Moving past trade flow obstacles in Central Asia: Regional Expert Meeting

28 June 2021
ITC News

On the 23-24th of June 2021, participants from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan attended a hybrid online and in-person regional expert meeting focusing on obstacles to trade for traders in Central Asia and possible ways forward.

The two-day event featured panel discussions with national experts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan who explained their research findings and insights on obstacles to regional trade flows. 

Over the past 12 months, the International Trade Centre (ITC), in close coordination with local partners, mapped and prioritized the main obstacles to trade faced by businesses on trade flows for products such as vegetable oils, flours, dairy, beans, dried fruit, juice, and fresh produce within Central Asia and to the European Union.  

These efforts culminated in meetings with private sector and public sector representatives in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan to review and validate the findings. 

 The findings showed that there were several common obstacles to trade which varied in extent among the countries: 

  • High cost and delays in obtaining certificates from accredited institutions 
  • Non-recognition of CA certificates by partner countries 
  • Long queues at physical border crossings 
  • Lack of dedicated mechanisms for the expedited clearance of perishable products 
  • Excessive documentation requirements to complete trade formalities 
  • Opportunity to further refine the operations of Single Window systems 

After the presented research, plenary discussions with representatives from the four countries were held. These discussions gave the representatives the opportunity to ask questions, share national best practices, discuss root causes, and generate ideas on how the R4TCA project could contribute to creating a more conducive trade environment in Central Asia and towards the EU. 

The Ready4Trade Central Asia project aims to support the development of intra-regional and international trade in five Central Asian countries. This will be done by enhancing the transparency of cross-border requirements, removing regulatory and procedural barriers, strengthening business capability to comply with trade formalities and standards, as well as by improving cross-border e-commerce. The 4-year EU-funded Project is a trade component of a larger EU-funded programme which aims to support Investment, Competitiveness and Trade in Central Asia, thus contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic development in the region. The "The Ready4Trade Central Asia project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). 


For more information please contact  

Ms. Madina Iskazina, Consultant on Communication and Public Relations, ITC National Office in Kazakhstan 

email: miskazina [at] (miskazina[at]intracen[dot]org) mobile: +7 775 563 03 81

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Ms. Elnura Abakanova, Communications officer, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan,

e-mail: elnura.abakanova [at] (elnura[dot]abakanova[at]eeas[dot]europa[dot]eu), @EUinKazakhstan