Philippine delegation to visit China in 2018 for talks with Jack Ma

President Duterte poses with Jack Ma at Malacañang. Presidential photo

Philippine delegation to visit China in 2018 for talks with Jack Ma
( - November 2, 2017 - 7:50am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government will send a delegation to China next year to sit down with Chinese tech magnate Jack Ma on ways to “ensure” a healthy financial regulatory environment to develop Philippine e-commerce.

“We are planning to visit him (Ma). He invited us to have further discussions in China. We will visit him probably in January,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in a statement on Thursday.

Dominguez will be accompanied by several finance officials and representatives from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in his upcoming trip to China.

“We'll review the regulatory environment here so that we don’t have regulations that choke the growth of e-commerce,” Dominguez also said, adding that the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises are the “primary beneficiaries” of the initiative.

“We must look at our [financial] regulations and ensure that it will not stymie the growth of our MSMEs,” the finance chief said.

According to international magazine Forbes, Ma is back on top as Asia's richest businessman as he continued to grow the world's largest e-commerce businesses, Alibaba Group. His real-time net worth is at $38.3 billion.

Ma visited the country last October 25, where he met with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañan to talk about bringing in platforms to boost the Philippines’ mobile technology, internet banking and e-commerce industry.

READ: Jack Ma tests internet in Philippines: Not good | Jack Ma keen on making Philippines internet faster

'Cashless society'

Ma also said he is rooting for the Philippines’ transformation into a “cashless society” in line with his bold vision for Alibaba to become the company of this century.

Recalling his recent dialogue with the Chinese billionaire at the presidential palace, Dominguez said Ma told him that he intends to invest in the Philippines in the next five years, most likely in the country’s service industry.

The Finance czar also said his department is now exploring an e-commerce innovation pioneered by Ma called “3-1-0 initiative” that allowed budding Chinese entrepreneurs to borrow up to $5,000 online in a matter of minutes without human contact.

“Ma told us about the power of e-commerce. Today’s millennials are more comfortable doing digital transactions rather than physical transactions. He said that this is the way to the future,” Dominguez said.

“The whole point of the matter is if you have a digital platform like that you develop a lot of information that you can use in giving loans, and even in providing security information to the police,” he added.

Globe Capital Venture Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc., is set to roll out a bigger financial technology business in 2018 after closing the deal with Ma’s Ant Financial Services Group.

Mynt, Globe’s financial technology business, has a war chest of $55 million which would be used to expand its merchant and consumer base starting next year.

In August, Alipay Singapore Holding Pte. acquired 45 percent of Mynt while Globe Venture holds 45 percent and Ayala, 10 percent.

Alipay is a unit of Ant Financial Group that provides digital financial services to unbanked consumers and small merchants.

Ant Financial Group, owned by Ma, is a major third-party payment service provider in 70 overseas markets. It covers more than 100,000 retail stores and can carry out transactions in 18 currencies.

READ: Globe Capital rolling out fintech business in 2018 | Globe, Jack Ma company launch 'scan to pay' mobile service

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