BREAKING: Alibaba comes to the Benelux

BREAKING: Alibaba comes to the Benelux
Pieter Beens /

The world's largest internet retailer, Alibaba Group, will open an office in Amsterdam to guide Benelux-based companies to the Chinese market. Former Blokker CEO Roland Palmer will lead Alibaba Group's Benelux operations.

Growing Chinese consumer market

Alibaba aims to guide Benelux-based companies and governments to the Chinese consumer market, which is rapidly growing and seeking high-quality, international products. Chinese consumers look to the Benelux for all sorts of food products, like dairy, chocolate and alcoholic beverages. Flowers, consumer electronics, household appliances, baby products and toys are also in high demand in China.


With its new office in Amsterdam, Alibaba will help point out interesting products from a Chinese stance, offer these products on Alibaba's trade platforms and help with the logistics and online transactions in the Chinese consumer market and with Chinese tourists. The Benelux office is yet another step in Alibaba Group's European expansion, after offices in Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.


Gateway to China

Roland Palmer will lead Alibaba's Benelux operations and he will also become a part of the European board of directors. Previously, he was CEO at Blokker Holding, strategy consultant at management advice firm Bain & Company and senior manager for companies like Coca Cola Netherlands and Unilever Foods UK.


“It is an exciting time to join Alibaba Group, especially considering the company's current growth and expansion plans. We have known for years how to import products from China to the Netherlands, but it is a ever-changing world and with Alibaba Group as the "gateway to China", there is a huge opportunity to export our products to China. The Chinese middle-class currently entails 400 million consumers, ready to buy international products and this number should rapidly increase to 500 million, which is good news for Dutch and Belgian companies. I look forward to introduce Benelux brands and retailers with Chinese consumers, who cannot wait to experience the quality of international products", Palmer said.