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THE SEVENTH MEETING OF THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON FACILITATION OF TRADE PROCEDURES 30.05.2019 THE SEVENTH MEETING OF THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON FACILITATION OF TRADE PROCEDURES

On May 29, 2019, the seventh meeting of  the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures (CCFTP) was held in the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade with the participation of representatives of ministries and agencies, private sector and international organizations.

Head of the Committee Minister of Economic Development and Trade, distinguished Nematullo Hikmatullozoda noted that the main purpose of establishing the CCFTP is to solve the existing issues of the Private Sector and by discussing and dealing with the issues that are described during the meeting would directly accelerate the implementation of the strategic documents and further develop the economy of the country.

In order to implement the instructions of the Founder of Peace and National Unity - Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, H. E. Emomali Rahmon, the issues of the textile and clothing sectors, tax preferences for the export and import of the mentioned sectors products, acknowledgment of the certificates of the Republic of Tajikistan in other countries, importers challenges and monitoring of the implementation of the 2018 protocol instructions of the CCFTP were discussed during the meeting. Moreover, the new Members from the number of the representatives of the private sector were introduced to the CCFTP.

The meeting provided a free dialogue between public and private sector representatives, during which proposals from the private sector were submitted to public sector representatives for revision.

By the end of the meeting, detailed instructions on solving the existing problems of the private sector were given for revision and implementation of the relevant CCFTP Members.

 

 Participation of the official delegation of the Republic of Tajikistan in the Trade Policy Review of Trinidad and Tobago 24.05.2019 Participation of the official delegation of the Republic of Tajikistan in the Trade Policy Review of Trinidad and Tobago

On 22 May 2019 Trade Policy Review (TPR) of Trinidad and Tobago was held in the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. The official delegation headed by the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Zavqizoda Zavqi Amin participated and presented Tajikistans position in the event.

The main purpose of participation of the Tajikistans delegation in the TPR of Trinidad and Tobago was introduction to the process and order of conducting this event, exchange of experience and holding discussions related to the conducting of the First TPR of the Republic of Tajikistan in the WTO with the focal points of the Organization.

It should be noted that on the basis of the instruction of the Founder of Peace and National Unity Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, H. E. Emomali Rahmon the First TPR of Tajikistan is planned to be held in April 2020 and in order to conduct this event on high level the relevant Action plan was validated by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.

In this order, with a view of preparing the TPR report of the Republic of Tajikistan, participation of the official delegation of the country in the TPR of Trinidad and Tobago in the WTO is highly important.

 

Meeting of the First Deputy Minister of the Economic Development and Trade with the Director of the International Trade Centre 22.05.2019 Meeting of the First Deputy Minister of the Economic Development and Trade with the Director of the International Trade Centre
         On 21 May 2019 a meeting of the official delegation of the Republic of Tajikistan headed by the First Deputy Minister of the Economic Development and Trade Mr. Zavqizoda Zavqi Amin with participation of the First Deputy Head of the Customs Services Mr. Tursunzoda Azim Haydar and the Senior Specialist of the Planning and Reforms Department of the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Umed Mirzoev with the Director of the International Trade Centre Ms. Arancha Gozalez was held in Geneva, Switzerland. During the meeting bilateral and multilateral cooperation of the parties were discussed.
    Mr. Zavqizoda Zavqi Amin has expressed gratitude to the ITC for the mutually beneficial cooperation and introduced the achievements of the Republic of Tajikistan in the framework of implementation of the strategic documents goals and priorities including the participation of Tajikistan in the World Trade Organization, export development, acceleration of the diversification of the export-oriented products and trade facilitation.
    It was noted that as a result of the taken actions the share of the foreign trade turnover increased from 20% in 2015 to 25.3% in 2018 and the number of trading partners increased from 90 to 110 countries, export diversification increased from 150 to approximately 480 products.
    ITC has highly appreciated the accomplishments of the Republic of Tajikistan in trade facilitation and active participation in WTO works and declared its readiness for increasing the assistance and technical support for further development of the economy of the Republic of Tajikistan.





THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE TAJIKISTAN TRADE PORTAL 29.04.2019 THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF THE TAJIKISTAN TRADE PORTAL

On April 26, 2019, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan has officially launched a Tajikistan Trade Portal, which was developed by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and International Trade Centre with financial support of the Government of Switzerland and other development partners, namely the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the United Nations Development Programme. The event took place at the HYATT Regency Hotel with the participation of representatives of ministries and agencies, commercial organizations, public associations, international financial organizations and development partners, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps of foreign countries in Dushanbe.

