In efforts to stimulate entrepreneurship, push for expansion into new markets and pave the way for new growth prospects, the Athens Chamber of Tradesmen stressed the significance of bringing the world’s largest e-commerce group, Alibaba, to Greece during a press conference on Wednesday.
The Chinese online sales platform, serving some 10 million small business customers and 423 million users, aims to offer services to Greek exporters interested in expanding into the Chinese market with standard products for end consumers as well as tourism offerings, among others.
Alibaba representatives will be visiting Athens in September to hold talks with government officials and local professionals on a future collaboration. At the same event, Greek producers will learn more about exporting opportunities through Alibaba.
Referring to Greece’s ailing economy, Athens Chamber of Tradesmen President Ioannis Chatzitheodosiou underlined the need for “outwardness” and for stronger export activity. In this direction, Alibaba can play a vital and decisive role, he said.
“In 2015, direct sales to consumers via e-commerce in China – or Business to Consumer (B2C) – came to 493 billion dollars (13 percent of total retail sales in China). Total online sales in China exceeded 1 trillion dollars. This figure is estimated at rising to 25-30 percent in the coming years,” Chatzitheodosiou said.
To get his point across, Mr Chatzitheodosiou noted that though China imports approximately 150 million euros worth of olive oil per year, Greek extra virgin olive oil accounts for a mere 4.0 million euros, the rest is imported from Spain and Italy, which have initially imported unpacked oil from Greece (70 percent).
“Our goal is to bring Greek companies wishing to export in contact with Chinese consumers. There are many opportunities for Greek companies that want to export to China, and they will have the opportunity to draw up their own pricing policy,” said Rodrigo Cipriani Foresio, Alibaba country manager Italy, Spain and Greece.
Founded in 1999, Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce company active in consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals as well as providing electronic payment services, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services.