International Network

West Balkans Purchasing Initiative: Online event
09/07 2020 // International

West Balkans Purchasing Initiative: Online B2B-Matchmakings

September.BU: The Western Balkans purchasing initiative goes online for 2020 – due to the Corona Pandemic this year, the BME implements this high-profile event on a digital format with B2B meetings taking place between 8th and 22nd of September 2020. Photo:

In times of Corona more than 25 German companies have registered for online B2B-matchmakings with qualified suppliers from the Western Balkan region from 8 to 22 

For 2020 the BME leads, on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), the sixth edition of the Western Balkans Purchasing Initiative, alongside its partners, the German Chambers of Commerce (AHK) of the Western Balkans (Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania). This project aims to the support the market development programme for SMEs, developed within the framework of the BMWi strategy.

With over 2000, B2B meetings arranged throughout the years, this series prove to be not only a success but also a means for procurement professionals to dive into new markets. The quality and preparation of companies from the Western Balkans has improved steadily. Many German companies have built up their supplier base in this region in recent years alongside the BME.

Ideally, the BME, AHK’s and BMWi, together with the Rhine-Neckar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, would have liked to welcome the buyers and suppliers personally in Mannheim this year. However to ensure the safety of the participants throughout this pandemic, the necessary adaptations were made. “In Corona times, our approach has to change,” says Olaf Holzgrefe, Head of the International department at BME “nevertheless, over 25 German companies have registered to participate in the online B2B matchmakings; we have exceeded our own expectations in assisting our members through these challenging times". For the first time, all B2B conversations will be conducted virtually. "Due to the great response and the help of our local partners the West Balkans AHK’s, we have decided to extend the initiative from September 8 to 22, 2020 to accommodate more easily to the individual needs of the buyers setting an example by serving our members despite of the challenges faced due to Corona.” emphasizes Holzgrefe.

"The face-to-face meeting is missing in an online B2B, and it is important, especially in the initiation phase of business, but with our experience and the insurmountable help of the partners we strive to alleviate the challenges faced by our buyers, through this economic crisis," says Olaf Holzgrefe. 

Contact: Giselle Canahuati, Phone: +49 6196 5828 – 186, E-Mail: giselle.canahuati(at) 


Bild von Olaf Holzgrefe
Olaf Holzgrefe Head of International & Affairs
+49 6196 5828-343
Bild von Marlene Grauer
Marlene Grauer International Project Manager, Project Coordinator Procure2Innovate
+49 6196 5828-129
Bild von Lisa Immensack
Lisa Immensack International Project Manager, Project Coordinator ConnectAchat
+49 +49 6196 5828-345
Bild von Giselle Canahuati
Giselle Canahuati International Team Assistant
+49 61969 5828-186