12 October 2016

Alibaba's Ma says more support for young entrepreneurs, small businesses needed

Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma has called on the 34 Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) member states for more policies and infrastructure that support individuals under 30, as well as companies with fewer than 30 employees as they will drive future economic success on a global scale.

“Small is beautiful. Small is powerful,” said Ma in his capacity both as Alibaba Group Executive Chairman and as Special Adviser on youth entrepreneurship and small business to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The second ACD Summit was held in Bangkok, Thailand on October 9 and 10 with the theme One Asia, Diverse Strengths.

In his address, Ma picked up this theme to talk about the inclusivity and openness of Asia as a region, pointing to how mobile technology in particular had the potential to overcome geographic challenges with regard to trade promotion, financing and job creation. He also emphasised the importance of infusing innovation and imagination into education in Asia. By working together Ma suggested that member countries had the ability to create the next stage of globalisation, one that evolves away from enabling large corporations and on to realising the potential of smaller businesses.

The Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) is an Asian regional cooperation platform initiated by Thailand in 2002 with the aim of connecting the countries in Asia and to build an Asian community based on dialogue and cooperation. The membership has extended to 34 states which represent 60% of the global population.

Ma was one of the first business leaders, and the only business leader from China, to speak at the forum which holds a number of values in common with the Alibaba Group, such as positive thinking, openness and a proactive and results-oriented nature.