IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Cost of Borders in the Black Sea Region analysed at Conference
A conference organised by the EaP CSF member organisation "Public Association for Assistance to Free Economy" (PAAFE) in Baku on 30 May 2013 showed that reforms in the area of removal of barriers hindering the free movement of goods, services, capital and people are rather slow. Although trade and investments between the countries of the Black Sea Region is generally growing, certain factors hindering the free movement persist and their removal could foster further economic growth across the region.
Another issue addressed at the conference was the fact that the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) will facilitate diversification of Eastern Partnership countries in economic terms with Azerbaijan being the only South Caucasus country not included in the process. The main reason for this fact identified by the participants of the conference was the inadequate political will of the Azerbaijani authorities especially concerning membership of the country in the WTO. Although Azerbaijan would be capable of fulfilling all required procedures and reforms within one year, the authorities have decided against membership.
A full report of the conference including pictures is available here.