Alibaba.com Partners with LOGO to Expand in Turkey
"As a melting pot and trading hub for Europe, the Middle East, Asia and even Africa, Turkey is a strategically important country in that it is a large manufacturing base for Europe and forms a key trade link between East and West. However, less than 10 percent of Turkey's two million SMEs are exporters, meaning there is a significant number of companies that can broaden their horizons in terms of the markets they can serve around the world," said Arthur Chang, Alibaba.com's vice president of global sales. "We and our partner LOGO are looking forward to providing these companies with the tools and instructions to help them reap the proven benefits of e-commerce and cross-border trade."
"Alibaba.com and LOGO share similar philosophies about helping SMEs use the power of technology and the Internet to grow their business and enhance their competitiveness in today's globalized world," said Tugrul Tekbulut, founder and chairman of the Logo Group of companies. "LOGO has 25 years of experience serving small Turkish businesses and we understand them better than anyone. We see Alibaba.com as the perfect partner to equip SMEs in Turkey with the right tools to get through the current global crisis and build successful long-term businesses."
Alibaba.com already has nearly 200,000 registered users in Turkey, and LOGO's flagship company, LOGO Yazilim, is the market leader in ERP software solutions and has 150,000 customers and one million active users, most of which are local SMEs. Under the terms of the agreement, LOGO will build further awareness for Alibaba.com's brand in Turkey and provide on-the-ground support for its members, including training and customer service. LOGO will also become the reseller of Alibaba.com's paid membership package, Gold Supplier international edition, to Turkish suppliers. In addition, Diyalogo, a social networking website for businesses in Turkey operated by LOGO, will co-promote Alibaba.com to its online community and customer base.
Turkey is strategically positioned at the crossroads between East and West, literally bridging Europe and Asia geographically and culturally. It has access to both high-income European markets and emerging economies in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. The combination of Turkey's growing domestic market of 70 million people1, large manufacturing sector and highly engaged Internet population estimated at 30 million2, makes it an attractive emerging market for e-commerce. Data from Alibaba.com shows that its registered user base in Turkey has grown by nearly 75 percent in the last 12 months.
In 2008, Turkish exports exceeded US$140 billion while imports topped US$193 billion3. More than half of Turkey's exports go to Europe, with Germany, UK and Italy being the top markets, and its leading import markets are Russia, Germany and China. Turkey's export sector, the bulk of which consists of manufacturing products, has been growing at an average rate of 22 percent for the last five years, making it one of the world's most dynamic export countries. However, with Europe and North America in recession, Turkey's export sector is facing challenges. Recent data indicates that exports fell 28 percent in March 2009 compared to the same period in 20084.
"The economic downturn is forcing businesses to cut costs and reduce traveling expenses and has shrunk the demand from developed markets like Europe, meaning that Turkish SMEs, like their counterparts around the world, are eager to find more cost-efficient and easy-to-use platforms to reach new customers and source goods," Chang said. "Alibaba.com and LOGO look forward to providing that service and opening up new trade opportunities for local businesses in traditional markets like Europe as well as in emerging markets like China."
In July 2009, Alibaba.com will extend its Gold Supplier membership to suppliers in Turkey, giving them the same opportunity to market to Alibaba.com's eight million international registered users as its Greater China paying members have enjoyed. For a limited time, existing International TrustPass members in Turkey will be upgraded to the Gold Supplier international edition at no additional cost. Gold Supplier international edition members will enjoy first-level priority listings with a Gold Supplier logo and product showcases. Additional features such as premium website design templates and the ability to upload a factory video to a supplier's virtual storefront will be added later.
About Logo Group
Logo Group was founded as a small startup in 1984 to provide business applications for SMEs. Over a period of 25 years the group has become a market leader in SME business applications and holds a strong position in Turkish IT market with companies engaged in distributing international software and hardware products to development and marketing of educational software and running business portals. Logo Yazilim, the flagship company of the group is the first IT IPO in Turkey, and trades at IMKB (LOGO) LOGO Yazilim software products are being marketed in Azerbaijan, Iran, the Middle East and Central Asia.
1 According to the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat)
2 According to TUBISAD
3 According to the Turkish Exporters Assembly
4 Reported by Hurriyet's Daily News and Economic Review
Alibaba.com Limited (HKSE: 1688) (HK.1688) is the global leader in business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce and the flagship company of Alibaba Group. Founded in 1999, Alibaba.com makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to do business online through three marketplaces: a global trade marketplace (www.alibaba.com) for importers and exporters, a Chinese marketplace (www.alibaba.com.cn) for domestic trade in China, and, through an associated company, a Japanese marketplace (www.alibaba.co.jp) facilitating trade to and from Japan. Together, its marketplaces form a community of 40 million registered users from over 240 countries and regions. Headquartered in Hangzhou, Alibaba.com has offices in more than 40 cities across Greater China as well as in Europe and the United States.