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In foreign trade, escrow is used to ensure the security of both parties in a transaction and protect their interests. During a contract or transaction involving two or three parties, the payment related to the transaction is held in a secure account opened at a bank or with a third party or institution until the transaction is completed. Coimex provides traders with this secure trade and payment environment through blockchain infrastructure.

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What is Escrow?

Escrow is a system where digital buying and selling transactions are securely held until it is confirmed that the transactions have been correctly and appropriately completed. In Turkish, Escrow translates to “emanet,” which means entrusted. Escrow is one of the most common solutions in foreign trade today.

Escrow in Foreign Trade

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An Escrow agreement is a three-party legal relationship involving the ‘transferor,’ ‘transferee,’ and ‘escrow holder.’ According to this legal relationship, the transferor, who undertakes to deliver a specific product or perform a task, is obligated to make a payment to the transferee in return. The role of the escrow holder is to ensure that payments between the parties are made after the other party fulfills its obligations.

In international trade, a company selling goods and services wants to receive payment as quickly as possible. Importers buying goods and services want to make payments to exporters after buying and selling the product. The most advantageous approach for the exporter is to sell the goods for cash upfront, while for the importer, working on an open account and making payments after selling the goods is the least risky payment method. Between these two methods, there are various payment methods such as letters of credit and document against payment that aim to reduce the risks for both the importer and exporter.

To sustain a presence in global trade, be successful, and compete, companies must not only strive to deliver high-quality products and services to the market at competitive costs but also provide attractive payment methods to importing firms.

Escrow in Cryptocurrency World

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In the world of cryptocurrency, escrow works as follows: Investors use the escrow method to store their assets rather than keeping them in a cold wallet. This allows investors to more easily invest in exchanges with high trading volumes and security levels.

Advantages of Escrow Account in Foreign Trade

Escrow contracts have been widely used in the United States since the 1850s.

In these contracts, payments are secured by being transferred to an independent third party. Payment is made once the obligations are fulfilled. This is particularly useful when working with new clients or dealing with high product demands.

Operation Principle of Escrow Account

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An escrow account is used to ensure the security of two parties in an agreement and protect their interests. During a contract or transaction involving two or three parties, the payment related to the transaction is held in a secure account, either at a bank or with a third-party individual or institution, until the transaction is completed.

For instance, during a purchase and sale of goods, an escrow account prevents one party from being disadvantaged by preventing payment before the arrival of the goods or the sending of goods before payment. Escrow accounts are much more practical in terms of procedures and required documents compared to letters of credit. Moreover, unlike letters of credit, which involve multiple banks, escrow transactions can take place under the guarantee of a single bank, and the opening of escrow accounts, especially within the customer’s own bank, is much faster.

Escrow involves the payment-making party, the documents specified in the contract, and the confirmation of the delivery of goods or services being held as a third-party neutral organization in the bank’s guarantee until approval is obtained. This ensures that the assets to be transferred are secured for both parties during the transaction. The buyer, referred to as the “Depositor” who transfers the financial asset to the escrow account, creates a “secure account” tied to the agreement by opening an escrow account according to the terms of the contract. The buyer is then added to this account by the bank. When the terms specified in the contract are fulfilled by the buyer, who will be entitled to the financial asset, the bank transfers the asset in the escrow account to this party with approval.

Usage of Escrow in Foreign Trade and Its Comparison with Letter of Credit

In international trade, purchase and sale contracts are widely used today. The crucial point for both parties in transactions conducted abroad is to ensure the highest level of payment security. The three most commonly used financial procedures to ensure payment security in international trade are letters of credit, performance bonds commonly used in Turkey, and escrow accounts more widely used abroad.

The use of an escrow account in foreign trade protects both the buyer and the seller. This method safeguards financial assets with a neutral third party within the context of an agreement. However, as the fee transfer occurs when specific conditions are met, it significantly reduces risks and streamlines the process.

In summary, the organization providing escrow services, typically a bank, receives financial assets from the buyer as the first step. The organization, often a bank, notifies the buyer that the assets have been received and transferred to the escrow account. Subsequently, the seller delivers the goods to the buyer as agreed in the written contract. The organization providing escrow services can monitor this shipment, providing assurance for the entire procedure. Thus, when the goods reach the buyer, the organization holding the escrow account has direct information about the delivery. The buyer has a specified period, as agreed in the contract, to conduct inspections after the goods have been delivered, reporting whether the goods have been delivered in compliance with the contract. Following a positive report from the buyer, the escrow account manager transfers the previously deposited financial asset to the seller’s account, completing the trade under the guarantee of a neutral financial institution.

The bank that opens and manages the escrow account typically charges a fee for this service. This fee is usually a percentage, often around 1% or 2%, as requested by the bank. The contract should specify who will cover this fee. Either the buyer or the seller, or both parties equally, must pay this fee as determined by the financial institution for the opening and management of the escrow account. The fee paid to the financial institution for this service is often more economical compared to using a letter of credit.

The use of an escrow account offers a highly beneficial alternative for both the buyer and the seller. It is particularly useful when the buyer’s credit rating appears insufficient, trust cannot be established, or when there is uncertainty in these regards. Escrow is also valuable when the buyer is a new customer or has not conducted similar commercial operations in the past, providing a secure method.

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Apart from these, in periods and situations where the seller’s product is in high demand, and if there are too many buyers for the product, the escrow account provides a guarantee for both parties. Finally, in situations where the political and economic situation in the buyer’s country is risky, the use of an escrow account becomes an important assurance.

In summary, in foreign trade, escrow provides assurance for the parties involved in global trade in situations where there is doubt about the buyer’s payment or suspicion about the seller’s fulfillment of the shipment.

When creating an escrow account, the management of the process will be in accordance with the escrow agreement prepared by the parties. Therefore, the parties can mutually add the desired clauses to the escrow agreement. Thus, escrow accounts offer a more flexible structure for both parties compared to letters of credit.

Once the agreement is signed between the two parties, it becomes legally binding. To make changes, corrections, or additions, these must be done in writing in accordance with the contract procedure. The escrow account manager should not accept instructions that are not included in the contract and are given to them later. It is not mandatory for the entity providing the escrow service to be a bank; reliable trade organizations can also provide this service.

Advantages of Escrow in International Trade

Using escrow in foreign trade reduces the risk of fraud. The operation of the escrow system works as follows: For example, after reaching an agreement digitally on the escrow platform, the buyer deposits the payment for the product into the escrow account. The seller receives confirmation from escrow that the money has been received, and after this confirmation, the seller sends the product to the buyer. After the buyer confirms that the product has been received, escrow releases the payment to the seller. All these transactions take place online, and a commission fee is paid to escrow for the services rendered. Unlike other online payment methods, escrow allows for large amounts of money flow and charges a modest commission.

In addition, some B2B websites have started to process payments through their own platforms. Here, similar to individual e-commerce, the payment does not transfer to the seller until the buyer receives the product, and the payment is only transferred to the seller’s account when the buyer gives approval.

In recent years, payments with digital (crypto) currencies like Bitcoin have also become prominent. Digital currencies, which have their exchanges and can be produced by individuals, can be preferred as a means of payment by disadvantaged countries due to situations such as war, economic embargoes, etc. In addition, escrow payment systems also support transactions conducted with digital currencies. Online payment methods seem practical and less costly.

Escrow accounts, which are more cost-effective and practical compared to letters of credit, are widely used in many European countries and the United States. However, in our country, banks have not yet widely adopted escrow accounts in international product trading contracts. When managed with an escrow agreement that includes sufficient guarantees, escrow accounts are a highly secure payment method. The escrow account system can be preferable in international, and even national, trade. Choosing escrow for the payment of many commercial product purchase and sale contracts is not only practical in terms of time and effort for both the buyer and the seller but also provides significant guarantees to the parties involved.

Coimex provides this secure trade and payment environment to traders with a blockchain infrastructure. Coimex’s blockchain solutions, especially in insecure geographies and countries where foreign currencies and payment methods are not widely accepted, enable traders to conduct trade more securely and conveniently.


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Coimex, focused on countries with high trust issues and developing nations, connects more in foreign trade with 108 countries, 40 categories, and 50,000 firms.
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Stekar visited Coimex's Turkiye Office.

Coimex welcomed its Kenyan member in its office in Turkiye. Stekar, reached another significant milestone after years of successful collaboration within our community. As the first member of the Coimex community to execute deals in Africa, the Middle East, and Russia, Stekar continues to enhance its success. The purpose of this visit was to establish communication with Turkish avocado importers and strengthen existing relationships.

