Prime Minister John Key signed the deal with Alibaba chairman Jack Ma in Beijing this morning.
The agreement means Alibaba will provide support and specific services for New Zealand companies entering the Chinese market through its various ecommerce channels, while New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) will assist local companies in understanding what the opportunities are and promoting themselves.
New Zealand wholesalers and retailers will be able to access Alibaba’s 350 million buyer across sites like Tmall, Tmall Fresh Food and Alibaba.
Alibaba dominates the ecommerce realm globally and is the world’s largest online marketplace. The Group’s revenue for 2015 was NZ$17.6 billion.
The Alibaba Group also operates online retail sites such as Taobao, the largest online shopping site in China.
Newly appointed Alibaba managing director for Australia and New Zealand Maggie Zhou said the company is excited to support Kiwi businesses entering the Chinese market.
“With our strong networks in China and expertise in ecommerce, we will enable Chinese consumers to benefit from the premium products and fresh foods that New Zealand businesses can offer.”
NZTE chief executive Peter Chrisp says many New Zealand businesses are already using Alibaba’s channels to sell products like dairy, meat, fruit, wine, skincare and health supplements.
“By providing dedicated services for New Zealand products, this new arrangement offers significant opportunities for New Zealand businesses to reach more consumers as well as advocating New Zealand’s reputation as a place of open spaces, open hearts and open minds.”
NZTE says Chinese consumers are increasingly demanding high quality, fresh products, which is a great opportunity for Kiwi companies.