For the first time, Tajik public and private sector, as well as media representatives were introduced to the European Union’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) schemes and potential benefits Tajikistan certain economic sectors can gain from this system.
A workshop followed by a press-café for the journalists on the GSP+ scheme was organized by the International Trade Centre today, on 14 May 2014, in Dushanbe city. The event was arranged in the framework of its project, which supports the Republic of Tajikistan in implementation of the WTO provisions and the Government’s WTO commitments. The ITC project is funded by the Government of Switzerland within its Trade Cooperation Program (TCP) in Tajikistan.
The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) is a system of unilateral trade concessions, which reduces or eliminates tariffs on a range of exports from developing countries and least-developed countries. Mr. Paolo Vergano, expert in international trade, who introduced the GSP in Dushanbe, says: “This system aims to increase export revenue in developing countries in order to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development and good governance. The current version of the system is applied starting from 1 January 2014. The new system focuses on tariff preferences on the countries mostly in need; enhancement of GSP+ as a tool to support partners, which intend to implement core international conventions on human and labour rights, sustainable development and good governance; and ensure transparency and increase predictability for operators”.
In the workshop and press-café, Mr. Vergano has also briefed the GSP history and evolution, overviewed the preferential arrangements, and told about the ways of benefiting from this system. He said: “Although, ratifying and implementing the conventions and securing compliance with the sustainability requirements and monitoring mechanism requires efforts and time, this system foresees overall significant advantages, such as deeper tariff preferences, including total tariff elimination, and no sector graduation. Main exports from Tajikistan to the EU include textiles and clothing and aluminium products. It should be noted that, while raw aluminium is not an eligible product under GSP or GSP+, this EU’s preferential tariff scheme increases the export opportunities in many other sectors and serves as a platform for export diversification”.
The ITC, through this technical assistance project, is committed to support Tajikistan’s public and private sector in strengthening their knowledge of the opportunities and challenges stemming from the WTO membership.
Swiss support: Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2012-2015, Switzerland focuses on four sectors in Tajikistan; Health, Rule of Law, Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, and Private Sector Development. The overall goal of Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan is to support the transition process in the country through contributing to economic development and by helping build institutions and systems which are responsive to the population’s needs. www.swisscoop.tj, www.deza.admin.ch, www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch