Economic Cooperation and Trade

In the Final Document of the Bonn Conference of April 1990, the participating States "[r]ecognize[d] that the performance of market-based economies relies primarily on the freedom of individual enterprise and the consequent economic growth." They also recognized "the relationship between political pluralism and market economies."

The OSCE does not promote trade specifically, but seeks to build within the participating States better regulatory and governance capacity so that corruption, excessive bureaucracy or other barriers to trade do not hinder economic cooperation.

In the Maastricht (2003) strategy document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension, the participating States recognized the importance of global and regional economic integration, and for the "establishment in the OSCE region of open and integrated markets functioning on the basis of compatible or harmonized rules and further liberalization."

The OSCE works closely with the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to coordinate economic cooperation activities in the region to amplify the work of the UNECE and to avoid duplication of efforts.

Recently, “connectivity” has become a key term of art in the OSCE space, describing efforts to build effective customs services and cross-border tools that facilitate trade between participating States. Corruption is a key impediment to connectivity.

Staff Contact: Paul Massaro, policy advisor

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