Karen Ndulu and John Mengo from Stekar Foods, the first exporter member of Coimex on the African continent, visited Turkiye to reaffirm their commitment to our community, strengthen existing collaborations, and sign new agreements. During their visit, the member company toured Coimex’s Turkiye office, met with our team face to face, built a stronger business relationship, and took the first steps for new agreements. The success of our member was made possible through the unique advantages provided by Coimex to its business partners and members, built on strong collaboration foundations and support. This collaboration, lasting for years, is not only based on commercial agreements but also on a partnership grounded in mutual trust and support.

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Improving ties, Coimex and Stekar enjoyed Turkish delicacies.
Our Kenyan member, benefiting from various advantages and collaboration opportunities provided by Coimex, engaged in interactions and collaborations with other members of the Coimex community through B2B meetings during this membership period. Stekar’s visit to Turkiye is an example of strengthening ties among Coimex members and increasing confidence in global trade.
This visit by our Kenyan member demonstrates that Coimex is not just a community in foreign trade but also acts as a supporter for its members, serving as a business partner and contributing value to global trade. While Coimex strengthens its leading role in foreign trade through its exclusive services, the success of our Kenyan member reflects mutual trust and support.
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A nice shot from Stekar's visit of Coimex office in Turkiye.

With a vision of growing and achieving success together with reliable foreign trade companies, Coimex continues to add value to its members and support them. The visit of our Kenyan member to Turkiye is an example of the success of Coimex as a global food community. We, at Coimex, eagerly anticipate future collaborations, joint projects, and success stories from not only this member but also from all our members.

Coimex, which knows and follows its members well, encourages, matches, and supports its members in writing their commercial success stories. You too can write a success story with Coimex. Come, join the Coimex community without further delay!

How the find trustworthy companies, this question leads us to concept of trust. The trust of your potential customer in your product and company will enable them to establish business contacts with you and this will increase the volume of your business. Trust is one of the most important topics for foreign trade companies.

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In addition to traditional ways of trading, online commerce has increased the importance of learning and confirming the trustability of a company in the digital environment. In this article, we will share with you how to find trustworthy companies on the digital environment.

If people looking to buy your products from other countries have plain and easy access to your company information over the Internet, they will trust you and connect with you. Therefore, it is very important to position yourself as a trustworthy company in digital.

What Are the Current Problems Regarding Trust in Foreign Trade?

On the way to get an answer for how to find trustworthy companies on the Internet, one of the biggest problems in foreign trade is trust. Enterprises without commercial status approved by the competent authorities who do not import or export, but pretend to operate, are misleading other enterprises who really want to do foreign trade. Some digital foreign trade platforms may involve companies that are not actively trading in their system, making their members look more crowded than they really are. Although these companies are not currently engaged in foreign trade, they can display product offers and requests on these platforms as if they are engaged in foreign trade. Sharing your personal information with unauthorized people could cause your company’s security to be undermined. Is the company you have in mind trustable, does the company have up-to-date contact information, and does the company actively engage in foreign trade? You are strongly advised to take a look at these topics.

How Can a Company’s Trustability be Assessed in Digital?


The first place to look should be the company’s website to see if the company is trustable. The website of the companies is also an online identity of the companies. The following are things to look for when investigating a company’s trustability on the Internet.

  1. Does the site have the company’s logo?
  2. How corporate is the company’s website?
  3. What products are on the company’s website?
  4. Does the company’s website contain a clear and unambiguous address and other contact information?
  5. Are there online reviews about this company or its products?

Other companies will also investigate you online to get to know you and see if you are a trusted business. Therefore, building your website and your communication with your customers along with these trust factors and revamping your existing information along these lines will go a long way for you and your business.

How Does Coimex Solve The Trust Problem In Foreign Trade?

Only companies that are rigorously selected in cooperation with local chambers of commerce, whose business activities are approved and trusted, are accepted into the Coimex community. Companies that will become members of the Coimex system go through several stages. Only trustable companies that can complete this verification and approval process will be included in the system. As a result, companies engaged in foreign trade can conduct safe and sustainable foreign trade with companies that actually exist, actively transact, and publish authentic product offers through a post-based platform with 24/7 visibility.

How Does Coimex’s Verification System Work?

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Companies to be included in the Coimex system go through a verification and certification process that consists of several stages. The Chamber of Commerce, with Coimex, checks whether a company is registered in the Chamber of Commerce to which they are affiliated. At the same time, the registration documents and documents of these companies are reviewed during the approval process. At the end of the inspection, these documents are confirmed through the state connections, coordinating union, and liaison agencies. The company that completes this process, which is carried out with the utmost care, becomes a member of Coimex. Therefore, your company establishes sustainable commerce relationships through real-world product offers and requests by connecting with trusted companies via Coimex’s web and mobile applications.

There you have gotten a professional angle on how to find trustworthy companies.

This article is meant to help you better understand Coimex and get answers if you still have some questions.

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In countries where trust is a major concern, Coimex, an international trade community that only admits reliable companies, offers its members numerous exclusive services. Coimex makes foreign trade safer and more accessible through its provided services. With the utmost trust, Coimex matches buyers and sellers since 2017, bringing 25+ years of exerience in to foreign trade.

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Two Coimex members, Instanta from Turkey and Storesome from Kenya

16 Exclusive Services offered by Coimex

Coimex stands out in the international trade community, matches buyers and sellers, with numerous distinctive and exclusive services. Two services, in particular, are provided as priority and core services. One is the matching service, and the other is end-to-end negotiation support. These two services are offered to all our members and across all membership packages.

Coimex provides boutique and exclusive services not found in conventional B2B platforms. There are three membership levels at Coimex, and the services vary according to these levels.

The 16 exclusive services offered by Coimex are as follows:

  1. Establishes business connections only with reliable companies.
  2. Enables members to benefit from real-time opportunities through a 24/7 listing system.
  3. Organizes online and offline B2B meetings for its members.
  4. Communicates with relevant authorities in the country of trade to resolve issues if they arise.
  5. Provides a web and mobile-based platform exclusively for members where sellers can submit price quotes, and buyers can announce procurement requests.
  6. Offers translation services for members conducting business in different geographical regions.
  7. Provides a risk-free membership with a customer guarantee for each category in the annual membership. If a member fails to secure customers despite showcasing products and participating in meetings, the membership is extended for free.
  8. Offers end-to-end negotiation support through video meetings, creating a common WhatsApp group, and assisting with negotiations, payment terms, and other related matters.
  9. Matches buyers and sellers within the system.
  10. Provides support for listings and sharing. If members lack time, Coimex takes their catalogs, product information, and prices, prepares listings, and uploads them to the system.
  11. Offers company reliability verification and validation support. When dealing with non-Coimex member clients, if there are concerns about the reliability of these firms, Coimex provides assistance.
  12. Offers marketing support. When entering different markets, Coimex assists in promotional activities in that region, providing PR support or joint digital marketing campaigns as needed.
  13. Provides fair meeting support. Coimex visits major food fairs worldwide. When you set up a booth at a fair, Coimex organizes face-to-face B2B meetings with Coimex buyer members who visit the fair and are matched with your company.
  14. Offers strategic support. When conducting trade in any country where Coimex is active, if you need support in areas such as dealing with the state, customs, or other strategic matters, Coimex provides assistance.
  15. We write blog posts, provide trainings from time to time, organize online events and prepare monthly newsletters to convey up-to-date information and raise awareness in the sector.
  16. And very soon, we will offer our members blockchain solutions in foreign trade. By offering a reliable payment alternative for unreliable geographies, we will enable smart contracts between the parties.

Coimex facilitates the pairing of buyers and sellers within the community, a process also known as commercial matchmaking.

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B2B Matchmaking meeting between PFP (Thailan) and Cuddle Meat (Ghana)

Commercial (B2B) Matching: What Is It?

In commercial matchmaking, the goal is to establish connections based on trust, warm communication, and collaboration. It aims to bring together companies that can benefit mutually from business opportunities and commercial deals through B2B meetings.

Through the service of matching buyers with sellers, one-on-one offline and online meetings are conducted to find customers and suppliers by establishing warm communication. Coimex provides this matching service exclusively among buyers and sellers within its own community.

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Two Coimex members, Hleks from Türkey and Storesome from Kenya B2B Meeting

What B2B Matchmaking Offers You?

Manual commercial matchmaking and subsequent B2B meetings allow Coimex members to come together both online and offline to get to know the matched company and its products. After these meetings, the warm communication process continues in joint groups, including Coimex, leading to potential business deals.

Researching reliable companies on the internet and examining them one by one can be time-consuming. Coimex streamlines this process by matching you with well-known companies and their products, providing information, and organizing online or face-to-face meetings with decision-makers, facilitating warm communication.

