Austrade and Alibaba strike ground-breaking agreement

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th September 2016
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Chinese consumers will find it easier to buy fresh Australian produce and goods with Austrade striking a ground-breaking deal with Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

As part of the agreement, a dedicated promotional channel for Australian companies will be created on youku.com, a Chinese video sharing site with 500 million active users.

Australian Prime Minster, Malcolm Turnbull, this week visited Alibaba headquarters in China to witness the signing of the agreement.

Austrade’s Senior Trade Commissioner in China, Michael Clifton, said the agreement would help introduce Australian brands to Alibaba’s 434 million online shoppers.

“Online delivery of imported fresh food in China is becoming increasingly viable as a result of improvements in last-mile cold chain logistics,” Clifton said.

Australia currently ranks fourth in sales volume on Tmall Global, Alibaba’s international online platform that allows direct sales to Chinese consumers, behind the United States, Japan and Korea.

The majority of Australian products sold online in China are vitamins and supplements, dairy items, breakfast cereals and beauty products.

Agreement builds on FTA

Access to online distribution channels complements the benefits granted to business by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which came into force on 20 December 2015, reducing tariffs and further strengthening business cooperation between Australia and China,” Clifton said.

Maggie Zhou, Managing Director, Alibaba Group in Australia and New Zealand, said the agreement would help more businesses access new markets through Alibaba’s platforms.

“Alibaba Group plans to open an office in Melbourne later this year and the agreement signed with Austrade today represents a landmark moment for Australian companies, particularly SMEs looking to global trade for growth,” Zhou said.

“Alibaba will be providing a dedicated helpdesk to source Australian products, together with export development programs to be delivered in cooperation with Austrade,” she stated.