September 7, 2017

Alibaba Group’s Gateway ’17 Canada sells out with Canadian small businesses keen on China opportunity

Event featuring Jack Ma in Toronto on September 25th draws five times the anticipated audience

TORONTO and HANGZHOU, China -- Alibaba Group has announced that the inaugural Gateway ‘17 Canada has sold out one-month ahead of schedule with five times the anticipated audience. The response demonstrates high demand from small and medium-sized businesses representing the full spectrum of Canada’s economy.

Gateway ‘17 Canada will feature Jack Ma, executive chairman and founder of Alibaba Group, as well as special guests representing some of Canada’s foremost business leaders and brands.

“The interest in Gateway ’17 Canada has been incredible and signals that companies of all sizes are keen to go global. China is such a big opportunity for Canadian businesses who have the high-quality brands, products and travel experiences that are in demand by today's China’s booming middle class,” said Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group. “We are excited to meet with these businesses to explore the various ways they can enter and grow in the China market.”

Gateway ‘17 Canada has attracted a mix of 2,500 attendees from entrepreneurs to small and medium-sized businesses to leading brands and retailers.

  • The vast majority of registrants (68 per cent) are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

  • The event is attracting a variety of organizations, from start-ups to seasoned Canadian businesses.

  • Attendees represent companies from manufacturing and retail, professional services, agribusiness, and travel and tourism sectors.

  • Of the manufacturer/retailer attendees, only 27 per cent currently sell to China.

  • Ticket-holders from British Columbia to the Atlantic Provinces will be in attendance, making Gateway ’17 Canada a coast-to-coast draw.

Attendees will hear about Canadian success stories and have an opportunity to speak with Alibaba customers who are tapping into China’s retail market, which, by 2020, is expected to exceed C$7.7 trillion, roughly the size of the Canadian and U.S. retail markets combined.

“As a small Canadian company with no physical presence in China, we’re delighted by the success we’ve experienced there, which has surpassed our expectations,” said Husayn Remtulla, chief executive officer of Viva Naturals and Alibaba customer. “Chinese consumers are looking for quality health products, and the best way to reach them is through e-commerce. We’re excited about the prospects for future growth in this market.” Remtulla will be onsite at Gateway ’17 Canada to share his experience with business owners.

“Our clients are looking for new ways to grow, and global trade is one of the fastest and most effective ways for Canadian businesses to achieve that growth. We’re proud to work with Alibaba—supporting Gateway ’17 reflects how important global trade, and the opportunity in China, is to our clients and to Canada,” said Greg Grice, executive vice president, Business Financial Services at RBC and platinum sponsor of Gateway ’17 Canada. “We’re helping our clients take advantage of the booming demand for high quality Canadian goods by using RBC’s expertise, network and scale to navigate global markets with confidence.”

Gateway ’17 Canada attendees will participate in category breakout sessions, business solution sessions and marketplace networking. They will also learn about how Alibaba's online travel marketplace and payment solutions can help Canadian businesses in serving the rapidly expanding outbound Chinese travel and tourism market.



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