Alibaba to build lo­gis­tics hub in Bel­gium

Shanghai Daily - - BUSINESS - Xiao Ding TRADE

E-COM­MERCE gi­ant Alibaba’s lo­gis­tics af­fil­i­ate Cainiao Net­work is to de­velop a smart hub at Liege Air­port in Bel­gium.

It has signed a con­tract to lease 220,000 square me­ters and will build a ware­house, with an ini­tial in­vest­ment of 75 mil­lion eu­ros (US$85 mil­lion).

The de­ci­sion comes af­ter the Bel­gium govern­ment and Alibaba signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing un­der the Chi­nese com­pany’s Elec­tronic World Trade Plat­form ini­tia­tive. It is the first such deal with a Eu­ro­pean coun­try to pro­mote in­clu­sive global trade.

“This will be a huge op­por­tu­nity to boost ex­ports and bring wide-rang­ing eco­nomic ben­e­fits to so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to Liege,” said Bel­gium Prime Min­is­ter Charles Michel. Sim­i­lar eWTP tie-ups have been es­tab­lished be­tween Alibaba and Malaysia and Rwanda af­ter chair­man Jack Ma put for­ward the ini­tia­tive two years ago to en­cour­age global trade.

Alibaba Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Daniel Zhang added: “With over 98 per­cent of Eu­ro­pean com­pa­nies be­ing small to medium busi­nesses, this part­ner­ship sig­ni­fies our ef­forts to en­hance in­clu­sive trade op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­nesses in Bel­gium and across Europe.”

The two par­ties will also pro­mote dig­i­tal­iza­tion of cus­toms pro­ce­dures and more ef­fi­cient clear­ance of goods.

Cainiao is also part of a joint ven­ture to build a US$1.5 bil­lion lo­gis­tics cen­ter at Hong Kong In­ter­na­tional Air­port as a part of a broader plan for Alibaba to help im­port US$200 bil­lion worth of goods over the next five years.

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