Chinese e-tailing giant Alibaba Group continues its efforts to make good on executive chairman Jack Ma’s promise to rebrand China as a consumption-based economy.
Alibaba’s Ma and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled last week a plan to bring Canadian goods to millions of Chinese consumers.
The pair said they have agreed to a “declaration of cooperation” that will fortify efforts to promote trade between small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses and Chinese consumers.
The new deal will create a means for the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and Alibaba to work together to expand “the two-way flow of goods, services and people,” according to Alibaba.
“I am pleased we are formalizing our efforts to have Alibaba serve as the gateway to China for Canadian businesses of all sizes, ” Ma said in a release. “Our agreements today represent a great opportunity for Canada and for China. It is a new chapter in our future together.”
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Ma has been on an aggressive push for the past year to redefine Alibaba’s home turf, China, as a consumer-driven hub and has been using various Alibaba platforms to bolster the initiative.
In August 2015, the e-tail behemoth tapped 20-year Goldman Sachs partner and longtime Alibaba adviser Michael Evans for the newly created role of Alibaba Group president. Ma tasked Evans with the building relationships with brands, retailers and product owners to get more goods and services into China.
Last month, NYC’s Stadium Goods sneaker store announced that it would use Alibaba’s Tmall Global to take its business beyond the streets of Manhattan and into the Chinese marketplace.
Tmall Global is the same shopping platform that Ma and Prime Minister Trudeau used last week to launch a new site, Canadian Pavilion, where large and small Canadian businesses can sell directly reach Chinese consumers. The platform already has more than 30 businesses participating, selling more than 100 products.
Alilbaba said Canadian Pavilion will feature special promotions for unique Canadian products such as apparel, ice wine, maple syrup, seafood and health products.
“Today is a very good day for Canadian businesses — they now have a permanent e-home on the world’s biggest online shopping site, Alibaba, and with it, the ability to reach over 400 million Chinese consumers,” Prime Minister Trudeau said in a release. “There is significant potential for further business development with Alibaba, which would encourage Chinese tourism to Canada, create jobs at home and strengthen our middle-class.”
Ma and Prime Minister Trudeau also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Air Canada, the country’s largest air carrier, and Alitrip, Alibaba’s online travel booking platform, offering Chinese consumers travel and vacation packages, as well as visa application services.