Alibaba to open first e-commerce trade hub in Europe

  • Alibaba struck a partnership with the Belgian government on Wednesday to create a trade hub that will help companies in the country to sell products abroad.
  • It's part of the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), an initiative first proposed by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma in 2016.
  • As part of the partnership, Alibaba's logistics arm Cainiao will open a warehouse in Liege, Belgium.
Nigel Treblin | Getty Images

Alibaba struck a partnership with the Belgian government on Wednesday to create a trade hub that aims to help companies in the country to sell products abroad.

Belgium is the first European country to sign up to the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), an initiative first proposed by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma in 2016. The plan is to help small-and-medium-sized enterprises to sell products abroad, something they have traditionally found complicated and expensive.

As part of the initiative, Alibaba is opening a warehouse under its logistics arm Cainiao in Liege, Belgium. This will help businesses in Europe transport goods to China.

The move is part of Alibaba's pledge to help import $200 billion worth of quality goods from the world to China over the next five years.

Malaysia and Rwanda have also created e-commerce hubs as part of the eWTP initiative.

"We strongly believe that under the eWTP, we will open up the huge potential for European businesses to reap the benefits of global cross-border trade, especially into the China market where the demand for European goods is high," Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba, said in a press release Wednesday.