OUR NEWS

India and Azerbaijan

Indian companies exploring business opportunities in construction field in Azerbaijan

The delegation consisting of members of Marathi Bandhkam Vyasayik Association (Maratha Construction Business Association) ( MBVA) visited Azerbaijan in order to explore possibilities of joint projects and mutual investment opportunities in Azerbaijan. During the visit, Indian businessmen were acquainted with architecture pieces in Baku, innovations in our country's construction sector and real estate market. For this purpose, Azerbaijan-India Business Forum was organized by the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) of the Republic of Azerbaijan at Fairmont Baku Hotel. During the event, presentations were made on current state of entrepreneurship, investment and partnership opportunities in both countries and discussions held on future cooperation possibilities. to entrepreneurship, measures taken by ASK to attract foreign investments into to non-oil sector of the country and invited Indian businessmen for an active cooperation.

Mr. Vugar Zeynalov spoke about the development trends in the construction sector of Azerbaijan. He informed Indian businessmen about investment procedures, the privileges, as well as existing legislation in our country. Mr. Zeynalov noted that the main purpose of bringing together Azerbaijani and Indian businessmen is to explore opportunities for business cooperation, investment and trade in two countries. He added that joint cooperation would be useful in terms of expanding business relations, attracting mutual investment and establishing joint ventures.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Sanjay Rana touched upon the development of friendly relations between Azerbaijan and India. According to Ambassador, serious political, economic, cultural cooperation and exchange projects are being implemented between two countries. Noting that the Azerbaijani economy is attractive for Indian businessmen, he mentioned that a large number of Indian entrepreneurs are engaged in entrepreneurial activity in Azerbaijan.

Author: http://ask.org.az/

Contact: office@ask.org.az

Baku

Baku workshop of “Benefitting from EU open market: SMEs practical guide to DCFTA learning from experience of Latvia”

On July 7th of 2017 Baku workshop of “Benefitting from EU open market: SMEs practical guide to DCFTA learning from experience of Latvia” project which is financed by Eastern Partnership Countries Civil Society Forum and organized by Social-Strategical Researches and Analytical Investigations Public Union took place. Project is implemented by Georgian Association Women in Business in cooperation with Social-Strategical Researches and Analytical Investigations PU in Azerbaijan and NGO Bios in Moldova.

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The Business Forum "Moldova: Together for Strengthening Economic Growth"

On Monday, July 3, 2017, the Business Forum "Moldova: Together for Strengthening Economic Growth", organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova (CCI of RM), was held in Chisinau in cooperation with the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank BCDMN), the European Business Association (EBA) under the patronage of the Government of the Republic of Moldova. More than 200 people were present at the event.

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The Cabinet of Ministers approved at the June 23 meeting a series of amendments and additions to the Labor Code of the Republic of Moldova

The Cabinet of Ministers approved at the June 23 meeting a series of amendments and additions to the Labor Code of the Republic of Moldova. The measure aims to improve the business environment and the investment climate by improving labor law and redefining employees' obligations.

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"Dual education and other modern forms of workplace training in the countries of the Danube region" workshop

The experience and good practices of the Danube countries on the development of dual education were presented on June 22, 2009 in the workshop "Dual education and other modern forms of workplace training in the countries of the Danube region". The event was attended by representatives of central public authorities, development partners and representatives from Slovakia, Serbia, Germany and Austria.

Economic Policy Advocacy Coalition organised discussion regarding the planned changes and amendements in Georgian Constitution.

Economic Policy Advocacy Coalition organised discussion regarding the planned changes and amendements in Georgian Constitution.

Changes was about tax issues and the right of agriculture land ownership by foreign citizens.

Different Business Associations and Business Support organisations participated in the discussion. After the discussion, written position paper was suggested to the government.

For more information please contact : Maya Eristavi, meristavi@g4g.ge

EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum

EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum

Over 500 high-level representatives from European and Azerbaijani business and government gathered at the EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum on 8 June, and had the opportunity to discuss the current business climate and to establish business relationships, focussing on a large number of sectors that offer opportunities for EU and Azerbaijani companies.

The EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum, organised by the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, in cooperation with the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO) and the German-Azerbaijani Chamber of Commerce, aimed at increasing networking and contacts between the EU and Azerbaijan companies, and at discussing jointly with government representatives, the business climate.

Mr. Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economy of Azerbaijan, Mr. Lawrence Meredith, Director Neighbourhood East of Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR, European Commission), and Mrs. Malena Mård, Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan joined the inauguration of the Forum.

Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Malena Mård, said: "The EU accounts for close to 50% of Azerbaijan's total foreign trade and the EU is the biggest investor in Azerbaijan both in the oil and non-oil sector. The EU-Azerbaijan Business Forum provided an excellent platform to discuss how to further facilitate and increase trade and investment opportunities between EU and Azerbaijan."

