E-trade mission to China to explore the market

Rabobank has, together with Alibaba Benelux and StartupDelta, organised the very first e-trade mission for retailers and brands. Over 150 delegates from almost 100 Dutch and Belgian retailers, brands and startups visited Alibaba’s head office in Hangzhou, China.

'Inspiration, drive and unlimited possibilities. These are the three themes that are top of mind following our mission with businesses to Alibaba in China,' says Coert Beerman, Head of Wholesale Netherlands and Africa.

Orientation trip to China for businesses

As a partner in business, Rabobank is committed to offering clients possibilities for making their business models future-proof. This is especially important in the retail sector in which consumer behaviour is changing rapidly and online purchases represent a new sales market. Beerman: 'As a business you’ve got to be a forerunner in this market and this trade mission is one of the initiatives that enables clients to explore the market and developments. The orientation trip helps businesses make the right decisions. Do they want to carry out online business with Alibaba? If so, what will that entail? We shared a great deal of our knowledge in the field during this mission to enable clients to properly weigh up the pros and cons. This included, for example, knowledge about the Chinese market that is derived directly from our office in Shanghai.' 

In addition to knowledge, the Rabobank network played a key role. The network that developed among the mission participants and the personal meetings with various Alibaba teams was also essential to the success of this e-trade mission.

Making well-considered decisions

Beerman: 'It was very beneficial to be able to offer businesses a network through this mission and to bring about awareness of the importance of further deepening relationships and taking time to make well-considered decisions. It’s certainly not a decision the businesses will make overnight. The participants were enthusiastic and see opportunities in the Chinese sales market. The e-trade mission marks the start of a collaboration that will open up a world of opportunities.’