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The Republic of Turkey is the Country Coordinator for the Working Group on Trade and Economic Development for the term 1 July 2016 - 30 June 2018.

Mr. Samir AHMADOV - Executive Manager in PERMIS in charge of the Working Group.
sahmadov@bsec-organization.org



Since it was established in November 1992, the BSEC Working Group on Trade and Economic Development has considered a wide range of issues relating to the trade exchanges and economic cooperation in the Black Sea region.

The Working Group carries out its mandate defined by the Council in its Terms of Reference, as well as in the other resolutions, decisions and recommendations of the Council related to the activities in the field of trade and economic development.

The Working Group is assigned with the tasks of encouraging the promotion regional trade cooperation and economic development by undertaking all necessary measures, pursuing actively, and in a sustainable manner, regional trade, its expansion and diversification by means of trade facilitation and liberalization.

At its Meeting in March 2012, the Working Group agreed on the Plan of Action for 2012-2013 as well as on the priority issues for the BSEC Project Development Fund (PDF).

At its Meeting on 25-26 April 2013, the Working Group agreed to enhance cooperation within the following priority areas during 2013-2015:

a) Identifying constraints affecting intra-regional trade expansion, particularly policy barriers that enterprises have to overcome, and other barriers that hamper the trade of goods and services among the Member States.

b) Facilitating visa procedures for business people of the BSEC Member States, in accordance with the national legislation of each Member State.

c) Recommending to create BSEC networks in the interested BSEC Member States aimed at promoting intra-regional trade and investments.

The Ministers in charge of Economy of the BSEC Member States by the Joint Declaration of the Ministers Participating in the Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Economy of the BSEC Member States adopted in Yalta, Ukraine, on 23 May 2013, agreed to take following practical steps for priority examination of the ways and means of the regional cooperation among the BSEC Member States:

a) Contribute to the liberalization of trade within the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and explore ways of establishing a Trade and Investment Facilitation Mechanism;

b) Continue joint examination and elaboration of mechanisms for elimination of non-tariff trade barriers in the BSEC Region;

c) Make efforts to continue the ongoing process of harmonization of customs and border-crossing procedures;

d) Create favourable conditions for public–private partnership to enhance trade and economic cooperation in the BSEC Region;
 
e) Analyse the possibility of launching an initiative on simplifying procedures of trade within the BSEC – Black Sea Trade Facilitation Initiative;

f) Explore the possibility of the creation by the BSEC Member States of a unified “single window system” (the Black Sea Single Window Initiative);

g) Commence work on possible creation of an information center (Black Sea Notifications and Inquiries Initiative);

h) Call upon the BSEC Member States to further consider possibilities for reactivating and strengthening the work of the BSEC Coordination Center for the Exchange of Statistical Data and Economic Information.

Based on this Declaration as well as Decisions of the Council regarding the implementation of the BSEC Economic Agenda, the BSEC PERMIS has elaborated Working Paper on proposals regarding projects for the priority action areas of the Working Group on Trade and Economic Development, which is now in the process of consideration by the Working Group.

The BSEC Council (Odessa, 21 June 2013) took note of the Report of the Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Economy of the BSEC Member States, held in Yalta on 23 May 2013, and commended Ukraine for the organization of this important event.

The Council welcomed the adoption of the “Joint Declaration of the Ministers Participating in the Meeting of the Ministers in charge of Economy of the BSEC Member States”, and invited the interested BSEC Member States to:

- inform, through BSEC PERMIS, about the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements they will conclude in the future;

- undertake necessary measures for the effective implementation provisions of this policy document.

The Meeting of the BSEC Working Group on Trade and Economic Development was held in Istanbul, on 31 October – 1 November 2013.

The Working Group discussed, amended and adopted the Plan of Action for the period 1 July 2013 - 30 June 2015, elaborated by Ukraine as the Country-Coordinator of the Working Group. The WG agreed to focus inter alia on exploration of possibilities of trade facilitation among the BSEC Member States and setting up an information exchange mechanism, to promote investment cooperation in the Black Sea region within the framework of the Plan of Action of the Working Group.