Chinese investor establishes e-trading in Ethiopia

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

Ethiopia plans to boost trade by introducing the modern trading platform, eWTP (electronic World Trade Platform).
In relation to his second visit to Ethiopia the Alibaba Group co-founder, Jack Ma witnessed with PM Abiy Ahmed the signing of three memorandum of understandings to establish an eWTP Hub in Ethiopia, which is second in Africa after Rwanda.
The agreement includes developing the hub, training and inclusive digital trade.
The first major initiative for the eWTP partnership in Ethiopia will be the development of a multifunction digital trade hub to serve as a gateway for Ethiopian products to China, a center for cross-border e-commerce, trade within Africa, and a training center.
China Commodities City International (CCCI) will partner with Alibaba in the development of the eWTP Hub. The Alibaba Business School will implement the capacity building and training portion of the partnership which consists of a number of programs, including specialized programs for Ethiopian entrepreneurs, business leaders and university lecturers.
The hub that would create opportunity for businesses including small sized ones to entertain the trading is expected to increase commerce, the service industry and tourism.
The government has given more attention to the digital economy which was also part of their job creation strategy introduced recently.
Eric Jing, Ant Financial Services Group Chairman and CEO and Alibaba Group Director, said; “we will continue to support the creation of a more inclusive, digitally-enabled global economy, where small businesses can participate in global trade. We look forward to working together with entrepreneurs and SMEs from Ethiopia and other African nations to seize the opportunities provided by the digital era.”
In the inauguration ceremony the Chinese e-commerce billionaire said that this is the beginning that Africa can compete with Europe and America. “In the past, the world was divided into developed and developing nations; in the future, this will change to whether you are e-country or not e-country,” he added.
He said the platform motivates small and medium businesses.
The eWTP Hub is intended to enable cross-border trade, provide smart logistics and fulfillment services, assist Ethiopian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to reach China and other markets, and provide talent training.
Getahun Mekuria, Minister for Innovation and Technology, said “Monday’s signing of the Ethiopia eWTP Hub is an important step in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia. This engagement will greatly contribute to trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but in the wider region. We look forward to continue working with Alibaba Group and CCCI to realize the objectives of the platform which has the potential to transform the lives of many.”
The vision of eWTP is to develop new partnerships, technology and policies to enable more inclusive global trade. The eWTP initiative was accepted as a major policy recommendation of the Business 20 (B20) and officially included in the 2016 G20 Summit Leaders’ Communique.