Cambodia, Alibaba launch eWTP partnership

Cambodia and Alibaba have come together to establish the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) partnership, strengthening economic development and digital economy in the Kingdom, as China’s largest e-retailer makes further inroads in Southeast Asia.

The announcement of the partnership was virtually made on December 15 by Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce and Alibaba Group’s secretary general James Song.

The partnership ensures trading of Cambodian products will reach more than half a billion consumers of Alibaba.

It also supports digital economy-related policies and potential areas of cooperation in the fields of e-commerce, digital technology and talent training.

Also, the partnership will benefit the mutual interest between Cambodia and China, Sorasak said.

“I wish this eWTP partnership between Cambodia and Alibaba Group to be fruitful and the Ministry of Commerce look forward to working closely with Alibaba Group to achieve more progress to bring more benefits to the people in Cambodia and China,” Sorasak said.

Cambodia is an export-driven country and the Kingdom is now in the process of modernising its industrial structure from labour intensive industry to a skill-driven industry by 2025, Sorasak said.

It is imperative that Cambodia diversify its economy to promote export-driven and value-added growth, he said.

Sorasak noted to the audience that the Cambodian government has emphasized efforts in several key areas, including improving the logistics system and enhancing transport, energy and digital connectivity, developing key and new sources of economic growth and industry revolution 4.0.

Cambodia expects future growth in exports as more free trade agreements such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP, Cambodia-China free trade agreements, and Cambodia-Republic of Korea free trade agreement on top of ASEAN free trade agreements and ASEAN Plus one FTA are implemented, he said.

The partnership is made as Cambodia and Alibaba group has conducted talks on getting Cambodian products in the world’s largest online product-selling platform.

In January this year, Alibaba Group held talks with Cambodian relevant stakeholders about exporting Cambodian products and selling them in the online marketplace in China.

They held discussions on the cooperation between Alibaba and the Cambodian government to bring Cambodian products to market in China and hope that the National Committee for the Movement of Village 1 Product 1 will sell Cambodian products in Alibaba’s online marketplace Lazada app.

The ministry said the cooperation between the Cambodian government and Alibaba is a good opportunity for farmers, producers, traders to bring Cambodian products to sell to consumers in China directly. The Ministry of Commerce is ready to coordinate and cooperate with Alibaba Group.

Currently, Cambodia exports milled rice, sliced cassava, fresh banana, fresh mango, and Palin longan to China.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries has recently asked China to accelerate the negotiation on potential agricultural products for exports.

The potential products of pepper, bird next and durian are on the list that Cambodia is asking to accelerate the sanitary and phytosanitary requirement negotiation, the ministry said.

Kingdom exported more than 2.4 million tonnes of agricultural products to China from 2019 to June 2022, earning gross revenue of $1.94 billion.