China's e-commerce giant Alibaba sees promising prospects for the development of Russian online trading market, said Ma Yun, founder and chairman of the company.
"Although we have only one employee working in Russia, Aliexpress managed to become the No. 1 most-visited e-commerce website in the country," Ma told Xinhua.
Launched in 2010, Aliexpress allows smaller buyers around the world to buy small quantities of goods at wholesale prices.
Aliexpress' rapid expansion in Russia proves the huge potential and consumer demand for e-commerce in the country, Ma said.
The company is planning to invest more in human resources and technology in order to expand businesses in Russia, and help Russian enterprises to sell their products to China and other parts of the world, Ma said.
Ma was in Russia to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, held from Thursday to Saturday. He talked to Russian officials on different issues concerning e-commerce.
"We discussed the future development of e-commerce with the Communications Ministry, with the Economic Development Ministry; we talked about the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as the whole Russian market; we also had discussions with the Russian Post on how to make the quickest cross-border delivery from China to Russia," Ma specified.
He expressed the hope that the development of e-commerce in Russia could bring more opportunities for SMEs and improve the relevant infrastructure.
As one of the most successful e-commerce company in China, Alibaba could share with its Russian partners its experience in operation and management, particularly in e-commerce and Internet development, Ma said.
Noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin urged at the forum to liberalize the economy and open up the market, Ma said there are opportunities for both Russian enterprises and Chinese companies.
"The Big Data era, alongside the Internet revolution, brings challenges and opportunities to every country. It is time for developing and underdeveloped countries and regions to catch up," Ma said.
Ma believes the development of e-commerce is one way to change the current global trade system into a more transparent and open one.
Developing countries, especially their SMEs, should enjoy the benefits of economic globalization, said Ma.
As he sees it, China's Belt and Road initiative could help break trade barriers along the routes in a very efficient way and bring tangible benefits to every participating nation.
This initiative could also lead to the idea of building a "cyber Silk Road," promoting the Internet and e-commerce in countries along the routes, Ma said.