CT Strategies (CTS) has been selected by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission to support the development of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) concept among the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) Parties (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Moldova, and Serbia). The project strives to deepen regional economic integration and improve the CEFTA Parties’ capacities to prepare, validate, and implement the mutual recognition of national AEO programs.
The CTS team of AEO experts will provide training, workshops, and risk assessments for this project. Specifically, CTS will build capacity on AEO-related staff to enhance AEO criteria understanding and benefits realization, support the development of IT solutions and national databases, implement process improvements and simplifications, and increase internal and external awareness surrounding AEO programs.
Accession to the European Union (EU) is a crucial goal for all CEFTA Parties, and implementation of the CEFTA agreement is an integral part of the accession process. The trade facilitation provisions of CEFTA recognize AEO as an instrument to reduce trade barriers through cooperation and collaboration between governments and the private sector as well as between Party governments.
While the AEO programs will reduce trade barriers among the Parties and generate economic benefits within the region, it brings the Parties closer to the goal of further integration with the EU market and the significant economic progress that integration promises. In the programs, collaboration and mutual understanding of business processes and increased data exchange are vital to success. By undertaking national and regional projects to develop program capabilities, CEFTA Party AEO programs will be further strengthened in line with EU initiatives.
As a global leader in AEO with expertise in customs modernization, CTS plays a significant role in this project. The company’s mission is to strengthen trade networks and increase efficiency and security for public and private entities. Supporting the development of CEFTA AEO programs expands the team’s global footprint, adding to the growing list of locations in which CTS has successfully supported AEO development, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Australia. The dynamic team redefines what it means to be a small business with its unique ability to tackle challenges ranging from large-scale trade obstacles to customs workforce development.