The signing of the agreement came following the visit of Chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, who arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
The eWTP hub is intended to enable cross-border trade, provide smart logistics and fulfillment services, assist Ethiopian small and micro enterprises (SMEs) to reach global markets, and provide talent training.
The eWTP is an Alibaba-led multi-stakeholder global initiative promoting public-private dialogue in order to support more inclusive global trade which uses technology and policy innovation to provide greater opportunities for SMEs, women and youth.
The agreement was signed by Ethiopia’s Minister of Innovation and Technology, Dr-Ing Getahun Mekuria and Alibaba Group Director and Ant Financial Services Group Chairman and CEO, Eric Jing, in the presence of Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and the Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.
The Ethiopian Minister said on the occasion that the signing of the Ethiopia eWTP hub is an important step in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia.
The agreement will greatly contribute to trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but in the wider region, Dr-Ing Getahun.
“We will continue to support the creation of a more inclusive, digitally-enabled global economy, where small businesses can participate in global trade. We look forward to working together with entrepreneurs and SMEs from Ethiopia and other African nations to seize the opportunities provided by the digital era,” Eric Jing.
Prime Minister Dr Abiy for his part said the platform would contribute a lot to the country by introducing new working practices, increasing the involvement of the private sector and providing market information.
Moreover, it would also assist Ethiopia’s target of becoming one of the top five African economies over the coming 10 years and for the efficient and transparent delivery of customs services, he added.
The Electronic World Trade Platform will allow Ethiopia to trade its commodities via the Alibaba Group.