PLAN OF ACTION
OF THE BSEC WORKING GROUP
ON TRADE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Country-Coordinator: REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
I. GENERAL OBJECTIVES
This Plan of Action of BSEC Working Group on Trade and Economic Development defines main objectives for the development of trade and economic cooperation in the BSEC region for 2016-2018. The activities of the Working Group in this term shall be guided by the BSEC Charter, the Istanbul Summit Declaration on the Black Sea Economic Cooperation signed on 25 July 1992, the principles and priorities consolidated in the Istanbul Summit Declaration on the Occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (Istanbul, 26 June 2012), the BSEC Economic Agenda: Towards an Enhanced BSEC Partnership (Belgrade, 11 June 2012), Decisions of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Declarations adopted by results of the Meetings of Ministers in charge of Economy on 17 May 2011 in Bucharest, on 23 May 2013 in Yalta and on 29 May 2015 in Chisinau.
II. PRIORITIES OF THE 2016-2018 TERM
In the context of the current challenges facing world economy and our region, supporting intra-regional trade and investment is essential for the development of the BSEC countries.
The BSEC Economic Agenda: Towards an Enhanced BSEC Partnership adopted in 2012, guides our initiatives in this regard by setting Intensifying Intra-Regional Trade and Investments as the main objectives under the Priority Areas of Action.
The last Ministerial Meeting held in held in Chisinau on 29 May 2015 members have adopted the Joint Declaration on Facilitating Intra-Regional Trade and Investment. With this Declaration Ministers declared that they give priority consideration to trade facilitation among the BSEC Member States and supported ongoing efforts at the relevant BSEC Working Groups to establish a Regional Trade Facilitation Strategy for the BSEC Region in conformity with the standards and rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ministers also encouraged initiatives to develop cooperation mechanisms among the BSEC Member States in the sphere of electronic commerce, with the aim to create conditions to develop a barrier-free, secure and transparent cross-border e-commerce environment, in the BSEC Region.
Thus, establishing a Trade and Investment Facilitation Mechanism in the BSEC Region, for further enhancing trade exchanges among the BSEC Member States, in conformity with the standards and rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is the priority of Turkey’s term as country-coordinator.
The last meeting of the Working Group, held in Moscow on 26 May 2016 registered some progress in this area. An experts’ group meeting will be held in Istanbul in November to finalize the draft Regional Trade Facilitation Strategy for the BSEC Region, prepared by the BSEC PERMIS as an integrated text in light of the proposals and comments made by the Member States and the UNECE.
Here, the proposals of Russia on Frameworks for BSEC E-Commerce and for BSEC Single Window Cooperation would complement the trade facilitation studies under the Working Group. Turkey is aiming to finalize and adopt these frameworks with the contribution of all members in the 2016-2018 period.
Another area that the Working Group should work on in this term is setting up an information exchange mechanism on trade and economic Issues in the BSEC Region for promoting intra-regional trade and investments. The next meetings of the Working Group would also elaborate on this issue.
III. ENVISAGED MEETINGS IN THE 2016-2018 TERM
• Special Meeting of Experts on Trade and Economic Development, 28 November 2016, Istanbul, Turkey
• Working Group on Trade and Economic Development, 29 November 2016, Istanbul, Turkey
• Working Group on Trade and Economic Development, April 2017, Istanbul, Turkey (tbc)
• Meeting of the Ministers of Economy of the BSEC Member States, 11 May 2017, İstanbul, Turkey (tbc)
• Workshop on “Our Collaboration Point: Commercial Registry” of the BSEC Countries, 19-20 April 2017, Istanbul
• Working Group on Trade and Economic Development, November 2017, Istanbul, Turkey (tbc)
• Working Group on Trade and Economic Development, March 2018, Istanbul, Turkey (tbc)
• Technical Experts Meeting in Collaboration with the ITC for the Establishment of BSEC Trade and Investment Facilitation Mechanism (tbc)
• BSEC and UNESCAP Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, Joint Capacity Building Workshop on Paperless Trade and Single Window Cooperation (tbc)