On 18 and 19 May 2016 international business conference under the theme “Connectivity for Commerce and Investment” took place in the Foreign Office in Berlin. Representatives of companies and public institutions of 57 participating states and OSCE’s 11 partner countries attended this conference. Participants had an opportunity to discuss a range of issues and obstacles of economic connectivity in the OSCE region and establish international networks.
In the course of the conference Berlin Economics organized a workshop under the theme “Fostering Free Trade in Regions with Protracted Conflicts – the Case of Transdniestria”. The workshop aimed to show how conflict regions with undefined statuses can develop their international trade relations with East and West. Dr Ricardo Giucci, managing director of Berlin Economics GmbH, referred to the benefits and opportunities of foreign trade liberalisation for Transdniestria. Giucci pointed out that Transdniestria is already an open economy. Currently Transdniestria is able to export duty free products to the EU and CIS, but on the other hand it raises its duties on imports. This asymmetry and thereby Transdnistrian duties have to be abolished in order to maintain duty-free export. Prof. Dr. Hans- Georg Petersen, Tax and Transfer Research Group Berlin, and Dr. Hans Janus, German-Russian Law Association, see related fiscal and legal challenges as surmountable.
Joanna Pessemier, DG Trade, informed participants about commercial-law requirements, which have to be fulfilled by conflict regions in order to benefit from FTA`s. Following the expert presentations, Mr. Dumitru Criminschi and Mrs. Svetlana Karaban, representatives of two Transdniestrian companies, described practical problems which the companies from the region face, if they wish to participate in international trade. The workshop was moderated by Philip Remler, former OSCE ambassador in the Republic of Moldova.
Further information on the conference can be found on the website of the Business conference organised by the German OSCE chairmanship