industry and commerce, as well as training centered on the digital economy at Alibaba Business School in Hangzhou for students and academics.

Related to the agreement, a flagship store was launched on Alibaba’s Tmall platform for farmers to sell Thai rice, the country’s main agricultural export. Alibaba said it would also help drive sales of popular Thai fruits, such as durian, into China, as well as manufactured products.

Alibaba-owned online travel platform Fliggy is part of the arrangement. Because Thailand is a top destination for Chinese tourists, Fliggy and the Tourism Authority of Thailand will work to develop smart and digital services for those travelers, including online tour guides and electronic ticketing systems.

In addition, Fliggy and Ant Financial, Alibaba Group’s affiliate and the operator of Alipay, are working on an end-to-end digital solution that allows Chinese travelers to do everything from applying for visas online to tax refunds.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Alibaba Group on April 20 signed an agreement as scheduled with the Thai government to build a “Smart Digital Trading Hub” in the country, while also to develop its capabilities in e-commerce, digital logistics, tourism and training at a total investment of ten billion baht ($320 million.)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Alibaba Group on April 20 signed an agreement as scheduled with the Thai government to build a “Smart Digital Trading Hub” in the country, while also to develop its capabilities in e-commerce, digital logistics, tourism and training at a total investment of ten billion baht ($320 million.)

Alibaba’s founder and CEO Jack Ma, who met with Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak and Minister of Commerce Sontirat Sontijirawong,  said his company would work with Thailand on everything from boosting efficiencies in trade to educating Thai entrepreneurs and SMEs in digital commerce. The partnership will give Thailand access to technologies and processes that can help advance its economy, while Alibaba gains a stronger foothold in an important market in Southeast Asia where its rivals are already building up.

The new facility which will be located in Thailand’s newly created Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) southeast of Bangkok, will leverage technologies from Alibaba and its logistics platform to streamline trade between Thailand and China and other markets, including digitising the customs process.

The EEC is a key part of government programme called Thailand 4.0 which is aiming to expand the economy beyond heavy industry and agriculture to technology and other innovations. Alibaba’s digital hub is being described as a key part of that effort.

In terms of skills development for staff, courses will be co-developed by Alibaba Business School and Thailand’s ministries of industry and commerce, as well as training centered on the digital economy at Alibaba Business School in Hangzhou for students and academics.

Related to the agreement, a flagship store was launched on Alibaba’s Tmall platform for farmers to sell Thai rice, the country’s main agricultural export. Alibaba said it would also help drive sales of popular Thai fruits, such as durian, into China, as well as manufactured products.

Alibaba-owned online travel platform Fliggy is part of the arrangement. Because Thailand is a top destination for Chinese tourists, Fliggy and the Tourism Authority of Thailand will work to develop smart and digital services for those travelers, including online tour guides and electronic ticketing systems.

In addition, Fliggy and Ant Financial, Alibaba Group’s affiliate and the operator of Alipay, are working on an end-to-end digital solution that allows Chinese travelers to do everything from applying for visas online to tax refunds.

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