Europe & Eurasia

CLDP’s earliest programs involved working with countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia to help those countries transition to economically stable, market-based economies integrated with the rest of the world. Many of these countries have since tied themselves to the world economy by joining the WTO, the European Union, or both. Recent programs have focused on continuing to work with both the public and private sectors in countries in Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus, and Central Asia to further align those countries’ rules and processes with international best practices to create attractive business environments for domestic and international businesses.

CLDP’s recent substantive areas of work in the Europe and Eurasia region include:

  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI);
  • Liberalizing trade regimes;
  • Promoting investment;
  • Improving regulatory transparency;
  • Enabling environments for small and medium-sized businesses;
  • Fighting waste and corruption;
  • Encouraging the growth and sustainability of women-owned businesses;
  • Building judicial capacity;
  • Protecting intellectual property rights;
  • Simplifying and improving customs processes;
  • Equitable public procurement.

All projects are aimed at maintaining an attractive, consistent, and fair business environment for domestic and international businesses. Projects seek to align those countries’ rules and processes with international best practices to create attractive business environments for domestic and international businesses.

Where helpful, CLDP provides assistance through regional programs in which countries are encouraged to strategically coordinate and, where possible, harmonize their rules and procedures with neighbors to lead to the best possible economic outcomes for those regions as a whole. The regions in which these programs take place include the Southern Caucasus, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and Southeastern Europe. CLDP also conducts programs to focus on the specific needs of individual countries within each of those regions.

 

SOUTHERN CAUCASUS

The Southern Caucasus is a critical component of the “Middle Corridor of the New Silk Road” trade route that connects China to Europe.  The United States has recognized the strategic and economic import of this corridor and has played a critical role in its development through joint initiatives that increase regional connectivity.  CLDP’s regional programs in the Southern Caucasus facilitate joint initiatives and common programs to expand cooperation in three areas: enforcement and protection of intellectual property rights, promotion of alternative dispute resolution, and harmonization of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards with international best practices.  These programs help open new markets for U.S. and Western investment by strengthening regulatory frameworks, enhancing the rule of law, and expanding protection for intellectual property.

In addition to these regional programs, CLDP conducts bilateral programs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

Armenia

CLDP programs in Armenia are aimed primarily at reducing the uncertainties associated with doing business by building transparency in the public and private sectors and enhancing the capacity and competencies of critical public institutions.  CLDP’s institutional capacity building programs focus on promoting competition and ensuring fair and transparent public procurement. CLDP also helps to create an environment for growth of private enterprises including franchises.

Azerbaijan

CLDP’s programs in Azerbaijan focus on key reforms to promote diversification of the country’s economy.  Areas of focus include but are not limited to judicial capacity building, strengthening the ability to protect and enforce intellectual property rights, and assistance with Azerbaijan’s continued process towards acceding to the WTO.  Moreover, CLDP focuses on regional integration and harmonization of Azerbaijan through technical assistance on commercial arbitration, legislative reforms, and implementation and enforcement of Azerbaijan’s anti-corruption strategy through rule of law development.

Georgia

CLDP supports Georgia’s continued transition to a free market economy through programs that promote sustained economic growth.  CLDP programs improve the capacity for commercial dispute resolution by training Georgian judges to effectively manage and resolve complex commercial cases.    CLDP also trains legal professionals to handle commercial disputes through litigation or alternative dispute resolution.   CLDP assists critical public sector institutions implement effective policies and initiate legal reforms.  Through this institutional support, CLDP enhances the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, strengthens and simplifies customs procedures, promotes competition, and helps to align public procurement processes with international best practices.

 

CENTRAL ASIA

CLDP facilitates meetings of expert level working groups comprised of relevant interested stakeholders from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Aligning with the goals of the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, the C5+1 Platform, and other U.S. government initiatives, the working group meetings seek promote region-wide commitments to economic reforms, regional and international economic integration, and stable development.  These regional working groups cover key issues in the areas of trade; Customs Issues, Standards and Technical Barriers to Trade, and Sanitary/Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures.

In 2019, CLDP launched an expert level working group focused on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection. The same year, CLDP initiated an expert level working group focused on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Whereas the Customs, Standards, SPS, and IPR Working Groups gather government experts, the Women’s Economic Empowerment brings together women entrepreneurs from the region.

Each of the working groups CLDP facilitates supports implementation of international trade-related best practices, including, where applicable, WTO requirements, promotes fair and less-restrictive trade policies and practices, and seeks to increase market access for foreign and domestic businesses in the region.

In addition to the regional working groups, CLDP conducts bilateral programs in the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The Kyrgyz Republic

CLDP’s work in the Kyrgyz Republic includes work on strengthening the Kyrgyz Republic’s ability to protect and enforce intellectual property rights and support for aligning public procurement processes with international best practices. These programs help to enable the business environment in Kyrgyz Republic and to reduce opportunities for corruption. The protection of intellectual property rights plays an important role in inducing technological change and facilitating economic growth. As noted by the World Bank, transparent and accountable public procurement systems have the power to catalyze private sector development by opening access to business opportunities, improving the business and investment environment, enhancing competition, and promoting economic growth.

