Info-tech

CII, Alibaba tie up to provide global platform to Indian SMEs

PTI Beijing | Updated on January 20, 2015 Published on January 20, 2015

CII Shanghai has signed an MOU with Alibaba.com to build business-to-business linkages between SMEs from India and the rest of the world.   -  Reuters

To facilitate greater economic engagement between Indian and Chinese SMEs, Confederation of Indian Industry has signed an MOU with China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba to build business-to-business linkages through global online platform.

Alibaba.com and CII will collaborate and develop various trade opportunities and online promotions to facilitate greater economic engagement between Indian and Chinese small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

CII Shanghai has signed an MOU with Alibaba.com to build business-to-business linkages between SMEs from India and the rest of the world through better utilisation of digital services for cross border and domestic trade, Chief Representative of CII Shanghai Madhav Sharma, who signed the agreement at Hangzhou city last week, said today.

CII and Alibaba.com will also work jointly towards providing trainings, promoting Industry clusters for SMEs in some key business sectors.

Alibaba will work with CII to run their e-certificates programmes in India, Sharma said.

The MoU is a step forward in forging greater partnerships, engagement between Indian and global business especially among SMEs, he said.

India-China SME engagement

India’s manufacturing and services sector will be able to achieve the objectives of building greater India-China SME engagement by benefiting with the expertise of Alibaba.com in the digital space – especially on the B2B area, and CII through its network of 64 offices in India – with 8,000 direct members and more than a lakh indirect members through its affiliated sectorial association, he said.

It fills the need to strengthen cooperation between Indian and global SMEs to support the integration of Indian SMEs into the global supply and value chains of large enterprises across all markets.

The MOU helps to support the transfer and expansion of knowledge and technology for forging strategic partnerships, collaborations, joint ventures, joint research and development leading to new innovations and help Indian SMEs build brand image at B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) levels leading to increased trust, confidence and business engagement, he said.

Alibaba.com, headed by China’s billionaire tycoon Jack Ma, is the first business of Alibaba Group and it is the leading platform for global wholesale trade serving millions of buyers and suppliers around the world.

Online platform for SMEs

Alibaba made global headlines last year by winning $25 billion Initial Public Offering.

Through Alibaba.com, small businesses can sell their products to companies in other countries. Sellers on it are typically manufacturers and distributors based in China and other manufacturing countries such as India, Pakistan, the United States and Thailand, he said.

Alibaba.com and CII will collaborate and develop various trade opportunities and online promotions to facilitate greater economic engagement between Indian and Chinese SMEs, he said.

“India is one of the key markets for Alibaba.com. We are confident that the CII and Alibaba.com partnership will support greater business engagement between Indian SMEs to the rest of the world,” head of Global Business Development for Alibaba Timothy Leung, said.

India’s Consul General in Shanghai Naveen Srivatsava, who was present during the meeting, said besides SMEs the agreement will also help strengthening trade and economic relations between India and China, and help addressing the trade imbalance to some extent which now ballooned to over $37 billion last year.

“There is already an interest in our major export councils to use the Alibaba.com portal to reach out to the large Chinese market. With the MOU, I believe Chinese businesses will in the future have access to a large variety of fine products from India,” he said.

Jack Ma, the 50-year-old founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, has promised higher investments in India when he visited India in November last year, saying he was inspired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Alibaba and Alipay, which operates the Chinese e-tailer’s third-party online payment platform, may invest $575 million for a cumulative 40 per cent equity in Paytm, a company owned by Noida-based One97 Communications.

Paytm is India’s largest mobile commerce platform with over 20 million registered users.

Published on January 20, 2015

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