The e-commerce giant Alibaba is the perfect platform for the U.S. small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to find customers globally, Brian Calley, lieutenant governor of the State of Michigan, said on Tuesday.
Alibaba is presenting its Gateway '17 in Detroit on June 20-21, which sold out all 3,000 tickets to SMEs from all over the country, largely outnumbering the originally expected 1,000.
"We are so thrilled that Alibaba has decided to hold this gateway conference right here in Detroit," Calley told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.
"It's a perfect place. There is so much innovation happening here, so many small and medium-sized businesses that have great products, the more opportunity they have to sell the more demand there is for what they do. I think it will really pay off big for the companies and attendants," he explained.
He said that Alibaba and the U.S. SMEs are the most natural of matches. The SMEs here are tech savvy, creative and innovative, Alibaba is exactly the sort of avenue that will provide them with all kinds of opportunities, while for Alibaba, it's going to provide a lot of great products, services and goods for their customers. "It' s the traditional win-win situation," he added.
During a meeting with Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma earlier on Tuesday, Calley said the State of Michigan is planning to open its first official overseas theme site on Tmall, one of Alibaba's international online trade platforms.
Calley said businesses from all over the country have come to the conference to learn about the China opportunity, which will help create jobs and economic activity across the entire country.
"I believe this platform, through which for our companies to find new customers all over the globe, is going to create more demand and therefore more jobs here in both Detroit and across Michigan and the country as a whole," he said.
He added that more than 100 local Detroit companies and over 600 businesses all across Michigan have come to attend the conference. "They know this is an opportunity, many of them will sell their products through the platform."
He also noted that the idea of giving U.S. businesses the access to the Chinese market is an important step to take in deepening relationship between the two countries. The Chinese market is enormous, literally U.S. businesses could find hundreds of millions of potential customers on the other side of the globe.
According to Calley, China is the third largest trade partner of Michigan, only after Canada and Mexico.