The National Center Participates in Alibaba’s Gateway ’17 in Detroit

Chris James (R) and founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma (L) meet during Gateway ’17 in Detroit.

Published June 23, 2017

The National Center was a partner in the event designed to connect businesses to the Chinese market

DETROIT – The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development partnered with Alibaba for its Gateway ’17 conference, which took place earlier this week at the Cobo Center in Detroit. National Center President and CEO Chris James and Board Chairman Derrick Watchman were there for the event, as well as a tribal delegation made up of representatives from the Navajo, Muscogee Creek, and Three Affiliated Tribes.

Gateway ’17 is Alibaba’s inaugural conference designed to help U.S. businesses, farmers and entrepreneurs explore growth opportunities and reach millions of Chinese consumers. The conference included keynote speeches from leading entrepreneurs, including Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, as well as category breakout sessions, business solutions sessions, and marketplace networking opportunities. Through the partnership, the National Center helped to lay a foundation for Indian Country to do more business with the Chinese market.

Members of the Navajo delegation, including National Center Chairman Derrick Watchman (center), meet with Mike Block, Government Relations Manager for Alibaba Group.

“Gateway ’17 was a tremendous opportunity to share Indian Country’s story and its business opportunities with those connected to a fast-growing market,” James said. “I believe we’ve helped lay the foundation for future business opportunities for tribes and tribal entities, and I look forward to partnering with Alibaba in the future. If we work together, there is no limit to how much we can grow the market for Native business.”

With incomes rising in China, the Chinese middle class continues to grow as does consumer demand for access to high-quality products from the United States. Alibaba, which is the world’s largest retailer, helps U.S. businesses by connecting them to Chinese consumers and empowering them to grow their businesses by accessing the China opportunity.

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