Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has set up an office in the Netherlands and announced the appointment of Roland Palmer as Managing Director of the local unit.
The group said the appointment and establishment of an Amsterdam, Netherlands office rounds out its expansion in the European market and provides a local contact for customers and partners in the Benelux region. Alibaba added that its European presence is a critical part of its globalisation strategy to serve as a “gateway to China” for international brands and businesses of all sizes. The company has already opened country offices in Milan, Italy, Munich, Germany and Paris, France as well as expanding its presence in the UK.
“The Netherlands is a nation that has been built on successful international trade and export, both characteristics that fit well with our European business objectives,” said Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group.
“In Europe, our top priority is to engage with existing local partners and help European brands, retailers, small businesses and government partners understand the opportunities China offers and how Alibaba can help them access this market. Roland has the experience and in-depth knowledge to successfully build teams and business capabilities for major international companies and we are fortunate to have him as part of our EU leadership team.”
The Netherlands office will assist the group’s current partners, local brands, retailers and government partners across Benelux who want to access the massive Chinese consumer base.
Alibaba said that with their excellent food and product safety standards, products from the Netherlands and Belgium are sought after by Chinese consumers, including all types of high quality food items, especially in the dairy, chocolate and alcoholic beverage categories.
The group said that Palmer brings with him a wealth of experience in the global retail and omnichannel sector. Prior to joining Alibaba, he was CEO of Blokker Holding and previously worked as a strategy consultant for global managing consulting firm Bain & Company. He has also worked as a senior manager within leading FMCG companies such as Coca Cola Netherlands and Unilever Foods UK.