The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) are organizing a regional meeting to support regional cooperation among the National Trade Facilitation Committees in Central Asia, held online on 3-4 November 2020.
In February 2019 GIZ organized a regional meeting of National Trade Facilitation Committees (NTFCs) from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The meeting provided an opportunity to present the national trade facilitation implementation plans. For two days representatives of the committees shared their respective trade facilitation objectives and implementation plans and discussed technical aspects and experiences, namely in the area of monitoring of border crossing times, trade information portals and transit simplification. Participants expressed their interest in continuing this information exchange between NTFС.
The regional GIZ project “Trade Facilitation in Central Asia” is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented in four Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The main objective of the project is to improve implementation of trade facilitation measures in the region by providing technical assistance on how to make border crossing and transit faster, more efficient and transparent. The project is implemented in cooperation with national ministries responsible for trade policy, customs authorities and border control agencies, as well as business associations. The regional GIZ project “Trade facilitation in Central Asia” (TFCA) supports regional consultation and coordination mechanisms and national trade facilitation committees / working groups in the four countries.
UNECE has supported the establishment and functioning of National Trade Facilitation Committees since 1970, when the first version of UNECE’s Recommendation 4 was adopted. For decades national trade facilitation bodies have represented their countries in the work of UNECE and its subsidiary body - the UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) on the facilitation of international trade procedures. UNECE has provided advisory services on the establishment and functioning of trade facilitation for the transition economies, including in the countries of the region (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan). It provided substantial support for the regional network of national trade facilitation bodies in Southeastern Europe SECIPRO.
Objective of the regional meeting
The meeting will provide an opportunity to:
- exchange experiences on progress in the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and trade facilitation in general
- agree on a sustainable mechanism for cooperation between the NTFСs in the subregion
- discuss the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on cross-border trade;
- build awareness and capacity on technical issues in trade facilitation.
The meeting will be conducted virtually using the Webex in two channels with interpretation.