World Internet Conference in China: Investment discussions with Alibaba Group

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Whilst attending the 4th edition of the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen in China, upon invitation from the Chinese Government, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri stated that “Malta’s presence at the World Internet Conference is a clear sign of the Government’s commitment to explore and benefit from the opportunities technology will bring about.”

The Parliamentary Secretary said that the Chinese government is working closely with the private sector to invest in new areas such as artificial intelligence and big data.

“This summit served as an opportunity to familiarise with large research companies such as Apple and Alibaba Group, who are working to launch more innovative products”, stated the Parliamentary Secretary. He also noted how small companies were being helped by the Chinese Government to produce their products and distribute it on an international platform.

The Parliamentary Secretary met with Robert Kahn, considered as the father of the internet, with whom he discussed what the Maltese Government is doing in the blockchain sector, as well as the digital economy opportunities which our country offers.

During the Wuzhen Summit, Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri visited the Innovation Expo, which displayed future technologies including a drone used as a vehicle which automatically transports passengers from one place to another.

The 4th edition of the World Internet Conference aimed to give an idea of what the future looks like, with systems to control the flow of traffic, healthcare systems that will transform patient diagnosis through technology, as well as systems that will strengthen security in various places through the use of face recognition.

Schembri also met with Founder of the Alibaba Group Jack Ma. When visiting Alibaba’s Headquarters in Hangzhou in China, the Parliamentary Secretary attended a presentation on systems developed by the group as well as new projects being developed at its campus in Hangzhou, where 20,000 people are currently employed.

Discussions focused on opportunities of investment in Malta, particularly in the blockchain sector, traffic management and innovative methods of payment such as ‘Alipay’, whereby one can make use of a mobile phone and scan a given NCF code in order to effect a payment. Alibaba Group has around 500 million registered clients and around 50,000 employees. “Discussions with Alibaba group have already started and I look forward to see these discussions lead to great opportunities”, stated Silvio Schembri.

The Parliamentary Secretary thanked the Chinese Government for its invitation which demonstrates the excellent relationship between the two countries, which he described as one that is “resulting in more opportunities of mutual benefit.”

On behalf of the Maltese Government, Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri encouraged several high tech companies to consider Malta as a test bed for their businesses. ​