China & Thailand

Alibaba, Thai gov enter strategic partnership in support of Thailand 4.0 (eGov Innovation)


Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, with Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha (Photo: AP)

On 19 April 2018, at a ceremony witnessed by the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, China’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Thailand, Lyu Jian, and the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, the Government of Thailand and Alibaba entered into a strategic partnership to drive the development of Thailand’s digital economy and the Eastern Economic Corridor under the Thailand 4.0 policy. Under this partnership, agencies of the Thai government and business units of Alibaba will work closely together in a number of areas, including e-commerce, digital logistics, tourism and training.

The partnership represents the strengthening of collaboration between Alibaba Group and the Thai Government following the signing of a Letter of Intent in 2016 – a move that kick-started a number of joint efforts to bolster the capacity of Thai entrepreneurs in gaining access to new markets and taking advantage of digital innovations.

Among the numerous areas of cooperation announced were:

Establishment of a Smart Digital Hub in the EEC to support cross-border trade with China and other markets

As part of Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) initiative covering the three eastern provinces of Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong, Alibaba’s smart digital logistics business, Cainiao Network, will establish a Smart Digital Hub in the EEC. The Smart Digital Hub will utilize Alibaba and Cainiao’s data and logistics technologies and processes to optimize the cross-border flow of goods not only between Thailand and China but also with other markets. Cainiao will also work closely with the EEC Office and Thai Customs to promote the digitization of customs processes through technology such as big data and artificial intelligence and sharing of global best practices. The Smart Digital Hub will be an open platform enabled to provide services to all players in Thailand’s digital economy.

Groundbreaking for the Smart Digital Hub is expected in 2018, and operations are expected to commence in 2019.

“The Smart Digital Hub will be an important platform to link Thai SME and OTOP (One Tambon One Product) products and agricultural products to, not only China but also global markets. The strategic cooperation with Alibaba will bring benefits to Thai SMEs and farmers as well as tourism industry, while pushing forward digital economic development in Thailand,” said Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak.

Equip SMEs with e-commerce skills

Alibaba Group is also set to continue its efforts to connect Thai SMEs to Alibaba’s 500 million active users in the Chinese e-commerce market as well as other global e-commerce opportunities through a partnership between the Thai Ministry of Industry’s Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP), the Thai Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) and Alibaba Business School — an accredited university founded by Alibaba Group and Hangzhou Normal University. Under this training collaboration, SMEs across Thailand, including SMEs in rural areas and individual entrepreneurs, will have the opportunity to gain e-commerce knowledge and skills to start e-business and leverage the internet to develop their business online.

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eGov Innovation editors

26 April 2018

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