The FINANCIAL — The EU-funded East Invest project has published a series of reports on EU support to the private sector in the context of Association Agreements including Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, saying the scale of the challenge for SMEs to adapt to changes cannot be underestimated.
The reports – one overall report, and individual country reports – include a gap analysis between national legislation and the provisions of the EU acquis to be implemented as part of the AAs/DCFTA (as far as the private sector is concerned), an evaluation of past and on-going SME Development programmes in the three countries, and specific recommendations for the design of future EU support to the private sector to accompany the implementation of AA/DCFTA provisions, according to EU Neighbourhood Info.
“The scale of the task for SMEs to understand the changes resulting from AA/DCFTA compliance and to adapt their administration procedures, production processes and facilities cannot be underestimated,” the report says in its recommendations. “In order that business in each of the countries can be better prepared to comply with changing national legislation, as well as take advantage of the opportunities, a full range of support and “hand holding” is required through a comprehensive programme of targeted and very specific support.”
East Invest is a regional investment and trade facilitation project for the economic development of the Eastern Neighbourhood region, launched in the framework of the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative. It targets business support organisations and SMEs from the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine). East Invest is funded by the European Union, managed by EUROCHAMBRES, and implemented by the East Alliance.