Dr. Vusal Gasimli, Executive Director of the Center of Analyses of Economic Reforms and Communication introduced the plenary sessions and deliver the keynote speech on the achievements and prospects of Azerbaijan's economic reforms agenda. This was followed by a discussion in a panel on the same theme, opened by Mr. Sahil Babayev, Deputy Minister of Economy.

In the afternoon, after business-to-business sessions with EU and Azerbaijani companies, the parallel panels focused on: Agriculture and Food, Environmental Technologies, Transport and Logistics, and ICT and E-commerce. The participants exchanged experiences, challenges and opportunities, and established new business relationships.

The participants of the Forum also got familiarized with the results of the second EU Business Climate Report conducted among 100 EU companies operating in Azerbaijan in 2017.

Author: http://www.euneighbours.eu/

Contact: http://www.euneighbours.eu/

Link : http://www.euneighbours.eu/en/east/stay-informed/news/eu-azerbaijan-business-forum-opens-doors-future-cooperation

ISET Policy Institute presented an innovative online platform

On May 23 ISET Policy Institute presented an innovative online platform to civil society organisation, business support organisations, associations, donors and government officials. Platform generates economic reform progress analysis for Georgia and is very usefull for improvement of PPD in the country. The project is funded by USAID, G4G

For more information please visit : www.iset.ge

export-import

The process of simplifying export-import transactions continues

The analyst of the Center further stressed that the amendments to documents required for export and import transactions are based on international best practices, which are also part of the further reform measures aimed at simplifying export-import missions by entrepreneurs. “As you may know, following the economic reforms undertaken by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, several measures have been taken in support of simplification of the export and import transactions for entrepreneurs. Reduction in the number of documents required for export- import transactions will help entrepreneurs to regulate own risks. Phytosanitary certificate required for plant and plant products released through border crossing points will not be required from exporting companies. At the same time, quality certificate required for the export of food products to European Union countries will not be required in the border crossing units. Furthermore, certificate of quality will not be required any more when goods subject to mandatory certification are imported into the customs territory. Entrepreneurs are entitled to obtain the certificates voluntarily in view of the requirements of exported countries. Moreover, under this Rule, the origin will be required should it is required under the Article 10.1 of the “Rules for identifying preferential and non-preferential origin of goods” during the export-import transactions. The amendments to the Rules of the Cabinet of Ministers will also have an impact on Azerbaijan’s position in international rankings, as the decrease in the number of documents will increase the position of the country. “As you may also know, there are different indicators available in the international rankings, which regulate customs activity. Trading across border is one of such indicators. Decrease in the number of document required for export –import transactions will enhance Azerbaijan’s position over this indicator. It needs to be considered that the foreign investors place particular attention to “trading across border” indicator, and with the improvement of Azerbaijan’s position, it is expected to have improvement in the flow of foreign investment in the country.

Concerning the Digital Trade Hub, Nijat Hajizade stated that documents required for made in Azerbaijan products will be issued electronically using one window approach.

“According the Presidential Decree on additional measures to strengthen Azerbaijan’s position as the International Trade Hub and expand foreign trade transactions, dated on February 22, 2017, electronic services will be created which will allow exporters, who submit goods manufactured in the Republic of Azerbaijan according to rules of electronic trade, to receive permissions required for implementation of export operations electronically on the basis of single electronic application, to send export customs declaration, as well as requests for payment of export promotion on the account of state budget to the persons engaged in export of non-oil products.

Author: www.ereforms.org/

Contact: info@ereforms.org

Link : http://ereforms.org/news/the_process_of_simplifying_export_import_transactions_continues-248

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"Academy for SMEs with Export Potential", organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova in collaboration with the EU-funded "East Invest 2"

About 30 local economic agents have been granted certificates of participation in the "Academy for SMEs with Export Potential", organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova in collaboration with the EU-funded "East Invest 2" Project May 10-12, 2017.

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The Moldovan-Turkish business forum, held today in Chisinau, brought together about 200 companies

The Moldovan-Turkish business forum, held today in Chisinau, brought together about 200 companies from our country and Turkey interested in developing joint business projects in the field of trade, light industry, energy, logistics, construction agriculture, etc. The event was organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of RM and MIEPO, on the occasion of the official visit to the Republic of Moldova of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Binali Yildirim.

The business representatives addressed the ambiguities they have in this chapter with officials from the State Environmental Inspectorate, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Finance and the Fiscal Service.

The business environment faces difficulties in implementing the new provisions of the law on payment for environmental pollution and completing the reports on these payments.

The associative sector has called for the issue to be addressed within the Economic Council's debate platform with the Prime Minister.

At the meeting held on 2 May 2017, the business representatives addressed the ambiguities they have in this chapter with officials from the State Environmental Inspectorate, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Finance and the Fiscal Service.

PPD Discussions was held in the Parliament of Georgia

On April 26, 2017 PPD Discussion regarding the institutionalisation of Regulatory Impact Assessment was held in the Parliament of Georgia.

On April 28, 2017 PPD Discussion regarding the insolvency issues and closing the business was held in the Parliament of Georgia.

