Business Council

The Business Council was established in 1992 by the representatives of the business communities of BSEC 12 countries to contribute to the efforts of their Governments to secure the greater integration of the Black Sea region into the world economy. The Business Council is an international , non-governmental, non-profit organization consisting of the representatives of the business communities of the BSEC Member States: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.

The new Vision of the BSEC Business Council calls for creating maximum value for our business communities and for becoming a strong Agent of Change in the Black Sea Region.

To fulfill this Vision, the Business Council is developing a comprehensive, self-consistent strategy. This strategy is along two main axes: Internal Integration and External Integration. Internal integration is the process of creating increasing inter-dependence between business people in the Region.

To contribute to this Regional Integration the Business Council is promoting networking and cooperation among business people through sectoral Conferences and Fora. It is also offering to business people a special Web site, where they can get information on business opportunities and locate partners in other countries.

Furthermore, the Business Council is encouraging and lending support for the formation of Regional Unions and Associations, as in the case of BSEC-URTA, the Union of Road Transport Associations. Such regional NGOs can catalyze an even closer cooperation within key business sectors in the Region and will play a major role as a shaper of regional business policies.

At the same time, the Business Council is working toward the identification of barriers-to-trade in the Region and to their elimination. It is promoting the facilitation of visa procedures for business people, as well as for truck drivers and is an active contributor to the BSEC cross-border transport facilitation project.

The second important axis of the Business Council strategy is external integration, i.e. doing its part in helping the economies of the Region integrate into the world economy and especially that of the European Union. The key to this is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

The Business Council firmly believes that FDI will bring in tremendous benefits for the region’s companies and in particular for the SMEs:

First, because it will infuse new capital, it will create jobs and will help the economies grow at a sustainable rate. Even more importantly, because it will bring in new mentalities, new management systems and new corporate practices. Equally, it will allow our SMEs to integrate their supply chains to global supply chains – thus bringing to our business people the positive effects of globalisation. Lastly, because the conditions that help attract foreign investment are the same as the ones that help local business thrive.

In light of the above, the Business Council has set Investment Promotion as one of its highest priorities. This involves multifaceted activities:

On the one hand, the Business Council is working in close cooperation with OECD and with National Investment Promotion Agencies in various Investment Fora, which generate recommendations on best promotion practices. It is also actively marketing to foreign investors the strengths of the Region and the business and investment opportunities present in it.

In parallel, the Business Council is spearheading an effort to help dismantle the barriers to business and investment. For this purpose it has established, in partnership with OECD, the Black Sea Investment Initiative. This is a framework for voluntary reforms that aim toward the elimination of disincentives and the creation of a level-playing field for business and an environment that is favorable for local business and attractive for foreign investors.

Lastly, as a member of the BSEC family the Business Council closely cooperates with the other related bodies, participates in the Working Groups and is in general a very active contributor to the whole BSEC process.

It is evident that the Business Council has multiple valuable roles to play. Its success will depend on the degree of involvement and mobilisation of the business communities in the Business Council process. However, of equal importance will also be the involvement and support of governments. Therefore, the role of the Business Council as the prime promoter and catalyst of a strong Public-Private Partnership in the Black Sea Region is perhaps the most valuable role it will perform in the future.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors (BoD) is the supreme organ of the BSEC Business Council and has as Members the representatives of the National Organizations. Each Member Organization of the BSEC Business Council designates a person to represent it to the BSEC Business Council as Board Member in all meetings of the Board of Directors. Below is the list of Board Members. Click on the country to visit the Organization's web-page.