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UNIDO, eWTP build stronger ties to support e-commerce and SMEs

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Director General LI Yong and Jack MA, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Alibaba Group, met Saturday to discuss deepening the cooperation between UNIDO and the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) .

UNIDO and Alibaba Group share common goals, ones that include support for small businesses and sustainable development through e-commerce. The meeting, which took place at Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, focused on how to expand cooperation on eWTP. The discussions also looked at joint support for China’s innovation agenda as another possible area for cooperation.

Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company, with a culture of championing small business, is also one of the initiators of the eWTP, an initiative supported by UNIDO that promotes the development of e-commerce and SMEs. Cooperation on eWTP would dovetail with the new China-UNIDO Strategic Cooperation Framework 2018-2021.

“The eWTP initiative is very much in line with UNIDO’s mandate of inclusive and sustainable industrial development and has the potential to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said LI Yong. “Our support to eWTP could build on UNIDO’s and Alibaba’s shared vision of disseminating good practices and capacity-building in support of e-commerce development in SMEs, with particular focus on youth and women.”

Jack MA stated that, “The purpose of eWTP is to help SMEs, youth and women to achieve global purchase, global sell, global payment, global logistics, and global tourism. The cooperation with UNIDO is in particular valuable, since the technology will be combined with manufacturing and traditional industry.”

The eWTP is a private sector-led, multi-stakeholder initiative for public-private dialogue to share best practices and foster a more integrated, inclusive, effective and efficient policy and business environment for the development of e-commerce, trade and the digital economy. It achieved international recognition with its inclusion in the 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit Leaders’ Communique. In 2017, the eWTP, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Economic Forum (WEF), jointly launched a trilateral collaboration entitled “Enabling E-commerce”, to drive public-private dialogue on e-commerce.

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