The role and contribution of the International Trade Centre (ITC) to the textile and clothing sector of Tajikistan, as well as the results of the initial year of the new Global Textiles and Clothing Program (GTEX) were discussed at the Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting today, on 30 November, 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’s primary functions are to ensure transparency in implementation and that the project’s outputs respond to the country’s priorities.
This year, the ITC has launched the Global Textiles and Clothing Programme (GTEX), aiming to boost textile and clothing exports from Tajikistan to stimulate employment and income generation along the textile and clothing value chain. Tajikistan is one of the five countries selected to be part of this new four-year initiative, financed by the Government of Switzerland.
Mr. Zavqi Zavqizoda, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan, emphasizes ITC’s input in the development of the textile and clothing sector: “Our partners from the Government of Switzerland and ITC assist us in achieving one of Tajikistan’s key strategic priorities shifting from agro-industrial to industrial-agriculture based economy. I’d like to thank ITC and our Swiss friends for the assistance they provide and we hope that this fruitful cooperation will continue in the future”.
According to Mr. Zavqizoda, ITC project also made a great contribution in establishment and operationalization of a permanent secretariat to the Coordination Committee on Trade Facilitation and creation of Tajikistan Trade Information Portal.
“Jobs. More and better jobs. Better – meaning more productive, more innovative and value adding, more competitive and, thus, well paid. This is what Switzerland believes is important for any country and what can drive prosperity of the people. This is also very true for Tajikistan that decided to enhance competitiveness of its strategic sectors with high-value adding and export potential to create such jobs. It was advised by the Government of Tajikistan to support the local textile and clothing sector to unpack its potential in productive employment and to access the global market. However, having domestic cotton production, cheap labor, and electricity are not sufficient success factors anymore to enter the highly competitive and demanding global garment market. Hence, our current support through ITC is focused on facilitating a conducive business environment with clear rules of the game according to international standards, long-term and affordable finance, high-level professionals and local trade support institutions. All these are prerequisites for successful competition and a prosperous Tajikistan.” – said Raphael Jenny, Program Manager, SECO.
Mr. Armen Zargaryan, ITC’s Programme Coordinator for the Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, highlights some main results of the project in 2018: “Our support has allowed the Tajik textile and clothing companies to enter new foreign markets and become more competitive in the regional markets. Only in 2018 we have taken the Tajik companies to five international fairs and one study tour abroad, where each visit ended with establishing new business contacts and partnerships with foreign companies and signing contracts to export goods and import equipment. We have enabled local trade support institutions in improving their services, assisted universities in launching cooperation with foreign educational institutions. I also would like to mention that we have taken the work of the Union of the Private Sector Development of Tajikistan to a new level by strengthening their focus shift to the textile and clothing sector”.
“Vahdat”, a young, but already one of leaders of the textile industry in the country, is a committed ITC partner among the private sector. Its director Ilhom Mirzoev says: “With ITC assistance we were able to keep the image of Tajikistan as a source of high quality textile and clothing products in the region. From the international fairs we returned with profitable contracts and a lot of useful experience. I also would like to especially mention our trip Shanghai. Just in the beginning of this month, in Shanghai, we got a unique chance to be part of the new global trade expo initiative. 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.”
The International Trade Centre, supported by the Government of Switzerland, aims to increase the export competitiveness of the Tajik textile and clothing sector by supporting sector companies, and relevant trade support institutions from both public and private sectors.
This year Switzerland celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Dushanbe. Within the framework of a comprehensive cooperation and development program, Switzerland has supported the people and the government of Tajikistan in reforming the health, water and natural resource management sectors, in increasing access to justice and in facilitating the country’s transition towards a market economy. Switzerland invests approximately 20 Mio USD per year in projects implemented in all parts of Tajikistan.