Department of Finance (DOF) officials are to meet with Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma in Hangzhou, China, on February 1, to explore innovations in digital commerce seen helping the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
According to the DOF, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and officials from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are to meet with Ma in China next month in a scheduled visit to the Alibaba Business School.
The Alibaba Business School is focused on implementing the Alibaba Group’s electronic commerce (e-commerce) training system. The Philippine delegation will take part in a lecture series from January 31 to February 2 to gain a wider understanding of the e-commerce ecosystem, including the digital technologies that can be employed to improve the country’s nascent online-payments system.
“We will look at the financial regulations in China and explore how we can tap digital technologies to empower our MSMEs, especially those in the countryside, the same way that Jack Ma did to help small enterprises in China gain a foothold in the global e-commerce industry,” Dominguez said.
The three-day new economy workshop organized by Alibaba and tailor-fit to the Philippine setting “will incorporate firsthand experience with real-life e-commerce applications in an effort to provide a framework for creating a regulatory environment that encourages growth across the financial technology, logistics, e-commerce and big data industries.”
Dominguez and Ma met briefly last November in Manila when the Chinese technology entrepreneur paid a courtesy call to President Duterte in Malacañan Palace. Ma invited Dominguez to visit China to hold more extensive discussions on how to ensure an “enabling financial regulatory environment” for e-commerce growth in the Philippines, with MSMEs as the primary beneficiaries.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud-computing arm of Alibaba Group, will also include a lecture on the use of artificial intelligence for smart traffic management, which could become a useful tool to help ease congestion in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares.
Ma earlier said he wants to assist developing countries like the Philippines in building digital technologies so that even small enterprises can benefit from globalization.
“The Philippines has the best service and has the heart to become key players in the industry,” Ma said.
The Alibaba Group’s ecosystem is estimated to have indirectly created over 30 million job opportunities in China.