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 The 15th Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States that was held in Moscow on 1 November 2006 decided to contribute financially and in-kind to the proposed UNDP joint project “Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme” (BSTIP) thus, showing a strong political commitment to increase intra-regional trade and development, and further promote cooperation in the field of SMEs.

The principle objective of the project is to support economic growth and development in the Black Sea region through closer economic cooperation and with the direct participation of the business community. In particular, the project aims to expand intra-regional trade and investment links by identifying the untapped investment and trade potential in the sub-region and put into place the mechanisms to exploit it. The region’s Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs) will be actively involved in the project under the principle that improving and facilitating intra-regional trade links can lead to economic growth. Activities of the project will include trade flow analyses to identify priority areas, market surveys, buyers/sellers meetings, and investment partnerships in specific areas with intra-trade regional potential.

 The UNDP considers the Black Sea region as an area of strategic significance, gradually integrating into the world economy and where economic development is an important factor to promote stability. Because intra-BSEC trade currently accounts for less than 10% of the region’s total trade the project intends to expand contacts between SMEs in the region and achieve a higher intra-BSEC economic activity. This, consequently, will have a positive impact on poverty-alleviation and will contribute to the dialog between the Black Sea countries.

 During the ceremony, both Organizations emphasized the key role of BSEC in contributing to the success of this business oriented project by mobilizing the relevant national and regional institutions and increasing awareness on the importance of promoting economic activity and development. With this UNDP joint project BSEC is showing a strong political commitment to increase intra-regional trade and development, and further promote cooperation in the field of SMEs.

 For  information on the joint BSEC-UNDP project "BSTIP" please refer to  www.undpforblacksea.org

 Signing of BSEC-UNDP Memorandum of Understanding on 28 June 2007

BSEC Member States
Albania
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bulgaria
Georgia
Greece
Moldova
Romania
Russia
Serbia
Turkey
Ukraine