Alibaba.com, a leading business-to-business (B2B) marketplace to facilitate global trading, is boosting its presence in Thailand in a bid to promote local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the lucrative global e-commerce market.
The Chinese e-commerce giant, under the umbrella of Alibaba Group Holding, yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding with Loxley Plc, the Thai trading conglomerate, to jointly provide intensive e-commerce training courses called "Dream Trip", aimed at vocational and university students as well as SMEs.
There are fewer than 1,000 SMEs in Thailand boasting Alibaba's Gold Supplier membership, which costs 56,000 baht a year.
Wanida Sangkaew, vice-president for education and distribution channels at Loxley's development department, said the collaboration with Alibaba is intended to encourage Thai students and SMEs to better learn how to conduct B2B commerce on the Alibaba.com marketplace.
The five-day e-commerce training course, starting from November, will see 30-50 people travel to Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Participants will be charged 52,000 baht each to attend the course (excluding airfare).
Those who partake in it will receive a certificate from Alibaba, she said.
Jerry Wu, Thailand's country manager of Alibaba.com, said the company now has two types of partners: authorised resellers and ecosystem partners, including the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Loxley.
Alibaba wants to encourage young-generation SMEs in Thailand to use lower-cost online channels such as e-marketplaces to export their products worldwide, he said.
Mr Wu, who has been responsible for business development over the past four months, said Alibaba is seeking to increase the number of its Gold Supplier members in Thailand in order to establish other e-commerce-related services such as logistics, its e-payment platform as well as trade assurance.