East Invest 2 is a EU-funded project within the EU4Business framework under the Eastern Partnership initiative that started in September 2014. Its general objective is to support the development of a conducive economic environment and competitive private sector in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine), while enhancing trade flows and investments between them and the EU Member States. It offers an opportunity for the business sector from the EaP region and the EU to directly engage in effective cooperation in one of the four priority areas – market opportunities – agreed at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Riga in 2015.
The target groups of East Invest 2 are Business (Support) Organisations (BSOs) and SMEs from the 6 Eastern Partnership countries, who have a potential for developing mutual cooperation and investment relations with their EU counterparts.
The specific objectives of the project are the following:
- Empower the SME associations and related BSOs in the EaP countries, in particular increase their capacity to take an active role in promoting a conducive business environment;
- Improve public-private dialogue in the EaP countries and enhance capacities of business associations to represent SMEs in dialogue with their governments;
- Ensure increased and sustainable capacity of SME associations and related BSOs in the EaP countries to provide better specialised services to their SMEs members;
- Facilitate long-term partnerships and trade between the SME and/or business associations from the EU and SME and/or business association from the EaP countries, as well as among the EaP SME and/or business associations;
- Support the familiarisation of business associations and SMEs with the DCFTA process and EU acquis, including obligations deriving from the DCFTA agreements.
To achieve these objectives several instruments and activities have been developed. More specifically, activities under the East Invest 2 project are organised in 3 main pillars, each managed by one member of the expert team:
- BSO Capacity building, including Twinnings, BSO Academies and BSO Exchanges
- SME Development, including Train the Trainers and SME Academies
- Public Private Dialogue