Amsterdam the right choice for the Benelux

The Chinese online retailer Alibaba is coming to the Amsterdam, where it will soon open an office, the Alibaba Group announced on 11 May 2016.

With the establishment of a Benelux office, Alibaba’s focus will not be on selling Chinese products in the Netherlands, but rather exporting Dutch and Belgian products to China

The company's European presence is a critical part of the company's globalisation strategy to serve as a “gateway to China” for international brands and businesses of all sizes. As a part of this international expansion, the company has already opened offices in London, Milan, Munich, and Paris.

The Netherlands as a global trade hub

According to Michael Evans, the president of Alibaba Group, “The Netherlands is a nation that has been built on successful international trade and export, both characteristics that fit well with our European business objectives”. 

Alibaba's office in Amsterdam will help identify the most suitable local products for the Chinese market, and will also help merchants will sales, logistics, and online transactions for Chinese consumers.

Alibaba mentioned the strong reputation of the Netherlands in terms of their excellent food and product safety standards, which explains why export products from the Netherlands are very much in demand among Chinese consumers. Key categories will include dairy products, chocolate, and alcoholic beverages, as well as flowers, consumer electronics, household products, baby products, and toys.

Founded in 1999 by Jack Ma, the Alibaba Group is now valued at about $200 billion and employs more than 40,000 people, making it one of the largest retail companies in the world. The newly formed Alibaba Group Netherlands will be headed by Roland Palmer, formerly the CEO of Blokker Holding, the parent company of retail stores such as Blokker, Xenos, Leen Bakker, and Bart Smit.