Coimex’s Matchmaking:

  1. Saves you time and money.
  2. Facilitates your international trade.
  3. Enables secure meetings with trustworthy companies.
  4. Shortens and simplifies the sales process through warm communication.
  5. Ensures that your agreements are made on a written and formal basis.
  6. Facilitates expansion into new markets.
  7. Increases your profits through new markets.
  8. Provides language support, i.e., translation assistance”
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B2B Matchmaking meeting between Sungrano and Didan

About How Coimex Matches Buyers and Sellers

Coimex matches buyers and sellers but how? Coimex’s main service is providing matchmaking and end-to-end negotiation support. Coimex has an in-depth understanding of the buyer and seller companies within its network. It learns about their expectations, what they buy and sell, and understands their sensitivities. It works as an extension of your team, manually matching you with companies that align with your business. After receiving your approval, it organizes a joint meeting.

Unlike traditional B2B platforms, Coimex doesn’t expect you to do everything on your own after becoming a member. It doesn’t merely offer platform services; it provides you with a range of facilitative and beneficial services for your international trade.

The matchmaking service is provided for both importers and exporters. Depending on whether the service is provided to the buyer or seller, it’s named accordingly.

  1. Customer Matchmaking: When providing matchmaking for the exporter or seller, we call it customer matchmaking. In this service, Coimex brings customers to the seller.
  2. Supplier Matchmaking: When providing this service to the importer or buyer, we call it supplier matchmaking. Coimex brings suppliers to the importer.

Since Coimex has an in-depth understanding of all its members – their profiles, preferences, the type of companies they want to work with, and their specific trade needs – it ensures a suitable match. Coimex doesn’t leave you alone within the system. It acts as a part-time foreign trade employee for companies, representing your business and supporting you in your international trade. The matchmaking is done manually without waiting for your involvement. In other words, this matchmaking doesn’t happen automatically or spontaneously within the system.

How Coimex Matches Buyers and Sellers Manually?

The Coimex team conducts meetings to get to know companies, developing specific foreign trade strategies and matchmaking efforts tailored to each company and its products. Through meticulous work, potential matches between companies are identified. Once a match is identified, contact is made with the company, providing information such as, ‘There is a suitable supplier or customer for you. Their products align with yours, and they are a great fit for your company.’ This initiates the first meeting between the potential customer or supplier, facilitated online with cameras on. This allows both the buyer and seller to see each other, laying the foundation for real and trust-based relationships with actual companies.

During the meeting, mutual questions are asked to address any trust-based concerns. Coimex ensures impartiality and an equal distance between the two parties in all meetings.

After the initial meeting, end-to-end negotiation support is provided.

End-to-End Negotiation Service

Once the matchmaking is done and the initial online face-to-face meeting takes place, this service comes into play. Coimex assumes two fundamental roles during these meetings: that of a mediator and a regulator. Throughout matchmaking meetings and the end-to-end negotiation service, Coimex maintains an equal distance from both parties. During these communications, Coimex does not favor either the buyer or the seller or represent either party. It acts as an impartial mediator, providing equal and fair mediation to both parties.

Mediation Feature: Coimex introduces both parties to each other at the beginning of the meeting. The team offers language support and resolves potential language issues during these meetings. Currently, the Coimex team speaks Turkish, English, Arabic, French, and Farsi. Additionally, Russian language support can be provided from outside the team.

As Coimex is well-acquainted with the sensitivities and commercial needs of both buyers and sellers, it ensures that the meeting is strategic. It facilitates the resolution of questions from both sides, fostering collaboration. Coimex becomes a strategic and driving force to take the meeting towards a commercial agreement and successful sales.

Regulation Feature: When two Coimex member companies engage in trade, certain rules and processes must be followed. For instance, attempting to conduct a sale with only a proforma without a sales contract in place may not be allowed. Coimex regulates the process to prevent such risky situations. If a buyer requests a sample, the seller covers the cost of the sample, but the buyer covers the shipping and transportation costs. Coimex does not allow situations to the contrary.

If an agreement is reached between two Coimex members, the creation of a sales contract becomes mandatory. Making commercial agreements without contracts within the system is not allowed.

Product inspection is carried out. Coimex collaborates with SGS to ensure inspection of goods during the sales process. Sellers are required to handle these SGS procedures before exporting the goods. During this process, the seller is expected to arrange the meeting with SGS. The seller instructs the buyer to contact SGS for inspection. The buyer is responsible for the inspection report’s cost.

When trading between Coimex members, it is mandatory to have internationally valid cargo insurance through a reputable company. Agreements without insurance are not allowed.

Proper and reliable companies are expected to be collaborated with for freight and cargo services. Coimex, in this way, regulates all risky situations in trade.

Typically, since sales are not concluded in a single meeting, Coimex creates a WhatsApp group for these companies after the meeting. This ensures that all questions, answers, and other communication occur within this group, overseen by Coimex management. This way, Coimex monitors both parties and the entire process.

Come join the Coimex community and match with suitable and reliable companies. Organize B2B meetings with the matched firms to find new buyers and sellers. Develop your market and increase your profits.


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Coimex is not just a B2B digital platform. It is a foreign trade community where offline and online worlds come together, offering different services to buyers and sellers, and where members support each other. Coimex gets to know all member companies closely with a boutique service approach. It is well acquainted with their products and needs. Accordingly, it offers various services in different packages tailored to their needs.

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As an international foreign trade community consisting exclusively of reliable companies, even in less trustworthy regions, Coimex contributes to the foreign trade of developing countries, and organizes B2B meetings for its members in the food industry.

Coimex is not merely a B2B digital platform. It is a foreign trade community where both offline and online entities converge, offering diverse services to buyers and sellers, and where members support one another. Coimex adopts a boutique service approach, getting to know each member company closely. It is well-versed in its members’ products and needs, thus providing different services in various packages tailored to their requirements.

Coimex, operating in 108 countries, is not just a digital platform but a community!

Coimex is an international food community that allows you to connect with trusted food companies from around the world and establish trust-based, long-term business relationships. With both web and mobile-based platforms exclusively for its members, Coimex’s seller members provide price quotations, while buyer members announce their product requests. However, Coimex’s contribution to your foreign trade and its services to traders are not limited to this alone.

Coimex supports its members’ collaboration by organizing both online and face-to-face B2B meetings between buyer and seller members. Coimex operates on an annual membership system, and one of the membership packages includes a service that brings buyers and sellers together through online and physical B2B meetings, facilitating end-to-end trade.

How are Coimex B2B Meetings organized?

When a dialogue begins between a buyer and a seller member on Coimex, the process unfolds as follows. The seller member displays the product on the platform along with its current price. The buyer member sees this listing promptly thanks to real-time notifications. Typically, buyer members prefer to reach out to Coimex’s Customer Success department representative rather than contacting sellers directly. They ask questions like, “I saw this listing. Who is this company, and is it suitable for our business?” They request a meeting through Coimex to get to know the company and its products better and to determine whether a business collaboration is feasible.

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Salix Fruits and Stekar at Coimex B2B Meeting.

Alternatively, a buyer company may contact Coimex’s Customer Success representative, saying, “I need this particular product.” They enter the advertisement for the product they want to buy into the system. When seller members see this listing, they often prefer to contact Coimex rather than sending a direct message to the buyer. They ask questions like, “I saw this listing. Who is this company, what should I pay attention to in the trade, and how should I submit an offer?” They request a meeting through Coimex to get to know the company and its products better as listed in the advertisement.

Due to Coimex’s close familiarity with buyer members and its deep understanding of their product needs, sometimes dialogues like the following can occur: Coimex says, “Among our members, there are these suppliers. You might not have seen their listings. This supplier’s products might suit you, so let’s arrange a meeting with this company.”

Coimex schedules an online B2B meeting on a date that suits both parties. These meetings, typically lasting around 30 minutes, are conducted with video and cameras on for transparency. During the meeting, each company introduces itself and its products. They discuss the details of the listing in the system, all questions and answers, and terms. Coimex maintains a neutral stance throughout the meeting, staying equally distant from both the buyer and seller members. This ensures the protection of both parties’ interests, promotes trade, and offers support. With its in-depth knowledge of both companies, Coimex assists in negotiations regarding payment terms. Coimex team, being well-versed in the products, provides help with product details and highlights important considerations. Certificates, documents, and SGS reports are discussed for the secure progression of the foreign trade process. Coimex fosters dialogue between the two members, facilitating agreement and ensuring a secure transaction.

After the meeting, a shared WhatsApp group enables smooth communication involving both members and Coimex. Coimex follows and supports the entire process end-to-end until the trade between members is completed.

