Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma is eyeing Thailand’s e-commerce and e-payment businesses and offered to help screen Chinese visitors, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said on Tuesday.

Mr Ma shared his views at a meeting with Mr Somkid at Government House Tuesday. He wanted to take part in developing digital businesses in Thailand through the government as he had done in China and other countries, Mr Somkid said.

He eyed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up more than 90% of Thai operators, planning to provide them with chances to export their products through a jointly developed platform, the deputy prime minister said.

Alibaba would train Thai business people and SMEs on e-commerce. He will also introduce e-commerce courses together with the Thai government and local schools to enable Thai students to develop their start-ups in the future, he said.

Alibaba and the Thai government would form a joint working group to formulate an action plan for the e-commerce development, Mr Somkid said.

China’s second richest man also expressed his intention to develop an effective e-payment system with the Thai government, focusing on fraud prevention, Mr Somkid said.

The Alibaba founder also proposed his group help screen Chinese visitors to Thailand to ensure the arrivals of quality tourists. Most outbound Chinese tourists used Alibaba’s Alipay online payment system, so the group already had their data, Mr Somkid quoted Mr Ma as saying.

The Chinese tycoon also offered to promote free trade areas for small companies in Southeast Asia and develop Thailand into an electronic hub of the region, Mr Somkid said.



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