A series of seven one and a half days’ workshops on raising Tajik business awareness on the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) has started today, on August 27, 2013 in Rasht Valley.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) brings together the representatives of Tajik horticulture and agro-processing sectors, as well as the representatives of the public entities dealing with the SPS measures in 4 regions of Tajikistan to improve understanding and skills of Tajikistan business private sector on benefits, challenges and business implications of WTO membership of the country for trade of food and agricultural products covered by SPS measures. The workshops will be conducted by the national trainers on SPS in the following cities and districts: Rasht, Kulob, Khorugh, Qurghonteppa, Dushanbe and Direct Rule Districts, Istaravshan, and Khujand.
The workshops will be held under the ITC project on “Implementation of WTO provisions and business awareness of WTO Accession” funded by the Government of Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
“The workshops are aimed to increase the understanding of the horticulture and agro-processing sectors, as well as public bodies of the steps taken by WTO Members to encourage free and fair trade at international level and minimize the implementation of SPS measures by countries, which could result in barriers to such trade. These steps were formalized in the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS). Participants will also discuss how the public and private sectors could cooperate to use the Agreement to enhance market access for exports”, Mr. Kosim Kurbonov, ITC National Consultant on SPS, said.
Mr. Kurbonov adds the workshops will help the Tajik private sector to gain knowledge of the WTO rules and ways to develop skills for access to foreign markets after Tajikistan’s accession to WTO. Eight local trainers were trained on the SPS measures and training methods by the ITC international experts in July 2013. Local trainers have customized selected modules of the ITC training package on “The WTO Agreement on SPS: Enabling business through international regulations”, taking into account the needs of the horticulture and agro-processing sectors in the country.
For the first time in Tajikistan, a series of similar workshops on “The WTO Agreement on TBT: A Business Perspective” were also conducted by local trainers in the regions of Tajikistan in 2012.
“Implementation of WTO provisions and business awareness of WTO Accession” project is Component TWO of the SECO’s Trade Cooperation Programme (TCP) in Tajikistan, which overall objective is to contribute to the implementation of complex domestic reforms in Tajikistan to ensure compliance with the WTO provisions. The International Trade Centre (ITC), through this technical assistance project, is committed to support Tajikistan’s private sector in strengthening its knowledge of the opportunities and challenges stemming from the WTO membership.