AUSTRALIA has signed a new deal to expand its e-commerce offerings through the giant Alibaba platform, which has more than 430 million users and takes 12.7 billion orders each year.
Austrade worked on the deal, which aims to create dedicated services for Australian products and digital branding content.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who witnessed the deal being inked in Hangzhou with Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, said the initiative would allow small businesses “in the regional part of Australia to have access to the biggest part of the world”.
“(B)ecause so many of the services are available on the cloud, again it reduces the cost of business and levels the playing field between the big company and the small company,” Mr Turnbull said.
The collaboration will cover a wide-range of industries, but Alibaba said a highlight is the introduction of an annual Australian fresh food Week sales promotion and education event on Tmall Fresh, which is an Alibaba platform for branded sales to Chinese consumers.
The annual promotion will target dairy, meat, seafood, fruit and other fresh produce.
Alibaba’s Australia and New Zealand managing director Maggie Zhou for said Australia is a key market for the company.
“With Alibaba Group’s new Melbourne office opening later this year, our local team will be dedicated to providing businesses the information and tools they need to advance their international growth,” Ms Zhou said.
Australian wine exporters also launched a store on Tmall this week, supported by Wine Australia.
The online store will initially stock 10 brands from 8 wine regions, including Brokenwood, Coriole, John Duval, Pikes and Voyager Estate. A further 20 brands are to be listed in the coming months.
Global Wine and Spirits Festival, an online Alibaba Group event held on 9 September
Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark said the Tmall store was a significant commercial opportunity for Australian wineries to tap China’s growing appreciation for fine wine.
“The opening of the store is a landmark moment that builds on a year of strong growth for Australian wine in the Chinese export market,” he said.
Chinese mainland is now Australia’s second most valuable export market, up 50 per cent in the past year to $419 million.