ECONOMIC INTEGRATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
The PABSEC has addressed the main aspects of the regional economic cooperation and put forward relevant recommendations aimed at achieving a higher degree of integration of the BSEC region into the world economy (rec. 59/2002). The Assembly has been promoting policies, along with institutional and regulatory reforms, towards a sustainable model of economic development in order to improve the living standards and meet the challenges of the new century. The Assembly’s recommendations on trade liberalization and facilitation (rec. 16/1996, rec. 22/1997, rec. 26/1998, rec. 37/1999), improvement of customs regulations (rec. 1/1994, rec. 20/1997), promotion and protection of investments (rec. 38/1999), establishment of a regional stock exchange market (rec. 25/1998) promotion of small and medium enterprises in the Black Sea region (rec. 42/2000) shaping a European Economic Space (rec. 72/2003), state and prospects of fisheries (rec. 94/2007), are part of the Assembly’s efforts towards that end.
Acknowledging the significance of establishing conditions favorable to free trade through a gradual elimination of obstacles and restrictions in customs and trade regulations, the Assembly has reiterated its firm stand towards the creation of a harmonized trade mechanism in the region in compliance with internationally recognized principles, in order not only to increase trade volume among the BSEC countries but also to achieve a higher degree of their integration into the world economy (rec. 2/1994, rec. 23/1997).
The Assembly has also examined border-crossing formalities and visa regulations and elaborated recommendations envisaging a gradual elimination of visa formalities, starting by creation of favorable conditions for certain categories of citizens directly involved in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation – MP’s, diplomats, government officials and businessmen (rec. 7/1994, rec. 43/2000).
The growth of the ability and need to move large quantities of goods or numbers of people requires the coordination of policies and cross-border procedures among the BSEC Member States. At the same time, freer circulation of people and goods must be supported by enhanced police and judicial cooperation and border management (rec. 78/2004).
The Assembly has advocated the development of cooperation in banking and finance among the BSEC member countries (rec. 9/1995). In that respect, the parliaments have been called upon to expedite the enactment of legislation on privatization, infra-structural development, protection of domestic and foreign investments (rec. 38/1999) and avoidance of double taxation (rec. 30/1998).
The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) was established by the eleven BSEC Member States in 1998 as a regional multilateral development financial institution starting its full operation on 2 June 1999. The PABSEC has closely worked with the national parliaments of BSEC countries to speed up the ratification process of the BSTDB Establishing Agreement, and in June 1999, upon the establishment of the Bank, the Assembly adopted a recommendation and report on the BSTDB (rec. 33/1999).
Through its Economic Affairs Committee PABSEC regularly reviews the activities of the Bank with a view to contributing in giving an input in its future strategies. In its recommendations, The Assembly has stressed the need to improve the overall financial and banking systems of the member countries as well as to better involve the Bank in the regional integration process. The BSTDB’s role has increased in the last years through the acceleration of its activities, which have turned it into the financial pillar of regional cooperation (rec. 65/2002).
Globalization, bringing both opportunities and challenges to all countries and peoples, was another important topic on the Assembly’s agenda (rec. 60/2002) The common intention of the countries to diversify and develop the existing economic relations towards globalization opens up opportunity to efficiently use advantages arising from the geographical proximity and mutual interests, as well as traditional ties and complementary nature of the economies. The challenge is to come together to turn globalization into a more effective and consolidated process with equal participation of the countries, developed and developing alike, in managing the posed problems and realizing its immense benefits.
- Foreign Investments and Economic Growth of the BSEC Member States (report, rec. 101/2008)
- The WTO and the Economic Development of the BSEC Member States (report, rec.104/2008)
- The role of public-private partnership for sustainable development in the BSEC Member States (report, rec. 128/2012)
- The Impact of Globalisation on the Social Policies of the BSEC Member States (report, rec.106/2008)