IN THE SPOTLIGHT
First Business to Business Meeting of the Eastern Partnership Trade Panel
When the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Panel was set up, one of the agreed items in its working plan was to hold Business to Business meetings. These meetings would involve business representatives from the multilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership.
The first ever meeting of the Business to Business (B2B) trade representative was held on 25th – 26th November 2010 in Brussels. Up to 6 representatives from businesses and supporting private and public institutions from Eastern Partner countries were invited. European institutions and EU business representative organizations Eurochambres, Business Europe, EBRD and EIB were also invited.
The two-day meeting proved fruitful in terms of information exchange.
Representatives of EU Directorates Generale of Trade (DG Trade) gave a lenghty presentation about the different systems of involvement of businesses in the trade-related negotiations between the EU and other countries or regions. These include the Transatlantic business round table, Round table of industrialists with Russia, Round table with Japan business etc.
Eurochambres and Business Europe explained the role of their organizations in the lobbying for interests of business within the EU institutions. The participants received a detailed briefing about the present state of negotiations on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) among the EU and EaP countries.
There were several interventions from EaP countries and EU members states which disclosed how the business and civil society at large are involved in the civil dialogue with the public authorities in EaP countries.
The EESC representative informed the participants about organized civil society dialogue on an EU level. In his capacity as the EU coordinator of WG 2, he spoke also about the CSF as a tool for the multilateral civil dialogue. He presented to the participants the recommendations adopted by the WG 2 at the EaP CSF Berlin meeting, held recently. Several of the participants from the EaP countries also attended the Berlin meeting .
The second day was dedicated to exchanging information and experiences on how to increase the influence of the business organizations on the economic and legislative decision-making bodies in their countries.
Eurochambres presented the recently signed contract to implement the EU programme, EastInvest, which would provide support to the business representative organizations of the EaP countries.
It will also enhance the business contacts of all enterprises involved.
The power point presentations will be available and sent to all participants.