Dubai – MENA Herald : As part of its efforts to promote e-commerce amongst the Gulf Chambers and to achieve a unified growth and prosperity for Gulf businesses, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently headed an awareness raising seminar at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which has the exclusive rights to represent Alibaba.com platform in Saudi Arabia.
Dubai and Makkah Chambers have earlier in the year signed a MoU appointing Makkah Chamber as the sole representative for the Alibaba website in the Kingdom thus allowing them the benefits of the e-commerce platform which is unique in the region.
The benefits include easy access to the knowledge centre and free e-commerce customer service and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) services through the e-commerce MENA region club and allotment of Certificate of Verified Membership.
The agreement is aimed at enhancing international trade through e-commerce and opening of new and promising markets for the members of Makkah and other Saudi chambers.
Attending the two-day seminar were Mr. Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice-President, Commercial Services Sector, Dubai Chamber, H.E. Maher Saleh Jamal, Chairman, and Dr. Abdullah bin Shakir Al-Ghalib, Secretary General, Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and a large number of business representatives from Saudi Arabia.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Nasib highlighted Dubai’s efforts, under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to share knowledge and expertise with regional entities.
“Our collaboration with the leading global Chinese e-portal Alibaba.com has doubled the business prospects for our business community and we want to share the UAE’s success in the area of e-commerce with regional entities, especially the Makkah Chamber which is putting extra efforts in promoting the concept amongst Saudi chambers and businesses, comprising of entrepreneurs from both genders and family businesses,” said Mr. Nasib.
He added that as the exclusive representative of the Alibaba platform in Saudi Arabia, the Makkah Chamber is helping various Saudi exports and intra-exchange between buyers and sellers while supporting local Saudi businesses to become more international through the platform which is used by 40 million users around the world showcasing 2.8 million supplier storefronts.
Mr. Nasib informed that the UAE is ranked as the largest e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. According to Dubai Chamber statistics based on “PayPal” data, the size of the UAE market is expected to reach USD5.1 billion by the end of 2015 thus acquiring a third of the total expected e-commerce market share of USD15 billion in the Middle East and North Africa.
He further informed that Saudi Arabia is the second largest e-commerce market after the UAE, as the Kingdom expects an increase from USD1 billion in 2012 to USD2.7 billion by the end of this year.
Alibaba.com is a leading global e-commerce platform used by 40 million users around the world showcasing 2.8 million supplier storefronts. Dubai Chamber has last year established a partnership with Alibaba.com to launch a MENA portal www.dubaichamber.com/alibaba to offer businesses in the MENA region a unique opportunity to create new market prospects and to start connecting and selling their products and services to businesses worldwide.