Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of efficient trade processes has become clear as a means to allow for fast and safe movement of products, including bringing the life-saving medicines and food products to people, and to reduce the economic impacts of the crisis. In the Kyrgyz Republic, international trade fell by 18.6 per cent worth US$ 1.3 billion, and imports took an even more significant hit, dropping by 26.6 per cent.
Against this backdrop and to support the country’s sustainable economic recovery, UNECE and the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic officially launched the National Trade Facilitation Roadmap 2021 -2025 through a hybrid event on 15 June 2021. The Roadmap is a comprehensive strategic framework to overhaul the country’s trade facilitation reforms. It is a single conceptual document that includes a vision and determines prioritized actions to implement trade facilitation reforms. Available in both English and Russian, the Roadmap provides a tool for all stakeholders to coordinate, monitor and track the implementation of all 59 activities covered. It has been developed based on the UNECE Guide to Drafting a National Trade Facilitation Roadmap.
“The Kyrgyz Republic needs a robust strategy to “build back better”; one that embodies greater digitalization and sustainability at its core” – said Mr. Dmitry Mariyasin, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNECE. Mr. Rysaliev Seyit, Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic, further added that expansion of trade following effective trade facilitation measures will lead to structural changes in the economy.
Encompassing these concepts, during 2021-2025, the Kyrgyz Republic envisions to:
- transform its trade facilitation services to digitally-enabled services to achieve 60% implementation of the digital trade facilitation measures in the United Nations Global Survey on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation;
- be in the top 60 countries in the Trading Across Borders section of the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking and;
- fully eliminate paper-based documents for export and import of essential goods.
This vision will be attained through 59 activities under the following 4 subgoals:
1) Improve the legal, regulatory, and strategic framework for trade facilitation for the countries members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and non-EAEU countries;
2) Enhance digitalization of administrative procedures for export and import;
3) Develop sustainable trade facilitation measures, ensuring continuity in the import and export of essential goods during states of emergency, pandemics or periods of crisis;
4) Build the capacity of Kyrgyz stakeholders engaged in the implementation of trade facilitation measures and improve access to knowledge for the beneficiaries of trade facilitation.
This Roadmap tasks over 20 agencies and organizations to implement 59 activities by 2025 which includes implementation of risk management system, developing a centre for trade facilitation and acceding to the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific.
To implement this, the Roadmap includes a risk analysis and measures for mitigating risks. These include improving the organizational structure of the state authorized agencies, conducting briefing and training for employees of the state authorized agencies and other stakeholders, as well as for the private sector, ensuring the active participation and collaboration of the private sector, implementing all necessary legislative amendments and mobilizing and ensuring internal and external human, financial, legal and material resources.
This Roadmap was presented and approved at the meeting of the National Trade Facilitation Council (NTFC) of the Kyrgyz Republic on 25 December 2020 and will be adopted by an official order of the government following the publication. This publication benefitted from the advice and guidance of the members of the National Trade Facilitation Council and other national and regional experts who took part in the Expert Consultation for the National Trade Facilitation Roadmap, held on 27 October 2020.
Measures of this Roadmap will support the full implementation the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) including the category C measures - a priority of the country. The publication has been developed under the UNECE project “Strengthening the capacity of the Kyrgyzstan National Trade Facilitation Council to implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement”, funded by the Russian Federation.
To download the publication in English and Russian, click here https://unece.org/info/Trade/pub/357445