Countries in the Black Sea basin

For want of a better term, the seven countries covered in the present chapter shall be referred to collectively as the ‘Black Sea countries.’ They do not constitute a world region in the traditional sense1 but they do present some structural similarities. For one thing, they share geographical proximity, with all but Armenia and Azerbaijan being situated in the Black Sea basin. In addition, all seven are middle-income economies seeking to move into a higher income bracket. Their differences are equally instructive. If we take trade in manufactured goods, for instance, we can discern three groups: countries with traditionally close economic integration with the Russian Federation (Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine), some of which are now diversifying their trading partners (Moldova and Ukraine); countries which are increasingly integrated in global markets (Georgia and Turkey) and countries with a weak focus on trade in manufactured goods (Azerbaijan) [Table 12.1]. All seven, however, have made efforts over the past two decades to strengthen their mutual economic and institutional ties. The best illustration of this is the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (Box 12.1).

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