Alibaba Group has signed agreements with new partners to explore setting up of an expanded Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) programme in India. Through the programme, the company aims to encourage and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by providing a one-stop shop for their trade requirements. It would also provide tailor-made services for SMEs.
The online platform for cross-border wholesale trade has entered into agreements with IDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Aditya Birla Finance, DHL and Delhivery, a company release said.
In addition to dedicated facilities, the proposed TFC programme would help SMEs avail special benefits, dedicated support and customised value-added services.
The agreement signed by Alibaba.com with IDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank is for providing banking, transactional and lending solutions, while that with Aditya Birla Finance is for improving SMEs' exports process with provision of collateral free loans and customised financing options.
DHL would offer Alibaba.com members with Concept 1, a programme with one solution for all exports and imports of documents, samples and small shipments. The agreement with Delhivery is for providing domestic courier and logistics services with free shipments and will offer Alibaba.com members special solutions, prices and customer support.
“The TFC is instituted for the sole purpose of driving greater participation of Indian SMEs in the international trade and business market,” K Guru Gowrappan, global MD and India head for Alibaba Group said.
SMEs in India face multiple challenges even after receiving export orders. These include logistics, funding, banking services, inspection and shipment. “So while Alibaba.com helps SMEs or exporters find overseas buyers, value-added services to be provided by our TFC partners will help our members overcome these challenges,” the company said. (RKS)
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