Budapest, 8 October 2009
In a roundtable meeting between private sector representatives, policy makers and experts, signatories of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA 2006: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and UNMIK/Kosovo) examined measures to reduce or eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade. Mr. Szabo Vilmos, State Secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presided the meeting.
Since January 2009, the OECD Investment Compact has been working on an Aid for Trade project, funded by the Hungarian government, within the larger framework of its CEFTA 2006 implementation support projects.
The main goal of CEFTA 2006 Aid for Trade is to
- classify and prioritise non-tariff barriers among CEFTA 2006 signatories, and
- assess their impact both on CEFTA internal trade, as well as on trade and investment relations with the EU countries
This roundtable meeting was designed to help CEFTA 2006 signatories address non-tariff measures that prevent them from reaping the full benefits of the ambitious trade liberalisation they have undertaken.
A key outcome was a set of recommendations for concrete actions, endorsed by roundtable participants and both the CEFTA and OECD Secretariats. Based on the recent OECD assessment of non-tariff barriers between CEFTA 2006 signatories, and a comprehensive company survey undertaken by GTZ of Germany, these recommendations will be presented to CEFTA Ministers at the annual CEFTA Joint Committee during CEFTA Week on 27-29 October 2009 in Podgorica, Montenegro.
In addition, former CEFTA members Hungary and Romania shared policy experiences and practices, with inputs from CEFTA countries’ chambers of commerce and the regional private sector body, the Business Advisory Council.
Roundtable participants addressed on-tariff barriers to trade among CEFTA signatories on 8 October 2009 in Budapest, Hungary.
List of participants
CEFTA 2006 -- Improving Opportunities for Trade: Key findings of the regional business survey on NTBs, GTZ ORF
CEFTA 2006 -- Improving Opportunities for Trade: Recommendations and draft proposals for action on NTBs, GTZ ORF
NTBs, an impediment to trade in Western Balkans, Pranvera Kastrati, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, Republic of Albania
Non-tariff barriers in CEFTA: Analysis of technical and administrative carriers to trade, OECD
Non-tariff barriers in CEFTA: proposed recommendations for the consideration of the CEFTA parties, OECD