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Alibaba’s Zhou speaks at Sydney business summit

E-commerce giant Alibaba repeated its call for Australian businesses to embrace online technology and sales opportunities in China at a Sydney event this week.

Speaking at the City of Sydney’s Future Asia Business Summit, Alibaba’s managing director of Australia and New Zealand Maggie Zhou said Australian brands are in a position to meet demand for quality products and services, but only if they embrace new digital platforms.

“In my view, there has never been a better time to be an Australian brand or retailer. Technology is a powerful enabler and has given local businesses unprecedented access to global markets. Sydney and the rest of Australia is renowned for its quality of life and through e-commerce consumers all over the world can buy the products that make this possible,” Zhou said.

The City’s third international Future Asia Business Summit drew together representatives from government agencies and the business community to explore opportunities and challenges for strengthening connections with Asia.

During her speech, Zhou aimed to reassure Australian businesses nervous about the convergence of entertainment, media, payments and shopping, both offline and online, in retail.

“I know some Australian businesses, particularly retailers, may be nervous about disruption and nervous about large, global players entering this market. However, Alibaba is here to partner with local businesses and build their brands in China and beyond.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the conference was an ideal opportunity to explore how Australia can attract more big businesses from Asia and for Australian businesses looking to enter foreign markets.

“It’s clear the digital economy presents strong opportunities for businesses looking to tap into rapidly growing markets in China and Asia,” the Lord Mayor said.

“In turn, major corporations are increasingly looking to cities to establish a local foothold. Sydney is taking full advantage of this trend and we have established our city as Australia’s leading knowledge based economy. Our stature as a global business hub is growing.

“Initiatives such as today’s summit are part of our work to ensure that Sydney is a supportive business environment and that our most talented companies and the entrepreneurs behind them can grow their business right here in Sydney.”


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