Watch out, Alibaba. There’s a new B2B e-commerce competitor in town.
Pan Asia Exchange (PAE) launched last week to connect business buyers with suppliers across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Macao and the Philippines.
It’s the latest initiative from the Pan Asia E-Commerce Alliance (PAA), a coalition comprising 11 companies authorized by customs and other trade regulatory agencies in their respective economies, to form an online hub that enables overseas buyers to easily do business with qualified sellers in Asia.
Founded in 2000, PAA members currently have a combined customer base of more than 340,000 organizations which, according to the alliance’s website, denotes nearly all active trading enterprises in the Asian market.
“The PAE represents another step closer to realizing the objective of the PAA, namely to promote and provide secure, reliable and value-adding IT infrastructure and facilities to enhance seamless trade globally,” PAA chairman Francis Norman O. Lopez said earlier this year during the site’s soft launch. “With the PAE e-marketplace, the PAA members will provide more value on services to subscribers, raising the profile of Asian suppliers in the global stage, helping them to expand their business further.”
Buyers can comb through more than 40 categories spanning apparel and fashion accessories to manufacturing and processing machinery, adding sellers and products to a “favorites” folder, and request price quotes through a password-protected portal.
Sellers, meanwhile, have the opportunity to pick up new business 24-7 and reduce overheads.
The new marketplace has launched just in time to capitalize on Asia’s strength in the e-commerce space: an Economist Intelligence Unit report published late last year estimated that online sales in the region would hit $7.6 trillion in 2015, while a recent Forrester Research study said that B2B e-commerce would be worth $1.1 trillion globally by 2020, representing 12.1 percent of all wholesale purchases.