Saudi Gazette – Mahir Salib Jamal, chairman of Makkah Chamber of Commence and Industry, said that his chamber has cooperated with the Alibaba platform of Dubai and are collaborating with Dubai Chamber of Commerce to benefit from their successes in international advancement through their efforts at serving the Gulf, Arab and international business sector.

Jamal was speaking on the two-day open meeting introducing Alibaba.com platform. He added that the Makkah chamber now has the exclusive rights to represent the platform in the Kingdom. He added that this meeting comes in line with their efforts to move forward with the e-commerce industry in Saudi Arabia and to support local establishments, businessmen and businesses to become more international.

He added that the world e-commerce business reached $994.5 billion and it is expected to hit $1,506 billion by 2018. Speaking about the GGC region, he noted that Kingdom has achieved $2.7 billion this year while the UAE has achieved $5.1 billion.

Regarding the Alibaba platform he said it will serve intra-exchange and will not be restricted to exports only. Both producers and providers of services will benefit from the platform particularly that it provides for a large-scale market that will result in benefits for both buyers and sellers. The platform also provides different services to producers and traders of different levels. He added that they have arrived at an agreement with the Saudi Post to serve those benefiting from the platform specially entrepreneurs of both genders and productive families.

He called on the Saudi chambers to cooperate with MCCI to benefit the entire Saudi economy and advance its performance.

Meanwhile the deputy executive chairman of Dubai Chamber for commercial services, Agig ibn Joma’a, noted that MCCI will be the exclusive representative of the Alibaba platform in Saudi Arabia and that will help in various Saudi exports. The platform, he added, has a large-scale use for commercial exchange regionally and internationally and it has a great potential for entrepreneurs of both genders.

He called on the business community to benefit  from the platform by ensuring economic exchange and cooperation between the countries in the region and also achieving international exchange. Alibaba, he added, saves time and effort needed to reach the target consumers at low cost and it is also recognized by its transparent operations for all parties involved in a commercial transaction.

Abdullah Al-Ghalib, secretary general of MCCI, provided a comprehensive introduction about the platform and he explained that traders who buy from factories would benefit from the different variations that the platform provides. Further, he added, that the platform generated sales that are worth $296 billions in 2014 and its total revenues is $8.5 billion, exceeding similar platforms like Amazon and Ebay. Despite the great value of total sales Alibaba does not take a percentage or commission for deals and just relies for its income on memberships and additional services.

He said that MCCI, which is now the exclusive representative of the platform in Saudi Arabia, has specified an amount of SR1,530 for membership in the platform for commercial purposes.

He added those registering can benefit from training provided by a special visiting team from Dubai.

The amount that a trader will pay added, the secretary general, represent 2% of the actual amount needed to start a shop on ground. Further the platform saves effort needed to fulfill license and other obligations  — from the municipality and civil defense among others.

The MCCI he added an initiative for productive families to benefit from the platform under the name “Made in Makkah” and the chamber is now marketing this vital project and is holding workshops for some products.

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