South Caucasus Regional Trade Study Exhibited at ISET
Friday, 09 November, 2018

On November 9, ISET hosted the presentation of the South Caucasus Regional Trade Study, which was carried out by the Private Sector Development Research Center (PSDRC) through an SDC-funded project, “Facilitation of Trade in the South Caucasus”, implemented by the UNDP.

The study analyzed the integration of the South Caucasus countries into international markets, and how the strengthening of bilateral relations between Georgia Armenia, and Azerbaijan could contribute to the countries’ sustainable development, help to stimulate inclusive growth, overcome poverty and protect the environment.

The South Caucasus is a small but strategically important region at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The region’s economies are deeply integrated into global markets through trade, capital, and personal mobility, but have weaker intra-regional economic ties. The deepening integration of transport and energy infrastructure and intensive personal mobility are all factors pushing the countries of the region closer together, despite small intra-regional trade flows.

The region also shares the same sustainable development challenges, including poverty, a lack of decent jobs, and environmental problems. Trade and transport links are the growth engines for the region, but key gains are generated outside the region. Among other recommendations. the Study suggests keeping trade barriers in the countries low to capture these gains and to lower trade costs by improving trade facilitation.

The event was attended by a number of executives, including Olivier Bürki, SDC Regional Director, Swiss Cooperation Office for the South Caucasus; Louisa Vinton, Resident Representative, UNDP Georgia; Jean-Frederic Paulsen, Chairman of the Governing Board, ISET; and Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.