By Kamila Aliyeva
In May, entrepreneurs of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia engaged in small and medium-sized businesses will come together in a single online platform for trade, Daily Sabah reported with reference to CEO of the Turkish World Business Platform Foundation (WSF) Tunch Uyanik.
This initiative is aimed at protecting small and medium-sized businesses, which perform a large volume of production operations, facing challenges associated with acceleration of the process of globalization, according to Uyanik.
This initiative is expected to be supported by developed countries since it works to reduce the distorting income distribution effect of the globalization.
Besides, an intensive training program is planned for teaching online shopping to the three countries' entrepreneurs.
Naming the project an electronic version of the Silk Road from China to Turkey, Uyanik noted that the work on the project is at the final stage.
Cross-border e-commerce provides a unique opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in countries and regions that may traditionally have found it difficult to reach regional and international markets – such as landlocked developing countries – and connect with potential buyers beyond their borders.
The trade turnover between the three countries currently amounts to $4.2 billion. The countries plan to bolster trilateral economic cooperation and increase the volume of trade turnover to the level of $20 billion.
Azerbaijan has taken several measures to support SMEs in the country as the Labour and Social Protection Ministry developed a program of self-employment. To this end, some 6 million manats ($3.388 million) have been allocated from the Presidential Reserve Fund for the Ministry.
The program envisages that all participants of the program pass special training, and get practical knowledge on the implementation of small and medium scale business, as well as get acquainted with financial aspects of entrepreneurship. Further, they develop business plans and present them to consideration of a special commission. Should the plan is assessed as successful and promising, the participants get all needed assistance for free.