Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of China's e-commerce giant Alibaba, on Tuesday credited backing from the government for the country's booming e-commerce sector.
At a business seminar held as part of the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference being hosted by Buenos Aires, Ma said government policy can have a decisive impact on growth.
"China's e-commerce grew because it believed in the entrepreneurs," said Ma, adding that "first innovation, and then policies to facilitate entrepreneurism."
China's current reform measures have placed particular stress on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
At the seminar, Ma spoke about the future of trade with Richard Samans, member of the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum.
"Two hundred years ago, trade was controlled by a few kings; in the past 50 years, by 60 companies; but today, any young person with a good idea can patent that idea," said Ma.
"In the future, there isn't going to be the denomination 'Made in ...', everything will be 'Made in Internet'. We want the whole world to make it easier, and to be able to work online. We can do it," said Ma.
Should countries, especially developing ones, be worried about regulating the world of online sales?
"I have heard that many countries are concerned about e-commerce. Our experience is that e-commerce has been designed for developing countries," said Ma. "E-commerce is the future."
Online sales set a new record in China on the Singles' Day, also known as Double Eleven as it falls on Nov. 11, with transactions totalling about 250 billion yuan, or nearly 40 billion U.S. dollars.
Ma's words were echoed by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, who stressed the importance of supporting startups, saying "entrepreneurism creates opportunities."