Trade and Investment Facilitation

Mekong Institute, Alibaba.com and University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce are partnering to promote development of SMEs in the Greater Mekong Subregion through e-commerce. 

Bangkok, Thailand – Mekong Institute (MI), Alibaba.com, the B2B arm of Alibaba Group, and the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today, April 26, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand to promote market access of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) through e-commerce platforms. 

The tripartite MoU was signed by Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, Executive Director on behalf of MI, Mr. Jerry Wu, Thailand Country Manager of Alibaba.com and Dr. Sauwanee Thairungro, Associate Professor and President of UTCC. 

The MoU will allow the three parties to co-organize capacity building programs and activities mainly training, research, workshops and forums to increase the awareness and knowledge of SMEs in GMS of e-commerce platforms to access global markets. Through this initiative, the rural provinces along the GMS economic corridors would get a boost to enhance their business prospects in the global markets. The collaboration would also provide scope to design and implement collaborative projects on e-commerce and sharing e-commerce data and information. 

The MoU outlined the specific role of the three parties. MI will coordinate with public and private sectors in GMS to create the enabling environment and networks for SMEs to start e-commerce activities, while UTCC will provide technical support on e-commerce to guide SMEs on how to set up online business, and to effectively use the e-marketplace to promote their businesses. Alibaba.com will provide relevant services for SMEs to source prospective buyers. With the cooperation among the three parties, SMEs will have opportunities to access regional and global markets through online platforms. It is envisaged that the tripartite effort would contribute to the goal of inclusive economic development in GMS. 

The MoU builds on MI and Alibaba.com’s previous cooperation in 2014 to deliver e-commerce training to SMEs in GMS as well as the existing partnership between UTCC and Alibaba.com for e-commerce education in Thailand. Prior to the MOU signing, the three parties piloted the cooperation model in MI ongoing capacity building activities in twin border provinces along the EWEC of GMS, namely Khammouane, Lao PDR and Nakhon Phanom, Thailand; Kayin State, Myanmar and Tak Province; Quangtri, Vietnam and Savannakhet, Lao PDR during December 2016 and February 2017. As the GMS moves forward to adopting inclusive economic growth, the initiative on e-commerce development for SMEs between MI, Alibaba.com and UTCC will provide its members with valuable improvements as they embrace technological advancements in facilitating trade and investments beneficial to every member countries of the region. 

Mekong Institute is an intergovernmental organization based in Khon Kaen, Thailand. The Institute was founded and is operated by six GMS countries namely Cambodia, P.R. China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. For over twenty years, it has been highlighting integrated human resource development and capacity building programs and development projects to strengthen cooperation and integration within the GMS. 

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce is a leading business university located in Bangkok, Thailand, owned by the Thai Chamber of Commerce. A leader in integrating technology in education, it highlights e-commerce education by providing programs and trainings that cultivate their students’ knowledge and skills in the said field. UTCC partnered with Alibaba.com to provide Thai SMEs better knowledge and skills to accelerate in their business using e-commerce. 

Alibaba.com, the first business of Alibaba Group, is a leading English-language wholesale marketplace for global trade. Buyers on Alibaba.com, who are located in more than 200 countries and regions all over the world, are typically trade agents, wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers and SMEs engaged in the import and export business.

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