The International Trade Centre (ITC) has launched a new project with a CHF 2,140,000 budget allocated by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) to assist Tajikistan’s small and medium enterprises in the field of the textile and clothing industry to strengthen their export competitiveness, as well as to enhance trade support institutional capacities in the country.
The project is Component Four of SECO’s Trade Cooperation Programme in Tajikistan and a continuation of the third phase of the previous “Trade Promotion Programme in Tajikistan”, which was implemented by ITC and ended in September 2013.
The new technical assistance project will focus on increasing the export competitiveness of the textile and clothing sector in Tajikistan, by providing sector specific support to SMEs and relevant trade support institutions, as well as by supporting the respective stakeholders in taking a strategic approach to the sector’s development. Mr. Saidrahmon Nazriev, Tajik Deputy Minister of the Economic Development and Trade, says: “We welcome ITC’s focus on Tajikistan’s textile and clothing sector because of its potential to grow and to make a contribution to the country’s export diversification. The textile and clothing sector also has significant opportunities in terms of employment generation, particularly for women. We believe that this project will also contribute to the Government’s efforts in building a vertically integrated industry, increasing the volumes of processed cotton to produce more final products in the country”.
As part of the assistance to the textile and clothing sector, the project will also conduct studies in order to understand the current trade finance situation in Tajikistan and provide recommendations on industry specific technical assistance needs, as well as to determine the potential of integrating Tajik organic-cotton producers into the T&C sector value chains and provide recommendations on existing market opportunities. Mr. Armen Zargaryan, ITC Regional Trade Promotion Adviser, adds: “The project will also identify development opportunities and challenges for the tourism and handicraft sectors in Tajikistan, as a first step to engage different stakeholders, and develop comprehensive assistance frameworks, aimed at fostering the sectors’ potential to play a significant role in the economy. The project will make a contribution to poverty reduction by stimulating employment creation and income generation. Women stand to benefit the most, as they make up the majority of the workforce in the target sectors”.
So far, the International Trade Centre has implemented a number of trade-related assistance projects in Tajikistan, such as the ‘Trade Promotion in Central Asia’ project (2002-2003) and three phases of the ‘Trade Promotion Programme in Tajikistan’ (2004-2006, 2006-2008, and 2009-2012). Up until 2008 the Programme provided assistance to the fruit and vegetable processing sector in Tajikistan. Since 2009 the project has focused on the textile and clothing sector, demonstrating practical and successful results in a sector with substantial problems.