EDGE (Economic Development, Governance, and Enterprise Growth)

Status: Ongoing

IDG is currently implementing the Economic Development, Governance, and Enterprise (EDGE) Growth in Europe and Eurasia project, which covers 12 countries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia and focuses on reducing barriers to cross-border trade and investment, improving business enabling environment through enhanced stakeholder participation, improving financial sector stability and increasing access to finance, and improving competitiveness through value chains and trade promotion.

IDG is focusing on three main initiatives:

  • Improving business enabling environment and reducing barriers to trade (this also includes an anti-corruption element)
  • Improving financial sector stability with increased access to finance
  • Improving competitiveness through value chains and trade promotion

Region

  • Europe and Eurasia

Country / Countries

  • Serbia
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Republic of Georgia
  • Ukraine
  • Moldova
  • Albania
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo
  • North Macedonia
  • Montenegro
Europe and Eurasia

Areas of Expertise

Private Sector Development

The three EDGE sub-regions (the Western Balkans, the Caucasus, and the UMB Sub-Region (Ukraine/Moldova/Belarus) share problems of slow growth and low per capita income, but each is also faced with unique opportunities and challenges. All 12 countries in the Europe and Eurasia region have significantly lower per capita incomes than the neighboring EU.

Enabling Environment

The three EDGE sub-regions (the Western Balkans, the Caucasus, and the UMB Sub-Region (Ukraine/Moldova/Belarus) share problems of slow growth and low per capita income, but each is also faced with unique opportunities and challenges. All 12 countries in the Europe and Eurasia region have significantly lower per capita incomes than the neighboring EU.

International Trade

The prospect of eventual EU membership (or at least greater economic integration with the EU) is a key driver of the reform process for all EDGE countries. Closer integration with the EU offers the EDGE economies increased stability, increased opportunity, the prospect of realizing more inclusive economic growth with widespread job creation and inhibited malign behavior by unfriendly state actors.

Market Systems/Competitiveness

EDGE designed a number of activities to raise the business sophistication and capacity of high potential firms in these value chains by improving their competitiveness; making their marketing more effective; and increasing their ability to comply with international standard. EDGE also developed activities aimed at improving market integration and expanding market linkage through building the capacity of companies to ensure quality and access to the export market.

Innovation and Digitalization

EDGE supports the digital transformation of SMEs into three selected sectors, fruit and vegetable productions, incoming rural and adventure tourism, and textiles/apparel and wood processing/furniture production.

EDGE has developed an initiative for a workshop to help processors to digitalize their operations. Participants include processing firms and brings them together with ICT companies. Given the current circumstances, this workshop is organized online.

Workforce Development

EDGE launched a Workforce Assessment in the Western Balkans in close collaboration with the USAID North Macedonia Partnership for Better Business Regulation (PBBR). The Western Balkan Sector Experts started working on the assessment and completed desk research including a review of available literature and other background documents. Following the completion of the report, EDGE designs and carry out activities for BSPs, SMEs, and policymakers, as appropriate, to help address workforce constraints.

Trade Facilitation

EDGE initiated an assessment of the current state of compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by the twelve EDGE countries. (Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Ukraine are WTO members; Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus are in the accession process; and Kosovo is not a WTO member.)

EDGE representatives participated in events and meetings organized by regional organizations and donors working on and supporting the regional trade facilitation efforts.

Regional and Global Trade Agreements

EDGE supports intra-regional and Euro-Atlantic integration. In the Balkans, this presents itself as support for convergence with EU accession criteria. In Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia this means support in approximating the EU Association Agreement, and in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus support the EU Eastern Partnership.