Tajikistan

CLDP’s work in Tajikistan focuses on encouraging greater harmonization of rules and regulations with international best practices, such as those promulgated by the WTO. Among CLDP’s work in Tajikistan, programs include assistance to the government of Tajikistan to reform its public procurement practices and to strengthen Tajikistan’s capacity to protect and enforce intellectual property rights. Robust implementation of international treaties, such as the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), can help developing countries address transparency, competition, and corruption in public procurement. The protection of intellectual property rights plays a similarly important role in economic development, including by inducing technological change and facilitating economic growth.

Uzbekistan

CLDP’s work in Uzbekistan is focused on supporting Uzbekistan’s recent rapid transformation into an open and transparent economy with strong ties to the region and the global trading system. This focus includes technical support for Uzbekistan’s plans to develop its capital markets and programs that support Uzbekistan’s desire to rapidly accede to the WTO. As is evident throughout the world, properly established capital markets, backed by robust enforcement mechanisms, have the potential to unleash previously unseen levels of private sector participation in Uzbekistan’s economic growth. Similarly, intellectual property rights protection helps create an incentive structure that encourages research and development, which in turn leads to increased innovation. Increased innovation generates greater rates of economic growth. Thus, CLDP’s work in both areas aims to enable greater economic diversification and build a more attractive investment climate, which will help Uzbekistan maintain its vigorous pace of reforms.

 

EASTERN EUROPE

CLDP programs in Eastern Europe provide assistance for countries to become increasingly economically self-sufficient and connected to the global economy and trading system.

Regional programs consist of joint engagements involving Belarus and Moldova. These programs include supporting cooperation between Belarus and Moldova on the proliferation of corporate governance rules, establishing expert-level working groups on efficient customs processes, and public procurement reform to align the rules of Belarus and Moldova with international best practices. In addition to these regional programs, CLDP conducts bilateral programs focusing on specific assistance needs in Moldova and Ukraine.

Moldova

CLDP’s programs with Moldova focus on building the capacity of government officials to conduct reforms aimed at bringing Moldova’s trade and regulatory regime in line with international best practices. These programs include professionalizing and simplifying public procurement processes, supporting more efficient and effective customs practices, promoting good regulatory practice and regulatory transparency, laying the groundwork for the development of women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises, and reducing opportunities for corruption.

Ukraine

CLDP’s programs in Ukraine help the government of Ukraine institute reforms aimed at reducing opportunities for corruption, eliminate unnecessary or wasteful formalities, and bring trade and regulatory processes in line with international best practices. These programs include support for more transparent and predictable customs processes that will help Ukraine attract investment and more easily link Ukrainian companies to global value chains.

 

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CLDP programs in Southeastern Europe, also known as the Balkans, focus on the creation of expert level working groups to improve the commercial climate of Southeastern Europe as a whole and to encourage increased trade and investment in the region. CLDP’s work in the Balkans is focused in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, and Serbia. The working groups include support for coordinated regional customs reforms in line with international best practices and regional judicial capacity building to combat corruption and enhance the ability for judiciaries throughout the region to handle complex commercial cases.

CLDP technical assistance supports a Regional Balkans expert level working group for customs officials from each country on trade topics particularly relevant to trade facilitation and efficient customs administration.  The meetings/workshops seek to help customs officials learn the requirements of the WTO TFA as a framework and standard for international best practices regardless of WTO membership. CLDP leverages its existing programs and relationships with customs officials in region, to further integrate these programs on a regional platform.

CLDP programming also focuses on judicial capacity building both on a regional and bilateral level in the Balkans region.  CLDP technical assistance strives to improve the foreign investment climate by combatting corruption that undermines judicial institutions through rule of law trainings based on international and U.S. standards.

In addition to these regional working groups, CLDP conducts bilateral programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

CLDP’s work in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) helps to improve the commercial climate for businesses by building the capacity of judges to enforce commercial contracts and adjudicate complex commercial cases. Additionally, CLDP helps to promote the rule of law and support for international commercial law by working with BiH law schools on international commercial arbitration. Each year, CLDP coaches and sponsors universities from BiH to compete in the Annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. For the last several years, BiH sponsored universities have excelled in the competition, even advancing to the semi-final rounds. CLDP further supports BiH in its ability to promote awareness of and protect intellectual property rights. CLDP supports BiH in its continued efforts to accede to the WTO.

Kosovo

CLDP works to strengthen Kosovo’s ability to sustainably grow by supporting both the public and private sector in various arenas. CLDP continues to work with Kosovo Customs to reduce opportunities for corruption and to effectively and efficiently process shipments, which reduces costs and increases potential for trade as well as connection with international partners. CLDP is also planning to provide assistance on the legal and regulatory framework, including tendering, for renewable energies, as well as on a new E-Signature Law and will build the capacity of Government of Kosovo officials in administering the new public procurement. In the past, CLDP has also supported the development of public-private partnerships and has worked to develop the capacity of Kosovo to develop strong mining and extractive industries. Through its bilateral programs in Kosovo, CLDP works to ensure that Kosovo’s small and medium-sized businesses have the opportunity to grow and develop.

 

 

 

 

 

CLDP in Action

July 1, 2020
Bosnia-Herzegovina: CLDP-led Vis Moot Webinar Attended by Coaches and Faculty from Six Countries Across the Balkan and Caucasus Regions

On July 1, CLDP, in coordination with U.S. Embassy Sarajevo and Association Arbitri, held a webinar to prepare faculty and coaches from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kosovo, and Georgia in their selection of students for the annual Willem C. Vis Moot competition (Vis Moot) that will take place in Vienna, Austria, in April 2021.