eBay to help Turkish business export to Europe
Global e-commerce giant eBay and its Turkish unit GittiGidiyor are developing a project to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Turkey export their products to Europe. Sellers that open a shop on GittiGidiyor will be able to start selling to Europe via eBay. The government’s recently announced export incentives prompted the effort, company executives said at press conference on Wednesday.
But the project has been delayed by the absence of online payments system PayPal, which was forced to leave Turkey last year after its license was not renewed. eBay expects PayPal to return to Turkey to realize the new project, executives said.
PayPal declined to move its servers to Turkey following an order from the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency and instead withdrew from the Turkish market in June 2016. PayPal was popular with Turkish users, especially for overseas transactions, and its market share in Turkey was more than 12 percent, or about $800 million.
Waiting for PayPal
Now there is speculation PayPal might return to Turkey. That would require them to eventually move servers that handle Turkish transactions to Turkey. Until then, overseas transactions would use a PayPal system called Cross Border. GittiGidiyor General Manager Oget Kantarci said his company is preparing infrastructure to help Turkish SME’s expand abroad. Sellers who open a shop on GittiGidiyor may begin exporting via eBay to Europe. “We won’t just leave SMEs to their own fate in Europe. Content about products will be translated into the target language automatically,” said Kantarci. “Maximum transport costs will be 5 euro. We already signed billateral agreements with each country. We are just waiting for the problem with eBay’s payment system to be sorted out.”
Eben Sermon, an eBay vice president, said Turkey’s huge potential makes it an attractive place for online retailers. “Considering the young population and internet penetration of 58 percent, Turkey is a tremendous market with huge potential,” he said. “The current e-trade volume of 18 billion lira is expected to reach 40 billion to 45 billion lira by 2020. It’s equivalent to the market size of Spain and Italy.”
Sermon also said that e-trade should be a priority for Turkish policymakers. “The communication between the public and private sector should be improved, and retailers should be included into the world of the internet,” he said.