OSCE supports trade facilitation in Central Asia and Afghanistan



Dietmar Jost, expert from Germany, during a three-day workshop on trade facilitation instruments and challenges, Dushanbe, 24 August 2015. (OSCE/Habib Rahmonov)

A three-day workshop for participants from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan on trade facilitation instruments and challenges opened at the OSCE Office in Tajikistan on 24 August 2015.

Nineteen representatives from ministries of economy, finance, energy, customs’ services, and the business sector from the three countries will participate in the workshop. It is co-organised by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Border Management Staff College (BMSC.)

The workshop is focused on the UN “Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide” as an information and capacity-building tool for trade facilitation implementers, including those working on applying the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation. The participants will enhance their knowledge on the key trade facilitation instruments and related concepts. This event will provide material for developing national and regional road maps for trade facilitation, including for Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries.

The workshop will cover the domains and instruments included in the UNECE “Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide” and the joint OSCE-UNECE “Handbook of Best Practices at Border Crossings – A Trade and Transport Facilitation Perspective.” Participants will be trained on such topics as Coordinated Border Management, Authorised Economic Operators, National Trade Facilitation Committees, Single Window implementation, as well as key trade facilitation tools, approaches and methodologies.

“This workshop will allow governmental and private business representatives to increase their working skills in trade facilitation and implementing international best practices in their daily work,” said Martin Rossmann, Head of the Economic and Environmental Department at the OSCE Office in Tajikistan. “Commitment of both government and business is of key importance for the success of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. These three countries lie at the very centre of Eurasia and are eager to lift up regional and international trade.”

Mario Apostolov, UNECE Regional Adviser, said: “The accession of Tajikistan to the WTO, and the Government’s recent ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, brought new and positive developments to the region. This workshop perfectly symbolises the spirit of the OSCE-UNECE co-operation, as this joint event will allow participants to raise their knowledge and share respective experiences in achieving the uneasy objective of trade facilitation.”