Alibaba Reaffirms Commitment to Global Digital Economy Education

At the end of last month, Alibaba Group’s international digital economy training program Global Digital Talent (GDT) brought together representatives of its partner educational institutions worldwide in its first hybrid event in over three years, reaffirming its commitment to driving digital economy education globally.

The conference showcased the latest learnings and achievements of the GDT program in promoting academic exchanges and talent incubation for a global digital transformation and an inclusive development, while also shining a spotlight on outstanding institutions, lecturers and students in the program’s network.

Open to universities and learning institutions all over the world, GDT is a flagship training program under the electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) initiative pioneered by Alibaba Group, which strives to create equitable access to cross-border trade opportunities for youth, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and women globally.

By providing educational institutions with teacher training and networking opportunities, the GDT program helps incubate the institutions’ own qualified trainers who are capable of nurturing the next generation of digital talent in their respective markets. The training is 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 leverage learnings from the development of China’s digital economy and tap into resources and best practices within Alibaba‘s own Ecosystem.

“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.”

During the event, GDT signed agreements with INTI International University & Colleges from Malaysia and NTUC LearningHub Pte Ltd from Singapore, signifying an extension of GDT and the two organizations’ collaboration on local digital talent development.

The event also featured an award presentation ceremony which recognized excellent institutional partners, lecturers and students who have shown innovation and inclusiveness in their participation in the GDT program.

One of the institutional partners recognized was the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) from Malaysia, which won two awards for its academic excellence and social impact. Since becoming a GDT partner in 2017, UTAR has seen over 100 of its lecturers receiving GDT certification and close to 3,900 students benefiting from its GDT-based training. To further apply their digital knowledge from logistics to marketing acquired from the GDT program, a group of teachers and students from UTAR launched a New Village e-commerce community project named “We Care, We Act,” in which the students have identified and facilitated the online sales of over 30 local products – ranging from chicken biscuits to soy sauce – supplied by small and medium-sized companies across four Malaysian states. The initiative allows the New Village delicacies, originally available only offline, to reach consumers nationwide and even abroad.

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In the coming year, the GDT program is expected to train 400 college teachers who will, in turn, 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 as well as help revitalize the rural economy. In the near future, the GDT program is expected to resume offline training and events to optimize trainees’ learning experiences.