We’d like to reiterate that Coimex does not charge any commission from the trade taking place between its members. The Coimex B2B Meeting service is provided within the membership fee.

Exemplary Coimex Offline B2B Meetings

Coimex members also have the opportunity to meet amongst themselves if they wish. How do these meetings happen?

At a food fair, whether as a visitor or exhibitor, seller and buyer companies have the chance to meet.

For example: Our Kenyan avocado seller member had a booth at the Fruit Logistica Fair in Germany. Go Fresh, our member from Kuwait, who is an importer (buyer), attended the fair as a visitor. These two companies had previously connected online through Coimex organization. In fact, they conducted business following this online meeting. At the fair, they met in person, strengthening their bonds.

Coimex's Members B2B Meetings — News

Fruit Logistica Berlin — Coimex Members Came Together at the Fair 2023

Two Coimex members, Athi Farms from Kenya and Go Fresh from Kuwait, met at the Berlin Fruit Logistica Fair held in February. Both of our members shared this meeting on Coiwall, which is Coimex’s commercial social media platform.

Once again, the Kuwaiti buyer company, Go Fresh, whom we had previously connected with online, visited the Turkish seller company, Sumfresh, at their office in Bursa. These same companies met on another occasion during a different visit to Turkey.

Two Coimex Members Met in Bursa and Shaken Hands!

Two Coimex members, MST Enterprise and Go Fresh, met in Bursa and shook hands. Our two members reached an agreement regarding various fresh fruit products such as lemons and mandarins through Coimex, after a successful B2B meeting.

Coimex doesn’t just provide B2B digital platform services. It also organizes meetings between two members until the trade is realized, and offers services such as translation, process follow-up, and contract support if necessary.

A case of Translation Support

Salix, a company from India, was looking to purchase apples. They came to Turkey to visit other apple companies. They visited various apple producers in five different cities. Among the companies they visited was Sum Fresh, whom we had connected online before. These two companies met face-to-face at the hotel where the Indian representative was staying in Adana. During this meeting, when a language barrier arose, a Coimex Customer Success employee joined the meeting via phone and provided translation support to our member.

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Salix Fruits and Sum Fresh, at Coimex B2B Meeting.

At Coimex, members meet through B2B meetings both online and offline, at trade fairs, or in their offices, depending on their preferences. Coimex closely follows and supports all of these visits and dialogues from start to finish. Moreover, apart from the membership fee, Coimex does not charge any commission from these business deals.

Coimex, which knows its members well and keeps track of their activities, encourages and supports its members to write their success stories. Just like these companies, you can also write a success story with Coimex. Join the Coimex community today!

Customer and consumer behaviors are constantly changing and becoming even more diverse. As a result, the promotion of a product or service has become increasingly crucial. Industry fairs still maintain their significance as they serve as opportunities for sectoral gatherings and product and company introductions.

In today’s world, physical fairs still maintain their importance as they provide an opportunity to closely examine companies and products from various locations around the globe. In this era of intensified competition and increased reliance on online platforms, food fairs are gaining significance to enhance visibility in the industry. Therefore, we compiled the food fairs held in Turkey in 2023-2024, for you.

Participating in Food & Beverages Events in Turkey has Several Benefits

    1. Establishing Face-to-Face Communication with Target Audience and Potential Buyers
    2. Rapid Focus on the Target Audience
    3. Increasing Brand Awareness and Demonstrating Industry Strength
    4. Showcasing New and Existing Products to the Target Audience: 
    5. Exploring New Markets and Business Connections
    6. Outshining Competitors in the Market: By participating in fairs, you can gain a competitive edge over rivals.
    7. Better Understanding Competitors and Potential Customer Base
    8. Conducting High-Volume Sales with Exclusive Fair Promotions
    9. Sharing International Trade Experiences for Sectoral Knowledge Exchange: Fairs provide an opportunity to share experiences in international trade and exchange sector-specific knowledge with others in the industry.

Important Food Fairs Held in Turkey 2023-2024

The important international food fairs held in Turkey are as follows:

  1. World Food Istanbul (Istanbul)
  2. CNR Food (Istanbul)
  3. International Food and Beverage Specialty Fair (Antalya)
  4. Halal Expo (Istanbul)
  5. Export Gateway to Africa (Istanbul)
  6. Euroasia Interfresh Fair (Antalya)
  7. F Istanbul Food and Beverage Fair (Istanbul)

World Food Istanbul

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Coimex Team is at the World Food Istanbul Fair

World Food Istanbul is a massive food fair hld in Turkey that brings together global food companies from all around the world in Istanbul. This year, it will take place at TÜYAP Congress Center from September 6th to 9th, 2023. WorldFood hosts over 1,500 local and foreign exhibitors showcasing their products in 70 different product categories and thousands of brands. In addition to attracting nearly 50,000 visitors, the fair is also preparing to host more than 800 VIP buyers from over 70 countries.

CNR Food Fair (Istanbul)

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Following, CNR Food is one of the significant fairs that bring together the global food industry in Istanbul. It will be held from September 7th to 10th at Istanbul Yenikapı-Avrasya Show & Art Center. The fair’s participant profile includes various sectors such as meat and meat products, fruits-dried fruits, and vegetables, dairy and dairy products, confectionery, biscuits, and bakery products, organic products, gourmet products, cereals and legume products, basic food products, food additives, and snacks.

ANFAS International Food and Beverage Specialty Fair (Antalya)

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Thirdly, the 30th International Food and Beverage Specialization Fair will take place from February 6th to  9th, 2024, at the ANFAS International Fair and Congress Center in Antalya. This food fair held in Turkey holds significant importance as one of Turkey’s major HORECA (Hotel/Restaurant/Café) fairs. The participant profile of the fair includes various sectors such as legumes, cereals, spices, solid and liquid oils, meat and meat products, dairy and dairy products, bakery products, additives, chocolate, confectionery, ice cream, wholesale food distribution, seafood, and beverages.

Halal Expo (Istanbul)

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Coimex Corporate Communication and Content Manager, Figen Karaaslan

Subsequently, anohter important boutique fair that brings together halal companies and products in Istanbul. It will be held from November 23rd to 26th, 2023, at the Yeşilköy Istanbul Fair Center. Halal Expo will host more than 500 purchasing professionals from target markets worldwide, including Turkey, the Middle East, Central and Western Europe, the Balkans, and Africa, as part of the procurement delegation program. Additionally, new distributors will be present at the fair. There will be opportunities to establish halal business networks and sectoral conferences during the event.

Export Gateway to Africa (Istanbul)

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Following, the Export Gateway to Africa Fair which will take place on November 21st to 23rd, 2023, is fifth. It will be at Istanbul Yenikapı-Avrasya Exhibition and Art Center. The fair aims to create new markets beyond the contracting European market, establish an extensive trade-export network with Africa for Turkey’s leading sectors, and increase the trade volume between Turkey and African countries.

Interfresh Euroasia Food Fair (Antalya)

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The Interfresh Euroasia Fair, held in Antalya, will take place between September 28th and 30th, 2023. It brings together the sectors of vegetables, fruits, packaging, logistics, storage, and agricultural technologies under the Interfresh Eurasia Fair. The fair aims to create commercial and sustainable business traffic by bringing together participants, visitors, associations, sector unions, public institutions, and organizations.

F Istanbul Food and Beverage Fair (Istanbul)

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Coimex Co-founder, Deputy CEO, Onur Kutlu Gago

Last but not least, the F Istanbul Food and Beverage Fair took place at the Istanbul Expo Center from July 12th to July 14th. This year’s fair was the second edition, following its inaugural event in 2022. The main objective of the fair is to shape according to the industry’s needs, reach alternative exporters and products that will boost the country’s exports to global markets, connect participants with new customers, and offer them new market opportunities.

Did you know that for Coimex Growth Package members who set up a booth at the fair, we organize live B2B meetings on-site during the fair?

If you would like to have face-to-face meetings with other Coimex members at the fair where you also have a booth, you can reach us at the WhatsApp number +90 532 447 92 99


Explore the Growth Package

“Not only is Africa’s population increasing; it not only has the youngest and most productive population, but also Africa’s purchasing power is increasing.”

On June 22, a webinar on “Development in Africa for Food Importers and Exporters” was held with the moderation of Selhattin Urfalı, the CEO of Coimex, and the participation of Lucas Murenzi, the Trade Attaché of Rwanda, and Assistant Honorary Consul of Liberia Jonathan N. Kulah. Murat Can Kılınç, Nairobi Trade Advisor, also participated in the webinar. They discussed many regarding foreign trade, including whether anything can be sold to Africa.

The webinar, which lasted approximately 1.5 hours on Zoom, had registrations from 25 countries. Important strategies for the development of food importers and exporters in Africa were discussed in the webinar and the top 5 strategies were highlighted.

