The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have negatively affected economic development in UNECE member States, significantly disrupting international trade, investment and cooperation. Because of their geographical location and development stage, these shocks have hit especially hard in transition economies in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus (EESC) – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Innovation will be central to the EESC countries’ abilities to address structural challenges to achieve a robust and resilient recovery and support the sub-region in rebuilding after the war. Innovation can help countries diversify and upgrade their economies, foster sustainable development and find solutions to address social and economic challenges.

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