Georgia, as one of the founding members of Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) is an active facilitator of regional economic partnerships. In this context, the BSEC is an important platform for the promotion of regional interaction through sectoral cooperation among Member States of the Organization.
Georgia during its Chairmanship-in-Office (1 July – 31 December 2021) is going to focus on achievable and practical priorities contributing to the sustainable development of the wider Black Sea Region and continue the efforts made by the previous Chairmanships on improving daily lives of people in the BSEC countries.
This year will be an important year for the BSEC with significant developments in the areas of post-covid economy building and promoting result oriented regional cooperation. Thus the Chairmanship will facilitate to reenergizing the economic development of the BSEC Member States as well as providing added value to existing efforts to address regional challenges.
The Georgian Chairmanship motto, “The Black Sea - Waves of Innovation”, refers to the common future of fusion of the digital and physical realities, as well as the growing utilization of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and the Blockchain technologies.
Indeed, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chairmanship will be mostly digital in nature, capitalizing on videoconference technology to ensure interaction and lively discussions with the BSEC Member States.
Georgia will focus on the following thematic priorities for its Chairmanship:
- The Georgian Chairmanship will focus on efforts for the reinvigoration of the tourism industry, which was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the Chairmanship intends to promote and encourage the BSEC Member States to coordinate efforts for active engagement of tourism agencies. We need to ensure that the Black Sea area remains an attractive destination and that the sector continues to make a significant contribution to the economies of the Black Sea States. Georgia will focus on the exchange of knowledge and best practices on concrete challenges related to the recovery of tourism. Thus part of its agenda for the Chairmanship will be to advance progress in synergizing the large number of regional tourism initiatives.
- The Chairmanship will facilitate further development of innovative resources and technologies, to spur public-private partnerships and enhance regional cooperation on IT issues. Through its Chairmanship, Georgia will call for the BSEC countries to start taking concrete actions to harness the existing expertise and facilitate collaboration between industry, researchers and public policy experts to increase access to innovative solutions. The spread of digital technologies empowers the people with access to information, job opportunities and services that improve their standard of living, create new business opportunities within the region. Given digital transformation sweeps the world, it is paramount to promote further discussion about widespread adoption in public and private institutions of innovative technologies, including the Blockchain.
- Having secure, competitive and affordable renewable energy sources is important for the sustainable and long-term growth of the BSEC economies. Development of renewables such as hydro, wind, solar energy and new technologies to safely utilize them is a priority for global economies and the BSEC region is no exception. During its Chairmanship Georgia will concentrate on sharing experience in producing renewable energy, where innovations, accessibility to finances, environmental protection as well as other important elements are key for clean energy development policies.
At a time when the region continues to struggle with the destabilizing socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia strongly believes that the BSEC is a crucial platform to mobilize support for recovery efforts in the countries affected by the virus. As such, Georgia aims to further enhance the BSEC’s role in building economies back faster.
The Georgian Chairmanship-in-Office will strive to encourage further strengthening of the BSEC-EU cooperation. The numerous multilateral and thematic programs of cooperation of the EU with the BSEC Organization are vital tool to achieve this objective.
In addition, Georgia intends to promote trust among the BSEC Member States to work towards peace and stability in the region, to navigate existing challenges and ensure that the Black Sea remains the sea of calm and cooperation.
Meanwhile, it is essential to continue the efforts to advance the Secretariat’s advisory role with richer, more up-to-date analyses and recommendations. Other priorities include enhancing coherence and the overall performance of contributions from the BSEC Member States to become more impact-driven while Georgia’s Chairmanship will seek to channel its convening and bridging role in support of national and system-wide partnership and cooperation.
Georgian Chairmanship aims to foster solidarity and enhanced partnership relationship with all Member States, the BSEC’s Related Bodies, Observers and Sectoral Dialogue Partners to ensure sustained economic recovery and a more sure-footed path towards confidence building in the region at large.