Selhattin Urfalı said: “Dear importers and exporters, welcome to today’s event. I am the CEO of Coimex, a chain consisting of importers and exporters. Coimex is a new generation B2B digital platform, which is a community of foreign traders where we discuss their problems and try to find solutions for them to do business easily and make money safely. Although there are many borders in the world, Coimex says that there are no borders in trade. Especially in the digital world, there are no borders during the COVID pandemic. The digitalization process is rapidly continuing all over the world. The whole world will be digitalized, every city and every village will be digitalized. My father is 80 years old and he has video calls with his supplier in China, which excites me.

Today we really have an international group. Our participants are: 42% from India, 2% from Saudi Arabia, 4% from Ethiopia, 2% from Afghanistan, 11% from Turkey, 5% from Kenya, 2% from Cyprus, 3.6% from Liberia, 3.6% from Cameroon, 2% from the United States, 5% from Pakistan, and other countries 2%. All these participants are either import or export department managers or CEOs of companies.

Our topic today is growth in Africa. Surviving companies survive because they are today’s companies. They are developing and growing. They are more rebellious, out of standards, more futuristic, and more. Today, Africa’s population is 1.5 billion. I looked at the statistics of the World Trade Organization (WTO) today. In 2039, Africa will have 2.5 billion people. So, when we think of today’s world population, it is 6 billion.

If You Develop in Africa Today, You will Win Tomorrow

If you take your place now, if you survive today and develop in Africa, your company will produce and dominate 50% of today’s world in 20 years. Can you imagine that? According to today’s population, Africa is growing faster than other countries. The future Africa will be 2.5 billion in 20 years. First, we must understand Africa and the other countries we will do business with.

5 Strategies for the Development of Food Importers and Exporters in Africa

  1. Building empathy
  2. Think big: Avoiding prejudices, being open-minded and trying to understand the local culture
  3. Employing people who speak the local language
  4. Being honest about providing information
  5. Getting information from other businessmen and collaborators

I want to start with empathy. So our first tip is empathy. For example, I will call it empathy to a tribe in Africa. This is a very important issue.

Jonathan: Thank you. Liberia was one of the first nations to gain independence when it comes to forests and mines. This means that Liberia is still a leader in this regard.

Selhattin Urfalı: Let’s start with empathy. Can we talk about this?

Lucas: Thank you very much. Many people know the history of Rwanda, so 27 years ago… We empathize. As a country, we have an inspiring story, at least to some extent. Because we came from the brink of being a failed state to becoming a beacon of hope for the continent and other developing countries.

The first thing I noticed is that the topic is agriculture-centered. So I would say, don’t be biased against agriculture. It is a sad fact that about 70% of sub-Saharan African countries rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. However, if you look at the contributions to the relevant countries’ national GDPs, they contribute an average of about 25% to 30%. So what does this mean? It means that 70% or 75% of the population is engaged in agriculture, but they earn very little from their work. However, they earn more from jobs like mining and manufacturing.

The second thing is to share the hope we see at the end of the tunnel for the African continent. It’s time for Africa to serve. First of all, as you mentioned earlier, Africa’s population is not only growing, but it is also becoming the youngest and most productive population. Moreover, Africa’s purchasing power is increasing. There are also many investments in infrastructure and integration. Africa understands that it needs to connect. First, we need to work together, open up to each other, and then trade with the world. Railway and road infrastructure is being developed. Airlines are increasing cargo connections. Storage is even facilitating the development of many economic and industrial parks in all countries. Therefore, the increase in infrastructure and integration creates another hope for both the African continent and global partners.

Unlike the past, governance is something that is developing in Africa. We see less conflict, more stability, and more openness. There are more countries that can travel to each other without a visa.

Knowledge is a Very Important Power in Foreign Trade

I think one of the most challenging issues that B2B solutions can address is the lack of information. Without information, people are buying from third parties, purchasing substandard products, and rejecting expired products. There is no other way. And at the end of the day, as embassy employees, our businesspeople often want to get information from us. We ask them where they found the company. They say they found it on the internet. And they expect us to verify the information by going to the address. But this can only happen once. However, if it happens frequently, there should be a solution that simplifies everything. Of course, there are many opportunities, but there is always a financial problem. And financial transactions are also important. There are some uncertainties regarding payment. And people don’t like to try new things. At the end of the day, as you know, the cost falls on the consumer.

In Foreign Trade, Niche Products can Make a Difference

You know, every country has its own niche product. And that’s a good thing when it comes to agriculture. It’s a very diverse and generally broad trade. Not all countries have the capacity to produce the same products. They don’t have the capacity to supply all the raw materials and everything. We are a small country, so we cannot compete with countries like Congo or Tanzania, which have very large territories, we cannot produce more than them or be superior to them. Therefore, our ‘niche’ is usually having high-value-added products that are easier to transport: Low-volume, high-value products. Such as processed coffee… For example, instead of sending green coffee beans, importing roasted and ground coffee that creates the value needed.

anything-can-be-sold-to-africa-map

The Importance of Location in Foreign Trade…

Most people live far from the sea. Therefore, we are trying to position ourselves as a distribution center for international trade companies that want to distribute and sell their products in the region. So how are we going to do this? Of course, the best thing to do is to create a favorable and preferable environment for them to do so. And that is exactly what we are doing in Rwanda. And of course, those closer to the sea may have more advantages than others. However, as a continent, our main vision is for something that everyone can progress together on. You know, the cost of barriers to doing business is extremely high. And at the end of the day, we need to find ways to make both domestic and international trade cheap and affordable for everyone.

SU: There are rules for the European Union in Europe, but I don’t know about the laws in Africa. What do you think, Jonathan?

Jonathan: The laws were probably established a long time ago by someone who was a king or a president. But now, the advantage of the digital platform is that wherever you are, whoever you are, if you have something in demand, you can buy it.

SU: I think I need to find solutions to the problems of foreign traders and exporters. Fourth, we need to be honest when providing information, as everyone agrees on this. Therefore, it is very important to be informative and we need to explain everything.

The fifth point, I would like to say, is digital. But I’m not saying this as an advertisement. Of course, as Coimex, we want more members, but we want them to solve the problems of our members, not just for the sake of numbers. I think the 5th point will come up during the discussions and questions.

Today, among us is Murat Can Kılınç, Nairobi Trade Advisor, who participated in our previous event “Safe Export to East Africa in 8 Steps”. It’s great to see you again.

Murat Can Kılınç: It’s great to see you too. Thank you for the informative presentations.

SU: What was the reason for attending this event? Did this event help you in this regard?

MCK: The event was very good and quite helpful. We thank the organization and also the participants from different African countries.

The main reason for my participation in this event is that I have been working in Kenya for three years and I realized that sometimes we need more insight from African professionals.

SU: Okay, I found the 5th item too. The 5th item: getting foresight from other businessmen and collaborators who know Africa. Thank you.

How is the situation in Kenya, especially in terms of food? Kenya is an important port country. Can you tell us a few things especially for food importers and exporters?

MCK: Actually, many food items are important. When you look at Kenya’s largest imports, you always see some basic things like flour, wheat, date oil, and rice. These products are always in the top 10. These are the products that you can import. Products like rice and wheat are not sufficiently grown in Kenya. Kenya imports such products in large quantities. Of course, there are opportunities and processed goods are still being imported into Kenya.

Construction materials, steel products, textiles, fertilizers, pasta, and flour are exported from Turkey to Kenya. But last year there were a lot of green vegetables and fruits. I see a green light for vegetables in Turkey’s exports to Kenya.

SU: Fresh vegetables?

MCK: Fresh and processed vegetables. Like green peas, for example.

SU: Green peas?

MCK: That’s right, green peas. If green peas are being purchased in Kenya, pay attention to that. This was not the case in 2020. I don’t know what has changed now.

Don’t Be Prejudiced

SU: Anything is possible, everything is possible. Thank you for the information. We were also saying the same thing, don’t be prejudiced based on old figures because the old numbers could be different. If Kenyans have never bought peas before, you would never think you could sell peas to Kenya. But if you get information from a supermarket or wholesaler there, that could make a difference. As Lucas said, you need to get the information correctly.

You need to build the confidence you need. And this happens through giving and receiving, not just by receiving. You need to give something, you need to share something as well.

Jonathan: In addition, the beauty of Africa as a whole continent is that there are many sectors that are underutilized. Therefore, there is nothing impossible for people who are trying to innovate once you create quality resources.

SU: I will ask a question: we said that Africa doesn’t eat cheap food. Is that so? If the answer is yes, then they eat low-value products. If the answer is no, can products that are worth your money be sold more than cheap products in Africa?

