Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU)

Panel debates trade agreements in the CIS countries

Photo: ©FAO/Joan Manuel BaliellasThe policy implications of greater agricultural trade by post-Soviet countries in Europe and Central Asia is the topic of a session led by FAO today at the “IAMO Forum” in Halle, Germany.

Part of a three-day event convened by the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), the session examines agricultural policy options necessitated by different trade agreements in the region.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, post-Soviet countries have expanded their participation in agricultural trade both within the region and with external partners. They are actively engaged in trade negotiations at multilateral and regional level. Many are now WTO members (Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Ukraine) or negotiating their accession to WTO (Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan).

Economic integration within the Eurasian Economic Union – currently comprising Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia – facilitates intra-regional trade, while the European Union is also pursuing trade negotiations with countries in the region.

These and other developments imply a need to revisit agricultural policies such as support programs, institutions and standards. The FAO session examines these implications and analyzes agricultural sector reforms triggered by trade agreements. The debate is intended to inform and influence the formulation of agricultural and trade policies in the region.

William H. Meyers, Howard Cowden Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics at University of Missouri, USA, who has worked extensively on agricultural and rural development policies in the region, is chair of the session. Panel members include:

  • Lars Brink, former Advisor to Government at WTO negotiations
  • Veronika Movchan, Academic Director at the Kyiv-based research institute IER
  • Ekaterina Krivonos, Economist with the Trade and Markets Division of FAO
  • David Sedik, Senior Policy Officer with FAO’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.

FAO organized the session as part of its Regional Initiative on Agri-Food Trade and Regional Integration. The Regional Initiative is a package of programmes and activities designed to improve national capacities to deal effectively with the challenges posed by greater trade integration – by developing a better evidence base on trade implications, improving countries’ capacities to use this evidence, facilitating public dialogue on trade agreements, and supporting design and implementation of appropriate trade policy at country level.

25 June 2014, Halle, Germany

The future of trade agreements in the CIS countries

FAO session at the IAMO Forum 2014

June 25 2014