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.