GENEVA – Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, has been named a special adviser to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business.
His role as adviser for the Geneva-based UNCTAD will be to champion initiatives to help make it easier for young entrepreneurs, and small businesses, particularly in developing nations to participate in global trade.
“Mr. Ma is an influential and respected pioneer of the Internet era, innovator, entrepreneur, and philanthropist…He brings a visionary approach to entrepreneurship, a thirst for learning and a belief in a better world that make him a perfect match for UNCTAD,” said Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD Secretary-General.
Ma’s proposed concept of the “eWTP” (Electronic World Trade Platform) a medium to integrate small and medium-sized enterprises more fully into the world economy, and stimulate digital trade, was included in the final communique of the G20 summit held in Hangzhou, China, earlier this month.
Ma said, “I have devoted my career to helping entrepreneurs and have seen the social and economic transformation that occurs when people are given the opportunity to participate in the global economy.”
Today, there are more than 10 million small businesses in China operating on Alibaba’s marketplaces.
Earlier, ahead of a meeting on small business and e-trade at the U.N. General Assembly meeting in Manhattan, Kituyi said, “E-commerce is a train that has left the station and is quickly gathering speed…The challenge is to get as many people aboard this train as possible so that e-commerce can usefully contribute to inclusive growth.”
In 2015, the global market for electronic commerce was worth about $22.1 trillion, up 38 percent from 2013, UNCTAD said.
Ma is also expected to enhance awareness about the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.