Monday, August 8 2016 15:57
Alina Hovhannisyan

SME Cooperation Association and e-trade platforms introduce a new joint mechanism to support manufacturers of Armenia 

SME Cooperation Association and e-trade platforms introduce a new joint mechanism to support manufacturers of Armenia 

ArmInfo. To support the local manufacturers with a view to increase the sales in the Armenian market, President of "SME Cooperation Association" NGO Hakob Avagyan signed on August 8 a Memorandum of Cooperation with the heads of platforms of e-trade in goods and services in Armenia, namely with Vahan Kerobyan (menu.am), Zara Mazmanyan (buy.am) and Alex Alexanyan (crossroad.com).

During the signing ceremony, Avagyan explained that under the Memorandum, the participants will create "Made in Armenia" platforms on the websites menu.am, buy.am and crossroad.com, where Armenian manufacturers will be able to sell their products online, without coming across any difficulties that arise when cooperating with representatives of trade chains.

"Our surveys have revealed that at the initial stage it is the local producers that face problems when communicating with trade chains in the context of promoting the products in the consumer market of the country," he says.

In a conversation with an ArmInfo correspondent, Avagyan has mentioned the most frequent problems the producers come across when offering their products to the trade chains and facilities. "Given the significant role of the trade chains in the retail market of the country, they conduct a dialogue with the manufacturers and offer them only unilaterally favorable conditions," Avagyan says. "No matter how high the quality of the products is, it is difficult for the startup representatives of SME to enter the market and enhance the level of recognizability of their products," he says. Another problem that causes concerns is the lack of a clear focus in the activities of the trade chains. The trade chains clearly see what products are in a wider demand and they start producing the analogue at more affordable prices. It is natural that competition arises for local producers and the product is eventually driven out of the market. This is unfair with respect to the producers first of all," he says, stressing the need to clearly specify the obligations of the market participants.

Avagyan thinks that the given initiative will not lead to creation of monopolies amid the operating online analogues in the market, particularly, mediamarket.am, which, he says, has been selling only Armenian products since the very beginning. At the same time, Avagyan is sure that the cooperation will be long-term and that new participants will emerge in the market to promote the sales of local products.

In the meantime, Avagyan urges the local producers to join the program being implemented under the memorandum to enhance the efficiency of the sale of their products.

To note, SME Cooperation Association was founded in Armenia in 2014 to support and protect the interests of the SME sector of the country. At present, the organization has over 500 participants.

Crossroad is an online mega market of goods, services, and coupons. It is also a social network for online customers, where the customers can find and buy a wide range of products and services, while the suppliers have an opportunity to open their own online shops on the Crossroad platform, sell and advertise their products. Buy.am is an online trade center featuring a wide spectrum of goods, ranging from food products to pieces of art. The center cooperates with a variety of shops free of charge and the prices do not differ from those in the shops. Menu.am is a single system of delivery, which unites 400 restaurants, cafes and specialized stores in Yerevan. All the prices on the website are similar with those in the partner services.

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