Belgium has become the first European nation to join the Alibaba-backed Electronic World Trade Platform. The Chinese eCommerce giant signed an MOU with the country’s government on Wednesday 5 December to bring Belgium into the initiative designed to further cross-border online trade by removing various barriers to market across logistics, payments, Cloud computing and more.
Since its inception 2016, the eWTP has been recognised by the G20, while to date China, Malaysia and Rwanda have become signatories. The overarching aim is to put in place a series of worldwide “e-hubs” enabling businesses of any size to develop digital businesses.
As part of the accord involving Alibaba and Belgium, the Cainiao Smart Logistics Network and Belgium’s Liege Airport will construct a 220,000 m2 international freight and shipping hub at the airport. The initial investment will be EUR75 million, with the first phase scheduled to begin operations from early 2021.
Alibaba and the Belgium government will also collaborate on streamlining customs procedures to allow for faster goods clearance to help Belgian businesses get goods to Chinese consumers faster as part of an initiative with the country’s regional businesses enterprises that will see Alibaba actively promote their products on its domestic commerce platforms.