China’s Alibaba has reportedly signed an agreement with the Belgium government to launch an e-commerce trade hub, which will include investments in logistics infrastructure, according to Reuters.
The project is part of Alibaba’s Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), and Belgium is the first European country to join the project following similar agreements in Malaysia and Rwanda.
The company, which is one of the two leading e-commerce groups in China, has a logistics arm called Cainiao which will lease a 220,000 square meter logistics port at Belgium’s Liege airport as part of the deal.
It will also reportedly invest an initial 75 million euros (US$85 million) in the project set to begin operations in 2021, it said.
Alibaba’s eWTP is designed to help countries reduce trade barriers for e-commerce trade, including lowering or eliminating tariffs and speeding up customs clearance.
The company has previously said the project is designed to “complement” the World Trade Organization (WTO), Reuters reported.