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Tajikistan develops National Trade Facilitation Roadmap to boost exports for inclusive growth, with UNECE support

Over the last few years, Tajikistan has strengthened its efforts to make international trade easier, boost exports and achieve more inclusive growth. UNECE, through its UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and e-Business (UN/CEFACT), has been a steadfast partner in this effort. However, further progress is still needed. Based on the findings of the 2017 UNECE Report on Trade Facilitation and Paperless Trade, despite some progress, in Tajikistan the implementation rate of surveyed trade facilitation and digital trade measures is below 50%. And, according to the 2019 World Bank Doing Business Report, the country still lags behind its peers, like Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan in the sub-region.

A UNECE capacity building project aims to address Regulatory and Procedural Barriers to Trade in the country.  A key component of this will be the finalization of the National Trade Facilitation Roadmap developed by the National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC) of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT), with UN/CEFACT support.

A workshop, organized jointly with the Committee, in collaboration with the International Training Centre (ITC), gathered representatives of all key stakeholders for trade facilitation in the country in Dushanbe on 11-13 March, to advance preparations for the Roadmap. The Roadmap will serve as the guiding framework for a comprehensive reform programme over a five years period (2019-2024).

The overall objective is to cut the time and cost of doing trade by 30 %, through a mix of activities to be put in place to implement the measures of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and beyond. The establishment of a risk management and authorized economic operator scheme, a system for the electronic exchange of documents and for the e-payment of trade transactions, and the completion of the electronic Single Window project, are among the key priorities identified.

The National Trade Facilitation Roadmap of Tajikistan is an important step forward, as it will provide the country with a strategic vision and framework of actions, which will ensure that all stakeholders will share the same priorities and will move in the same direction. It will also allow to measure progress and provide continuity to public agencies implementing reforms and will constitute an important reference for international donors.

Following the workshop, the NTFC will finalize the Roadmap, which is expected to be adopted through Government decree, by the end of 2019.