Aussie PM forges new partnership with Alibaba
Chinese consumers will find it easier to buy fresh Australian produce and a wider range of other Australian goods and services following a ground-breaking agreement between Austrade and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
The new agreement will create a dedicated promotional channel for Australian companies on youku.com, a video sharing website with 500 million active users.
Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday joined Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma to witness the signing of the agreement.
Former PM Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xie at the Free Trade Agreement signing in 2015
Austrade’s Senior Trade Commissioner in China, Michael Clifton, said the strategic cooperation would help introduce new brands to Alibaba's 434 million online shoppers.
"It will allow more Chinese consumers to enjoy easy access to a wider variety of Australia’s premium products and fresh produce,” Mr Clifton said.
“Online delivery of imported fresh food in China is becoming increasingly viable as a result of improvements in last-mile cold chain logistics.
“This partnership also opens the door to future cooperation in some of Australia’s priority industries, including emerging digital service delivery areas such as e-health, financial services, sporting event management and assisting innovative startup companies.”
Alibaba.com and TMall.com offer different ways to access the Chinese market
The signing will build on the already substantial cooperation between China's largest online retailer of imported products and Australia's trade and investment promotion agency.
Australia currently ranks fourth in sales volume on Tmall Global, Alibaba’s international online platform that allows direct sales to Chinese consumers, behind the United States, Japan and Korea.
The majority of Australian products sold online in China are vitamins and supplements, dairy items, breakfast cereals and beauty products.
“Access to online distribution channels complements the benefits granted to business by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which came into force on 20 December 2015, reducing tariffs and further strengthening business cooperation between Australia and China,” Mr Clifton said.
The stunning turnover of Singles Day, 2015
Maggie Zhou, Managing Director, Alibaba Group in Australia and New Zealand, said the agreement would help more businesses access new markets through Alibaba’s platforms.
"Alibaba Group plans to open an office in Melbourne later this year and the agreement signed with Austrade today represents a landmark moment for Australian companies, particularly SMEs looking to global trade for growth.
“Alibaba will be providing a dedicated helpdesk to source Australian products, together with export development programs to be delivered in cooperation with Austrade,” Ms Zhou said.