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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
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Agricultural systems in Europe and Central Asia are still deeply affected by the process of political and economic transition.

The transformation of agricultural production and markets has coincided with the process of globalization and deepening trade integration both within the region and worldwide.

With greater participation in global agricultural trade, the region plays an increasingly important role as a supplier of agricultural commodities to international markets.

Agrifood Trade and Regional Integration in Europe and Central Asia 2014-2015

An FAO Regional Initiative

The Regional Initiative on Agri-Food Trade and Regional Integration focuses on strengthening national and regional capacities in Europe and Central Asia to deal effectively with the challenges posed by greater trade integration. It does this by developing better evidence on trade implications, improving the capacity of the countries to use this evidence, facilitating neutral forums and dialogues on trade agreements, and supporting design and implementation of appropriate trade policy at country level.

The Regional Initiative on Agri-Food Trade and Regional Integration has three main components:

1. Food safety and other normative technical guidelines for trade: International food standards contribute to the safety, quality and fairness of international food trade. This component aims to improve food safety systems in the region in line with international standards to allow deeper regional and global trade integration. Main activities include:

  • information sharing and training on international food standards (Codex Alimentarius)
  • strengthening food safety legal framework
  • supporting public-private policy dialogue on food safety
  • building capacity for food safety risk analysis.

2. Trade agreements: The countries of the region are often engaged in multiple trade negotiation processes at the same time, each with its own challenges and benefits. This component aims to strengthen capacities to deal effectively with the challenges posed by greater trade integration. Main activities include:

  • capacity building on WTO accession and implications
  • analysis of free trade agreements in the region
  • dialogue on global and regional multilateral trade issues
  • research and policy dialogue on single market issues of the European Union and the Customs Union

3. Wheat trade for food security: Wheat production and trade plays an important role in ensuring food security in the region. This component focuses on the production prospects of wheat in selected countries of the region. Main activities include:

  • study on wheat production and trade prospects in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus
  • studies on wheat policies in the six leading CIS producers