ALIBABA LAUNCHES LOGISTICS HUB
Centre at KLIA Aeropolis will function as Customs clearance, warehousing and fulfilment facility
ALIBABA Group Holdings Ltd, controlled by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, is setting up a logistics hub at the KLIA Aeropolis in Sepang.
The logistics hub, expected to be launched by end-2019, will form part of the company’s e-hub under the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative.
Alibaba did not disclose the size of its investment.
The hub will “function as a centralised Customs clearance, warehousing and fulfilment facility for Malaysia and the region, to deliver faster clearance for imports and exports”, said Alibaba in a statement.
The hub is the latest in a string of Chinese investments in Malaysia, including in infrastructure and real estate projects, underscoring the close ties between the two countries.
Both the logistics hub and e-hub are part of a Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Ma, who is Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, here yesterday.
Ma said the e-hub, which is its first outside of China, would go a long way towards making global trade more inclusive and provide much needed support to a hugely important constituents — small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the younger generation.
“With innovation throughout the supply chain, support from governments and important private sector collaborations, we will achieve our aim of enabling SMEs and young people to thrive and enjoy the fruits of the next phase of globalisation.”
Ma had in June last year proposed the establishment of a DFTZ for small businesses, suggesting that such special trading areas could act as e-commerce hubs linking up markets around the world.
As part of the DFTZ, the creation of the e-hub, which is also a collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corp, will provide new commercial opportunities on the established trade routes with the country.
The concept has been incorporated into the DFTZ, which saw the involvement of Alibaba, its subsidiaries and affiliates in four areas: e-fulfilment hub, e-service platform, e-payment and financing and e-talent development.
Najib said Malaysia must harness its assets and provide support for people and businesses to be competitive in the digital landscape.
“We have set out plans to progress Malaysia’s economy and place it firmly at the centre of the global marketplace.
“Alibaba Group is at the forefront of private sector development of e-commerce solutions, and their ambitions to enable trade, particularly for SMEs, make them the perfect partner in this new initiative,” he added.
Alibaba, through financial services affiliate Ant Financial, also signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia’s top banks, Malayan Banking Bhd and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, to explore collaboration in e-payment and financing services.