MSME Day 2024: Alibaba.com Commits to Scaling AI Tools for MSMEs

Alibaba.com, a leading platform for global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce and a unit of Alibaba International Digital Commerce Group, today honoured businesses in their pursuit of success and global growth ahead of Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) Day on June 27. Reaffirming its dedication to supporting MSMEs, Alibaba.com said it has been rolling out artificial intelligence (AI) tools for global suppliers, which have so far attracted adoption by around 30,000 businesses on its platform.

This year’s MSME Day marks the seventh anniversary of the United Nations’ designation to recognize the vital role played by MSMEs in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the contributions of MSMEs to the global economy. On this meaningful occasion, Kuo Zhang, President of Alibaba.com, participated in a panel discussion on the topic of global trade during the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) bi-annual Global Review of Aid for Trade. Together with four MSMEs from Ethiopia, Vietnam, Italy and India, Zhang also joined a session held by the United Nations International Trade Centre (ITC) to celebrate MSME Day.

Emphasizing the importance of ensuring that no MSMEs in underdeveloped countries are left behind in the era of AI, Zhang mentioned that among the top 20 countries making the most frequent use of Alibaba.com’s AI tools, approximately 10 are developing countries.

“As a member of the private sector, we are honoured to have worked alongside international agencies such as ITC and supported MSMEs worldwide over the past 25 years,” said Zhang. “As we promote wider adoption of our AI tools amongst MSMEs, we also hope to expand our global supplier base to cover 100,000 suppliers in the next three years. In a nutshell, we are building a global supply chain by and for MSMEs leveraging AI.”

MSMEs Embrace the Power of AI

A recent survey conducted by Alibaba.com of MSMEs that utilize its platform showed that they are regularly seeking out innovative solutions and offerings like AI. 25%-30% of the MSMEs surveyed use AI daily.

On Alibaba.com alone, approximately 30,000 MSMEs globally are using the platform’s AI tools. As a result of leveraging these tools, the companies surveyed saw a 37% increase in product exposure, creating greater opportunities for new business deals and growth. Additionally, those MSMEs surveyed that are already utilizing Alibaba.com’s AI tools are furthering their businesses through AI’s expertise, as they have collectively accepted 70% of the optimization suggestions from the tools.

“Using AI has helped put my Alibaba.com store on autopilot and saved us a lot of time since it’s just me and one employee managing our business,” said Sieu To, Deputy Managing Director of Hanh Sanh Co., Ltd, a Vietnam-based electric fan company. “For many business owners who are new to e-commerce, I think AI tools will draw them closer to the platform.”

MSMEs Have Growing Access to Global Suppliers

In addition to a growing suite of innovative solutions to support their businesses, MSMEs on Alibaba.com can diversify their product sources by connecting with suppliers with specific industry and product focuses. These key global digital supply chain clusters include the following:

·         In Northeast Asia, buyers can connect with natural ingredient skin care suppliers out of Korea and partner with home furniture and camera, photo and accessory manufacturers in Japan.

·         In Southeast Asia, Vietnam is the supplier hub for seasoning and condiments, as well as home and outdoor furniture. Buyers can also seek out expert suppliers in India and Pakistan for loose gemstones and horse racing gear.

·         In West Asia and Europe, carpets, men’s clothing and construction and building machinery suppliers can be found in Türkiye. Buyers can tap into suppliers in Germany for industrial machinery and suppliers of wine, textile machinery and women’s apparel from Italy.

“As one of the first Italian businesses on Alibaba.com’s platform, I have always had faith in our quality Italian supplement products. Alibaba.com has helped me expand my business beyond Europe into markets like China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Ghana,” said Maria Francesca Aceti, CEO of Deltha Pharma.

Alibaba.com Expands Supplier Support in Developing Countries

As Alibaba.com seeks to expand its supplier base, it is stepping up its efforts to onboard suppliers in developing countries. Of note, Alibaba.com is setting out to help 100 MSMEs across Africa establish a presence on its platform to sell their products globally. Additionally, of the 500 events and seminars Alibaba.com is rolling out this fiscal year (April 2024 to March 2025) for global suppliers, about 300 are set to be held in developing nations.

“Starting with brick-and-mortar and transitioning to e-commerce has been a strategic journey for my business,” said Dagmawit Abebe, owner of Ethiopian coffee brand Kedemt Coffee. “Leveraging e-commerce platforms like Alibaba.com has been crucial in overcoming local market challenges and expanding our reach.”

Alibaba.com connects more global MSMEs now than ever before, serving more than 48 million buyers and more than 200,000 suppliers on its platform worldwide. Alibaba.com will continue to place MSMEs at the forefront through innovation and new solutions focused on simplifying global sourcing and selling.

Author

Sharing is caring

Leave a Reply