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Trade and Integration

Man selling goods in marketOverview.   In today’s economically integrated world, trade matters more than ever before. Countries that have intensified their links with the global economy through trade and investment have usually grown more rapidly over a sustained period and have consequently experienced larger reductions in poverty. Transition from a large bloc of centrally planned economies to the free market has changed the trading system between Eastern European and Central Asian countries as well as their relationship with the global economy... more>>

Regional Challenges.  Although the region has largely reduced barriers to external trade and made substantial progress in opening up to foreign investment, a host of secondary challenges remain that can hinder the impact of these reforms on growth and poverty reduction.  These include: behind-the-border policies that hinder investment; a spaghetti bowl of trade agreements which create complexities for traders and investors; and numerous border and transit disputes which stymie the flow of goods especially to/from landlocked countries.  In addition, the region now faces the challenge of liberalizing trade in services, the fastest growth segment of the world trade flows... more>>

The World Bank's Strategy.  The World Bank’s work on trade and integration in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has two main objectives - to support countries efforts to grow by expanding trade with the global economy, and to assist their efforts to integrate with larger markets such as the European Union...   more>>

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