Alibaba Group Continues to Drive Malaysian Agricultural Exports through eWTP initiative

Alibaba Group on Tuesday announced the popular Malaysian Musang King Durian will be officially imported into China in frozen whole fruit form for the first time for Chinese customers to purchase and enjoy through its comprehensive online and offline channels.

The breakthrough of Musang King Durian’s import into China came just in time for this year’s 618 Mid-year Shopping Festival, which seeks to empower brands and merchants to tap into China’s less-developed regions with 1.5 million new products and multiple promotional initiatives. This year’s festival aims to engage customers in emerging cities, counties and villages across China.

To do so, Taobao and Tmall are boosting promotional resources to elevate excitement and help brands reach this rapidly growing market. Altogether, over 200,000 brands and retailers will participate in the shopping event. The move was made possible following the recent announcement by China’s customs authorities to greenlight the imports of Malaysian durians in frozen whole fruit form into the country. It also marks the continuing effort by the technology firm to help promote Malaysia’s agricultural products and empower the local SMEs via the first overseas Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) hub established in Malaysia in 2017. Previously, only the pulp and paste and the processed products of the famed Malaysian Musang King Durian could be imported into China due to quarantine restrictions.

The breakthrough was a result of concerted efforts made by the relevant Chinese and Malaysian government agencies to facilitate the import of the coveted fruit. Based on several rounds of discussions, the strictest traceability and inspection measures will be adopted to ensure the products meet the highest export quality standards. Commenting on the landmark export drive, Malaysia’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agrobased Industry, YB Sim Tze Tzin said, “Malaysia continues to facilitate the export and promotion of unique local products to the global market. The strong partnership between Malaysia and China has resulted in today’s durian export initiative and both governments have worked closely for months to facilitate the export of the frozen Musang King Durian in whole fruit form to China.” “Alibaba has been supporting our efforts on many fronts to empower Malaysian SMEs and support global trade with services encompassing talent development, on-boarding merchants on its platforms, and helping to promote Malaysia products through Demand Generation campaigns among others. We foresee this as just the beginning of a long-term strategic cooperation considering that the Malaysian Government is determined to increase local export via eCommerce platforms and to support growth in this area,” YB Sim continued. “Malaysia has sufficient durians to cater for the local market and China’s consumption.

In 2018, Malaysia produced over 350 million kg of durian but have only exported 5% out of that so far. Through this partnership, we are positive that the number of durians exported will grow exponentially. This has also resulted in many local orchards starting to invest to increase production of durians, a strong sign that many are recognising this as an opportunity to grow.” Helped by Alibaba’s omnichannel distribution system, Chinese consumers will be able to purchase the fruit via Tmall and Freshippo, one of Alibaba’s New Retail platforms that enables users to buy products either using its dedicated app or at one of its 150-plus technology-enabled offline stores across China.

Alibaba’s China marketplaces are the largest in the world, which together drew more than 720 million active mobile users each month last year. Sheng Cong, General Manager of Freshippo Fresh Merchandising said, “We are thrilled to be the first to offer Musang King Durian in whole fruit form for Chinese consumers in China through our platforms: Freshippo and Tmall. This initiative is the latest example of we can work together to facilitate cross-border trade and empower Malaysian SMEs in their drive to find new markets. It does not just highlight the convenient and inclusive nature of eWTP, but also has a real chance of helping to increase local agricultural exports and farmers’ income in Malaysia.”

Alibaba’s efforts in helping to build the infrastructure for a digital economy in Malaysia
Since the launch of eWTP hub in Malaysia in late 2017, Alibaba Group has announced several initiatives, including an e-fulfilment hub near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, external trade promotion programs, and e-commerce training for Malaysian SMEs and entrepreneurs. March Expo and Malaysia Week Campaign, co-hosted by Alibaba Group with MDEC and MATRADE, were among the several successful trade promotion programs that connected hundreds of Malaysian wholesalers with sales opportunities beyond Malaysia’s shores.

To support the growth of SMEs, Alibaba Group also opened two local data centers to provide Malaysian enterprises a local choice to build their businesses on a world-class cloud platform. The Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) initiative has been established by the Malaysian Government with the aim of driving exports of Malaysian SMEs by leveraging on digital technology and opportunities in electronic Commerce. The key objectives of DFTZ are in line with Alibaba’s eWTP vision of reducing barriers and making it easy for SMEs to go global. The DFTZ initiative seeks to enable seamless and integrated end-to-end digitalised trade facilitation services in cross border trade. This ultimately helps to further drive and strengthen the country’s Digital Economy.