Marking its entry into Pakistan, Chinese tech giant Alibaba on Tuesday signed an agreement with the Pakistan government to promote exports by the country’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) via its e-commerce platform, according to local media reports.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed in the presence of Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during the latter’s visit to the headquarters of the Chinese firm.
The Chinese e-commerce major will conduct online and offline training programmes for SMEs from Pakistan to assist them as part of the MoU.
The MoU between Alibaba and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) was signed by Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir and Alibaba Group president Michael Evans and Douglas Feagin, Senior Vice President of Global Business at Ant Financial.
TDAP will help identify suitable SMEs to participate in the training programmes while Alibaba will provide industry analysis to TDAP to assist them in their selection process.
According to the media reports from Pakistan, Alibaba, Ant Financial and TDAP have also agreed to promote the growth of financial services in Pakistan in areas such as mobile and online payment services.
“I am glad my meeting with Jack Ma at the World Economic Forum in January has come to fruition in the shape of the MoU we have just signed,” Sharif was quoted as saying after the signing of the agreement.
“My appreciation of Ma’s dynamism and performance of (the Alibaba) group comes not only from its success as a e-commerce giant but more so from the focus of the group on job creation and livelihood generation,” he added.
The three parties also agreed to adopt cloud computing services to support the online and mobile e-commerce businesses of SMEs in Pakistan.