Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have unveiled a declaration of cooperation that will strengthen efforts to promote trade between Canadian small and medium sized businesses and Chinese consumers.
Both Ma and Trudeau said at a ceremony at Alibaba Group’s head office that the cooperation agreement empowers the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and Alibaba to work together to expand the two-way flow of goods, services and people. The two sides will strategize on how to use e-commerce to stimulate trade, with opportunities for Canadian small and medium-sized exporters.
“Today, I am pleased we are formalizing our efforts to have Alibaba serve as the gateway to China for Canadian businesses of all sizes,” Ma said. “Our agreements today represent a great opportunity for Canada and for China. It is a new chapter in our future together.”
“Today is a very good day for Canadian businesses. They now have a permanent e-home on the world’s biggest online shopping site – Alibaba – and with it, the ability to reach over 400 million Chinese consumers. There is significant potential for further business development with Alibaba, which would encourage Chinese tourism to Canada, create jobs at home and strengthen our middle-class,” said Trudeau.
The ceremony also highlighted two other milestones:
Ma and Trudeau launched the Canadian Pavilion on Alibaba’s shopping platform, Tmall Global. The Canadian Pavilion makes it possible for Canadian businesses large and small to directly reach Chinese consumers. It was launched with more than 30 businesses participating, selling more than 100 products. It will feature special promotions for unique Canadian products such as apparel, ice wine, maple syrup, seafood and health products.
Ma and Trudeau also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Air Canada, the country’s largest air carrier, and Alitrip, Alibaba’s online travel booking platform, providing Chinese consumers with a range of travel and vacation packages, as well as visa application services.
The MOU links Air Canada with Alitrip’s customer base and marketing resources to tap China’s burgeoning travel demand for Canada. Air Canada agreed to open a flagship store on the Alitrip platform. Both agreed to work together to develop marketing initiatives and carry out joint marketing promotions.