For more information please visit: www.bec.ge; Contact: Natia Katsiashvili, Business and Economic Center, katsiashvilinatia@gmail.com.

5 Working groups meetings and workshops were organized.

5 Working groups meetings and workshops were organized. Draft of the positions from the country was drafted and suggested in Kiev to the representatives of other EaP countries on April 20.

Country Facilitator presented PPD activities in Georgia to the participants of the workshop on regional paper in Kiev, Ukraine.

During April 3-7 East Invest Activity block was held on the topic of Positioning. On April 3 was the PPD Discussion between parliamentarians, members of the government and private sector on the topics : Chellenges of PPD, Insolvensy, Trademarks, Taxes, Construction. During 4-6 April 3 days seminar on positioning was held for the associations and business support organisations. On April 7, Meeting of coordinators of working group and round table regarding Regional Position Paper was held.

For more information please visit : https://www.facebook.com/PPDGEO/

BSOs and business associations

Series of business events for BSOs and business associations was held in Baku, Azerbaijan between April 11-14, 2017

Within the East Invest 2 project a series of business events for BSOs and business associations was held in Baku, Azerbaijan between April 11-14, 2017. The Series were aimed at encouraging Azerbaijani business associations and entrepreneurship supporting organisations to participate in Public Private Dialogue and to present new advocacy tools.

During the week, representatives of the small and medium businesses sector were able to learn about existing funding opportunities, develop new skills for negotiation and effective networking, as well as to offer key points how to overcome the economic crisis and improve the business climate.During Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday experts from Germany, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan will train Business Associations on the unique seminar on “basic negotiations and mediation” skills. Participants will be able to practice communication skills, that really contribute to the business and social achievements.

The week will end with a Project Development, Implementation and Fundraising Forum aimed at presentation of current technical assistance programs for business associations and entrepreneurship supporting organizations, as well as facilitating networking among donors’, implementers and beneficiaries.

Galyna Yeromenko

EXPERTS / SPEAKERS / CONSULTANTS

Christian Gessl is since March 2015 developing the Public Private Dialogue activity within the EU Project “East Invest 2”. He is one of the representatives of UEAPME in the Project Management Team of East Invest 2. Volker Stoetzner, International Expert in SME- Development projects and Certified Business Mediator (IHK- Germany) and trainer.

Galyna Yeromenko is a PhD. In Law. She is the Director and a Trainer at the Ukrainian Mediation Centre (kmbs).

Fidana Alieva – Bachelor in political science, foreign affairs expert, Director General for the Centre for Mediation and Negotiation (Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic).

Venue and partner the organization :

German-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce is besides being the National Focal Point of East Invest the local organizer for this Activity block.

Author: AQA.AZ Contact: info@aqa.az

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A 3-day work on the Communication and Negotiation Strategy to Improve Public Private Dialogue

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova informs you that in the framework of the East Invest 2 project, in cooperation with the European Association of Small and Medium Enterprises and Handicrafts (UEAPME) and with the financial support of the European Commission through EUROCHAMBERS, organizes a workshop working with a 3-day work on the Communication and Negotiation Strategy to Improve Public Private Dialogue, to be held from April 25-28, 2017.

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First meeting of the Consultative Council for SMEs

On March 17, the first meeting of the Consultative Council for SMEs, established by the Government Decision no. 93 of February 22, 2017 and which aims to strengthen public private dialogue, the development of small and medium enterprises sector, etc.

According to Deputy Prime Minister, Economy Minister Octavian Calmic, the President of the Council, it will become an efficient platform for strengthening the public-private dialogue, to contribute to the examination of draft legislative and normative acts related to the SME sector, to monitor the implementation of state programs to support the sector concerned, as well as to analyze the competitiveness of SME development, to make recommendations for improving the business environment. The establishment of the new structure is stipulated in the Law on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, which entered into force last December. The creation of the Council corresponds to the practices of the EU countries and will lead to participatory attraction of the private and associative sector in the process of improvement of the legislative and normative framework of the SMEs.

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"Business Women Academy" project

300 women from the Republic of Moldova will be beneficiaries of the "Business Women Academy" project. The project will be managed by the Organization for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (ODIMM) in partnership with the International Center for the Promotion of Women in Business (ICAWB) with the financial support of the EU Delegation in the Republic of Moldova.

The new project is aimed at women entrepreneurs in the Republic of Moldova and has as a general objective the promotion of economic and social empowerment in rural areas by reducing gender inequality through business growth and development, change of innovation perception, increased access to modern resources, services and technologies.

New EU project - Support of Competition Agency of Georgia

Launching of new EU project - Support of Competition Agency of Georgia was held. Project aims at fostering the institutional building, economic development and consumers’ welfare in accordance with DCFTA provisions and EU best practices. One of the main objective of the project is competition advocacy and to promote a competition culture within Georgian society. Representatives of private sector was invited in the event and discussion was held.

