Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk to boost small businesses in Azerbaijan
European Union, International Trade Centre and AZPROMO launch the Azerbaijani version of the Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk platform
The European Union (EU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Agency (AzPromo), have launched the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk platform for the Azerbaijani business community.
Unused export potential
The EU is Azerbaijan’s leading trading partner and biggest export and import market, with a potential export growth of €94 million over the next five years.
Trade with the EU accounts for around 37% of the country’s total trade, but there are still several unused export opportunities. For example, Azerbaijani vegetable and fruit sectors have the highest potential to grow by 2026, over €15 million and over €23 million respectively, to markets including Germany, Greece, Italy, and Romania. The chemicals sector could double its exports by 2026, with the same EU markets providing the best opportunities.
What the platform does
Through the Azerbaijani version of the EaP Trade Helpdesk platform (eap.tradehelpdesk.org/az), public and private actors now have access to user-friendly trade intelligence that can contribute to an increase in trade between the countries of the EaP region and with the EU.
The platform contains detailed market requirement information for existing and newly identified markets, provides information sources and allows questions to be submitted to a national network of technical experts through its Help Centre.
The platform guides users through three stages:
- Identifying the most promising markets and products to trade in the EaP region and the EU.
- Providing an overview of market access conditions and connecting them with relevant partners in their country or the destination market.
- Allowing users, through the Help Centre integrated in the platform, to raise concerns and get support from a network of national experts coordinated by the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Agency (AzPromo).
Crtomir-Peter Fisinger, Charge d’Affairs, EU Delegation to Azerbaijan said during the launch event: ‘’We welcome the launch of the Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk platform. Its use is instrumental in unlocking Azerbaijan’s untapped export potential. It will help policymakers and businesses, including small businesses to properly plan and identify new markets and products to trade in the EaP region and the EU within a framework of strong partnership between the EU and Azerbaijan.”
Tural Hajili, Advisor to the Executive Director, AzPromo added: “The EaP Trade Helpdesk platform will present an additional and very effective tool for Azerbaijani exporters to fulfil their untapped export potential. It will also serve as a first step in the successful implementation of various actions identified under the ‘2022-2026 Socio-Economic Development Strategy of the Azerbaijan Republic’, as well as the ‘2022-2026 Export Strategy of non-oil products of Azerbaijan Republic’.’’
Paul Kelly, Senior Trade Information Officer at he International Trade Centre said: “The EU together with the EaP makes up more than 37% of Azerbaijani trade. But this trade is relatively concentrated – both in terms of products and destinations, leaving unexplored possibilities for diversification in most of the EU and other EaP countries. By exploring these unused opportunities within the next five years Azerbaijani trade to the EU can double and realize an additional €94 million EUR.”
A week of extensive training for officials from the Azerbaijani Government and business support organizations complements the launch. The training will enable them to develop new trade portfolios serving small businesses in the Republic of Azerbaijan that constitute the highest percentage of all enterprises in the business economy.
The project will run until 2024. After the platform launch, ITC will survey Azerbaijani companies on their business environment and work towards improving the collection of trade in services data.