CLDP Results in Europe & Eurasia
The establishment of the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) coincided with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990. As former Communist countries moved towards more democratic and free market principles, the U.S. Government recognized the opportunity to work with these transitioning countries to support their efforts for change. In 1992, CLDP was tasked with assisting countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union with the commercial law reforms necessary to achieve economic and political integration and stability.
CLDP provided WTO accession technical assistance to six of the first eight post-Soviet states to join the WTO (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Albania and Moldova) as well as Russia and Ukraine. CLDP organized a number of consultations and workshops that took place both in the host countries and in the United States. In addition, CLDP maintained full-time advisors and assistance support offices in Moscow, Chisinau, Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Bucharest, Sofia, and Tirana and continues to maintain an office in Kiev. For countries that have successfully acceded to the WTO, CLDP continues to provide technical expertise by helping those countries meet and uphold their post-accession obligations. The technical assistance provided by CLDP for WTO accession and implementation is providing a forum for international change and economic growth so that these countries, and the U.S. companies interested in doing business with them, can take advantage of the benefits inherent to WTO accession.
SOUTHEAST EUROPE INITIATIVE
The countries of Southeast Europe have suffered economic hardship throughout their transition to elected governments and free market economies. The U.S. Government, along with the international donor community and various world partners, determined that assisting the region’s transition to a market-oriented economy through trade integration and liberalization was the best way to prevent future conflict in the region and ensure overall economic growth and development. CLDP’s Southeast Europe Initiative program has assisted the countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia under the auspices of the Stability Pact, to develop a legal and business environment better suited to attract increased trade and investment. In addition to assistance with trade liberalization, resulting in the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), CLDP has primarily focused on working toward the removal of arbitrary non-tariff barriers to trade. Specifically, CLDP has assisted the regional coordination of WTO standards relating to the Customs Agreement and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement, resulting in further cooperation in both customs and SPS areas.
From October 1992 through September 2004, CLDP assisted the Government of Albania (GOA)’s efforts to improve the environment for international trade through legal, commercial, and institutional reform. CLDP played a key role in Albania’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2000, during which the GOA instituted significant legal and regulatory reform measures. Similarly, CLDP’s work in Albania helped to build institutional capacity within the GOA to facilitate the creation of a coherent and effective trade policy. CLDP thus contributed to an increased skill and knowledge level of government officials in achieving greater implementation of the WTO Agreements and negotiation of bilateral Free Trade Agreements. In 2002, CLDP was instrumental in establishing the Albanian Center for International Trade (ACIT), which continues to promote regional cooperation, strengthens the managerial capacities of Albanian firms, and helps create a business-friendly policy and regulatory environment.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
CLDP’s work in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) has included assistance with WTO accession and implementation, participation in working groups as part of the Southeast Regional Initiative program, and more recently, intellectual property enforcement. Through consultations in the US, workshops in BiH and training module development with the Judicial and Prosecutorial Trainings Centres in FBiH, Republika Srpska and Brcko District, CLDP has been able to contribute to the enforcement of intellectual property rights in BiH by creating a critical mass of BiH judges, prosecutors, customs officials and state police trained in the enforcement of IP laws. Through CLDP’s programmatic efforts, BiH can better provide for fair, efficient and consistent adjudication of intellectual property disputes. Please click here to learn about CLDP’s current programs in BiH.
While CLDP’s work with Kosovo initially began with UNMIK/Kosovo’s participation in the Southeast Europe Initiative Program, its technical assistance expanded to include work on IPR protection for the country’s emerging ICT sector. CLDP held workshops in Kosovo for the IT sector on software licensing, IP ownership in the case of joint software development or IP ownership under a work-for-hire software development model. The goal of these workshops was to work with local industry leaders to help them understand the benefits of developing their own intellectual property and demonstrate the advantages of intellectual property rights enforcement. Please click here to learn about CLDP's current programs in Kosovo.
CLDP’s efforts to assist Moldova in expanding its trade capacity were primarily two-fold. First, CLDP facilitated regional discussions to help Moldova become more effectively integrated with the Southeast Europe nations through its participation in Stability Pact programs. Second, CLDP provided customized consultations and workshops designed to help Moldova improve the implementation of its WTO obligations. Moldova, through CLDP assistance, published the Economy and Reform Monogram, a key tool in increasing knowledge of the WTO and the impact of WTO obligations in Moldova’s business sector. CLDP also helped the government of Moldova train its officials and the trade community on issues of compliance with international norms such as rules of origin and government procurement.
