Panel speaking about the launch of the Cross-Border Curriculum
Macbook with the Cross-Border Curriculum on the screen

Bridging the skills gap to drive export growth in Central Asia

7 diciembre 2022
ITC News

More than 2,000 entrepreneurs in Central Asia now have access to ITC’s new online courses and in-person workshops to hit new export markets.

A hands-on solution answering specific national needs

Hundreds of entrepreneurs in Central Asia now have access to free courses, both online and in-person, to guide them in growing their exports. The courses comprise the Cross-Border Trade Management Curriculum, which the EU-funded Ready4Trade Central Asia project recently launched in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The initiative provides each Central Asian country with a customized virtual learning space offering practical online trainings. The curriculum also offers in-person instructor-led trainings, which serve audiences that do not have internet access or that require additional guidance to use online tools.

"Thanks to this brand-new curriculum, potential exporters from Central Asia will improve their

understanding of how to better benefit from the opportunity offered by the European Union’s market," said Johannes Baur, the Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan.

“The EU is an attractive market to do business with, thanks to its 440 million consumers and transparent rules and regulations,” he said.

Built in close collaboration with institutional partners and business support organizations, the curriculums respond to specific needs and pitfalls faced by exporters.

Topics across the import-export supply chain

Hundreds of entrepreneurs from Central Asia can now train free of charge on essential topics, such as:

  • international trade rules
  • export procedures
  • quality and conformity standards
  • specific European Union market requirements, and more.

"This curriculum is unique in its parameters and content,” said Veronika Isaeva, Deputy Minister of Economy and Commerce of Kyrgyzstan.

“It will help domestic entrepreneurs to understand the procedures and specifics of entering the European market, where there are their own rules and requirements,” she said. “Our trainers will deliver the information to our target audience of small and medium-sized enterprises."

35 national facilitators to support export growth

In-person workshops and online courses for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are run by more than 30 certified trainers and five system administrators, with the support of ITC.

Instructors are trained to manage the national platforms, enroll the users, and deliver in-person workshops. They will support participants on various aspects of export procedures and international trade using digital workshops and other innovative techniques and tools.

“To deliver the Cross-Border Curriculum, ITC is partnering with national institutions in each Central Asia country that can provide the training and the network to reach out to target beneficiaries,” said Shaun Lake, Senior Adviser for E-learning at the SME Trade Academy.

"The importance of a reliable local partner is crucial for the sustainable development and application of the curriculum in the long term,” he said. “Our strategic goal is to engage and empower institutional partners to support the Cross-Border Curriculum, actively contributing to the training of future exporters even after the end of the project.”

The long-term version

Since its launch, the initiative has already held 56 workshops, with 50 more planned in 2023. The long-term strategy for the development of the curriculum relies on the ownership and active participation of institutional partners.

"By adopting a problem-based approach focusing on specific and practical issues faced by exporters, these courses are already receiving positive feedback from participating exporters,” said Estève Morel, Associate Programme Officer at the SME Trade Academy.

“Both their online and face-to-face versions bring interesting innovations that improve the involvement of participants and make course monitoring easier."

Discover the virtual learning space platforms:






About Ready4Trade Central Asia

Ready4Trade Central Asia is a four-year EU-funded project implemented by the International Trade Centre in close collaboration with national partners, designed to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the countries of the region. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular women-led enterprises, and business support organizations.