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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

FAO pledges funds to help Black Sea region develop agrifood trade

FAO has pledged US$100 000 to help the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation develop and strengthen agrifood trade in the Black Sea region.

An agreement to this effect was signed in December 2017 by FAO and the Permanent International Secretariat of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). Ambassador Michael J. Christides, Secretary General of the Permanent International Secretariat, signed on behalf of BSEC. Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Reginal Representative for Europe and Central Asia, signed for FAO.

It has been a longstanding goal of states in the area to better collaborate on development of the region’s agricultural industry. Trading in agrifood and exporting agricultural products are among the main sources of income for many of the 12 BSEC member states.

The funds from FAO will be used to develop a regional workshop, slated for spring 2018, at which member states can discuss the challenges and opportunities tied to the development of agrifood exports, assess the value of public-private partnerships in the growth of agrifood trade, and collaborate on ways to make trade more inclusive and efficient.

In addition to the opportunity for participating states to learn from one another on agricultural and trade issues, one concrete outcome of the workshop will be the development of a bankable project aimed at promoting export and developing trade within and beyond the Black Sea region.

The funds also will be used to produce a report analysing agrifood trade and offering recommendations for its facilitation and expansion within the region.

FAO’s efforts in this regard are the continuation of an agreement made with the BSEC in 2016 to help bolster agricultural development in the region and to facilitate the collaboration of member states on increasing agricultural production, mitigating poverty, and strengthening food security. It is also in line with FAO’s Regional Initiative on Agrifood Trade and Regional Integration.

The Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, formed in 1992, promotes collaboration of member states in the pursuit of economic initiatives. Members are Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

24 January 2018, Budapest, Hungary

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