The Republic of Indonesia has joined a host of countries to open a flagship store on Alibaba Group’s dedicated cross-border e-commerce platform, Tmall Global.
Launched on Friday at a kickoff event in Shanghai, the Indonesian Pavilion will help raise awareness of the Southeast Asian country’s exports, such as its globally known coffees, among the more than half a billion Chinese consumers shopping on Alibaba’s shopping sites.
Five brands will sell on the Indonesian Pavilion to start: coffee specialist Kapal Api, instant-noodle maker Indomie, biscuit company Richeese, shrimp-cracker maker Papatonk and bird’s nest brand Yan Ty Ty. Bird’s nests are a delicacy in Asia and, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, are believed to have healing properties.
In a release, Djauhari Oratmangun, the Indonesian ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, said the pavilion launch was a “major step” in leveraging Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms to bring Indonesian products to China.
“We hope this initiative will further entice Chinese consumers to enjoy the flavors of Indonesia through its finest products and attract more of Indonesia’s best brands to take advantage of this not-to-be-missed opportunity,” Oratmangun said.
In a video message, Indonesian President Joko Widodo echoed those sentiments, saying, “Indonesia not only is renowned for its rich resources and beautiful natural environment, we are also a country known for producing some very high-quality products.”
“I wholeheartedly present these finest products that Indonesia have on offer to all of you,” he said.
Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the U.S. are among the other countries to have pavilions on Tmall Global. The site, a platform within Tmall, allows overseas brands and retailers to reach Chinese consumers without having physical stores in China.
The Indonesian Pavilion launches just over a week before Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, the biggest shopping event in the world. Ryan Wang, general manager of public affairs at Tmall, said that using the festival to bring attention to Indonesian products and culture is one part of a larger push by Alibaba to support Indonesian businesses, many of which are small and medium-sized enterprises that need such a platform to grow their operations.
“We hope this will encourage other Indonesian businesses to learn more about this great opportunity and perhaps even to participate in the next 11.11 Global Shopping Festival,” Wang said.
Alibaba has launched a number of initiatives in recent years to support SMEs and young people in Indonesia, including Alibaba Cloud opening a data center in the country help Indonesian startups, B2B platform Alibaba.com working with Indonesian wholesalers to find new markets overseas, as well as e-commerce training.
Alibaba founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma also serves as digital economy adviser to the Indonesian Government. He was named to that post in 2016.