Today at a ceremony witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, China’s ambassador Lyu Jian and the executive chairman of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, the Thai government and Alibaba entered into a strategic partnership to drive the development of the Thai digital economy and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) under the Thailand 4.0 policy.
Under the partnership, the government and Alibaba will work closely together in a number of areas, including e-commerce, digital logistics, tourism and training.
They signed a letter of intent in 2016 that kickstarted a number of joint efforts to bolster the capacity of Thai entrepreneurs to gain access to new markets and taking advantage of digital innovations.
The deputy prime minister said: “Confident in the promising outlook of the Thai economy, the Thailand 4.0 policy and the high potential of the EEC development, Alibaba has decided to invest in a smart digital hub in the EEC. The hub will be an important platform to link Thai SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] and Otop [One Tambon One Product] and agricultural products to, not only China, but also other markets.
“The strategic cooperation with Alibaba will bring benefits to Thai SMEs and farmers as well as the tourism industry, while pushing forward digital economic development in Thailand,” Somkid said.
Ma told the media: “China is on its way to becoming the world’s largest consumer, driven by rising income and a growing middle class of 300 million. There is no better time than now for trade-oriented countries to seize this opportunity to export to China as the country continues to open its doors wider for global trade. Quality Thai agricultural products such as fragrant rice, durian and other tropical fruit in particular are sought after by the Chinese consumer,” said the co-founder of Alibaba.
“Given Thailand’s unique strengths in people and culture, we are confident of its future and growth potential under the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy. We are committed to being a long-term partner of Thailand to help enable its digital transformation.”