On May 14, Jack Ma described to the People’s Daily what he believes makes the Belt and Road Initiative a uniquely effective and inclusive project. Ma, executive chairman and founder of Alibaba Group, granted the interview on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Ma spoke highly of the vision put forward by President Xi Jinping, citing it as a good opportunity for individuals and countries.
“The greatest difference between the Belt and Road Initiative and general globalization lies in the inclusion of young people, women, smaller enterprises and developing countries. The Belt and Road Initiative aims to reach more people. This is both a responsibility and an opportunity,” Ma said.
Ma also echoed the goals of the initiative with his proposal for an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) and eRoad in last year’s communique from the Hangzhou G20 summit.
“Last year I spent more than 820 hours traveling all across the globe to gain insight about the world. It is important to be there, observe and think. We want to do something different. Instead of simply selling our products to Belt and Road countries or importing cheap labor and raw materials, we want to create jobs, stimulate overseas economies and improve people’s livelihoods.
“In my view, once the eWTP is established, young people in any corner of the world will be able to buy and sell products globally. All they need is a smart phone,” Ma explained.
Ma secured the launch of the first overseas eWTP hub in Malaysia in just 10 minutes, working in cooperation with the Malaysian prime minister.
“I was convinced by the Malaysian officials that the project could be completed in three months, on a scale much bigger than those in the past three decades,” the chairman said.
In response to a foreigner-curated list of four great new Chinese inventions (Alipay, Taobao, high-speed trains and shared bikes), Ma said: “We are already a global leader in mobile payment, and we are ready to share our technology with developing countries. We have not only invested large sums of money in these countries, we have also dispatched our technicians there to help.”
Alipay and Taobao are the business arms of Alibaba Group.
By Du Xiaofei (People’s Daily Online/NewsGhana.com.gh)