The International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan developed a Business Guide on “Tajikistan’s WTO accession commitments”. This Guide is aimed at presenting the benefits and opportunities stemming from the Tajik WTO accession. The elaboration of this Business Guide, which consists of 70 pages in the English version and is the first work of volumetric analysis on the topic, has been financed by the Government of Switzerland within its Trade Cooperation Program (TCP) in Tajikistan.
Mr. Sharif Rahimzoda, Tajik Minister of Economic Development and Trade, in his forewords to the Business Guide mentions that “accession of Tajikistan into this prestigious international organization is a positive fact. Membership in this organization can trigger radical reform of all sectors of the economy and promote Tajik goods and services to global markets”.
Mr. Jean-Sébastien Roure, ITC Senior Officer, Business and Trade Policy, introduces some of the main contents of the Guide: “The study introduces its readers to the basic elements of the WTO system, as well as takes the reader in depth into Tajikistan’s accession to the global trade organization. The Guide provides insights into the terms of the Republic of Tajikistan’s accession to the WTO in the area of trade in goods and services”.
The Business Guide also focuses on the impacts and implications of Tajikistan WTO accession on priority sectors, such as agriculture and food industry, light and textile industry, metallurgy, trade services, and construction services. In addition to the general overview of the above-mentioned sectors and market access to them, the Guide describes the support measures domestically undertaken and the further implications for Tajik producers and exporters.
As highlighted in the Business Guide: “There are both advantages and disadvantages connected with WTO accession. As with other countries in transition, accession implied that Tajikistan had to embark on serious economic reforms. Optimization of the advantages and minimization of the disadvantages may be achieved through well-thought out and well-designed economic policies, the creation of institutional structures fostering and maintaining private-public dialogue, and the involvement of all stakeholders. Knowledge of the multilateral agreements and procedures will go a great length in supporting Tajikistan’s integration into the multilateral trading system and in allowing its industry and stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities”.
Trade negotiations, trade policy review mechanism, enforcing rights through WTO dispute settlement, and other multilateral and unilateral remedies are also raised and explained in the Guide.
The Business Guide will be available in both English and Russian languages online for free via the recently launched Tajikistan website on WTO, and ITC Tajikistan’s website. The Guide will also be printed and distributed among governmental agencies, private sectors and other stakeholders and will be used as a background document for thematic workshops with representatives from Tajikistan’s private sectors.
The WTO is an international organization established in 1995 regulating trade among its Members. The WTO is primarily concerned with the creation of an open, free and fair trade environment where all Members have equal access to wealth gains. With its accession on 2 March 2013, Tajikistan has become the 159th Member of the organization.
The 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.
About Swiss support: Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2012-2015 Switzerland focuses on the four sectors in Tajikistan, such as Health, Rule of Law, Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, and Private Sector Development. The overall goal of the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan is to support the transition process in the country through contributing to the economic development and by helping build institutions and systems which are responsive to the population’s needs. For more information: www.swisscoop.tj, www.deza.admin.ch, www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch