E-commerce giant Alibaba to invest in Thailand

- Associated Press, BANGKOK

Apr 20, 2018-

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has agreed to step up investments in Thailand as competition between online retailers heats up in fast-growing Southeast Asia.The founder of the online shopping giant, Jack Ma, met with Thailand’s prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, on Thursday and later signed several agreements, including one to help set up a “smart digital hub” in a showcase project called the Eastern Economic Corridor, to facilitate trade between Thailand, China, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Both Ma and Prayuth sought to allay concerns that Alibaba’s growing involvement might increase Chinese influence without benefiting Thailand. 

Across the region, such concerns have deepened as Beijing expands investments in a slew of projects that help expand transportation and supply chain networks linked to China.

“Are we going to occupy Thailand, are we going to take away the jobs?” Ma said at a news conference. “We are not interested in that. We are interested in and focusing on enabling entrepreneurs and partners in Thailand.”

Prayuth told reporters that the amount of investment involved would be determined later. Earlier, Thai media reported that Alibaba plans to invest 11 billion Thai baht ($350 million) in the Eastern Economic Corridor.

 

Published: 20-04-2018 08:25

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