E-commerce figured prominently on the agenda at the G20 Summit this weekend taking place in Hangzhou, China, home to Alibaba Group, the largest e-commerce retailer in the world. G20 leaders were to discuss a proposal that originally came from Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma that would create a global e-commerce platform designed to lower barriers to cross-border e-commerce trade. The electronic world trade platform (eWTP) was recommended by the B20 for discussion at this weekend’s G20 Summit. If the G20 endorses the plan, the B20 will work to coordinate public and private resources from the developed nations to look at rules that will benefit small and midsize businesses that want to take advantage of the opportunities presented by cross-border e-commerce.
Concurrently with the summit, several countries have made special overtures to Alibaba while they are at the event in Hangzhou. In addition to reportedly meeting personally with Australian and Russian officials, Ma and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed an agreement empowering the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and Alibaba to work together to expand the two-way flow of goods between the two countries. As part of the agreement, Alibaba will launch a Canadian Pavilion on Alibaba’s Tmall Global that will feature 30 Canadian businesses selling more than 100 products, including special deals on uniquely Canadian products.