Eastern Europe and South Caucasus Competitiveness Initiative


Launched in April 2009, the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus Competitiveness Initiative is part of the Global Relations, and aims to help create a sound business climate for investment, enhance productivity, support entrepreneurship, develop the private sector, and build knowledge-based economies to render the region more competitive and attractive to foreign investment.



Although the economies of Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus have enjoyed increased foreign direct investment (FDI) since 2002, FDI per capita is still up to 6 times lower than in Central and Eastern Europe, and is concentrated mainly in the energy sector. To boost Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus as an investment destination across sectors, the initiative supports the reform design and prioritisation process to ensure that policies effectively work towards achieving dynamic and sustainable growth through entrepreneurship, diversification, and international and intra-regional trade.


The initiative aims to

  • improve competitiveness in participating countries through better policy design and implementation
  • support private sector development with a focus on SMEs
  • foster economic development and stability


To achieve these objectives, the initiative will encourage the exchange of best practices and experiences in policy reforms relevant to improving the business climate, support regional dialogue, and assist governments in developing policies that build a dynamic business environment for local businesses and foreign investors.


The key principles driving the initiative are:

  • maintaining transparent and strong links with national development plans and the unique domestic conditions of each country
  • promoting active ownership of the reform process among participating countries
  • encouraging voluntary government self-evaluations of policy reforms
  • actively involving the private sector in each step along the way to successful reform implementation
  • co-ordinating with donors and other international organisations to streamline reform efforts


The work programme is structured in 3 stages:

  • Perform a regional policy review identifying policy barriers to SME development, as well as priority reform policies inducive to the development of a vibrant business environment
  • Establish a regional forum for dialogue and peer review to facilitate the exchange and application of OECD instruments, tools and methodologies, and develop recommendations to address policy barriers and reform initiatives
  • Lend strategic support to the implementation of structural reforms in targeted policy areas, as well as to capacity-building efforts in the region

Documents and links

SME Policy Index: Eastern Partner Countries 2012: Fact sheet (Russian)

Ukraine: Sector Competitiveness Strategy 2011

Ukraine Sector Competitiveness Strategy: Fact sheet

Ukraine Sector Competitiveness Strategy: Key findings

In the media: OECD cites four sectors as tops in investment potential, Kyivpost, 2 February 2012



, Trento, 25-28 October 2011

Ministerial Conference on Enterprise and Competitiveness Policies, Prague, 15-17 June 2011

Investment strategies in times of economic crisis and beyond, Bodrum, 3 July 2009

First meeting of the Working Group on Financial Market Development, Warsaw, 17 November 2009

Investment Strategies in Times of Economic Crisis and Beyond, Bodrum, 3 July 2009

Launch of the South Caucasus and Ukraine Initiative for Investment and Competitiveness, Paris, 1 April 2009 


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