Azerbaijan expanding presence in foreign markets (Interview)

Business Materials 4 October 2017 19:29 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan holds a comprehensive approach to promote its national ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand.

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 4

By Azad Hasanli, Elchin Mehdiyev – Trend:

Azerbaijan holds a comprehensive approach to promote its national ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand, Rufat Mammadov, president of the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), said in an interview with Trend.

According to him, the government does not limit the list of products that are being promoted abroad under the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand.

“We are ready to support any product under this brand and there are no restrictions on this issue,” noted Mammadov.

New export missions

Speaking about the work done recently to promote the national brand, AZPROMO head reminded that export missions were sent to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Germany, Qatar, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

“By the end of this year, we plan to send five more missions to Hungary, Russia, the UAE, China and Saudi Arabia. We choose the markets where we deliver products only after a careful analysis. Some of the markets are traditional for our products and we want to consolidate there, and some of them are new markets where we have a good potential for work,” said Mammadov.

He noted that Azerbaijani companies sign a number of documents for export of products as part of each export mission trip.

“We can mention the supply of Azerbaijani wine to China and the supply of agricultural products, soft drinks and mineral waters to the UAE. We also signed contracts for the supply of goods to Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. All these countries show great interest in our products,” added AZPROMO head.

Mammadov went on to say that each market has its own characteristics.

“The routes of supply are always different – somewhere, like in Russia, it is easy for us to supply our products thanks to the well-developed logistics networks, and somewhere else, like in Pakistan or Afghanistan, it is difficult to supply. Nevertheless, in each case we help to choose the best route and companies help to choose the most optimal pricing policy in order to keep the competitiveness of their goods in foreign markets,” he added.

Success of Azerbaijani products at international exhibitions

AZPROMO head reminded that during the recent years, Azerbaijani companies have participated at various international exhibitions.

“We achieve very good results in international exhibitions. As a result of one of those exhibitions, we expanded the export of non-oil products to the UAE and neighboring markets. We also participated in an exhibition of wine producers in China, following which our companies signed contracts on wine export to that country,” said Mammadov.

“In Moscow, we took part in the WorldFood Moscow exhibition. We not only participated in that exhibition, we also were its official partners. This is a very important step for the promotion of our country and the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand,” he noted, adding that prior to the exhibition, foreign media wrote about Azerbaijan and its products.

Along with participating in the exhibition, the Azerbaijani delegation organized a culture event and presented national cuisine, he added.

“During the exhibition, we also signed an agreement on the supply of our products.

However, this is not the end of our work. Exhibitions are just a tool for establishing new ties, and major part of the work continues after exhibitions,” said Mammadov.

AZPROMO head noted that Azerbaijani products will also be promoted through foreign media soon.

“Advertising our products in the media is another mechanism for promoting the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand. Our national brand will be advertised on foreign TV channels and online publications soon. Meanwhile, we are negotiating for creation of national goods stands in large trade networks in foreign countries,” he continued.

Mammadov reminded that another way to promote the ‘Made in Azerbaijan’ brand is to use the mechanism of export promotion.

“We have returned more than two million manats to exporters since the introduction of this mechanism. The geography of exports is also very broad – from Malaysia to the United States,” added AZPROMO head.

Azerbaijan expanding its presence on online trading platforms

Mammadov reminded that Azerbaijani goods are sold on such big online commercial platforms as Amazon or Alibaba through the Azexport portal (azexport.az). Meanwhile, work is underway to expand the list of these platforms.

“The importance of online platforms grows every year. Unfortunately, international electronic commerce channels do not prevail over traditional trade in Azerbaijan. Although, of course, it is encouraging that our exporters are increasingly using them,” he added.

Azerbaijani companies to attract investors through stock exchange

AZPROMO has recently signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Baku Stock Exchange (BSE). Speaking about this document, Mammadov noted that it is planned to attract foreign investors to have participation in local companies’ capital.

“Several Azerbaijani companies seek for channels to attract financing. Some of them prefer to attract loans, while others – direct investments. Our cooperation with the BSE envisages attracting foreign investors to local projects through its platform,” added Mammadov.