First shipment arrived at Alibaba’s logistics hub at Liege Airport in Belgium on the evening of 13th March for further distribution across Europe
• Partnership between Alibaba-led eWTP and Belgian Government crucial to enable a rapid response and delivery of donated medical supplies
• Total donation of 2 million masks is an increase of 200,000 than that previously announced
The Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation, established by the founder of global technology company Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, are donating over two million masks in addition to other medical supplies, such as test kits, to support Europe’s fight against COVID-19.
A cargo flight, loaded with the first batch of donated supplies, departed from Hangzhou Airport in China, and arrived at Liege Airport in Belgium on March 13th. The flight contained half a million masks, which will be sent to Italy.
Belgium, the European partner of the Alibaba-led Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), is playing a vital role in this relief effort, with the Liege Airport logistics hub enabling the efficient distribution of the donated medical supplies to Europe. Since 2018, Alibaba Group and the Government of Belgium have worked closely together on a number of initiatives to promote trade, tourism, training and technology as part of the first eWTP hub in Europe.
“What we are seeing with eWTP in Liege is much more than cooperation between a company and a logistics centre of excellence. This Hub, and the connections flowing to it, have become a vital lifeline channelling necessary supplies to those facing the coronavirus – in Europe and in China. We are honoured that Belgium, and especially Wallonia, can play such a role in coordinating flows of goods to those in need at this critical time,” said Willy Borsus, Vice-Minister-President of Wallonia.
“Thanks to the digitisation efforts of many small businesses and the promotion of e-commerce in Wallonia, the tools offered by innovative companies such as Alibaba are currently connecting thousands of SMEs from Asia, Europe and Africa through cross-border trade enabling them to trade, beyond traditional channels of large importers and international intermediaries – and for the benefit of consumers. Today, facing the current health emergency, e-commerce is the ideal solution for the self-employed and smaller stores to ensure contingency of their business.
In addition, the connectivity of air and rail connections allows real-time logistics for emergency equipment.
The e-commerce ecosystem and its logistics players provide opportunities which can really help in times like these – underpinned by amazing solidarity across the globe”, said Michel Kempeneers, COO Overseas of Wallonia Export – Investment Agency.
“Liege is the largest cargo airport in Belgium, with easy access to many warehousing and distribution centres stocking vital equipment which is urgently needed in the battle against the coronavirus. We are proud of our efforts to turn this Logistics Hub into a highly-efficient humanitarian goods transit centre, transporting medical equipment and supplies both to China in an earlier phase of the outbreak, and now to Europe at this time of critical need,” added Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport.
Further shipments are due over the next few days.
Jack Ma Foundation (JMF) is a charitable organization founded in 2014 by Jack Ma, former Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group. Registered in Zhejiang Province, the foundation’s aim is to promote human development in harmony with both society and the environment, while its mission is to work towards a world of bluer skies, cleaner water, healthier communities, and more open thinking. From education to environment, to public health and personnel development in philanthropic sector, the foundation intends to awaken social consciousness and responsibility to cultivate an innovative and sustainable model for a better world.
The Alibaba Foundation, established in December 2011, aims to create a culture that encourages people to get involved in philanthropy, make it sustainable and genuinely contribute to civil society and nature. Its key funding aspects include water protection, environmental awareness promotion and development of green organizations. Alibaba Group is committed to devoting a percentage of its annual income to the Alibaba Foundation to ensure stable long-term funding that will allow for timely response in the event of natural disasters or expansion of philanthropic projects.
Liege Airport, ranked the 6th cargo airport in Europe and the 1st in Belgium, is the only European airport to prioritise full cargo (#freightersfirst). It is specialised in express transport, e-commerce, pharmaceutical products and perishable goods as well as live animals. Liege Airport, and its brand Flexpress, is operational 24/7 without restrictions, offering flexible and rapid quality service, all at less than a day’s journey by truck to the heart of the Golden Triangle between Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt, reaching 400m consumers.
The Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX) is the governmental agency of the Walloon Region of Belgium in charge of promoting foreign trade and attracting foreign investment.
As a foreign trade agency, AWEX carries out a mission of promotion and information to the benefit of both Wallonia and foreign business community.
As a foreign investment agency, AWEX is the one-stop shop for foreign investors interested in investing in Wallonia.