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Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges will attend the opening of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s Australia and New Zealand headquarters in Melbourne tomorrow.

“Alibaba Group is the world’s largest online and mobile marketplace and presents an enormous opportunity for New Zealand exporters to sell their products into the huge China market,” Mr Bridges says.

“China is our second-biggest trading partner after Australia and we have all witnessed the rise of e-commerce platforms globally, but few countries have embraced e-commerce with the gusto shown by Chinese consumers.

“In the last year, China’s e-commerce retail sales have grown 37 per cent versus 11.3 per cent in standard retail; mobile commerce sales have grown 123 per cent; and 50 per cent of the population are yet to access the internet.

“With a population size of 1.4 billion and growing recognition and demand for Western brands, it is clear that e-commerce presents significant opportunities for our exporters. Alibaba is a key gateway to taking advantage of this,” Mr Bridges says.

The opening of the Australia and New Zealand headquarters follows last year’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Alibaba Group which formalised discussions for strengthening trade between China and New Zealand.

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