Discussing achievements and challenges of ITC projects in Tajikistan

The role and contribution of the International Trade Centre (ITC) to the textile, clothing and handicraft sectors of Tajikistan, as well as the ITC assistance in implementation of the country’s WTO commitments will be discussed at the high-level Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting on 2 December, in Dushanbe.

The PSC consists of representatives from Tajikistan’s relevant ministries, agencies, private sector, academia, the donor (Government of Switzerland), and the ITC. The Committee was established to support the project activities, as well as to ensure transparency in implementation and that the projects’ outputs respond to the country’s priorities.

Currently, ITC implements two projects in Tajikistan, funded by the Government of Switzerland within its Trade Cooperation Program (TCP) in Tajikistan.

One of the projects is focused on strengthening the export competitiveness of the Tajik textile, clothing, and handicraft sectors.

Mr. Saidrahmon Nazrizoda, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, highlights ITC’s input in the development of the textile and clothing sector: “I would like to note the importance of the sector for our economy. Tajikistan is a cotton producing country and we are attempting to ensure full processing of cotton within the country to produce  final products. As part of its project goals, ITC also addresses one of Tajikistan’s key challenges – the gender issue and job creation for women. This could also be considered as one of the project’s achievements. I’d like to thank ITC and SECO for the assistance they provide and we hope that this fruitful cooperation will continue in the future”.

Mr. Armen Zargaryan, ITC’s Programme Coordinator for the Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, emphasizes the project contribution towards development of the textile and clothing sector  of Tajikistan during last three years: “We have assisted the local stakeholders in development of the ‘’Textile and Clothing Industry Development Strategy of Tajikistan for 2016-2025’’, enabled local trade support institutions in improving their services, assisted universities in updating their curriculum, strengthened the cooperation between Tajik and foreign educational institutions, and conducted different studies in priority areas. 

Our support has allowed the Tajik textile, clothing, and handicraft companies to enter new foreign markets and become more competitive in the regional markets through enhancing their knowledge in different  areas, including product design and development, quality management and productivity, marketing, etc. ”. 

“RBT Resandai Tojikiston” is the newest yarn producer in Tajikistan established last year. Early this year the company joined project organized trip to the  International Yarn fair in Istanbul, and already in three months the company independently initiated participation at another fair in Istanbul with little support from ITC. Director Bahrom Mamadjonov says: “With ITC’s assistance we were able to participate in the Istanbul Yarn Fair last February, where we signed profitable contracts and returned with a lot of useful experience. That was the first push, an opportunity to discover the importance of international trade fairs and we are thankful to ITC for their assistance in participation in our second fair too. ITC also supports us in many other ways, such as provision of consultative services, trainings on marketing, branding, and quality management, establishment of new business contacts and etc.”

Mufarrah Muhabbatov, Chairman of the Union of Craftsmen of Tajikistan, and Director of “Rukhom”, expresses his satisfaction from cooperation with ITC. Mr. Muhabbatov, who is preparing for his second visit to the international trade fair “Ambiente” in Frankfurt with the project  assistance, says: “ITC experts assisted us greatly, especially in product design and development. They prepared and offered us around 10 new designs, which were very eye-catching and attracted the attention of handicraft fans. Our experience from participating in the “Ambiente” trade fair in Frankfurt led us to produce and export goods using new machinery, to consider market demands and requirements, and to use new designs based on customer preferences, especially European customers”.

Under its second project, ITC continues providing assistance to Tajikistan’s post-WTO accession process, implementation of the country’s commitments, and strengthening the knowledge of public and private sectors on the WTO rules and agreements. Mr. Dilshod Sharifi, Head of WTO Affairs Department, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan, says: “In 2016 ITC continued its support in improving the general understanding of the WTO agreements among relevant Government institutions and private sector. We have jointly conducted a series of workshops on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in different regions of the country, as well as continued our awareness raising activities through mass media. We continue working on establishing the Coordinating Committee on Trade Facilitation (CCTF). During the study tour to Malaysia organized under the ITC project the Tajik delegation was able to learn about the Malaysian experience in the area of trade facilitation, including establishing and running an CCTF body”.     

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