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Jack Ma to advise Cameron on business

October 19, 2015

Alibaba founder Jack Ma will join the business advisory group of British Prime Minister David Cameron. As one of China's top economic figures, Ma is to help the UK secure better access to the Asian country's market.

Jack Ma
Image: F. Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The British Prime Minister's office announced Monday that Chinese billionaire and Alibaba CEO Jack Ma would join David Cameron Business Advisory Group.

It said Ma would provide "particular help and advice on how to get small and medium-sized British businesses boosting their exports, in particular accessing Chinese markets through platforms like Alibaba."

A government spokesman added "this is about appointing someone who has real business experience and understanding of the Chinese market, with Ma having helped US-listed Alibaba to become the world's largest online and mobile commerce company by transaction values."

Well-timed move

The announcement of Ma's appointment came ahead of a three-day visit to Britain by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Downing Street believes that closer ties with China are vital to cementing the UK's economic growth in decades to come.

Currently, Cameron's Business Advisory Group is made up of 19 members, most of them being chief executives of Britain's major firms such as BP, Easyjet and Rolls Royce.

hg/pad (AFP, dpa)