SME Development Forum (Digital)

Diversification and Innovation in Eastern Partnership Countries


ABOUT 200 COMPANIES ATTENDED THE VIRTUAL SME DEVELOPMENT FORUM 2021

The SME Development Forum on “Diversification and Innovation in Eastern Partnership Countries” was organised online on 4-5 March 2021 by the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce (AHK Azerbaijan), the Representative Office of German Economy in Belarus and Information Centre of German Economy (AHK Belarus), the German Business Association Georgia (DWV Georgia) and the German-Ukrainian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Ukraine) supported by the USAID Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth Project (EDGE).

Besides keynote speeches on the latest SME developments and reforms in the Eastern partnership countries, a number of German and regional experts discussed the challenges and opportunities in the fields of agriculture, eco and agro-tourism, and female entrepreneurship. The event connected more than 200 stakeholders and business representatives from the EaP countries and Germany. Furthermore, the Forum provided a unique business platform, which presented successful projects and revealed current cooperation opportunities.

The SME Development Forum was inaugurated by Mr Tobias Baumann, Executive Director of the AHK Azerbaijan, and Ms Jasminka Varnalieva, Chief of Party in USAID Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth (EDGE) Project, who delivered a welcoming speech and gave information about the SME Development Project. Following this, Dr Wladimir Augustinski (Head of the Representative Office of the German Economy in Belarus), Mr Thomas Kimmeswenger (Executive Director at German Business Association Georgia), and Mr Alexander Markus (Chairman of the Board of AHK Ukraine) discussed the latest SME developments and reforms in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine.

The official opening ceremony was followed by the Panel discussions on:

  • Agriculture: Exporting to Germany and the EU - the Opportunities and Challenges of Agricultural Enterprises in Eastern Partnership Countries
  • Tourism: Trends and Best Practices of Eco and Agro Tourism in Germany and the Eastern Partnership Countries
  • Female Entrepreneurship: Building Bridges between Female Leaders from Germany and the Eastern Partnership Countries

The Forum was concluded by a workshop on “Courageous Leadership, Networking for Empowerment” for female entrepreneurs moderated by the trainers, Ms Petra Wefels-Wissmann and Ms Charlotte Goetz-Pagni, from CO (13), Systemic Management Consulting Group. The event has successfully provided a platform uniting business people, including CEOs, high-ranked representatives of more than 200 economic and political institutions from Germany and the Eastern Partnership countries.

SME Development Forum - Agenda

Day 1 | Forum Programme


Thursday, 04 March


 


10:45 - 11:00 
(German Time)


Registration & Welcoming


11:00 - 11:45


Official Opening

 


 


Opening Remarks by AHK Azerbaijan and USAID

Mr. Tobias Baumann, Executive Director, AHK Azerbaijan

Ms. Jasminka Varnalieva, Chief of Party in USAID Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth (EDGE) Project

Keynote Speeches on Reforms, Latest Economic and SME Developments in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine

Mr. Tobias Baumann, Executive Director, AHK Azerbaijan

Dr. Wladimir Augustinski, Head of the Representative Office, German Economy in Belarus

Mr. Thomas Kimmeswenger, Executive Director, German Business Association Georgia

Mr. Alexander Markus, Chairman of the Board, AHK Ukraine

Presentation of Digital Market Analysis and Platform

Moderator
Mr. Tobias Baumann, Executive Director, AHK Azerbaijan


11:45 - 12:00


Questions and Answers

Moderator:
Mr. Tobias Baumann, Executive Director, AHK Azerbaijan


12:00 - 12:45


Panel 1: Exporting to Germany and the EU

The Opportunities and Challenges of Agricultural Enterprises in Eastern Partnership Countries

Dr. Per Brodersen, Director, German Agribusiness Alliance,
German Eastern Business Association

Ms. Leyla Mammadova, Deputy Chairperson, Agrarian Credit and Development Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan

Mr. Igor Pakush, Vice-Chairman of the Board, Belarusian Public Association of Farmers

Ms. Nino Zambakhidze, Chairperson, Georgian Farmers’ Association

Mr. André Pilling, Project Lead, Agritrade (Ukraine)

Moderator
Mr. Alexander Markus, Chairman of the Board, AHK Ukraine


12:45 - 13:00


Questions and Answers

Moderator
Mr. Alexander Markus, Chairman of the Board, AHK Ukraine


13:00 - 13:45


Panel 2: Trends and Best Practices of Eco and Agro Tourism in Germany and the Eastern Partnership Countries

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rein, Executive Director, BTE Tourism and Regional Consulting

Mr. Florian Sengstschmid, CEO, Azerbaijan Tourism Board

Ms. Valeria Klitsunova, Chair of the Board, Association of Agro- and Ecotourism “Country Escape” (Belarus)

Ms. Daria Kholodilina & Mr. Zviad Kelenjeridze, Founders, Trails & Wines (Georgia)

Ms. Viktoria Permyakova, CEO/Owner, Tour-U LLC (Ukraine)

Moderator
Mr. Thomas Kimmeswenger, Executive Director, German Business Association Georgia


13:45 - 14:15


Questions and Answers, Closure, Open Networking

Moderator
Mr. Thomas Kimmeswenger, Executive Director, German Business Association Georgia

Day 2 | Forum Programme


Friday, 05 March


 


10:45 - 11:00 
(German Time)


Registration & Welcoming


11:00 - 11:45


Building Bridges between Female Leaders from Germany and the Eastern Partnership Countries


 


Panel 3: Female Entrepreneurship

Ms. Elizabeth Lehnich, Member of the National Board & Head of International Affairs, Association of German Women Entrepreneurs (VdU)

Ms. Tatyana Mikayilova, Chairperson, 100 Business Women of Azerbaijan

Ms. Yulia Malkova, CEO & Founder, ProWomen By, WED Ambassador in Belarus

Ms. Nino Elizbarashvili, Chairperson, Women in Business - GAWB (Georgia)

Ms. Nataliya Mykolska, Co-founder, SheExports Platform (Ukraine)

Moderator:
Ms. Nigar Bayramli, Deputy Executive Director, AHK Azerbaijan


11:45 - 12:15


Questions and Answers

Moderator:
Ms. Nigar Bayramli, Deputy Executive Director, AHK Azerbaijan


12:15 - 12:30


Coffee Break


12:30 - 15:30


Workshop for Female Entrepreneurs 

Courageous Leadership - Networking for Empowerment

Trainer:
Ms. Petra Wefels-Wissmann, Executive Partner of CO(13), Systemic Management Consulting Group, Berlin, Member of Association of German Women Entrepreneurs

Ms. Charlotte Goetz-Pagni, Executive Partner of CO(13), Systemic Management Consulting Group, Berlin, Member of Association of German Women Entrepreneurs

Moderator:
Ms. Nigar Bayramli, Deputy Executive Director, AHK Azerbaijan

AHK Partner Institutions