Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (C) and Jack Ma (R), executive chairman and founder of the Alibaba Group, attend the Gateway'17 Canada conference in Toronto Sept. 25, 2017. The Alibaba Group's Gateway'17 Canada conference opened Monday in Canada's largest city of Toronto, which was attended by more than 3,600 people. (Xinhua/Zou Zheng)
TORONTO, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Alibaba Group's Gateway'17 Canada conference opened Monday in Canada's largest city of Toronto, which was attended by more than 3,600 people.
Jack Ma, executive chairman and founder of the Alibaba Group, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made key speeches at the conference held at the Toronto Exhibition Place.
The event with a trade show attracted a variety of organizations and businesses including leading brands and small- and medium-sized enterprises, covering such sectors as manufacturing, retail, professional services, agribusiness, and travel and tourism.
The one-day conference featured presentations and breakout sessions aimed at educating enterprises about what and how to sell to China, especially through e-commerce platforms.
For example, people can learn about how Alibaba's online travel marketplace and payment solutions can help Canadian businesses serve the rapidly expanding outbound Chinese travel and tourism market.
Data showed 68 percent of the conference participants were from small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
"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 the Alibaba Group.
"We are excited to meet with these businesses to explore the various ways they can enter and grow in the China market," he added.
Husayn Remtulla, Alibaba customer and chief executive officer of Viva Naturals, said: "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."
"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," he said.
Greg Grice, executive vice president of Business Financial Services at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and platinum sponsor of Gateway'17 Canada, said: "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, are to our clients and to 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," he added.