Private sector can improve business environment in Tajikistan
10 months ago Web Desk 0
Trade facilitation is a key objective to ensure a favorable business environment and open up new foreign trade opportunities. Improving the transparency, predictability and effectiveness of trade formalities leads to reduced trade costs, delays at the border and increased competitiveness of doing business.
In order to intensify efforts to simplify trade procedures, in particular to increase the country’s export potential, by government’s decree the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures (Committee or CCFTP) was established on December 24, 2016.
The Committee’s activities are aimed at coordinating actions to facilitate the simplification, harmonization and standardization of foreign trade procedures and transportation, as well as coordinating the interests of the state and the private sector in this area.
The Committee members include representatives of ministries and departments involved in the regulation and supervision of foreign trade operations, as well as enterprises and organizations, regardless of ownership, whose activities are connected with foreign trade and related services in this area including public associations.
The CCFTP is chaired by the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan, and the organization of its activities and meetings are provided by the Permanent Technical Secretariat, headed by the executive secretary.
Meetings of the CCFTP are convened in accordance with the approved schedule at least once in 3 months, and, if necessary, extra meetings can be convened at the request of the chairman of the CCFTP. It should be noted that during its three-year activity, ten meetings were organized, not including meetings of working groups.The meetings are attended by 24 members of CCFTP, which were approved by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, as well as 12 representatives of the private sector, business associations and public associations of Tajikistan.Also, these meetings are regularly attended by representatives of international organizations and development partners, including the International Trade Center, the United Nations Development Program, the Swiss Cooperation Office, the US Agency for International Development, the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Tajikistan, the Asian Development Bank and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
It should be noted that, with the active work of ministries and departments (members of the Committee), a number of measures were taken for trade facilitation and export increase, including the development and establishment of “green corridors” for perishable products with Russia and Uzbekistan, implementation of reforms under the WTO agreement on trade facilitation and in the framework of government’s decree of on reduction of time and costs of foreign economic activity participants.
As a result of these large-scale regulatory and economic reforms, the country managed to increase its rating in the indicator “Trading across the border” from position 188 in 2015 to position 141 in 2020.Thus, Tajikistan was named as one of the top 10 reformers in the world according to the World Banks’ Doing Business Report for 2020.
The participation of the private sector in the work of the CCFTP is necessary to ensure that the needs and interests of business are taken into account when implementing reforms of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in national legislation and administrative practice.This Agreement was adopted by WTO members to simplify trade formalities, and it entered into force on February 22, 2017.The presence of business community has a direct impact on the planning and discussions of the CCFTP.The active participation of the private sector encourages the Government to develop effective trade facilitation measures.Many trade facilitation recommendations are the result of consultations with the private sector on possible solutions to the day-to-day obstacles they face.The private sector can rely on its contribution to the project specification, opinion exchange regarding options for implementation and preferences, participation in pilot projects and assistance in evaluating of effectiveness of trade facilitation, both domestically and among external trading partners.
Thus, participation of the private sector in the CCFTP activities represents a unique opportunity to contribute to improving of the business environment. This could well mark a new phase for business in Tajikistan, where doing business is quick, easy and with low cost.
Source: Asia Plus