For more information please visit: www.competition.ge

East Invest 2

Business events for BSOs and business associations were held at Park Inn by Radisson Baku on March 6 - 10, 2017

Within the “East Invest 2” Project, a series of business events for BSOs and business associations were held at Park Inn by Radisson Baku on March 6 - 10, 2017. The events were aimed at encouraging Azerbaijani business associations and entrepreneurship supporting organizations to participate in Public Private Dialogue and to present new advocacy tools.

The week started with the Project Development, Implementation and Fundraising Forum aimed at presentation of current technical assistance programs for business associations and entrepreneurship supporting organizations, as well as facilitating networking among donors’, implementers and beneficiaries. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the experts – Mr. Eric Savoye from Austria, Mr. Igor Severine from Belarus and Mrs. Yuliya Melnyk from Ukraine trained Business Associations on how to position themselves and write professional Position papers. The week ended with a Coalition and Consortia Building Session with international experts explaining the benefits of joining efforts for an effective, resultative and sustainable Public Private Dialogue and joint project development and implementation in Azerbaijan and the Eastern Partnership countries.

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Author: AHK-Baku.de

Link :http://www.ahk-baku.de/en/events-einzelansicht/events/seminar-and-workshop-on-positioning-in-the-framework-of-public-private-dialogue-activity-block/?cHash=9bfecec9b6629de15e40c3ed874a3c2c

Working groups for RPP were formed

Working groups for Regional Position Paper were formed in 5 topics: Business Environment, Access to Finance, Access to Markets, Skills and Innovations, Taxes and Customs and coordinators were chosen.

On March 7, 2017 the Launch Ceremony of the Parliamentary PPD Platform was held in the Parliament of Georgia. Platform was established by the Business and Economic Centre with support of the USAID G4G project : « Strengthening the Public-Private Dialogue Platform in Parliament.

For more information please visit: www.bec.ge; Contact: Natia Katsiashvili, Business and Economic Center, katsiashvilinatia@gmail.com.

General Meeting of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

On February 28, 2017 General Meeting of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum was held.

Officials from the Government and Parliament participated in the meeting. 2016 report was presented and new chairman and coordinators of working groups were selected. Platform unites 160 members.

Platform has 5 working groups. One of the working group is on economic and DCFTA issues. National platform provides recommendations for draft legislation. Chairman of the Platform mentioned that they lack strategic planning.

Tamar Khulordava, head of the EU integration committee of the Parliament suggested to focus on concrete issues and start dialogue with the Parliament. Election of high governing bodies of the national platform was held.

G4G, USAID presented business perception survey on policy reforms to EPAC members.

Objective of the study was to identify attitudes of the business community toward the policy environment. Method of the survey was quantitative and 1000 completed interviews of enterprises from Georgia was presented.

It was interesting that only 7 % from the enterprises name the Business Associations as the source for availability of information on economic reforms in Georgia (other source were: Media – 83%, Government Agencies-23%, Business partners-15%).

For more information please contact: Nino Gachechiladze, Senior Researcher, ACT, n.gachechiladze@act-global.com

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The CCI held the BSO Conference and the Donor Forum.

The CCI held the BSO Conference and the Donor Forum. Representatives of the Business Support Association (BSO) from Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine participated at the BSO Conference and Donor Forum. The event was organized in the framework of the East Invest 2 project and Public Private Partnerships in cooperation with the European Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) and with the financial support of the European Commission through EUROCHAMBERS.

Author: CCIM (facebook page) Contact: camera@chamber.md

Azexport.az

Azexport.az is presented to Sheki entrepreneurs

The meeting of the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication with more than 100 entrepreneurs from Sheki, Balaken, Gakh, Gabala, Oguz and Zagatala took place in Sheki. First deputy head of the Sheki executive authorities Hasan Hasanov said that the development of non-oil sector and entrepreneurship are the priorities of economic policy undertaken in our country. He told that many significant results in this area were achieved because of the economic reforms carried out in last few years. Executive Director of the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication Vusal Gasimli noted that the volume of export orders received by Azexport.az for the first 10 days of February reached US $ 2 million. The biggest part of orders is from China, Russia, Georgia, Egypt, Benin, Belarus, Pakistan, Togo and other countries on the wine, chicken, eggs, various juices, apples, whiskey and other products. According to the executive director, Azexport creates access to all services of export chain - certification, transport, logistics, market entry and payment. In addition, V. Gasimli told businessmen about the ongoing economic reforms in the country and in particular noted the need to use the conditions created for the increase of export potential.

The head of the Azexport.az portal Zaur Gardashov also talked at the meeting. He explained the entrepreneurs the ways of input of goods and services data into the portal. In addition, detailed information on the portal was given to businessmen. About 100 entrepreneurs who attended the event raised questions about the country's economic reforms and cooperation opportunities with Azexport.az portal.

www.ereforms.org/ Date:14.02.2017 Contact: info@ereforms.org link: http://ereforms.org/news/azexport_az_is_presented_to_sheki_entrepreneurs-180

Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship, Association of Legal Entities

Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship, Association of Legal Entities

The Association of legal entities “Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship” was established on August 2nd, 2007 in Minsk on the initiative of regional and sectoral business associations. “National Business Platform of Belarus” became the uniting concept of the Confederation.

