The damage caused by the global financial crisis requires additional federal intervention, according to the Obama Administration, which is launching a new program to “foster growth and stability at a time of increasing economic turmoil.” This particular endeavor, however, will focus its efforts on improving conditions in Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans, and the “newly independent states,” or NIS, of the former Soviet Union.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is designing this Europe & Eurasia (E&E) regional project in order to “promote trade, investment and regulatory integration; enhance regional competitiveness, and support financial sector stability.”
The agency did not disclose an estimated cost of the program, which remains under development. It is conducting market research of potential contractors capable of carrying out services in the region. USAID may—or may not—release a more detailed solicitation at a later date.
If indeed it executes this project, USAID will target thirteen nations where USAID already has established a presence, “including the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia), Western NIS (Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus), Russia, and the Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan).
According to a Sources Sought Notice that U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor located via routine database research:
Despite the tremendous progress made over the years, many of these countries are still struggling to regain the living standards that they enjoyed under communism and to integrate themselves into the ever more competitive world economy. Furthermore, the region has been disproportionately adversely affected by the 2008-2009 global economic crisis and, now, by the ongoing Eurozone financial crisis… Several countries in the region have unemployment rates above 20%, labor productivity remains well below the EU standards, and export growth rates have stagnated.
The four “principal technical areas” for which contractors may provide services include:
1. Regional Trade Facilitation;
2. Private Sector Competitiveness and Enterprise Development;
3. Business Enabling Environment (meaning, support of “legal and regulatory reform and rule of law issues”); and:
4. Financial Sector Stability, Growth & Inclusion.
USAID will accept capability statements from interested providers until June 11 at 2 p.m.
Source document: Solicitation #M-OAA-GRO-LMA-12-1002