Ready4Trade Central Asia supports Tajikistan in transforming its economy
(Geneva/Dushanbe) The Ready4Trade Central Asia project is taking business in Tajikistan to a whole new level, with easier import and export trade, boosted e-commerce, empowered female entrepreneurship, and much more.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan, the European Union (EU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have come together to spur inclusive and sustainable economic development in the country by boosting intra-regional and international trade.
The project’s activities also aim to help minimize the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Tajikistan’s economy.
Ready4Trade is materializing at the most opportune time as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Tajikistan are suffering from the devastating effects of the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
High-level stocktaking exercise
During the high-level online event held on 11 June 2021, stakeholders reviewed the initial outcomes of the Ready4Trade project as well as the scheduled next steps.
Keynote speakers included Mr. Abdurahmon Abdurahmonzoda, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Francesco Straniero, Attaché, EU Delegation to Tajikistan (on behalf of Mr. Stefano Ellero, Head of Cooperation), and Ms. Dorothy Tembo, Deputy Executive Director of ITC.
Mr. Abdurahmon Abdurahmonzoda, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan pointed out that: ‘The activities planned under the Ready4Trade project are significant for economic development, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current sensitive economic period. In this regard, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan considers the strengthening of these areas as a priority in the economic system. In particular, the Founder of Peace and National Unity - Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon, during his annual address to the Majlisi Oli gave specific instructions to the Government of the country and relevant ministries and agencies with the aim of strengthening the institutional foundations of the digital economy, development of the information and communication infrastructure of the country, digitization of the national economy, expansion of the process of implementation of e-Government, export diversification and trade facilitation.
The Ready4Trade project comes as a timely and important initiative, addressing key areas of our national economy, challenging existing trade barriers and creating new opportunities for local and foreign entrepreneurs. We express readiness for provision of full support to ITC to advance in its mission and achieve the project’s objectives’.
Mr. Stefano Ellero, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Tajikistan: ‘I would like to highlight some achievements that this project has already accomplished despite the short time and pandemic restrictions, such as the development of the first ever Customs Code Commentary, the introduction of the Authorized Economic Operator mechanism, and the progress in developing the E-Commerce Strategy of Tajikistan. By strengthening the economic links in the region and boosting local economies, the European Union will continue in its efforts to open doors to markets for businesses in both the European Union and Central Asia’.
Ms. Dorothy Tembo, ITC Deputy Executive Director: ‘During the past 11 months of implementation, I am happy and also proud to note that the Ready4Trade project has managed to attain significant achievements in Tajikistan. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the project is helping to address obstacles to trade, to improve micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)’ understanding of cross-border requirements through training and coaching, as well as to reach new markets through online channels. The project is also inclusive in approach by supporting women’s economic empowerment through trade, and engaging with various stakeholders, especially for their input in the development of a national e-commerce strategy’.
The high-level meeting participants discussed the following:
- Conclusions from the six-month inception phase, which has allowed the project to customize its approach to Tajikistan’s specific needs
- Results achieved in Tajikistan during the first 11 months of the implementation phase, which began in July 2020
- Future activities which ensure that the project moves forward in a way that is best fitted to the Tajik context
Two areas of focus: trade facilitation and e-commerce
Ready4Trade plans to achieve its goals by enhancing the transparency of cross-border requirements, removing regulatory and procedural barriers, strengthening business capabilities in order to comply with trade formalities and standards, as well as improving cross-border e-commerce. Activities under Ready4Trade are thus organized around two key areas, trade facilitation and e-commerce:
Introduction of the right trade facilitation measures could have massive positive effects on the Tajik economy by boosting the speed and efficiency of cross-border trade procedures while reducing costs. Ready4Trade supports policymakers in the enactment of measures that enhance the transparency of cross-border regulatory requirements, remove regulatory and procedural barriers to trade and simplify existing procedures for cross-border trade. The project will also strengthen the capacity of businesses to comply with trade formalities and standards and enhance women’s skills and confidence to engage in international trade.
Digitally enabled trade, otherwise known as e-commerce, can drive economic growth by creating jobs for young people, women and poorer communities, while allowing MSMEs to reach new target markets. Ready4Trade supports MSMEs in their efforts to identify new markets to trade online nationally, regionally and internationally. The project specifically provides offline MSMEs with the tools to establish a digital presence online, while giving more digitally advanced MSMEs the support to increase their online visibility and improve their current offering. Members of participating business associations benefit from e-commerce training and awareness-raising activities. Ready4Trade will additionally support the formulation of a national e-commerce strategy, to leverage Tajikistan’s market strengths while tackling the bottlenecks and challenges that impede e-commerce in the country.
Tajikistan is one of the five beneficiary countries of the EU-funded Ready4Trade project implemented by ITC.
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: intracen.org/Ready4Trade
About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. 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.
For more information, visit www.intracen.org.