Annually this business community presents the Platform to the Government, governmental bodies of the Republic of Belarus, foreign partners and to the public in general. Leading industry business associations and economic enterprises are members of the Confederation. Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship is a member of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the "Confederation of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs."

Business bodies under foundation within the framework of the Confederation are:
• Chamber of Exporters
• Chamber of Importers
• Chamber of Investors
It has representative offices in Latvia, Germany and in China. The Confederation signed an Agreement on Cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus that is in power for four years from 2016 to 2020.
Contact: Vladimir Karyagin - lider@allminsk.biz
Uladzimir Parunou - uladzimir.parunou@gmail.com

Regional Position Paper: Why we do this?

In the upcoming Newsletters you will read a lot about the Regional Position Paper (RPP). Each time having a glance into the details of the one in a new country. The overall objective of the East Invest 2 Project is to support the development of a conducive, economic environment and competitive private sector while enhancing trade flows and investments between the EU Member States and the Eastern Neighbourhood. One of the main targets is to ensure that BMOs (Business Membership Organisations)/Private Sector Organisations can effectively and efficiently contribute to the PPD in the 6 countries, and that, whenever possible, they speak with one voice to public authorities.
To allow BMO/PSO from all EaP countries to jointly express their concerns on the business environment in their countries addressing common issues shared by all or a majority of the countries East Invest 2 – PPD Activity supports the BMO/PSO community to formulate a Regional Position Paper.

The 6 EaP (Eastern Partnership) countries are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In this issue, however, we have a s mall report on the event held in Belarus.

Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship (RCE) has organised the Round table “The road to a Regional Position Paper” on the 20th of January 2017 within the framework of Public Private Dialogue activities in Minsk, Belarus. More than 30 Belarusian participants such as BMOs, local entrepreneurs and NGOs that work in the economic field and international experts from Austria and Armenia have discussed the RPP addressing business environment in all EaP. Countries and on how Belarus and its Stakeholders will contribute to it. During the Round table, the President of “SME CA” NGO Armenia, Mr. Avagyan, and the Director of the Business Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, Mrs. Tarasevich, signed a Cooperation Agreement.
After the session, the Key Expert of East Invest 2, Christian Gessl, gave an interview to the “Belorussian Business Channel” talking about what the businesses in Belarus are missing. You can see the interview, following the link: https://www.facebook.com/bbch.by/videos/vb.

Regional Position Paper Discussion: Ukraine

On January 25 in Kiev Christian Gessl, East Invest 2 Key Expert on PPD, had a meeting with the team of CIPE Ukraine, as well as conducted a discussion on Regional Position Paper.
Anastasia Baklan, the National Facilitator for PPD Activity, East Invest 2 in Ukraine, and Gunther Fehlinger, who are expected to coordinate the work with Position Paper in EaP countries were also present. It was agreed to update the format and content of the Round Table "Position of Ukrainian businesses to the government and international community", which will take place on January 27 in MIM-Kiev.
Leaders and top-managers of business associations, SME support organisations, government officials, experts and analysts will discuss the current version of Declaration and recommendation from private sector organiastions for policy makers, present their views on its improvement and join this international initiative.
In the result of the round table it is expected to form and establish five working groups: Access to Finance; Access to market; Skills & Innovation; Investment & Business Environment; Tax & Customs. The work will continue within these working groups, working out propositions of reforms and recommendations from the private sector for the further projects of European Commission in Ukraine and EaP Countries.

Contact: Anastasia Baklan - anastasia.baklan@ppd-network.org

Seminar on Membership in Belarus

The series of business events for BSOs and business associations were held in Minsk from 16th of January. All activities were aimed to encourage Belorussian business associations and entrepreneurship supporting organizations to participate in Public Private Dialogue and to present new advocacy tools. The week started with the Round Table “Public Private Dialogue Activities in the Republic of Belarus“ in the Republican Scientific and Technical Library, Minsk. 48 participants took part in the Round Table, there were also business associations representing the SME sector, government officials, experts and analysts. The Key-Expert Christian Gessl, expert from EU, Christian Putzer and the expert from Armenia, Hakob Avagyan, explained the benefits of joining efforts for an effective, resultative and sustainable Public Private Dialogue and joint project development and implementation in Belarus and the Eastern Partnership countries. All participants of the round table expressed their opinion and after discussion formed a collective decision. The main value of the Round table was that organizations came together and found common problems and concrete proposals to solve them.
During the three day seminar on “Membership”, the experts Christian Putzer (Austria), Artak Aloyan (Armenia) and Hakob Avagyan (Armenia) trained Business Associations on how to achieve membership satisfaction, attract new members and involve organizations and their members in advocacy – companies. The overall number of participants at the seminar was about 25. The seminars were praised for the relevant content, interaction and there was a friendly rapport between participants and experts.
The local organizer of the both activities was the Republican Union of Employers “BelUE”.
As the Regional Position Paper Coordination Partner, the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship will hold internal Round Table of Business Membership Organizations from Belarus and stakeholders from the Ministries to discuss the Regional Position Paper addressing business environment in all Eastern Partnership countries and on how Belarus and Belarus Stakeholders will contribute to it. This event took place in the business-center of “Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship” on 20th of January.

