The COVID-19 epidemic has left its mark on the world as we know it. We are very much mindful of face-to-face communication between partners, importers, and manufacturers. The trade shows have been a great place for the group to develop relationships and acquaintances with new companies, products, and styles. The fashion industry is definitely not here – just think of all the big trade shows in Paris or Milan. Fortunately, a major effort right now is going to see alternatives: an acceptable solution for many fashion companies who aspire to work in the market again but strive to stay visible during these difficult times. 24 fashion labels from Belarus and Moldova are taking part in an online matchmaking event to be held on April 21 and 22, 2021. The aim is to connect Eastern European clothing manufacturers with potential buyers from the EU market.
In fact, this is not just an isolated event but part of the Ready to Trade project initiated by the CBI (Center for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) and the ITC (International Trade Center), commissioned by the European Union. Under the leadership of Dutch fashion experts, these fashion companies have been focusing on the European market since 2019. Many of them have already been able to participate in digital or physical trade shows and are hoping for some productive days in April. According to one Belarusian women’s clothing company, “We see matching times as a unique opportunity to introduce our company and collections to EU consumers and expand our exports from Russia to Europe.”
The attraction of Belarus and Moldova
Matching Dates, co-organized by Export Partner, is a great opportunity to create connections between manufacturers and potential buyers. The two groups are integrated into an online partner platform. Each Eastern European fashion company has specialized expertise in one or more fields, for example, women’s and children’s clothing, bridal and casual wear, and workwear. In addition to this diverse range of middle and upper half, there are many other reasons why it is fun for importers to choose Eastern European players, They are located near European Union borders and high levels of production process can encourage consumers to focus on this particular team. Afke van der Woude, program manager at CBI’s Ready to Trade says: “While these companies naturally find themselves in the midst of challenging times, we have seen excellent levels of creativity and flexibility for our participants. They are now ready to enter the European market and can definitely offer delicious products with a different style. ”
1-on-1 conversations with matches
These game days are a great opportunity for Belarusian and Moldovan companies to become better acquainted with the European market. Ahead of the event, there will be a preparatory webinar focusing on doing business in the European Union. The highlight of these days will be 1-on-1 sessions. This is where potential suppliers and consumers are connected, which allows them to take an in-depth look at the products. We expect that between 2 and 5 affected people will be compared to each company.
In short, the event is a great opportunity for both consumers and providers within the fashion market to get to know each other better and provide excellent opportunities for new collaborations.
The Ready to Trade project is implemented by the Center for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries and the International Trade Center and is funded by EU4Business, which is an initiative for SMEs in EU Partnership countries in the EU.