Alibaba.com, Matrade, MDEC help SMEs in cross-border e-commerce

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by TMR FILE

ALIBABA.COM has launched its Pandemic Recovery Support Programme in collaboration with the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC), to help more local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) build their cross-border e-commerce capabilities as the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt.

The programme aims to equip up to 1,000 SMEs by the end of the year with hands-on e-commerce operations skills and provide participants with complimentary access to the Alibaba.com Seller Training E-Course (ASTE) to fast-track their onboarding process.

Alibaba.com head of Asia Pacific Stephen Kuo (picture) said the platform is committed to making it easy for companies in Malaysia to do business anywhere.

“With the global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce market valued at US$23.9 trillion (RM100.02 trillion) and growing, we want to help local SMEs prepare for the shift of global trade towards e-commerce and emerge stronger from the pandemic.

“Thankfully, Malaysian businesses are well placed to leverage cross-border opportunities given the established infrastructure available here, including the very first Electronic World Trade Platform hub outside of China,” he said at the programme launch yesterday.

ASTE is aimed to help lower the barrier for SMEs to get online. Alibaba.com has also been working with its local channel partners to provide support to sellers through hands-on assistance, knowledge-sharing webinars and expert insights.

“Together with Matrade and MDEC, I am confident that the programme will help SMEs better future-proof themselves and expand their business overseas,” he added.

Designed for suppliers new to the Alibaba.com platform, ASTE is an intensive two-day online training programme which offers 12 hours of online classroom sessions in four modules as well as guidance from experts and experienced online sellers.

In addition to the complimentary ASTE training, which is worth US$2,000 and originally only open to Alibaba.com’s paying members, Alibaba.com will offer further benefits to participating SMEs upon completion of the programme.

These include discounts on membership and onboarding service packages, up to US$500 keyword advertising credit and a free value-added services voucher worth US$600.

Matrade deputy CEO Abu Bakar Yusof said with Malaysia’s status as a globally competitive trading nation, Matrade is committed to helping SMEs make full use of the exports facilitations available on cross-border e-commerce.

“To further facilitate their cross-border e-commerce onboarding process, SMEs can tap into the RM5,000 under the eTRADE 2.0 Onboarding Scheme.

“Additionally, companies that are already in the e-commerce space can leverage on the Digital Marketing and Training Scheme of up to RM20,000 to further enhance their visibility and branding in cross-border e-commerce,” he said.

Meanwhile, MDEC CEO Mahadhir Aziz said Malaysian companies must seize these export opportunities due to the shift in consumer buying behaviour worldwide.

“Through this effort, local businesses will be further empowered to increase their capabilities and expanding market access to enable them to obtain new sources of revenues, reflecting the government’s intent under the Pemulih economic recovery programme and achieving the goals of MyDigital,” he said.

The Alibaba.com Pandemic Recovery Support Programme is open to SMEs across multiple industries — from food and beverage to agriculture, timber and consumer electronics.

Training under the programme will commence next month and continue through December 2021.

E-certificate of completion will be awarded to participants who complete all the training modules.

Interested SMEs can register for Open Day sessions on Oct 7 or Oct 13, 2021, at https://www.facebook.com/AlibabacomMY.