Contact: Natalia Harbuz - natalia.harbuz@ppd-network.org

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The XVI-th National Exhibition "Made in Moldova"

The sixteenth edition of the exhibition gathered more than 350 companies from various industries, including food and wine industry, light industry, furniture producers, etc.

These days, more than 350 local companies present their products at the XVI-th National Exhibition "Made in Moldova", which will be held until February 5, 2017. The event is traditionally organized by the Chamber of Commerce under the patronage of the Government of the Republic of Moldova.

Over the years, the exhibition has become an effective platform for the promotion of Moldovan products at local and international level. This year, several domestic manufacturers presented their new products and we had the chance to familiarize with some of them.

Author: madein.md Contact: info@madein.md

Call For Proposals

The Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation is happy to announce a Call for Proposals on Quality Assurance and Impact Assessment of the Financial Literacy Trainings.

The relevant project component implemented by SBFIC refers to the trainings on basic Financial literacy. Trainings were launched in 2015 and will last till February, 2018. Currently there are 11 trainers operating in 3 regions: Aragatsotn, Armavir and Vayots Dzor, holding in average 25 trainings per month. The training aims to enhance knowledge and skills, as well as to develop positive attitude and favorable behavior among the target group in the field of personal finance management. The Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation invites all interested parties to submit a Concept Paper including an estimated budget until the 17th of January.

See all the details of the call following the link provided: https://www.facebook.com/sparkassenstiftungarmenia/posts/1830119233898196 Armenian Lawyers' Association

Armenian Lawyers’ Association (ALA), founded in 1995 by a group of the law students from the faculty of law at Yerevan State University, is an NGO based in Yerevan, Armenia. It is a respected, independent and influential NGO which has grown over the last 20 years to become a leading stakeholder in the country’s democratic development. It was previously registered as the Armenian Young Lawyers Association, but recently changed the name to reflect its increasing maturity towards legal and democratic development in the country. ALA focuses efforts in four areas: anti-corruption (policy dialogue, CSO coalition development and investigative journalism), promotion of women’s rights, legal education and free legal advice. It has 5 offices and a staff of 28 including consultants and volunteers.
ALA has implemented a great number of projects independently and with the support of international donors during the last 2 decades. The scope of the projects is really large, and includes: fight against corruption, promotion of women’s rights, providing free legal services to the population, organizing schools for the law students and young lawyers. The organisation cooperated with different international organisations and agencies such as (EU, USAID, OSCE, IRZ,the US, German, Czech Embassies and many others). Information is available in the Annual reports that are published in the ALA’s website www.armla.am).
One of ALA’s main tools is its independent legal news website www.iravaban.net/en/, which is used to highlight key policy issues and influence public opinion as regards the reform agenda. It engages in investigative journalism as well as raising legal awareness among citizens (e.g.,via the programmes Informed Citizen, Power of Law) and contribute to the improvement of the legal field in Armenia by spreading information on different legal issues of both national and global importance.

Contact: Marat Atovmyan - matovmyan@gmail.com

SMEs Will Receive Free Legal Assistance

Armenia lacks the system for protection of whistleblowers in the business sphere, which is based on the innovative technologies.
“We shall try to solve this problem in the scope of “Evidence-based Advocacy for Reform” project. Our program includes innovation aimed to identify the problems in business sector, as well as protection of SME of rights and the dialogue with the Government aimed to implement reforms in the business sector,” Karen Zadoyan said at the meeting with the lawyers of business sector that took place on the 10th of January, 2017. The project is funded by the German International Cooperation (GIZ), which signed a Grant Contract for implementation of the project with the Consortium of the Union of Information Technology Enterprises, Armenian Lawyers’ Association and European Business Association. The lead applicant of the Consortium is the Union of Information Technology Enterprises. The Project Manager of the UITE, Anna Karapetyan, hopes that the project will create incentives for efficient business operations, she referred to an Internet platform saying, “We must have a platform where people can freely, and sometimes unanimously represent their problems, which should have very quick solutions, if possible.” The training of the lawyers from the regional offices of Armenian Lawyers’ Association took place as well. The lawyers would provide free legal assistance to the SMEs in Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Gavar and Kapan.

To read what was said by the Internationa Expert of the ALA, Carl Ulbricht, and Garegin Galustov, the Business Development Manager of the EBA, please follow the link: http://iravaban.net/en/ 149092.html#ad-image-10

Negotiation and Mediation

The first seminar course on the topic of "Negotiation and Mediation" took place in, Tbilisi, Georgia.

