A new tool to support trade and investment between the EU and Eastern Partnership countries was launched on 15 December. The Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk will help to open new market opportunities for importers and exporters in the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries. This platform will assist companies to identify new opportunities, potential partners and check necessary requirements and procedures.
The new online platform – https://eap.tradehelpdesk.org – is a crucial element of the EU’s efforts to help small businesses trade more, as it will provide them with tailored advice from a network of trade experts and business support organisations. It complements the Access to Markets database, which empowers European companies to benefit from trade agreements to the fullest by breaking down complex trade rules into practical, tailored information.
“The Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk will help to strengthen trade ties with this important region,” said European Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis. “The region as a whole is one of the EU’s top 10 trading partners, and the EU is by far their biggest trading partner, accounting for almost one third of all their trade. This initiative will further open opportunities for EU companies, notably SMEs, and will also contribute more broadly to strengthening trade and investment with Eastern Partnership countries.”
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi commented: “Through our Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership we are aiming to increase economic ties between the EU and the region and make it easier for SMEs to engage in trade with the EU. This platform is a practical way to provide help and support Recovery, Resilience and Reform, our priorities for the Eastern Partnership region.”
The helpdesk has been developed as a collaboration between the EU4Business Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk project, funded by the European Union, and the International Trade Centre (ITC) as implementing partner.
The Eastern Partnership Trade Helpdesk is built around three principles:
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This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.