Tuesday, 13 October 2020

4 B2B Marketplaces Egyptian Businesses Can Use to Sell in Europe


The European Union (even after the departure of the United Kingdom) is the largest trading bloc on the planet: it comprises 27 countries for a total of 448 million people and a combined GDP of almost 16 trillion USD. Its currency, the Euro, is one the most stable currencies in the world.

The EU has closed a number of free trade agreements (FTA) with several states and trading blocs, most recently with Canada, Japan and Mercosur, the South American customs union.

The relationship between Egypt and the EU is long dated: the North African country and the European trading bloc signed an association agreement already back in 2004.

Moreover, since 2013 the EU and Egypt have been discussing how to improve their trade and investment relations with a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, or DCFTA.

A future DCFTA would enhance market access and provide a better investment climate. In fact, the agreement under discussion would include trade in services, government procurement, competition, intellectual property rights, and investment protection.

Even now, the EU is both Egypt's biggest import and export partner, covering roughly 30% of Egypt's trade volume.

Trade between the country and the union is mainly based on fuel and mining products, chemicals, textiles and clothing, machinery and transport equipment, and agricultural products.

Therefore, if you know where to look, you can find plenty of opportunities for your business in Europe.

A good place where to start, especially today where trade fairs are being cancelled all over the world, is the Europe-based online B2B marketplaces. 

The following are the four online platforms where you can find local European businesses and boost your sales in the continent.


Opportunity Network

Based in Barcelona, Spain, this marketplace was established in 2014 and boasts a portfolio of thousands of highly selected businesses. In fact, businesses cannot join Opportunity Network (also called ON) as if they joined any other online service: in order to register, companies must be invited by a bank that partners with the marketplace.

While this assures a high level of trust within the network, it also limits its potential as a global marketplace: most recently ON is also turning to small businesses, but up until now its minimum requirement for a single deal was as high as one million US dollars, off limits for most SMEs!


UpinSales

Based in the United Kingdom, UpinSales boasts as much as 12,000 current opportunities mainly from European countries. This platform has taken a completely different approach: rather than connecting companies, it connects companies and sales freelances.

A company posts an opportunity saying that it is looking for agents in a certain country for a certain product. If interested, the agent will contact the company through the platform’s connection process, as it happens with Globartis and ON.

Given its marketing and sales orientation, UpinSales is not a good tool for businesses looking to source products, but it could be of tremendous help to the small and medium enterprises looking to boost their sales in Europe.


Enterprise Europe Network

Backed by the European Commission, Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is a government-owned pan-European marketplace. Established roughly ten years ago, it is on the oldest B2B marketplaces in Europe. EEN currently counts more than 6,000 partnership opportunities from the whole continent (also the UK and Switzerland are included). An interesting perk is that it is completely free. 

The only problem with EEN is that, while getting admitted immediately, companies cannot interact with each other directly but have to go through an intermediary: in EEN’s jargon, a partner. This is usually a governmental agency or a not-for-profit organization, whose first priority, as you may be thinking already, is not rushing to close your deal.


Globartis

Founded in 2018 in Italy, Globartis differentiates from its older cousins by being a 100% technology-driven platform. In fact, there are no partners, banks, or governments involved in the registration process: companies are required to give information about their businesses and are admitted based on the marketplace’s algorithm. Moreover, the minimum deal on the platform is as little as 10,000 US dollars, therefore it is accessible also by micro businesses.

However, being the youngest one has its drawbacks: the platform has the lowest amount of opportunities among the three (around 2,000), and, whilst it strives to expand beyond its domestic market, it is still focused mainly on Europe.


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