Project activities initiated with workshops on NTMs
With the support of GIZ and ITC, trainings for addressing and eliminating non-tariff measures (NTMs) were organized in all CEFTA Parties. Namely, the workshops were organized in Podgorica, Tirana, Prishtina, Skopje, Sarajevo, Belgrade and Chisinau for both public and private sector representatives. The objective of the workshop was to increase the awareness of the public and private sectors to better understand the use and implications of NTMs and to help strike a balance between legitimate policy objectives and unintended negative impact on businesses. The program covered a wide range of topics including identification and classification of NTMs as well as distinction between non-tariff measures (NTMs) s and non-tariff barriers (NTBs). Moreover, the impact of these measures on the competitiveness of businesses and company’s investment choices was discussed. Finally, a discussion was led about the importance of public-private dialogue in decision-making and how this mechanism, if effectively used, can bring benefits to both public and private sectors.
Two Supply Chains Selected as Project Focus
The project concept envisages the identification of two supply chains for the project to showcase the main difficulties economic operators encounter when trading within the CEFTA region. The project team, in consultation with the project partners, elaborated a methodology to support supply chains selection in a way that responds well to the project's mandate and objectives. The selection of the supply chains was done based on the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and information from a variety of sources, in close cooperation with the CEFTA partners. Based on the final agreement with the CEFTA parties, the project will focus on the following: vegetables supply chain (i.e. edible vegetables with certain roots and tubers) and metals supply chain (i.e. iron and steel).
The national assessments of the current status of implementation of the national programs for Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) in the region will be conducted in October and November 2017. The project will provide expert input to the drafting process for the implementing provisions for a mutually recognized AEO program in the CEFTA region to be finalized with the CEFTA structures in November 2017.
In October and November 2017, GIZ and ITC will be conducting national private sector consultation meetings and national stakeholder consultation meetings under the umbrella of National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) or similar platform for stakeholders' consultation. The meetings will serve as a platform for the private sector to voice their concerns in a manner that can be acted upon through policy and regulatory reforms on national and regional levels through effective public-private dialogue.