WHEN the global tech firm Alibaba.com’s electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) first went live in Malaysia on Nov 3, 2018, it started creating ripples in the e-commerce sector that turned into tsunami waves as it positioned itself as a major player in the industry.
The platform aimed to provide local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the infrastructure to conduct business globally.
With SMEs in Malaysia struggling to make ends meet amid the global pandemic volatility, Alibaba Group rose to the occasion by helping SMEs penetrate new markets overseas via its various e-commerce platforms and introduced the second edition of Malaysia Week to extend the reach of local products to China.
Apart from that, it also supported the local development of digital payment through Ant Financial and hosted the “Go Export 2020: Alibaba.com Malaysia Online Seller Summit” with a mission to empower Malaysian businesses to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic era.
In recent years, Alibaba has also introduced the Alibaba Business Operating System (ABOS). It provides entrepreneurs with all the tools available in Alibaba’s ecosystem to embed innovation in their business operation.
ABOS allows users to accelerate their digital transformation through a customised, wide-ranging service package, which is very much needed in these troubled times where digitalisation is crucial to determine the sustainability of a business.
Apart from ABOS, Alibaba is also running programmes under its education arm, Alibaba Business School (ABS) that aims to address various challenges facing Malaysian entrepreneurs and convert those challenged into opportunities.
Repurposing eWTP’s hub at KLIA
Earlier in March 2020, Alibaba’s eWTP hub at KLIA even served as a transhipment hub for a portion of medical supplies that were donated by the Foundations to Indonesia.
Alibaba said it is planning to use the eWTP hub at KLIA to receive the donations for Malaysia and to serve as a temporary storage and transshipment hub for a number of other countries in the region.
The donation includes a total of nearly 80 tonnes of medical supplies such as masks, testing kits, protective suits, face shields, gloves and ventilators, which will be shipped in several cargo flights from China.
Alibaba said it will work closely with the WHO to leverage the eWTP Hubs at KLIA in Malaysia; at Liege in Belgium; and in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia; as well as UN facilities in other regions to efficiently distribute these needed medical supplies.
In this process, Malaysia’s eWTP Hub will play a key role in the distribution of goods to the Asia-Pacific region.