Thailand reaches out to Jack Ma
THAILAND has beefed up its cooperation with Alibaba co-founder and chairman Jack Ma to help promote the countr y’s tourism online in the hope of luring more Chinese to take trips to Thailand, while joining hands with the Chinese e-commerce giant for trade development.
Follow ing discussions wit h t he Chinese billionaire in Shanghai on Tuesday, Tha i Deput y Pr ime Minister Somk id Jatusripita k said t he Alibaba chief had acceded to the Thai request to help promote tourism through its online commerce empire, which can access a large number of Chinese.
Thai la nd wi l l do a 20-second v ideo promoting the countr y’s tourism as part of A libaba’s online promotiona l ca mpaign on November 11 and about 800 mil lion Chinese a re ex pected to v iew this online campaign.
Combined with the waiver of v isa-onarriva l fees for Chinese tourists and for nationa ls of 20 ot her countries plus Taiwan, more tourists are expected to v isit Thailand later t his year.
“A libaba is pleased to support Thailand’s tourism and now it is going to hold an activ it y for t he single person day on November 11, asking us to do 20 seconds of a short presentation v ideo. I may be t he presenter of t his v ideo to gain Chinese tou r ists’ conf idence on convenience and safet y,” Somkid said.
Alibaba also confirmed it would invest more in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), as it wants to build up a logistics hub for products in Thaila nd a nd t he region, apart from its planned human resou rces development a nd t ra i ni ng centre. The Chinese e-commerce giant is seek ing a plot of land in t he EEC.
After Ma spoke of Alibaba’s need for Thai fruits ranging from mangosteen, mango and others, aside from durian, Tha i Minister of Commerce Sont i rat Sontijirawong said he had asked the Chinese e-commerce giant to inform about the types of products, specifications and t he quantities needed in detail so t hat an annual plan could be drafted to direct ef fe c t i v e pr oduc t ion a nd s ou r c i ng through contract farming.
A libaba has been sourcing high-potentia l Thai products and helping Thai operators export to China. Three groups of potentia l Thai products are: agricultural and agro-industr y products – fruits and processed fr uits, fr uit juice, frozen seafood, broken rice, nuts, coconut oil and snacks; electronics and computer parts and raw materials – plastic pellets; and lifest yle products – textiles, nanofabrics, sportswear, cotton and woven fabrics, wooden f urniture a nd leat her products.
In mid-2017, Alibaba Group decided to make an 11 billion baht ($334.45 million) investment, including a digital platform, distribution centre and transportation joi ni ng ha nds wit h Thai la nd Post, IT investment, automation and robot systems for small and medium enterprises and joint digital human resources development and business promotion through e-commerce, in the EEC’s smart digita l hub.
Sontirat said Alibaba is ready to help t ra i n Tha i of f icia ls who wi l l develop Thai business operators through online t rade a nd tech nolog y. A l ibaba has a busi ness development cent re – t he “Taobao Village” model.
Soon, Thailand will dispatch its team of 15-20 members from the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Business Development, the Ministry of Interior’s Community Development Department and the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives’ Cooperative Promotion Department for in-depth learning from Alibaba on the development of a logistics network to carry products from local areas to consumers.
Thai Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said Jack Ma agreed to the Thai request to help promote tourism at a meeting on Tuesday.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum on Wednesday discussed with Suy Sem working together to find oil and gas investments in Cambodia.