MCK: I agree, but I would like to add that there is a very large population in Africa. It is also true that they cannot afford expensive products. I live in Kenya, so I understand better how the middle class is rapidly growing in Kenya. Therefore, you can also see that they are moving from cheaper products to higher-quality products. More and more people in Kenya are demanding higher-quality products and food because the middle class is really growing in this country. And during the pandemic, the Kenyan economy grew by 0.6%. In many other countries, there are negative growth rates. In 2021, the World Bank predicts that Kenya will change and its economy will grow by 6.9%, which is a very high rate.

SU: All of Africa is growing. I checked the trade organization’s numbers. All of Africa grew in 2021.

MCK: Therefore, the people of the future will demand higher-quality products, and demand in the future will be greater than today.

Payment Systems in Liberia

SU: I want to ask a question. How are payment services in Liberia? I’m also asking the same question for Rwanda. How are credit card services and do they have access to international banks here?

Cash always Works well for fast Trading in Africa

Jonathan: We have 10 international banks in Liberia, some of which are open to letters of credit, and some are open to TT payments according to the trade sector. There is still a trust issue with the banking system in Africa. Therefore, they do not use it too much. For this reason, they prefer to keep their money at home. So if you want to do business quickly in Africa, it is better to use cash. For example, if you are involved in forestry in other countries, you just need to send us a route. You need to get a phytosanitary certificate for Turkey. You cannot pay for this with a letter of credit.

SU: Mobile money?

Jonathan: Mobile money is money used through phone banking. You use your phone number instead of a bank account. But I must point out that one of our biggest challenges in Africa is the system. Because we don’t have a standard system. This is one of the biggest challenges that most digital platforms will face. For example, you lend money to someone but you may not find that person in the records. This is a problem if you do not have a standard database that controls that person. In Africa, the government can decide to change a person’s entire passport and everyone can change their passport number. This also creates a problem.

What products can be exported to Kenya?

SU: I want to ask Murat Can Kılınç. Can textile exports be made to Kenya? You mentioned pasta, flour, and green peas. What are the other right products?

MCK: Actually, anything can be possible. A Turkish company even sold a ferry to Kenya. So anything can be sold to Africa.

SU: What can we say about Rwanda?

Lucas: Construction materials, machinery, and textiles are imported from Turkey to Rwanda. Wheat is also imported for food. But the largest percentage is made up of textiles and construction materials.

SU: How about in Liberia?

Jonathan: The situation in Liberia is not about the product. Connections and marketing plans are important here.

Thank you all for your participation. The webinar ended after the Q&A session following the determination of the “5 Strategies for the Development of Food Importers and Exporters in Africa”.

You can find growth strategies in Africa-India-Turkey food trade in this article.

customs -in-the-digitalization-process-container-crisis

During the pandemic, logistics activities in foreign trade were also affected, the global container crisis began and its impact still continues. There were also some changes in customs, as they have found their space in digitalization process, and some changes in the way of doing business.

In this interview, we discussed the ongoing global container crisis and the digitalization process in customs after the pandemic with Yahya Erdogan, the founder of Hür Line Customs Consultancy, one of the leading names in the customs sector.

Mr. Erdogan, first of all, thank you for participating in our interview.

There is an agenda that closely concerns foreign traders: the container crisis. What stage are we currently in with this global container crisis? What is happening?

Yahya Erdoğan: We are right in the middle of the global container crisis. With the COVID-19 epidemic, many sectors and many businesses seized some opportunities. In the beginning of 2020, container freight between Turkey and China was between $1,800-2,000, but now it fluctuates between $9,000 and $10,000.

So, what happened? Let’s start from there, if you wish…
If you look at the shipowners, they say that empty containers are moving back and forth between China and America. Empty containers are in these two countries, and since there are no empty containers here, freight rates have risen. This is what they want to show, but it’s not actually true. Why not? Container manufacturers are constantly producing containers. They have now increased their production capacity by 50%. Our exports are increasing every year. This means there must be containers available somehow. If containers could not be found, our exports would not increase, and goods would remain unsold. But for some reason, there are no containers, and prices have risen because of it. Why? Global crisis, global pandemic, etc.

Where are we in the global container crisis?

Where are we in the global container crisis? Why did it start, and how will it end?
Imagine you are a businessman. You produce a product with a 10-20% cost, and you have a risk. Previously, you made $2,000, but now you make $10,000. The costs are the same, they haven’t changed. Do you see the difference? And do you want to give up this profit, this increase in earnings? Do you want to end this situation at once? Of course, you don’t want to end it. Therefore, in the short term, ending the container crisis is a dream.

So, do we understand that some people want this crisis to continue somehow, using it as an excuse because they are satisfied with high profits?

YE: Yes. So, what happened that caused this crisis? Is it solely because of the pandemic? No, it’s not. If you go back 5 years and do some research, you will see that there were many big players and carriers worldwide. China Shipping was a big player, but it went bankrupt. Hamburg Süd was bought by Maersk. CMA acquired Cosco. They either bought each other or merged. There used to be many players, and it was very challenging for them to come to an agreement and unite. However, now that the number of major players has decreased, it is normal for them to come together and make a decision.

So, in a way, did they create a monopoly?

YE: Yes, a monopoly has been created now. That’s the real reason. The cost of a container is between $1500-2000. Steel production never decreased. There is no shortage of steel and sheet metal to make containers. But for some reason, there are no empty containers. The carriers, i.e., the big players, used to earn $2,000, but now they earn $10,000.

Will the Global Container Crisis End?

So, how can this problem be solved?

It doesn’t seem likely to end with the current carriers and the current system. It also seems challenging to find the old numbers again. Even if the numbers aren’t $10,000, they can be $5,000 or $6,000 in the future. I think it’s a short-term dream to see $2,000 or $3,000 again.

So, when can we see these numbers again?

If country unions, large country groups like the European Union, and new players enter the field, then competition can be created again, and old numbers can be achieved.

What did they say, the container crisis would ease at the end of 2020 or in April 2021, but it didn’t happen. Now there are containers, and there are more containers, but prices are not dropping. One reason for the high commodity prices today is this. If you buy products from China to Turkey, the freight for 10 containers was $20,000, but now it’s $200,000. Your costs have increased. What will you do? You have to add it to your costs and sell. They’ve put the world to sleep well. What’s the reason? Everyone’s talking about the pandemic now. If the pandemic ends, this will end too, they say. But it will only end if people wake up and new players enter the field, but by then, it will be a bit late.

Carriers are also doing this. Previously, everyone would lift their ships. For example, 10,000 containers would be loaded from Mersin Port. Each carrier had 2-3 thousand or 5,000 containers, and the ship was half-full. They don’t do it like that now; they send them on the same ship. They merged, and the competitive environment disappeared. There is opportunism now because of the lack of a competitive environment. They did this by using the pandemic as an excuse. During this process, containers piled up there between China and the United States because of the high volume of trade, and they cannot come here due to the pandemic. They present it as ‘prices increased because containers could not be found.’ This is entirely unrealistic. Even if there is some truth to it, it is minimal.

So, if we say we do not know exactly when these conditions will change, we can also say that we do not know when this container crisis will end, right?

YE: They can tell us that this crisis will end or decrease in 5 months. It’s not realistic. Due to the increases experienced in the last year, they achieved the gains they could have made in 10 years in 1 year. Who would want to give up such high profits? This also creates other opportunities. While the transportation freight cost of carrying 100 containers was $200,000, now the transportation cost of carrying 100 containers is one million dollars. And this situation is causing a continuous increase in commodity prices.

So what can be done to overcome this crisis?

New production lines can be put into operation. Instead of importing from China, there may be a situation of importing from neighboring countries to Turkey. Perhaps trade can be conducted from closer countries rather than distant countries. This could create a production opportunity. New producers and investors can emerge. This also means an opportunity. This can also end the container problem. In other words, if production is done in this geography instead of bringing from the Far East, you can market it in your own country or neighboring country, and there will be relief after a while.

After the pandemic, like many other sectors, we had to conduct foreign trade more over digital channels in the new normal. What was the status of digitization at customs before the pandemic?

YE: Digitization was already present at customs before the pandemic. This step had already been taken. While customs declarations were made manually at the beginning of the 2000s, they were later moved to electronic environment and infrastructure works were completed. By 2019, export declarations were completely transferred to the digital environment and paper was completely eliminated.

After the single window system entered our lives, many applications and documents started to be taken through the system. For example, when you import, you used to bring the foreign exchange transfer letter in a paper environment manually, now you can do it with an ID number. The inward processing document was in paper format before, now it’s in a digital environment. The investment incentive document was in paper format, now it’s in a digital environment. Health certificates for exports were already available in a digital environment before COVID-19.

