World Monitor Magazine WM_Energy 2017 - Page 46

EXPERT OPINION OECD on Eurasia Week and the Eurasia Business Forum H.E. Ms. Annika Markovic, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sweden to the OECD, Chair of the OECD Competitiveness Roundtable and Co-chair of the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus Initiative H.E. Mr. Rupert Schlegelmilch, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the European Union to the OECD, Chair of the OECD Eurasia Advisory Board and Co-chair of the Central Asia Initiative 44 world monitor This year, OECD Eurasia Week will take place in Almaty: could you tell us more about this event? to share knowledge and experiences, as well as peer support for those engaged in reform implementation. H.E. Rupert Schlegelmich (RS): Eurasia Week is the annual ministerial-level meeting of the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme (ECP), which encompasses Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. This year, for the first time, it will be organised in a Eurasia country, in Almaty, on 23-25 October. What else can you tell us about the Business Forum? How can EUROBAK members benefi t from it? The Business Forum offers participants a unique opportunity to hear the plans and priorities of the governments in the region, when it comes to competitiveness reforms. This year, there is a special focus on competition policies. The forum also includes a two-and-a-half-hour speed networking session, Eurasia Week brings together high-level during which businesses can meet high-level representatives of Eurasia countries and OECD policymakers from a number of different member countries, as well as researchers, Eurasian countries in rapid succession, as business people, international organisations, well as with other businesses active in the and members of civil society. This week gives region. In short: one place, one day, thirteen participants a chance to discuss and test countries. Last year, companies from ten OECD standards and experiences, which should OECD countries held 136 bilateral meetings result in “better policies for better lives”, as the with ministers, deputy- ministers and other OECD likes to put it, in the Eurasia region. senior officials from Eurasian countries. Priority for the bilateral meetings is given to The aim is to further strengthen relations those who register first. Additional information between Eurasia countries and the OECD and on the bilateral meetings is provided upon to raise the visibility of their co-operation on registration for OECD Eurasia Week. issues relevant to the region’s economic and social progress. What else is the OECD doing in Kazakhstan? H.E. Annika Markovic (AM): While the programme varies from year to year, the (RS): The OECD has worked with Kazakhstan central events of each Eurasia Week include a since its independence, supporting efforts ministerial-level discussion of the challenges to transform its economy through structural facing the region, the meeting of the OECD reform and deeper global integration. While Eurasia Competitiveness Roundtable, and the this interaction was fairly limited in the 1990s, OECD Eurasia Business Forum. Established it has expanded considerably over the last in 2013, the Roundtable, which I chair, is a decade. During 2013-16, Kazakhstan was policy dialogue platform that carries out peer co-chair of the Central Asia Initiative of the reviews of the design and implementation OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme of competitiveness reforms, allowing senior and it is now a co-chair of the Green Action officials from OECD and Eurasia countries Programme, which addresses green growth