Trade and development agencies join forces to boost Central Asia’s capacity to export

BISHKEK (TCA) — Three international organizations — the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Trade Centre (ITC) — have launched a new trade intelligence training programme for Central Asia, to support the trade and export capacities of the businesses in this region.

The programme aims to help businesses to understand opportunities in trade flows, and focus on Trade Support Institutions (TSIs) to increase their familiarity and capacity to use available tools to identify export opportunities, as well as market entry requirements, to deliver these tools to their SMEs.

“SMEs are the backbone of economy, and they drive the country’s growth, innovation and job creation. We are pleased with the collaboration with the UN’s Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) to reach out to Central Asia and bridge their trade capacities and prepare them for international trade,” commented Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC).

“I am proud that ITC has provided its technical expertise in trade and market analysis at this workshop in partnership with the ITFC and UNDP. The Regional Trade Intelligence Training Program for Central Asia will enable participants from seven Central Asia countries to provide valuable advisory services to their local businesses and also allow them undertake market feasibility studies to help channel exports to the markets with the highest potential,” said Aichatou Pouye, Director of Division of Market Development at ITC.

Countries in the Central Asian region face increasing global competition for their main export products, “We know that a $1 worth of investment in market intelligence leverages $35. So we need to give companies the support they require to take full advantage of global trade, and identify new niche products that are sustainable, create jobs and ultimately contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals,” said George Bouma, Cluster Leader of Sustainable Development at the UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub.

Trade is inextricably linked with the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, allowing countries to generate revenue from what they produce, increase the fiscal space and boost employment. Ensuring developing countries have access to global markets is considered an effective way to build new industries and strengthen their economies.

To boost the Central Asian companies’ capacity to export, the new programme will work closely with Trade Support Institutions from seven countries, as they play an important role in empowering companies in tackling market requirements and diversifying target markets.

The participating countries to the first phase of the training programme in Istanbul are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Trade and Market Intelligence section (TMI) has developed the course to help TSI representatives respond to requests on perceived export opportunities. The course integrates ITC Tools and methodologies as well as other elements of trade information required to effectively plan a market entry. Successful certified trainers are expected to organize at least one training event in their country after their certification to achieve wide dissemination of the information provided.


Times of Central Asia