‘Black Sea Pack’ Partnership Forum

18 Jun 2008

Remarks from

Mahmood A. Ayub

UNDP Resident Representative

Turkey Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Resadiye Cad. 34112, Eminonu

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by expressing my pleasure to represent the United Nations Development Programme at this important event, surrounded by the business community of the Black Sea region. We are pleased to organize this first Black Sea Partnership Forum for the Packaging Industry, the ‘Black Sea Pack’. Allow me also to thank the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce for agreeing to host and sponsor this important event, which is the first Partnership Forum organised within the framework of the Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme.

I am proud that the United Nations Development Programme, which I represent in this country, is implementing this Program, which is co-financed by the Government of Turkey, the Government of the Hellenic Republic, the United Nations Development Programme and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. This partnership is indeed a historic moment for UNDP. It is the first program jointly co-financed by the Greek and the Turkish Governments under the auspices of UNDP. It is the first partnership between UNDP and BSEC. And, most importantly, it is the first program in this region having a holistic approach on regional economic integration.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Black Sea Economic Cooperation, set up in June 1992 and which today comprises of 12 member states, was established to create a unified regional economic regime. A quick look at some of the data generated and studies conducted on intra-trade and investment data suggests a significant untapped potential for trade and investment expansion within the BSEC region, particularly in the non-oil sector. New developments in the region have further expanded such opportunities, namely the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, and Turkey being granted the status of accessing country.

Ladies and Gentleman,

As you all know, intra-regional trade and investment cannot be promoted without the direct participation of the business community. Yet, what is lacking to date in the sub-region are private sector driven initiatives designed for the specific purpose of expanding intra-regional trade and investment.

The Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme is a direct response to this. It is a private sector driven initiative, with the overall objective 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 target beneficiaries are enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized ones, with special emphasis on those managed by young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are gathered here in this hall to discuss business opportunities in the Packaging Industry.  The ‘Black Sea Pack’ is the first Black Sea Partnership Forum focusing on the packaging industry, being organized within the framework of the Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme. Subsequent intra-regional trade and investment promotion activities will also be organized  by UNDP in the near future on priority sectors which have the most significant intra-regional potential. These sectors have been identified based on a recent Study carried out by UNDP on the intra-regional trade and investment potential in the BSEC region and following consultations with the business support organizations from all the 12 countries of BSEC (who are present among us today).

I sincerely hope that the facilitative platform that this Forum is offering, in particular the B-2-B (Business to Business) meetings, will benefit your enterprise in terms of identifying new business partners from the region in the packaging industry. This meeting has been carefully organized by UNDP to match your respective business interests, based on a thorough screening of the company profile you have submitted to us.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me conclude by emphasizing that the Black Sea Pack is YOUR meeting and has been organized on YOUR behalf. I would encourage you to make the most of these face to face meetings to discuss business opportunities and other options of mutual interest.

I am confident that, with the support of the business organizations present in this room today, new business opportunities in this emerging industry, the Packaging Industry, will be identified and developed further.

I wish you success in this meeting.  Thank you.