"Black Sea Pack" partnership forum

18 Jun 2008

UNDP, in partnership with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, is organizing the first Black Sea Partnership Forum for the Packaging Industry, the ‘Black Sea Pack’, in Istanbul, 18-19 June, 2008.

Istanbul - The Forum  is being organized within the framework of the Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme.  The overall aim of the Programme is to support economic growth and development in the Black Sea sub-region through closer economic integration and to expand intra-regional trade and investment links among Black Sea Economic Cooperation Member States.

The Black Sea Partnership Forum was inaugurated on 18 June by the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Secretary General, Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos and the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Representative and UN Resident Coordinator Mahmood Ayub.

Both highlighted the importance of the Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (BSTIP) as the first ever private sector-driven programme having a holistic approach to economic integration in the region. Bülent Barlak, Executive Board Member, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, also addressed the audience during the welcoming address.

For their part, Dimitris Giannos, General Director for International Economic Policy, Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Hellenic Republic and Ambassador Celalettin Kart, Director General of the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey addressed the participants during the opening speech and drew attention to the significance of BSTIP in contributing to the promotion of trade and investment linkages among enterprises in the black sea region.

The Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme is co-financed by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greek Ministry of Economy and Finance, UNDP and BSEC. It is the first programme jointly co-financed by the Government of Turkey and Greece under the auspices of UNDP and is also the first partnership project between UNDP and BSEC.

The Programme is expected to  promote regional economic development, develop trade and investment linkages between BSEC Member States with positive impact on the reduction of poverty, and offer improved dialogue among countries with political tensions. Increased trade and investment links will be generated with the private sector of the region and new partnerships will be developed with business support organizations.

The beneficiaries of the programme are small and medium enterprises, and special emphasis is given to enterprises managed by young and women entrepreneurs. The programme is being implemented in cooperation with local chambers of commerce and business support organizations in each of the BSEC country.

Last year, on 3 December, 2007, the Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (BSTIP) Kick Off Meeting was organised in Athens which brought together business support institutions (representing the focal points of BSTIP in each of the BSEC country) to discuss and arrive at a concensus on priority  sectors  for  all  the  BSEC  countries. Subsequently, intra-regional  trade  promotion  activities  will  be  organized  by UNDP on the selected sectors in the form of Partnership Forums.

The ‘Black Sea Pack’ is the first Partnership Forum organised within the framework of the BSTIP and focuses on the Packaging Industry. The event, which takes place during 18-19 June, is hosted by the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO), which is a leading partner and sponsor of the BSTIP in Turkey.

Some 100 companies attended the Forum, representing the business community of the 12 countries of BSEC, and engaged in the packaging industry. Companies invited to the Forum were carefully screened by UNDP to match them with other business partners in the region, based on their expressed interest for pursuing business opportunities in a specific area of the Packaging Industry.

During the event, face to face meetings were organised on behalf of the companies to provide them with a platform to discuss such opportunities as well as explore other options such as joint ventures, transfer of know-how and networking arrangements.

These face to face meetings constituted the large part of the Forum. A series of presentations on the current trends, environmental aspects and compliance with the EU requirements for the packaging industry were also held during the one and half day event.

UNDP and BSEC strengthened their partnership with the signature of an Agreement of Cooperation on 28 June, 2007, at the BSEC Secretariat in Istanbul, between UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis and BSEC Secretary General Ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos.

The Black Sea Economic Cooperation was established to create a unified regional economic regime in June 1992. The Organization has 12 member states today including Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

For more information

Lovita Ramguttee

Tel: +90 212 323 1720

E-mail: lovita.ramguttee@undp.org,