The Canadian government has made headlines today for its decision to partner with the Chinese marketplace e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group. The move is a “declaration of cooperation that will strengthen efforts to promote trade between Canadian small and medium sized businesses and Chinese consumers” according to press release information obtained from Businesswire.
Hundreds of millions of potential consumers in China will be connected to Canadian small and medium-scale business markets through the Canadian Pavilion on Alibaba’s shopping platform, known as Tmall Global. Though only 30 brands are currently connected to the service, the expectations for greater participation are optimistic.
“By developing partnerships with industry leaders and companies around the world we’re ensuring that Canadians have the right connections and the right opportunities to succeed in the fast-changing global economy,” said Trudeau in an official statement.
Jack Ma, Alibaba’s chairman, said his company has enabled millions of small businesses to succeed in China by offering similar access to massive online marketplaces. The challenges faced by Chinese small businesses, including inventory management, supply concerns and shipping costs, are similar to those faced by many firms striving to succeed in the Canadian market. By making it easier for small and medium-sized firms in Canada to connect with the Chinese marketplace through e-commerce, this partnership underscores the idea that small businesses can market globally without having to sacrifice their ability to think and act locally.
While it remains to be seen exactly how specific small and medium-sized businesses would apply to promote their goods through Tmall Global and into the Chinese marketplace for Canadian goods, the precedent that this agreement sets is a positive one. It shows the importance of e-commerce to Canadian businesses in a way that goes beyond our borders and creates the opportunity for small businesses to gain recognition on a worldwide scale.