So much was learnt and practiced during the three day course with the help of brilliant Experts from Germany, Ukraine and Georgia. Participants watched different fragments from movies and shows. After having some time to think, every time the experts analyzed the cases and clearly explained the tips, key words and other tools that would help the attendees to understand, how the trust is built, what's the art of persuasion and how to avoid being manipulated by others.

The topic is still to be covered in the remaining 5 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. Don't miss your chance to learn the basis of communication and to become more influential in your field.

Contact: Yeva Zeynalyan - yeva.zeynalyan@ppd-network.org

Looking Back at 2016

The year 2016 marked the implantation phase of the Public Private Dialogue Activities under East Invest 2. The Inception phase had ended in December 2015 after 6 Kick-off-Missions to the 6 Eastern Partnership countries to identify both potential participants and local organisers and with a first Activity Block in Georgia in close cooperation with EPAC, the Economic Policy Advisory Coalition. What were the highlights of 2016?
The first regular activity block took place in Chernigiv (Ukraine) on the topic of Communication. The local organiser (Chernigiv Chamber of Commerce & Industry) set high standards with video recording most of the training and discussions and producing an acclaimed short video. Starting in a region not only demonstrated the importance of local initiatives in PPD, but also highlighted the lack of clear focus of many organisations. All together 19 activity blocks were organised in all 6 countries. The latest country to join was Belarus with a first activity block in November 2016 in Vitebsk. The trainings, workshops and discussions gave the participants a clearer picture of what PPD, Advocacy and Lobbying mean in practice and what skills are needed to improve performance and results and what is needed to be done. The “family” of real Business Membership Organisations representing mainly Small and Mediums Enterprises (SMEs) is very small and weak. Most of the associations have few members only, some of them up to 600 members which is not very representative for the sector. Much is needed to be improved to enhance the development of strong Business Membership Organisations. Based on the low membership, low income from membership fees and low level of members' participation in the association's activities, most organisations lack clear focus. Getting a closer connection between the members needs and interests and the work of the association is necessary. Only a reasonably big membership base, a clear focus and expertise in the respective field will make these private sector associations valuable partners for the Government in the formulation of policies and the improvement of the business environment.

The awareness for Public Private Dialogue, how it works and what benefits it can create for both the government, businesses and the general public is very low. There is awareness for civil society in general but not for the role civil society organisations like Business Associations could and should play. This is not taught at Universities, most university teachers are not aware of it and almost none of the students. Working in a Business Association is not seen as a career opportunity and no internships are offered by the Business Associations. Except for Ukraine no University programmes exist to train future Lobbyists and Managers of Private Sector Organisations, giving much room for improvement.

To counter the reality that cooperation between associations is low, workshops were organised to get different associations around a table to discuss coalition building and the forming of consortia. With the lack of a clear focus for most associations the tend to jump on any issue that might arise building a strong competition between associations. The workshops addressed these issues asking for a clearer focus, reducing competition and enabling cooperation. As most of the 6 countries face similar challenges, cross boarder cooperation and forming coalitions were important issues. With the Public Private Dialogue Network a platform was created to spread information and create awareness among associations. In average every 2 weeks a Newsletter was published presenting stakeholders in PPD and talking about PPD related issues. In July 2016 Business Membership Organisations in all 6 countries started to work on a Regional Position Paper highlighting shared concerns and presenting recommendations both to their national governments as well as to the EC and other governments and organisations.

Financing Business Membership Organisations is an important issue. Workshops and Round Tables were addressing these issue starting from Membership fees, service fees for services provided and from projects. Business Associations compared to the “Civil Society Associations” proved very week in formulating projects and applications for funds. As there are plenty of opportunities to raise funds for the development of associations and programmes and also to create services for members around donor programmes this was an important part of the work and will be continued as well in 2017. Last, but not least, at the end of 2016 facilitators for the PPD activities were installed in all 6 countries. Most of the new facilitators volunteered within the activity almost the whole year of 2016. Now they are formally contracted and will help to organise the remaining PPD activity blocks, maintain the contact between stakeholders and assist the Business Association Family in formulating the Regional Position Paper. They and their work will also be presented in the newsletters in 2017.

Contact: Christian Gessl - christian.gessl@ppd-network.org

EU4Business Week in Ukraine

On November 28 - December 2, 2016 within East Invest 2 project MIM-Kyiv Business school with Handicraft Chamber of Ukraine, International Taxpayers Committee and "Business Gathering" held a series of business events for BSOs and business associations within EU4Business Week.
The Project Development, Implementation and Fundraising Forum gathered on the one discussion platform representatives of FORBIZ, COSME, GIZ, USAID (LEV), EBRD and Horizon 2020. Speakers introduced their existing programs for technical and financial support for business associations and enterprises. After the fruitful panels, participants managed to collect a lot of of new contacts for their professional development.
The next three-day seminars were dedicated to Positioning and writing propositions of reforms. Under the direction of PPD experts Christian Gessl, Eric Savoye, Silva Mesropyan and Lubomir Chornii, participants learned how to write documents on important issues (position paper, memorandum etc), as well as draft laws and draft regulations. Since these documents are often perceived by Ukrainian authorities as unconstructive criticism, it is highly important for BMOs and BSOs to be able to submit their proposals in the right way to the public sector.
EU4Business Week was completed by a Coalition and Consortia Building Session, which was focused on the needs and benefits of joint efforts of business associations and business support organizations for the efficient public-private dialogue in the country.
Contact: Anastasia Baklan- anastasia.baklan@ppd-network.org

