The 4th east forum Berlin focused on the changed political and economic realities between Europe and the East. More than 400 representatives of the political, the business and the science spheres from 40 countries had met in Berlin at the international economic forum on 18 and 19 April 2016 under the theme of “An economic area in transition – Shaping the future between the Europe and the East”.
The event focused on Europe’s economic future, the trade relations between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, and China’s Silk Road Initiative. Among the panellists were Natalie Jaresko, Ukrain’s Minister of Finance up until a week prior to the conference, the Armenian Vice President Vache Gabrielyan, the BDI President Ulrich Grillo and the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Alexey Likhachev, as well as several management board members of German and international companies.
At the Trade panel, Dr. Ricardo Giucci, head of the German Advisory Group Ukraine and of Berlin Economics, reported on the latest developments in the trade relationship between the EU and its Eastern neighbours. The focus was on the deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTA) between Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and the EU. Giucci indicated to the fact that exports from these countries to the EU have not improved in nominal terms in 2015, which is due to the decline in commodity prices. But in real terms, the exports to the EU actually have increased. Also, byfurther removal of trade barriers a positive development of the trade can be expected further on.
Giucci also mentioned some less positive developments, in particular the cancellation of the free trade agreement between Russia and Ukraine and the transit restrictions on Ukrainian goods to Kazakhstan through Russia. To normalize the trade between the EAEU and other countries much things need to be done, Giucci said.
The east forum focused on the benefits of a closer international cooperation. Giucci spoke about important trade agreements and advantages of a stronger integration of the countries of Eastern Europe into the global economy, too. Accordingly, there is a large scope for strengthening their trade relationships with third countries.
The east forum Berlin is a dialogue platform initiated by UniCredit, the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations and the METRO GROUP, and it is organized in cooperation with the Federal State of Berlin.
Website of the 4th east forum
Pictures: Marc Darchinger