The eWTP (Electronic World Trade Platform) is a private sector-led, multi-stakeholder initiative, for public-private dialogue to incubate e-Trade rules and foster a more effective and efficient policy and business environment for cross border eCommerce development. The eWTP achieved international recognition with its inclusion in the 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit Leaders’ Communique.
The eWTP’s global engagement is mainly twofold: the first is an international collaboration. With the belief that eCommerce is a growing force in global trade and has the potential to make the world economy more inclusive by creating opportunities for SMEs and expanding choices for consumers, the eWTP has developed a trilateral collaborative mechanism entitled “Enabling” with the WTO and WEF, aiming to bring together leading voices from governments, businesses and other stakeholders for a high-level conversation on eCommerce policies and practices that can benefit SMEs. Last year, “Enabling” held two high-level dialogues during the WEF’s annual summit in Davos and WTO’s annual public forum in Geneva, and several workshops and seminars. These activities have been well-received through helping stakeholders to develop a clear understanding of how to enable SME eCommerce around the globe. It also encourages research and knowledge sharing on the practical challenges faced by SMEs and serves as a bridge between global eCommerce practice and policy. In addition, a number of other international organizations such as UNIDO have also expressed their support for eWTP for their shared vision of supporting SMEs and disseminating best practices.
Visit eWTP official website for more information: www.ewtp.org
Beyond international collaboration, the eWTP also identifies best practices for the development of a digital economy by launching eWTP business pilots projects together with governments. In March 2017, the eWTP kicked off its first overseas business pilot - the Malaysia Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ). Alibaba (the initiator of eWTP) and its affiliates (including Ant Financial, Cainiao Network and Lazada), launched a comprehensive program with functions including one-stop international trade facilitation services, advanced logistics hub, cloud computing and big data centre, inclusive financial services and digital talent human resource training, so as to empower the transition of Malaysia’s digital economy and enable SMEs, youth and women to participate in globalization. Meanwhile, the eWTP has also established in-depth collaboration with the Malaysian government in cross-border trade policies and trade facilitation to help Malaysia set up a “single window” for international trade and to gradually put in place digital customs clearance and optimized cross-border trading processes. This year, the eWTP launched its first African project and European projects in Rwanda and Belgium respectively. The launching ceremony of the Rwandan project was witnessed by President Paul Kagame and Jack Ma on 31st October 2018, where the eWTP aims to provide Rwandan SMEs with operational infrastructures, such as commerce logistics, cloud computing, mobile payments and skills training. By doing so, the eWTP hopes to open up more opportunities for SMEs in Africa to participate in the global economy, while otherwise such opportunities may only be available to multinational companies.
China's eCommerce giant Alibaba and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda launched the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) on Oct. 31st 2018, which makes Rwanda the first African country to launch this platform.
The eWTP initiative was proposed by Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, in 2016. It aims to promote public-private dialogue to foster a more effective and efficient policy and business environment to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in cross-border electronic trade.
Jack Ma and Rwandan president Paul Kagame jointly unveiled the plaque of the eWTP at its launching ceremony, which also witnessed the signing of MOUs between the two sides in the areas of e-commerce, tourism, e-payment and capacity building, under the framework of eWTP. So far, the training program has achieved several milestones.
- Between 2017 and 2019, 40 Rwandan entrepreneurs in total have received training from Alibaba Business School. Among them, 10 digital platform builders have graduated from the eFounders Fellowship and 30 ecosystem enablers, including traditional business owners as well as start-up entrepreneurs, have attended the Alibaba Netpreneur Training.
- In August 2018, Alibaba Business School organized a 5-day Global eCommerce Talent (GET) Program in Rwanda providing eCommerce training to 36 local university professors and trainers. Global eCommerce Talent aims to empower teachers who are able to enable their students to start their own businesses. In September 2019, African Leadership University (ALU) signed a contract in joining the GET Network, to provide the most advanced e-commerce knowledge. ALU is the first university in Africa to join the GET Network.
- In Jan 2019, Alibaba Business School launched a 4-year undergraduate course on International Business (Cross-Border e-Commerce) to enroll students from Rwanda to spend four years in Hangzhou, studying subjects including the Internet, international trade and cross-border e-Commerce.
Now, there are two classes, 41 students enrolled in the ABS 4-year Rwanda Class. The 4-year undergraduate program equips the students with the skills needed for eCommerce success in the digital economy.