Regional Position Paper

Business Membership Organisations (BMOs) of all 6 EaP countries are working together on a joint document since almost one year, and the work on it will be intensified in 2017. Similar problems in the EaP countries will need similar solutions, so why not work on such recommendations together? The process was started with an assessment to find out that the main topics for Small and Medium Enterprises in all countries are limited access to finance, limited access to skilled workers and innovative solutions, limited access to markets and value chains and difficult business environment.

Addressing these issues is difficult as the existing Public Private Dialogue has its limitations. The joint document will give recommendations based on this assessment to the local, regional and national governments, the European Commission and other stakeholders like governments and donors. The recommendations will mainly look for problems connected with the main industries dominated by SMEs that are Agriculture, Food Processing and Tourism and look into environmental and energy solutions. For the moment working groups are being formed to discuss solutions.

In the following newsletter additional information will be provided to you. If you are interested to join the effort or get more information, contact Christian Gessl via christian.gessl@ppd-network.org.

Analytics in Azerbaijan

Public-Private Dialogue Network jointly with German-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce organised event series within the East Invest 2 project. The series of business events for BSOs and business associations take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, between December 5 and December 9, 2016, year in the Park Inn Hotel.

20 representatives of BSOs, BMOs and SMEs participated in the events.The Series are aimed at encouraging Azerbaijani business associations and entrepreneurship supporting organisations to participate in Public Private Dialogue and to present new advocacy tools.
The week started with the Project Development, Implementation and Fundraising Forum and followed by 3 days training on "Analytics" by experts from Austria, Estonia, and Ukraine. They trained Business Associations on how to do the right analytical work for effective Advocacy, Lobbying, and participation in Public-Private Dialogue. The week ended with the Coalition and Consortia Building Session with international experts explaining the benefits of joining efforts for an effective, resultative and sustainable Public Private Dialogue and joint project development and implementation in Azerbaijan and the Eastern Partnership countries.
Contact: Nazanin Javadova - nazanin.javadova@ppd-network.org

The Annual Anti-Corruption Ceremony

“In fact we strive to change our country. We strive to have a competitive legal state, where the citizens are not thinking of leaving the country at the first opportunity, but they want to stay here to create good and to develop it,” Mr. Karen Zadoyan, President of the “Armenian Lawyers’ Association” NGO, Coordinator of the Secretariat of the CSO Anti-Corruption Coalition of Armenia said at the Annual Award Ceremony dedicated to the International Anti-Corruption Day.

H.E. Dr. Piotr Antoni Świtalski mentioned two big obstacles in the fight against corruption. One is when government officials believe that corruption is not a problem and try to find excuses. And the second one is when the public believes that there is no other way out of this situation. However, according to Mr. Świtalski, the Armenian society and government are ready to combat corruption.
After several given speeches the award ceremony started. The awards were handed to citizens and organizations, which were distinguished in fight against corruption.
Among other awards, we would like to mention the “CSO of the Year”, that was handed to Hakob Avagyan, the President of SME Cooperation Association” NGO for the protection of the interests of business representatives and for proposing procedural solutions in case of corruption problems.
The full text is available at: http://iravaban.net/en/146334.html © Iravaban.net

Three Bottles of Juice

While the weekend spent with the Armenian Lawyers' Association in Aghveran, the participants of the "Corruption Risks in the Business Sector of Armenia" conference were told an interesting story by Marat Atovmyan.
"There's a quite interesting situation, where state authorities urge entrepreneurs to refrain from bribing tax and customs authorities while dealing with them and operate exclusively within the law, but the private sector representatives point out that in such case they will not withstand competition and will become bankrupt," he said, during the final workshop. According to him, the state should not only deal with appeals, but also create a system that will eliminate the risk of corruption in these areas. Mr. Atovmyan brought up a remarkable example of the systematic practice of solving the issue that is used in Singapore. "A public authority asked for 6 bottles of juice for the examination that a businessman wanted to start importing to Singapore. During the procedure, only three bottles out of 6 were used, and the rest were untouched. When the public authority informed the businessman about the resu to carry out an examination, taken by 6 bottles of imported juice. A few days after the body of the entrepreneur to call and ask them to come and pick up the bottle 3, which are not used. The businessman said that there is no need because he treated the body of employees. The official said in a strict tone, that this is impossible, since it would be regarded as corruption. The next day, the official 3 bottles, the acceptance certificate in hand, accompanied by a witness at the office of the entrepreneur and returned them," the expert said.

You can read the full article at this address: http://iravaban.net/143047.html