Australia's big hopes for Alibaba boost

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 07 September, 2016

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Austrade has signed a collaboration agreement with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to expand the variety of Australian products sold to Chinese consumers through Alibaba’s platforms.

Under the agreement, Alibaba has agreed to provide dedicated services for Australian products, including a dedicated promotional channel for local companies on video sharing site

Other promotional efforts will include an annual Australian Fresh Food Week on Alibaba’s fresh food e-commerce channel Tmall Fresh. The agreement also lays the groundwork for future cooperation in priority industries including e-health and FinTech.

The collaboration has a focus on first-time exporters, particularly SMEs. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull commented that Alibaba “enables the smallest businesses, the mum-and-dad businesses, in the regional part of Australia to have access to the biggest part of the world, something that hitherto only a very large company with enormous resources, with enormous representation would be able to do.”

Australia currently ranks fourth in the world in terms of sales volumes on Alibaba’s international online direct sales platform Tmall Global, behind the US, Japan and Korea.

The majority of Australian products sold online are currently 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,” Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner for China Michael 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.”

Image courtesy of Andy Mitchell under CC

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