PM: Alibaba quick to em­brace 21st Cen­tury way of trad­ing

New Straits Times - - News -

BEI­JING: Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak be­gan his work­ing visit to China yes­ter­day with a tour of China e-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba Group’s head­quar­ters in Hangzhou, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, at the in­vi­ta­tion of its founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man, Jack Ma.

Upon his ar­rival in Hangzhou — 180km south­west of Shang­hai — Na­jib, his wife, Datin Seri Ros­mah Man­sor, and his delegation were given a per­sonal tour of the sprawl­ing com­plex by Ma, who is also the dig­i­tal econ­omy ad­viser to the Malaysian gov­ern­ment.

Alibaba, the world’s largest col­lec­tion of e-com­merce web­sites, is head­quar­tered in Ma’s home­town.

The for­mer teacher started the com­pany from his Hangzhou apart­ment at Wen Yi West Road in 1999 and led it to the big­gest-ever ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing in 2014.

The prime min­is­ter said yes­ter­day he wanted to see for him­self the suc­cess of Alibaba, which has cre­ated more than 36,000 jobs and changed the in­dus­trial ecosys­tem in China into one that is more dy­namic and in­clu­sive.

In his Face­book post, Na­jib said he was im­pressed with Alibaba’s achieve­ments.

“They saw the fu­ture and were fast in em­brac­ing the new way to trade in this 21st Cen­tury. In just 13 years, their trans­ac­tions have reached 3 tril­lion yuan, or close to RM1.9 tril­lion.

“Dur­ing the Global Shop­ping Fes­ti­val last year, Alibaba pro­cessed a peak of 175,000 or­ders per sec­ond.”

He said Malaysia could def­i­nitely learn from this.

“I am con­fi­dent that our newly launched Dig­i­tal Free Trade Zone will be the new hub for the dig­i­tal econ­omy, with more peo­ple, es­pe­cially Malaysians, both in ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas, ben­e­fit­ing from it.”

Na­jib also re­ceived a courtesy call from Party Sec­re­tary of Zhe­jiang Prov­ince, Che Jun.

The prime min­is­ter ar­rived here yes­ter­day evening for the two-day Belt and Road Fo­rum for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion (BRF) on the in­vi­ta­tion of Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping.

He will join 27 other world lead­ers for BRF, the high­est-level di­a­logue since the vi­sion for the One Belt, One Road Ini­tia­tive, or OBOR, was shared by Xi in 2013.

The ini­tia­tive aims to re­de­fine the global econ­omy by in­te­grat­ing the economies of Europe, Asia and Africa through an un­prece­dent­edly pow­er­ful net­work of trans­port and com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture.

Na­jib said the fo­rum on May 14 and 15 was an im­por­tant agenda in en­sur­ing Malaysia reaped the ben­e­fits of the OBOR ini­tia­tive, which could boost the na­tion’s econ­omy through greater con­nec­tiv­ity.

Na­jib will have meet­ings with Xi and Chi­nese Premier Li Ke­qiang to­mor­row ahead of the fo­rum.

OBOR, or the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI), is China’s longterm vi­sion for greater con­nec­tiv­ity and co­op­er­a­tion among Asian economies.

Un­der the ini­tia­tive are the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt and 21st Cen­tury Mar­itime Silk Road.

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