CLDP’s work in Russia focused on increasing local support for WTO accession by countering misinformation and negative press regarding the impact of WTO accession through education about the positive impact WTO membership would have in Russia. CLDP facilitated Russia’s progress by implementing training programs and consultations designed to reduce barriers that were impeding Russia’s completion of its negotiations for accession. In the late 1990’s, in addition to organizing regional events on WTO accession, CLDP’s WTO Information Office maintained a website and published articles and other works to help the Russian government educate the public about Russia’s progress in integrating into the global trading economy. The campaign also involved programs designed to reduce negotiation barriers and strengthen the capacity for intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement among the members of the judiciary and Rospatent, Russia’s Patent and Trademark Office. CLDP's IPR programs in Russia expanded to training intellectual property lawyers, regulators, and judges to improve their IPR knowledge and technical skills. CLDP published an English-Russian Dictionary of International Trade Terms and an IPR training manual.
Since 1992, CLDP programs in Ukraine have served as a catalyst for change through a variety of activities that encouraged the adoption of international norms, strengthened government institutions, and facilitated the necessary changes undertaken by the Government of Ukraine (GOU) in order to accede to the WTO. CLDP, through its long term Resident Advisor and active support of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, worked closely with the Ministry of Economy that spearheaded Ukraine's successful WTO accession effort in 2008. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko formally recognized CLDP's contribution in assisting the GOU through the WTO accession process with a Diploma from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The Diploma, the highest award given by the GOU, was presented to CLDP by then Minister of Economy Bogdan Danylyshyn on December 25, 2008. CLDP continues to work closely with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and other government agencies to increase capacity to implement WTO obligations.
For over five years, CLDP sponsored Ukraine's WTO website, which was updated on a daily basis and provided information on the WTO and related trade topics. The site was a principal source of news, trade data, and legislative developments in the context of Ukraine's WTO rights and obligations. CLDP is currently implementing various programs on the implementation IPR legislation and working on trade capacity building with government agencies and the private sector. Please click here to learn about CLDP’s current programs in Ukraine.
CLDP, Armenia’s National Foundation for Science and Advanced Technologies (NFSAT), and the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) organized workshops in Armenia on “Academia to Business Technology Transfer and Technology Licensing”. CLDP’s goal was to initiate a process to create a critical mass of Armenian specialists equipped with the knowledge and the skills required to successfully commercialize discoveries made by Armenia’s academic community, and to act as an effective interface between this community and the business community. Please click here to learn about CLDP's current programs in Armenia.
Georgia experienced major economic, social, and political consequences as a result of the August 2008 military conflict and the global economic crisis that followed. As part of the U.S. assistance to Georgia, CLDP was tasked by the U.S. Department of State: (1) to provide technical assistance to increase and diversify Georgia’s exports by developing the capacity of Georgian agricultural producers to take advantage of U.S. trade preference programs such as the GSP program (Generalized System of Preference), and to help such producers understand U.S. standards and regulatory requirements for food and beverage imports; (2) to assist Georgia’s National Intellectual Property Center (Sakpatenti) to develop an Electronic Filing System for Patents and Trademarks; and (3) to provide technical assistance to Georgia in the domain of R&D commercialization, technology transfer and technology licensing.
CLDP’s workshops on U.S. Import Standards for GSP-Eligible Agricultural Products, which took place in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, and Batumi, Georgia for 125 government officials, trade association representatives, and private sector agricultural producers, received widespread press coverage in print, radio, and television. In a television interview, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili praised the workshops and encouraged Georgian businesses to attend programs such as the one held by CLDP. Please click here to learn about CLDP’s current programs in Georgia.
The Department of Commerce-led Business Advisory program began in 2006, following Secretary Gutierrez’s August 2005 visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. The U.S. Government committed to send a volunteer U.S. private sector executive to advise the Kyrgyz Prime Minister on the development of economic policies and legislative reforms that could create an environment conducive to increased trade and investment for the Kyrgyz Republic. CLDP helped launch the advisory program in the spring of 2006 when Richard Stegemeier, UNOCAL’s former CEO, was selected as the advisor. CLDP’s work in Kyrgyzstan has since focused on increasing U.S.– Kyrgyz business opportunities and on targeting sectors that are conducive to increased trade and investment for the Kyrgyz Republic. Its technical assistance has helped equip the American Chamber of Commerce in Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyz businesses and associations advance U.S.– Kyrgyzstan commercial relations. Please click here to learn about CLDP’s current programs in Kyrgyzstan.