Cooperation between Thailand and Alibaba Group in various aspects from e-commerce, personnel development, digital technology to tourism and investment will be mutually beneficial and will help strengthen the Thai economy, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday (April 19).
Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma paid a courtesy call on the prime minister at the Government House and the two men held talks on various issues of mutual interest.
The prime minister told the media after the meeting that he told Mr Ma that Thailand didn’t just want to engage on business with Alibaba, but also wanted to get help from China’s e-commerce giant in the development of several areas which Thailand still lags behind.
He said Alibaba is willing to offer a helping hand, quoting Mr Ma as saying that he didn’t want to just focus on business matter because he has already had enough of it.
Four Memorandums of Understanding were signed between Alibaba Group and the Industry Ministry and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). They cover cooperation in skill development in e-commerce for small and medium-siezed Thai entrepreneurs; the development of digital talent and the creation of talent networking; promotion of digital tourism with the TAT cooperating with Alibaba’s leading online tourism firm, Fliggy.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said that Alibaba had decided to invest in smart digital hub project in the Eastern Economic Corridor because the company has confidence in the Thai economy and the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy.
He explained that the smart digital hub would link with all Thai SMEs, farm groups and OTOP groups so that they will have access to markets in China and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Alibaba Group have kicked off the launch of the Thai Rice Flagship Store in Alibaba’s Tmall.com, China’s largest online retailing website which has access to over 1.4 billion Chinese consumers.
Commerce Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said that the launch of the store in Tmall.com website would greately help exporters of Thai rice and rice products to penetrate China e-Commerce in a tangible manner.
Besides rice, he said that the ministry had joined hands with Alibaba Group in the launch of Thai durian sale campaign in the online retailing website to be followed, later on, with more Thai fruits such as mangosteen, mango, coconut and custard apple.
The minister said that Thai exporters who would be able to sell rice and rice products through Tmall.com must be members of Thaitrade.com.
Apart from cooperation in online retailing business, the Ministry of Industry will cooperate with Alibaba Business School to help Thai business operators boost their export business via e-commerce.