ECONOMY

Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia forge e-trade cooperation

TURKEY, AZERBAIJAN, GEORGIA FORGE E-TRADE COOPERATION

Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia signed a deal on Thursday to help the countries' small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) get easier access to the global e-commerce market.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Turkish Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci underlined that the deal will accelerate SMEs' development and make a critical contribution to the economies of all three countries.

An online platform, now live at the web address sme.market, was created by the World SME Forum and launched with the deal.

Through the pilot version of the platform, SMEs in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia will be able to open shops, display their wares, and sell them by accessing domestic and international markets.

"It is important for SMEs to compete in the global market and connect with customers through an online platform, e-trade," Tufenkci said.

Tufenkci stated that the cooperation deal may pave the way for more joint regional efforts.

"I believe that forming a network on the basis of the Internet will bring trade to a new level," he added.

Tufenkci said that more than 55 percent of Turkey's exports, worth almost $79.2 billion, are made by SMEs, while in Turkey's imports this rate is 37 percent, worth some $78.1 billion.

The number of SMEs in Turkey currently totals 2.6 million, he added.

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