Alibaba inks deal to grow Pakistan e-commerce sector

Another country heard from! Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has added a new nation to its growing theater of operations: Pakistan.

The two partners have signed an agreement to develop Pakistan’s e-commerce sector by fostering growth of exports from the South Asian country’s small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into the regional economy.

Under the agreement, Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial will work with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to train the nation’s small businesses to use Alibaba’s platforms and grow their e-commerce capabilities more generally.

Alibaba will also expand its online payments and cloud-computing services in Pakistan to pave the way.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, visited Alibaba’s Hangzhou headquarters for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which was also attended by Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma.

“Pakistan has seen significant progress in the past years, and we look forward to working together with TDAP to further enhance the potential of their SMEs through the signing of this MoU,” Ma said.

Alibaba’s media arm, Alizila, said that Pakistan’s e-commerce sector was well positioned for growth, thanks to “the ubiquity of smartphones.” In Pakistan, mobile phones accounted for 70 percent of all web traffic in the year ending Jan. 31. Alizila noted that, with an 18 percent internet penetration rate, “there is still room for the sector to expand.”


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