Ready to Trade programme, an EU4Business project for the Apparel sector

Project details

Together with the International Trade Centre (ITC), CBI implemented the Ready to Trade programme in the Eastern European Partner countries:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Ukraine.

CBI’s activities focused on the apparel sector in the Republic of Moldova and the Republic of Belarus. This sector was identified as the most promising for export to the European market.

33 SMEs from the apparel sector in Moldova (16) and Belarus (17) participated in the project. These companies produce womenswear, bridal wear, childrenswear, Cut, Make and Trim (CMT) and workwear.


During the project, the SMEs from Belarus and Moldova received individual company coaching from CBI experts. They participated in online and offline training sessions on topics relevant to exporting to the European Union (EU). And as a result, they all produced an export marketing plan. They also worked on a Corporate Social Responsibility plan or code of conduct for their company. Besides this, they attended European trade fairs and online matchmaking events. Via these events, they presented their companies to an international audience. This helped them make important market connections.

The COVID-19 pandemic created challenges for the participating companies. Still, the project managed to help the companies develop new business strategies. By focusing on e-commerce and online marketing, the project helped the SMEs become more resilient and future-proof.
Of the 33 participating SMEs:

  • 31 had international business transactions during the project period;
  • 32 participated in digital or physical trade fairs and made a total of 662 new business contacts; and
  • 12 reported an increase in international trade despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With ITC, CBI also organised several training sessions and market entry activities for SMEs in the agrifood sector in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine. These activities focused on:

  • Market requirements;
  • Costing and pricing;
  • Market information; and
  • Trade fair participation.


About the EU4Business Initiative

EU4Business is an EU initiative. It helps SMEs in the 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership region to realise their full potential and boost economic growth. For more information, visit the EU4Business website

The International Trade Centre was a partner in this project. The European Union funded this project.

To contact the participating companies, please contact Programme Manager Afke van der Woude via the contact form.

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