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Alibaba on track for digital hub investment in EEC, Somkid says


CHINESE e-commerce giant Alibaba aims to set up a digital hub in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) as part of its planned additional investments in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said.

He met with Alibaba's head of globalisation leadership group, Angel Zhao Ying, in Thailand yesterday as part of an arrangement for continued meetings between Thailand and Alibaba on the company’s prospective investments in Thailand after a high-profile visit by its founder Jack Ma.
Somkid said that Alibaba reconfirmed its plan to invest in Thailand and would proceed with the digital hub in the EEC. It will finalise the investment location in March and Ma is due to visit in April to meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. The formal announcement of the investment plan is expected at that time.
Alibaba already plans to invest in the logistics system in Thailand.
Somkid said that in addition to these investment plans, Thailand and the company will collaborate in four areas, including the development of smart small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 
The second area of focus is support for farmers to become e-commerce operators. The e-commerce giant will join with the Digital Economy and Society to develop programmes to educate Thai farmers on a modern approach to the industry.
The third area relates to the development of startups. Thailand wants Alibaba to open a development institute for e-commerce startups in the country.
 Somkid said Alibaba has committed to setting up a human resources development project and the company might have no need to set up a large campus in Thailand; instead, it may provide a smaller institute to provide training.
Alibaba and Thailand will also collaborate on tourism promotion, with a focus on the secondary provinces.
Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana said yesterday that the Alibaba investment in Thailand would have many phases, beginning with investment in warehouses, logistic,s and research and development. In latter stages, the company may invest in the education system. 
 

Published : March 07, 2018

By : THE NATION