Press releases

Ready4Trade Central Asia recaps progress in Uzbekistan

12 July 2021
ITC News

The Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan, the European Union and the International Trade Centre are joining forces to promote sustainable and inclusive economic development in Uzbekistan.
The Ready4Trade project supports a vigorous integration of Uzbekistan into international multilateral trade to expand its economic potential for open, transparent and equal trade with neighbouring countries and economies beyond. The project intends to lift unnecessary trade barriers to intra-regional and international trade, develop the e-commerce sector, alleviate the negative impact and economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on Uzbekistan, and support inclusive business opportunities for all.

Stocktaking exercise

During a high-level online event on 8 July 2021, stakeholders reviewed initial achievements and planned the next steps of the Ready4Trade project. Keynote speakers included H.E. Mr. Bakhtiyor Rakhimov, Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan, H.E. Ms. Charlotte Adriaen, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan and Mr. Ashish Shah, Director of the Division of Country Programmes of the International Trade Centre.

  • H.E. Ms. Charlotte Adriaen, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan stated that “the future of the Central Asian region and Uzbekistan will greatly improve with the economic integration of the region and the intensification of trade, which respects values, norms and standards promoted by the European Union. This regional project is a first step in the right direction.”
  • Director of the Division of Country Programmes, ITC Mr. Ashish Shah said, “The project has managed to attain significant achievements, despite all the limitations caused by the pandemic. Ready4Trade is supporting Uzbekistan in establishing a National Trade Facilitation Portal and helping the Government to address procedural and regulatory obstacles to trade through the development of a training curriculum on cross-border management and by providing on-the-job coaching to small businesses. Ready4Trade also works towards women’s economic empowerment in collaboration with the State Customs Committee and State Statistics Committee, as well as the Business Women Association of Uzbekistan. The project also supports Uzbekistan in developing its e-commerce strategy based on a multi-stakeholder participatory process and carrying out an in-depth assessment of the national e-commerce ecosystem.”

Uzbek representatives satisfactorily noted that the Ready4Trade project was coming along well within the framework of the ongoing larger reforms aimed at improving trade procedures in Uzbekistan.

The participants of the high-level meeting discussed:

  • Results achieved in Uzbekistan during the first year of project implementation
  • Future activities to ensure that the project moves forward in the right direction which is best fitted to the context of Uzbekistan

The Ready4Trade project is working closely with multiple key government stakeholders, business associations, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Uzbekistan in two focus areas: trade facilitation and e-commerce. The project organizes capacity-building activities in the form of e-labs, workshops, trainings and coaching sessions to equip the various organizations with the necessary knowledge to overcome digitization challenges. 

Trade facilitation

Trade-facilitation measures should have numerous positive effects on the Uzbek economy by boosting the speed and efficiency of cross-border trade procedures while reducing costs. Ready4Trade supports policymakers in enacting measures to enhance the transparency of cross-border regulatory requirements, remove regulatory and procedural barriers to trade and simplify existing procedures for cross-border trade. These measures will also strengthen the capacity of businesses to comply with trade formalities and standards, as well as enhance women's skills to engage in international trade. 


Digitally facilitated trade can stimulate economic growth by creating employment opportunities for young people, women and the socially vulnerable segments of the population while enabling MSMEs to reach new markets on an international level. Ready4Trade helps small businesses identify new markets and trade nationally, regionally and internationally. Offline companies gain knowledge to establish their digital trade presence, while more digitally advanced businesses receive support to increase their online visibility. Members of participating business associations benefit from e-commerce training and awareness-raising activities.
The project also supports an e-Commerce Strategy in Uzbekistan, working with policymakers and national stakeholders to enhance the e-commerce framework. 

Uzbekistan is one of the five beneficiary countries of the EU-funded Ready4Trade project implemented by the International Trade Centre. More information:

Stay connected: #Ready4Trade #CentralAsia

With the project ‘Ready4Trade Central Asia’, the European Union (EU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) are joining forces to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the region. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), in particular women-led enterprises, and Business Support Organizations (BSOs). The project operates in five countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

More information:

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ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
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