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Digitalization in the Leather Industry

Aegean Leather Producers will export their products from digital platforms. Aegean Leather And Leather Products Exporters' Association, working on leather export by accelerating the digital transformation, bringing producers and buyers together in a Digital Commerce Platform for the first time in Turkey. 

Chairman of the Aegean Leather and Leather Products Exporters Association, Erkan Zandar, explained the details of the platform at the online press conference organized by the Izmir Branch of the Economy Press Association (EMD), with about 50 participants.

June 1-3,2020

Zandar stated that they closed the month of March with a slight loss and a serious decrease in April, yet they hoped that the export will start with the normalization at the end of May.

“ With the start of the coronavirus about 2 months ago, we started to examine digital trade systems in the World. In this context, we started to work with many software companies. We decided to make the first digital trading platform of the shoe and leather goods sectors in the world. We have determined the fair date as June 1-3,2020. Our hope is to create this trading platform that has never been tried. We started to meet our related software companies and receive their offers. We have also reached the point of agreement with some companies. "

Pointing out that the process will start with a very well prepared website and the digitalization of all products, Zandar also emphasized that they aim to attract not only manufacturers but also customers to this platform.

“Virtual fairs in the world start as a continuation of conventional fairs in the digital environment. The companies that can not go to the fair, see the participants from the websites. Now we turn completely digital. We are piloting. Our current expectation is to learn and teach our customers the industry. Until today, we were shaking hands while marketing products in our own companies. It is a difficult process and we will need to support our infrastructure. We want efforts from our member companies. Products' photos, websites, camera system is needed also a good internet infrastructure etc. Once customers are accustomed to this system, they will not want to go from one point to another physically for small-scale purchases. Moreover, the cost per company is not high. We requested the Ministry of Commerce to activate the quick support mechanism and to give this support at no cost. If we receive serious support, we can complete the Project easier an quicker”

Easy to access, 

Erkan Zandar added that the Digital Trade Platform is a pilot application and they aim to organize it with 30 exhibitor companies . “100-150 customers will come together. Exhibitor companies will be able to invite their customers to this platform. We will run the digital exhibition with the support of İZFAŞ Izmir Fairs. We expect investment in digitalization from participating companies. It is an application focused on foreign buyers and will be supported by social media advertisements. 

The first Exporters Association in Turkey

Mentioning that they are in contact with the Ministries related to the fair incentives, 

Mr. Zandar:

‘We are stepping forward for virtual fairs in Turkey. We made a quick presentation in Ankara. Presentations will be made to Ruhsar Pekcan, our Minister of Commerce this week, and now we expect the results. 

Opportunity To Open Up To The World With Digital Fairs

Halil Gündoğdu, Vice Chairman of the Aegean Leather and Leather Products Exporters Association, emphasized that even though the epidemic caused distruption of the trade in the whole world it accelerated  the digitalization process.

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