The Ethiopian government has signed an agreement with Alibaba Group to join the Electronic World Trade Platform, an Alibaba-led initiative that aims to lower barriers to global trade for small and medium-size enterprises through e-commerce.
According to Alibaba, the eWTP hub, the second in Africa after Rwanda, will serve as a gateway for Ethiopian products to China and new markets, as well as offer support in smart logistics and fulfillment, and talent training.
“Today’s signing of the Ethiopia eWTP Hub is an important step in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia,” said Getahun Mekuria, Ethiopia’s minister of innovation and technology. “This engagement will greatly contribute to trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but in the wider region.”
Since it was first proposed by Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma in 2016, the eWTP has been recognized by the G20, as well as adopted by China, Malaysia, Rwanda and Belgium. Alibaba expects that trade between the hubs will increase as the number of eWTP hubs increases. The goal is to allow all businesses – both big international companies and SMEs – to participate in cross-border commerce.