HANGZHOU: Pakistan on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the world’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba, to promote the country’s exports worldwide by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through e-commerce.
The agreement between Alibaba Group Holdings Limited and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) was signed by Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir and President of Alibaba Group Michael Evans, and Senior Vice-President of Global Business of Ant Financial Douglas Feagin on behalf of Alibaba.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma were present at the signing ceremony.
Under the terms of the MoU, Alibaba, Ant Financial and the TDAP agreed to foster growth of worldwide exports of products by SMEs in Pakistan through e-commerce.
Online and offline training programmes for SMEs would also be conducted by Alibaba in a bid to assist enterprises with on-boarding on to Alibaba’s platforms and optimising exports through e-commerce.
The TDAP will help identify suitable SMEs to participate in the training programmes while Alibaba will be responsible for providing industry analysis to the TDAP to assist them in their selection process.
In addition, Alibaba, Ant Financial and the TDAP have agreed to promote the growth of financial services in Pakistan in areas such as mobile and online payment services.
The parties have also agreed to adopt cloud computing services to support the online and mobile e-commerce businesses of SMEs in Pakistan.
While addressing at the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said: “The initiative will help create more opportunities for people working in the e-commerce sector and generate more jobs in the country.”
The prime minister said he was firm believer of political empowerment of people through economic development and would encourage e-commerce in the country as a tool to help small businesses go global.
While speaking to the audience Jack Ma said: “E-commerce has been established for developing countries and for SMEs. Pakistan has seen significant progress in recent years and we look forward to working together with TDAP to further enhance the potential of their SMEs through the signing of this MoU.”