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Alibaba Group continues drive towards digital economy


Alibaba Group continues drive towards digital economy
Last week, the Alibaba Global Digital Talent (GDT) program convened representatives from its global partner educational institutions in a hybrid conference, reaffirming its commitment to driving digital economy education globally. The conference was the first GDT event of its kind since the pandemic outbreak, and it highlighted the GDT program's latest learnings and achievements in promoting academic exchanges and talent incubation for global digital transformation and inclusive development, as well as shining a spotlight on outstanding institutions, lecturers, and students in the program's network.

GDT is a flagship training program under the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative pioneered by Alibaba Group, which aims to create equitable access to cross-border trade opportunities for youth, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and women around the world. It is also part of Alibaba's effort to promote inclusive development in the digital economy through talent incubation.

The GDT program assists educational institutions in developing their own qualified trainers capable of nurturing the next generation of digital talent in their respective markets, based on a curriculum framework that covers various components of the digital economy such as New Retail, smart logistics, digital marketing, and start-up investment and financing. Its training courses draw on lessons learned from the development of China's digital economy, as well as resources and best practices from the Alibaba Ecosystem. GDT also provides student training and examination platforms, as well as student certification, to institutions in its network.

“Human capital is key to more pervasive digitalization across industries. The Alibaba GDT program allows educational practitioners around the world to apply the underlying logic of Alibaba’s time-tested business models to their communities’ business landscape, in a way that will complement and augment local digital transformation initiatives,” said James Song, Secretary General of Alibaba’s Globalization Office and Secretary General of eWTP.

“In the past five years, the GDT initiative has cultivated 1,400 teachers and tens of thousands of students from 30 universities and training institutions around the world. We are encouraged by the local digital transformation that has arisen out of the GDT program, and hope to continue working closely with more aspirational partners to move the needle in grooming young talent for the flourishing digital economy worldwide,” added Song.

During the event, GDT signed agreements with Malaysia's INTI International University & Colleges and Singapore's NTUC LearningHub Pte Ltd, extending GDT's and the two organizations' collaboration on local digital talent development.

The event also included an award ceremony to recognize outstanding institutional partners, lecturers, and students who demonstrated innovation and inclusiveness in their participation in the GDT program.

One of the institutional partners recognized was Malaysia's Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), which received two awards for academic excellence and social impact. Since becoming the first GDT partner in Malaysia in 2017, UTAR has seen over 100 of its lecturers receive GDT certification and nearly 3,900 students benefit from its GDT-based training. To apply their digital knowledge gained from the GDT program, a group of UTAR teachers and students launched a New Village e-commerce community project called "We Care, We Act," in which the students identified and facilitated the online sales of over 30 local products ranging from chicken biscuits to soy sauce supplied by small and medium-sized businesses across four Malaysian states.

The initiative allows New Village delicacies, which were previously only available offline, to reach consumers nationwide and even internationally.

The GDT program is expected to train 400 college teachers in the coming year, who will then cultivate 10,000 local students worldwide. It will also continue to explore collaboration with government and educational institutions across the region to incubate digital talent and revitalize the rural economy, building on its experience of establishing eight Digital Villages in Mexico with local schools to bring the inclusiveness of Taobao Villages[1]in China to a larger part of the world. The GDT program is expected to resume offline training and events in the near future in order to maximize trainees' learning experience.

The Alibaba GDT program has been introduced in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Oceania since its inception in 2017. Currently, the program's global reach includes Asia-Pacific nations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Mongolia, and Australia; Latin American nations such as Mexico, Colombia, and Bolivia; African nations such as Rwanda, Tunisia, and Ethiopia; and Kazakhstan in Central Asia.