The two men met at Government House this morning, before the Alibaba Group signed four memorandums of understanding for planned investment in the country.
“The talks form an agreement and a promise that within 2019 mutual interests will be realised,” the prime minister said.
“Not only will we sell products with them, but also our systems and people will be developed. This will happen simultaneously over the long term,” Gen Prayut added.
Alibaba Group would invest in a Smart City and a Smart Digital Hub in the Eastern Economic Corridor.
He had asked that it also support small farmers and community businesses and cooperatives, and help solve problems of trade in Thai rice, palm products and natural rubber, the prime minister said.
Alibaba would sell quality Thai rice on its website. The amount had still to be discussed.
The prime minister quoted Mr Ma as saying that Alibaba Group would help poor people and small farmers in Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations. It did not focus just on economic benefits, because it had enough of those already.
Alibaba Group intended to enhance the competitiveness of low-income earners and small farmers through online business, Gen Prayut said.
The internet retail giant is reportedly proposing investments worth about 11 billion baht in Thailand.
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