ISTANBUL, May 21. /TASS/. Member countries of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) lack economic unity which is negatively telling on trade dynamics, Yevgeny Stanislavov, director of the Russian foreign ministry’s economic cooperation department, who is a member of the Russian delegation to the BSEC’s ministerial meeting, told TASS on Sunday.
"Regrettably, trade dynamics are not very inspiring," he said. "In terms of percentage to GDP, trade within the BSEC is going down. Obviously, it means that the region lacks economic unity."
"I think the BSEC’s key task is to take effort to encourage trade between the countries of the region so that it grows faster than these countries’ GDP," he said. "It will mean that the region is becoming more integrated."
Istanbul is hosting a special BSEC ministerial meeting ahead of the organization’s summit due to be held in Istanbul on May 22.
The BSEC is a regional economic structure uniting 12 countries: Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Rumania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. A number of countries have an observer status at the BSEC.
The working bodies operating within the BSEC framework include the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, the International Center of Black Sea Studies, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Cooperation. About 20 working groups within the BSEC operate in the main areas of cooperation, including transport, energy, science and technologies, the environment, communications, agriculture, education, emergency situations and the fight against organized crime.