What changed in customs processes with the pandemic? Did digitization increase during this process?

YE: If you ask how COVID-19 caused a change?

With COVID-19, companies with strong digital and institutional infrastructure were able to work from home during this process. They sent their documents via Cep Gümrük . Those with strong digital infrastructure were able to do these without difficulty. However, companies with poor infrastructure could only work from the office. Thus, it was understood how important electronic infrastructure and institutionalization were. During this process, companies began to strengthen their infrastructure. These steps had already been taken at customs. For example, when origin export documents were prepared, documents such as origin certificate, ATV certificate, Euro 1, and Forma were prepared in the document environment, went to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, were approved and returned. However, this caused a lot of time loss. It was a heavy burden in terms of back and forth and cost. The process had already started before, and it accelerated with COVID-19, and these were moved to the digital environment. Now, all these documents we have listed are prepared in a digital environment.

There used to be an Exporters’ Association Integration, which eased the transactions. Generally, all institutions and ministries were integrated through the single window system. Of course, it is not limited to customs only. Ministries with good infrastructure, for example, the Tax Office had already started digitization before COVID-19.

Previously, when you exported, you presented your declaration in paper form to get the VAT refund, and you received your VAT in this way. But now, the redox system was integrated digitally with customs. Now, these are seen in the digital environment. Correspondences and notifications are also made via e-mail through the e-archive system.

To reduce contact, this was also possible; when you made a temporary import, the products had to be physically inspected by customs officials at the time of exit. To reduce physical contact, documents are uploaded to electronic platforms. If there is any suspicion or negligence, then a physical examination is performed. Companies that strengthen their digital infrastructure and train their staff easily reap the benefits of this.

The Digitalization Process Continues in Customs

With Covid, other processes have also accelerated. The warehouse declaration is now provided in a digital environment in the pilot zone application in Ankara. After the deficiencies are completed and the necessary infrastructure is provided, the entire warehouse processes will be digital. After the warehouse processes are completed, import declarations will also be digitized. Of course, this infrastructure needs to be strong because there are many documents. The infrastructure must be able to handle this. Country infrastructure is also important in this regard. Integration and infrastructure work of not only customs but also other ministries should be parallel to each other. It has been very successful so far. A significant distance has been covered and it will be better and more successful from now on.

Due to the continuation of the pandemic, what is planned under digitalization in customs since physical travel has not been possible for a while?

YE: I can give an example like this; let’s say I have an agreement in Istanbul. I cannot attend this agreement for a reason, I can postpone it. There are some flexibilities compared to the past. However, if you are doing customs procedures, you need to be there. You need to have your office and advisor there. The customs sector is not like others. But, as I mentioned earlier, steps have already been taken. Warehouse processes have been brought into the digital environment with the pilot zone. With the completion of the deficiencies in the import processes, all processes will be moved to the digital environment.

Is there anything that customs or foreign trade workers say “if this happened, it would meet our needs” during this process?

YE: What is currently expected is that the entire industry has a great expectation for the transition of import processes to digital. We will reach this point because we have made significant progress. Trust is actually very important here. European countries started facilitating and simplifying processes about 20 years ago. Taking them as an example, we have introduced Authorized Economic Operator certificates into our lives. Now, Authorized Economic Operator systems have been put into operation. Which companies are in this phase? Companies that are at a certain level in terms of security, corporate and financial aspects can obtain this. In the future, the number of these companies will also increase. Mutual trust is important here. The state will trust the taxpayer, the taxpayer will be honest and trust the state.

With Digitalization, Many Illegal Situations Will Be Eliminated

Everything will be completely legal because it will work in full integration with all institutions. There will no longer be any need for physical documents, only digital documents will be required. In this way, there will be no such thing as fake documents. Everything will be recorded digitally. This will not only be valid nationally but also internationally. Some countries have started this, but it is progressing slowly.

For example, if you submit a certificate of origin to customs, it may be a fake. There will be an institution that will query this. Currently, ICC is doing this. After countries become integrated into the system, it will be possible to see if the document is genuine or not.

As examples like these increase in customs, trade will become easier, a trust environment will be established, and costs will be reduced.

What is the perspective of those working in the customs sector on digitalization?

YE: Customs workers have a very positive perspective on digitalization. It used to be very difficult to find trained personnel in this sector. There were very few people who knew how to use computers. But it is not like that now. Our young people use computers and technology very well. They develop themselves.

Although there are still some who are not ready for digitization, they are preparing themselves and renewing themselves. Because when you become outdated, you are out of the game. You have to constantly update yourself. Everyone is aware of this, and therefore everyone is updating and trying to improve themselves.

If you look at it from the perspective of customs consultants, they use legislation and software programs. They train and develop their personnel. They develop their infrastructure because if they do not do this, they cannot stand on their own feet.

In the foreign trade sector, what is your perspective on digitalization? What do you think about this?

YE: I also have a positive view. The sector also thinks in this direction. For example, in the past, you used to write a declaration of 100 items for 100 items of goods. Writing this would take an average of 1.5 days for your staff. Now, through programs such as uveal, you send the declaration digitally to the customs consultant’s office. Writing that declaration now takes 10-14 minutes digitally.

There is a significant time difference. You are both practical and saving time.

YE: Of course, who wouldn’t be pleased with this? You save time. There is no loss of workforce. The error rate is very low. Thus, productivity increases. Digitalization is perceived positively by both the industrialist and the customs consultant.

Many foreign trade fairs and events are being held online in this process. Do you think traditional methods in foreign trade will evolve into more online methods?

YE: We need to consider physical fairs and online fairs, along with their pros and cons. In traditional methods, for example, if you went to a fair, you would also eat the country’s meals and meet people while you were there. This situation socializes people. It brings the people of that country closer together. These are the positive aspects.

The negative aspect is that a little more money comes out of the boss’s pocket. Because there are travel, accommodation, and food and drink costs. These become costly. In other words, on a physical trip, you will meet new people and maybe establish new commercial connections.

As for online fairs; we save time by participating in the event online. We have no travel, accommodation, and food and drink costs, so nothing comes out of the boss’s pocket. Trade can be conducted online. The employee did not go to the office or the fair physically, but connected from where he/she was and made the trade with very little cost online.

The boss also participated in the online fair. At the online fair, he saw the products and the market. When he went physically, he may have noticed something unexpected, saw an opportunity, and another door might have opened for him. From this perspective, the positive aspect of physical fairs is this.

Here, the geographical proximity and distance of the country we are traveling to also becomes important. If you are traveling to a very distant country or even a different continent, your travel and accommodation costs will also increase. Going to Germany will not have the same time and cost as going to a place in Africa or America, right?

YE: Of course it won’t be the same. Today, going to some African countries and returning safely is almost impossible. Especially for such countries, having events online is a completely positive situation. There is no negative side. Going back and forth to Africa involves vital risks. The best way for Africa is online events.

We may not always be able to travel, we may not be able to go to every country, conditions may not allow it, our age, health status, or financial situation may prevent us from traveling. Not everyone’s physical and financial abilities may allow them to travel and attend physical fairs.

Of course, as you said, the financial situation of the company is also effective here. If you are a large company, you may have a budget for your employees to attend fairs, events and business visits, but smaller companies may not have enough budget for these fairs, events and business visits.

YE: Of course, the financial structure of the company is also important here. About 80% of food companies are small and medium-sized businesses. To make these visits, there must be employees who have foreign language skills. You need educated staff. If the business owner is going and does not know enough language, someone who knows a foreign language also needs to go with them. Along with you, the people accompanying you will also have travel, accommodation and food expenses. Online events and fairs are much more advantageous for such small and medium-sized businesses.

Going to a place physically and having the possibility of capturing new opportunities there is a 10% chance in the industry. However, it appeals to 10% of the sector. From these perspectives, it appeals more to the 90% of the sector online.

What are the effects of conducting foreign trade methods more online than traditional methods on the foreign trade sector and sector employees, in your opinion?

YE: There are only positive effects in every way. There are no negatives. Nowadays, time is very important. When you do foreign trade and foreign trade activities online, you don’t lose time. When you travel physically, you spend time on the way to get on the plane. You spend time during the trip. You also spend both money and time to go from the airport to the place where the meeting will be held. In this sense, online foreign trade is advantageous for everyone who thinks logically and for the industry.

But we also have people who do not know and cannot use technology, although they are in the minority. There are companies that do not invest in digitalization. These people will have to continue using traditional methods until they complete this digitalization process.

These companies can solve this problem by hiring people who know and can use technology in their team, what do you think?

