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May 1, 2018

Global Commerce Council Hosts Alibaba Cloud, Discusses Financial Complexity Index


Atlanta’s status as a hub for logistics and commerce places the metro region at the center of the world’s most important markets. The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) Global Commerce Council assembles the leaders and representatives from local and international organizations – the recent second quarter meeting featured discussion on Alibaba Group, the largest retail commerce company in the world, and highlights from TMF Group’s 2018 Financial Complexity Index Report.

Alibaba Cloud Senior Business Development Manager Hao Lin presented to assembled council members on the organization’s work to drive interest in the Chinese market.

“We provide an ecosystem that allows a company to enter the market,” Lin said. “We want to make it easy to do business here [in China.]”

Lin pointed to the Chinese holiday Single’s Day, which has drawn in major activity to Alibaba. On the holiday, which draws in e-commerce in levels similar to Black Friday here in the U.S., the organization processed 325,000 transactions per second. Alibaba Cloud is also expanding into sectors such as A.I., smart city applications, manufacturing efficiency, health IT and others, with American offices on the east and west coasts of America.

“One of the best ways to grow a business is by going to a new market. China needs to be considered because of the buying power of the middle class and general population size,” Lin said.

TMF Group’s Vice President of Global Sales Brian Ackerman presented the 2018 Financial Complexity Index Report to the council. The report analyzed 94 jurisdictions for their complexity of financial compliance.

“TMF has studied what is keeping CEOs up at night – one of the top three issues is the risk of not complying with regulation,” Ackerman said. “This report is designed to help companies understand which countries are the most complex to do business in.”

The Index reviewed each nation’s key accounting and tax compliance challenges faced by companies when operating globally. Ackerman shared the top five nations ranked for being the most complex in the world:

  • #1 China
  • #2 Brazil
  • #3 Turkey
  • #4 Italy
  • #5 Argentina

Katie Kirkpatrick, chief policy officer for MAC, gave a brief update on the recent closing of the 2018 Georgia legislative session. She highlighted successes including the passage of legislation for a needs-based aid program, transit expansion, and more – a full account of 2018 legislative accomplishments can be found on the MAC Public Policy blog.

Jorge Fernandez, vice president of global commerce at MAC, closed the meeting with an update on recent activity. This month, the Metro Export Challenge announced its top three winners of the competition to encourage companies to grow or expand their export programs. The Challenge awarded $175,000 in export grants this year and to-date has awarded nearly $400,000 since the competition’s inception.

The next MAC Global Commerce Council meeting will be held on September 5. To learn more about the Chamber’s councils or to become involved, please reach out to Jack Murphy

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