The Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk, a new EU4Business project implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, was launched in late 2019. The 5 year long initiative aims to increase economic ties between the EU and the EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine).
The project will:
- provide trade information on the region and the EU via an online portal
- identify regulatory and procedural trade obstacles through company surveys
- facilitate the reporting, monitoring and resolution of obstacles via an online reporting system
- build national capacity to collect and process trade in services data for selected sectors
- train companies and business support organisations in the use of selected market analysis tools to enable them to identify new opportunities, within the EaP region and in the EU.
Enhancing access to regional trade information
The EaP Trade Information Portal will complement data available from national web sites, and include:
- Market trends: trade flows, trade indicators and export potential data for trade between the EaP countries and their trade with the EU;
- Market requirements: customs tariffs, trade agreements, rules of origin, internal taxes compulsory requirements applied by the six countries and the EU on imports and exports;
- Export guides for selected products
- Business contacts: listing of companies and their contact details, searchable by product.
ITC will collaborate with the relevant government agencies in each country to collect the latest trade data and information on tariffs and non-tariff measures, enabling the continuous update of information on the online portal. To strengthen the provision of trade in services data, the project will build the capacity of relevant institutions in each country to collect and process services data for selected sectors. The portal will be developed in English with the first level of the interface available in Russian and in each national language.
Building market analysis skills
An extensive training programme will be provided for companies, business support organisations and government entities in order to strengthen their ability to identify export opportunities and prepare market reports based on the information available through the portal.
Identifying and monitoring trade obstacles
Surveys of companies in each country will be undertaken to identify and document the different obstacles they face in relation to trade in goods and services. The results of the surveys will serve as an evidence-based guide for policy makers seeking to reduce these impediments.
To monitor trade impediments on an ongoing basis, an online enquiry system will allow companies to submit issues to a problem-solving network at the country level. National authorities will be notified automatically about the problem or enquiry submitted and will be able to react by providing information, advice and practical solutions. The information collected through the system will enable policy makers to monitor trade barriers and to put in place remedial policies or required reforms where appropriate.
For more information about the Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk, please contact ITC’s Trade and Market Intelligence Section at firstname.lastname@example.org