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EUROPE AND EURASIA | Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI)

  1. RCI Review of Operations 2005-2009
    Information Technology (IT) – RCI has been successfully encouraging the implementation of quality standards for software companies, and now aims to establish a Regional IT Quality Standard and Certification Network. RCI assists in linkages and cooperation between IT companies, service providers and associations to enhance the business opportunities and competitiveness of the region.
  2. Agribusiness – In order to increase economic growth through expanded production and sales of agricultural products, RCI encourages and enhances information sharing and cooperation between the USAID agribusiness projects in the region.

  3. Tourism – RCI promotes tourism through regional information sharing and marketing.  RCI also encourages and promotes quality tourism service and product standards and brings forward current issues such as regional online tourism portals, regional routes and destination management.

  4. Regional Investment Promotion – RCI analyses investment opportunities and trends in the region, following the global financial crisis.

  5. Workforce Development – Reviews experiences and potentials for workforce development activities, leading to pilot projects with potential for regional implementation.


RCI | About RCI

RCI strives to improve competitiveness across Europe and Eurasia by engaging the bilateral efforts of USAID Missions, USAID Projects and other local stakeholders. Through a regional approach, RCI increases the cooperation between competitiveness and economic growth programs, leading to increased trade and job expansion in host countries. RCI effectively coordinates activities and enhances information sharing between different stakeholders (USAID, other donors, public and private sector organizations) in selected sectors.

Background & Rationale

Despite recent economic growth across the region, incomes in many of the E&E countries still remain below pre-transition (1989) levels. Growth has been uneven, often propelled by commodity trade, and is inadequate to create sufficient and rewarding jobs. As a consequence, the region’s per capita income reaches only one-fourth of the average of advanced economies. To address these issues, USAID Washington launched the Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI) in 2004. RCI is implemented by SEGURA IP3 Partners LLC and is set to continue its activities until 2013.

RCI Countries

RCI supports activities in 11 countries from South East Europe, Central Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine.

For more information please check the

RCI Review of Operations 2005-2009.pdf

RCI Review of Operations 2005-2009

RCI Activities

Regional competitiveness activities bring value added, complement and bolster the efforts of bilateral missions by solving problems that are beyond the scope of individual countries.

Summary of RCI Activities (2005 – June 2012)

    1. USAID Missions Participating:                                                                               15

    2. USAID-supported Projects Participating:                                                                52

    3. International Donor Organizations:                                                                       22

    4. Events (Conferences, Workshops, Round Tables, excluding trainings):                     93

    5. Individuals participating (excluding training events):                                                 7782

  1. Quality Standards Training in Information Technology

    1. IT events - awareness, training, assessments, practical in-house workshops, etc. :     213

    2. Number of firms that participated in professional trainings:                                     469

    3. IT events participants – organizations:                                                                  1817

    4. IT awareness events participants – individuals:                                                      4187

    5. Number of firms receiving RCI assistance to invest in improved technologies and processes:                                                                                                          560

    6. Cost sharing partnership (% of the cost) - RCI (29%), companies (17%), USAID and USAID projects (12%) and other donors (42%)

Information and knowledge Sharing

    1. Newsletters produced and circulated: (as of September 2012):                              23   

    2. Individuals receiving newsletters: over                                                                 1600

    3. Economic Crisis Trackers produced and circulated: (as of September 2012)           63

    4. Tourism and Agribusiness Related Documents disseminated:                                 2962