YE: Of course, they can hire someone who knows and can use digital tools in their team. They can also achieve digitalization through a consulting firm. If they try to do foreign trade through digital B2B platforms like Coimex, they will never give it up.

Finally, is there anything you would like to add, Mr. Yahya?

YE: One thing I would like to add is that during the pandemic, healthcare workers were hailed as heroes. They indeed fought heroically. However, the unseen heroes are the customs workers in the customs sector. Why, you may ask? They worked tirelessly day and night without any interruption and without any prohibitions. They deserve to be recognized as heroes. But do they receive the value they deserve? They do not receive enough recognition. The topic we talked about at the beginning, what was the question you asked me? We talked about the container crisis.

For the past 2-3 years, the issue of ordino fees has been discussed. It has also been covered in the news. The ordino fee is currently around 250 Turkish liras. Now, we are talking about large amounts of money for the container crisis. The container tracking form fee is 70-80 dollars. What is the container tracking form fee? If you want to take the container out of the port, you have to pay a declaration fee that allows it in the system. The cost to the operator is a maximum of 5 dollars. You are selling a product that costs $5 for 80-90 dollars, and importers, exporters, and industrialists do not see this. However, customs consultants are in the middle of the firing line. The Trade Chamber is in the middle of Agricultural Quarantine, Agriculture, Exporters Association, transportation companies, port, industrialist, and in the middle of all of these is the customs consultant.

Customs consultants manage foreign trade. Customs consultant fees increase by 9-11% every year, and this causes an uproar. They focus on small things and small fish but do not see things that increase from $2000 to $10,000, as the shipowners do.

My final advice is that those who deal with small things will never grow. That’s why they need to open their eyes. Industrialists should also open their eyes. By focusing on small things, they miss out on big things. Just like now…

One export declaration costs 180 liras, and the cost of another is 5 dollars, and they buy it for 80 dollars without any objection. There is no cost to the ordino fee. Do you know what ordino is? It’s a sticker. It takes one or two minutes for an employee to write it. It has no liability or penalty. They have no objections to it. But the eyes of customs consultants who manage and prepare documents, correct their own deficiencies, and are in the middle of hell are seen as 170-180 liras. It is still seen as a high figure, but it is not a high figure like $10,000. I say to the whole sector and businesspeople, let’s think big. Let’s think big and grow. Let’s make our investments by thinking big. Let’s expand our horizons, improve our vision, strengthen our infrastructure, and see the big things that escape us. That’s all I have to say.

Thank you very much for your valuable participation and contribution, Mr. Yahya.

Interview: Figen Karaaslan

athi-gofresh-meet-fruit-logistica-berlin-fair
Two Coimex members from different countries came together at the fair in Berlin.

Two Coimex members, Athi Farms from Kenya and Go Fresh from Kuwait, came together at the Berlin Fruit Logistica Fair in February. Both of our members shared this meeting on Coiwall, the commercial social media platform of Coimex.

Operating in 108 countries around the world, Coimex is not just a digital platform, it is a community!

Our two members, who have been doing business together in digital for a long time and maintaining their commercial relations, had the opportunity to come together on the occasion of the fair. These two companies from Kuwait and Kenya held a successful B2B meeting at the Berlin Fruit Logistica Fair held between 8-10 February.

These two companies, which use digital methods in addition to traditional ways, thus enlarge their target market, improve their foreign trade and earn more.

Join the Coimex community and start sustainable commercial relations with reliable companies. Share the developments about your company and products on Coiwall.

About Fruit Logistica

Exhibitors from 86 countries and trade visitors attend FRUIT LOGISTICA every year to realize their full business potential within the international fresh produce trade – and to write their own success story!

FRUIT LOGISTICA covers every single sector of the fresh produce business and provides a complete picture of the latest innovations, products and services at every link in the international supply chain. It thus offers superb networking and contact opportunities to the key decision-makers in every sector of the industry.

“By actively and appropriately using Coiwall, you may be visible, promote your firm and products to the industry, and be open to chances through sharing.”

Sharing information about your firm and goods on Coiwall, Coimex’s internal social media platform where our members exchange sectoral knowledge and creative ideas about their products makes you more visible and helps you to advertise your products and company to a broader audience. Through Coimex newsletters, some of your Coiwall posts reach tens of thousands of firms in 108 countries that are not yet active Coimex members. For our members, we prepared this “How to Write Effective Content on Coiwall” article.

Why Should You Share Content on Coiwall?

1) It increases your visibility within the Coimex community

Actively using Coiwall—Coimex’s internal social platform—allows you to get the attention of other members. Sharing information about your company, goods, and industry helps other Coimex members to get more familiar with you and your offerings.

Coiwall Düzenli Paylaşım
A good example of Instanta from our members

2) It improves your company’s trust and credibility

Sharing information about your firm and its products frequently on Coiwall demonstrates that you are an active company in foreign trade. Other members’ trust in you grows as they learn more about your company and products from the posts you have shared.

3) Your posts are sent through newsletters to firms other than Coimex members

Your Coiwall posts are distributed not just to Coimex members on Coiwall, but also to tens of thousands of additional firms and individuals who are not yet members, via e-mail marketing. As a result, you reach more people in your own field.

4) It enables you to track sectoral developments

In addition to contributing information about their company and goods, many firms share sectoral information on Coiwall. Thus, sectoral foreign trade is discussed on Coiwall. This helps you to track sectoral trends better and remain up to date.

5) It offers cooperation and many other opportunities

Besides exchanging product opportunities on Coimex, it helps you to comprehend what type of partnerships you may have with other Coimex members. Through the posts, companies share about themselves, their products, and sectors, it also allows you to see and seize various opportunities.

What Should You Do to Benefit from Coiwall and Get Efficient?

1) Constant posting

You may achieve efficiency by sharing on Coiwall at regular intervals. If possible, Coiwall posts should be shared once a week. If not once every 2 weeks, or at least once a month in the worst-case scenario.

2) Sharing content that will educate and inspire other members

Coiwall İlham Verici Paylaşımlar
Sharing of Hleks, one of our members, about ice cream

Instead of sharing sales-oriented content, it will be most beneficial for everyone to share content that benefits and inspires Coimex and the foreign trade community. Others can benefit from your posts, and you can benefit and be inspired by the content of other members.

3) Prioritizing diversity above uniformity in sharing

Posting about the same subject and uniform content on a regular basis may lead other members’ interests to wane after a time. To avoid this, instead of posting information with identical lines, produce many articles on the same subject, about the same product, in different themes and approaches.

4) Participating in discussions with other postings

Interacting with other companies via Coiwall postings may allow you to interact with additional members, allowing you to communicate and even form new partnerships. Receiving and engaging will boost exposure and draw attention.

What Types of Content Works Best for Sharing on Coiwall?

1) When attending fairs as a company, share visuals from the fairground.

2) Share crucial partnerships, agreements, meetings, or events on Coiwall. For example, meeting with an ambassador, with a chamber of commerce, etc.

3) Inform other members when there is an important development concerning your firm. For instance, obtaining a certificate or establishing a new branch. Entering a new market or being honored.

Coiwall Ödül Paylaşım
Sharing of one of our members, Sum Fresh, about their success

4) A meeting between your firm and one of the other Coimex members. These are the posts we want to see the most in the Coimex community and on Coiwall.

5) Creating a success story in and of itself and sharing your achievement as an inspiration to the sector.

6) When it comes to seasonal items, offering seasonal knowledge helps you to contribute to the sector. For example, the season has begun, and the season is coming to an end. Data on yield and revenue.

Coiwall Hasat Paylaşım
Avocado sharing of Athi Farms, one of our members

7) To share legislative changes pertaining to the product or advancements in international trade. Products, for example, whose import/export is forbidden or limited.

8) When you introduce a new product or add a new product to your product portfolio, it is made available to the community.

9) Sharing the inconceivable, innovative, and unique uses of your product can help inspire and interest other members.

10) Share an eye-catching detail about your product. Working with a single system, for example, and coloring with natural ingredients.

11) To notify customers about unexpected price increases and decreases in the market for the goods. You can provide product information as well as national information.

12) Inquiring about or soliciting feedback from other members on your new product concept.

Actively and appropriately using Coiwall allows you to be recognized, market your firm and products to the industry, and be open to chances through sharing. You may communicate with numerous individuals and take a vital step toward communication thanks to Coiwall shares. The exchange of sectoral information on Coiwall by members guarantees that your international trade information is always up to date. Furthermore, discussing diverse and interesting applications of things might encourage you.

Begin actively utilizing Coimex. Message other members directly and create a success story with Coimex like these two members, and instantly share your accomplishments on Coiwall.