In the opening speech by Mr. Zavqizoda Zavqi Amin, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, it was noted that the Tajikistan Trade Portal was established in order to fulfill the orders and instructions of the Founder of Peace and National Unity - Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H. E. Emomali Rahmon to strengthen export potential and facilitate trade procedures.

Tajikistan Trade Portal is the first experience and tool in the country's foreign trade activity, which provides information to domestic and foreign entrepreneurs and other stakeholders on import, export and transit procedures of 39 product groups, which is equivalent to 1500 goods and products.
During the event, a video and presentation of the Tajikistan Trade Portal was presented to participants. Meanwhile, Mr. Zavqizoda Z. A. and representatives of the development partners in the Republic of Tajikistan, including the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan/SECO, the International Trade Centre, the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, and the United Nations Development Program participated in the high-level panel discussion on the subject of Digitalisation and trade facilitation for effective trade governance.
At the end of the event, the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade officially launched Tajikistan Trade Portal and announced its full accessibility to the public.

In Dushanbe was held workshop on the first trade policy review of the Republic of Tajikistan related to the membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) 18.04.2019 In Dushanbe was held workshop on the first trade policy review of the Republic of Tajikistan related to the membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)

On April 15-17 in the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade held a workshop on the drafting Report of the First Trade Policy Review of the Republic of Tajikistan related to the membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), which is scheduled on April 2020, in accordance with the decision of the Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon.

The Director of the WTO Trade Policy Review Department, Willy Alfaro, the consultants of this department and representatives of relevant ministries and agencies of the republic participated in the event.

In order to conduct a high-level first review of the trade policy of the Republic of Tajikistan related to the membership in the WTO, during a workshop by the consultants of the WTO Secretariat were made presentations about the form and process of conducting a trade policy review by WTO members and government representatives on the achievements and development of certain sectors of the country's trade after joining the WTO.

It should be noted that, in accordance with the WTO principles developing members of WTO conduct trade policy review of their achievements and development of the country after membership in the WTO once every seven years.

Regional Geographic Indications Conference was conducted in Dushanbe 12.04.2019 Regional Geographic Indications Conference was conducted in Dushanbe

On April 10 and 11, 2019 held the regional conference "The geographical location of goods in Central Asia" by the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade with the assistance of the Representation of the European Union in Tajikistan, Dushanbe.

The event was opened by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mr. Jurazoda Tojiddin and the EU Ambassador of Tajikistan Mrs. Marilyn Josefsson, during which more than 100 people were  participating and spoke from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Dushanbe diplomatic corps.

Also, representatives of the private and public sectors of the Republic of Tajikistan participated in the event, including the Association of Farmers and Artisans, regional financial organizations and international donors.

It should be noted that such conference was held first time in Central Asia, where the issue was discussed about the geographical location of goods.

The purpose of the conference is to show the ways of developing rules for geographical location of goods in Central Asia to promote regional trade cooperation and trade facilitation, as well as the development of export potential in the region.

The event will support the country's goods and product competitiveness, while at the same time contributing for integration of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP +).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seminar on Authorized Economic Operators 18.03.2019 Seminar on Authorized Economic Operators

On 11-13 March 2019, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan in cooperation with United Nations Economic Commission of Europe (UNECE) held a seminar on Authorized Economic Operators, which is an integral part of the WTOs Trade Facilitation Agreement with participation of representatives of relevant ministries, agencies, international organizations and private sector.

 The seminar started by the opening speech of the Head of the WTO Affairs Department Mr AbdurahmonovAbdurahmon who has expressed gratitude to the participants. It was noted that the discussed topics of the seminar are considered in the framework of implementation of WTOs Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Furthermore, representative of UNECE Maria Teresa and representative of ITC provided information on challenges and priorities of the Authorized Economic Operators.

During the seminar, specialists have presented presentations on Authorized Economic Operators and reliable foreign economic activity participants, cooperation with government authorities on the national and regional levels of reliable foreign economic activity participants, Roadmap of the Coordinating Committee for Facilitation of Trade Procefures including customs legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Moreover, during the seminar, exercises were conducted and the issues were discussed from the point of view of the international experiences.

Finally, certificates were given to the participants of the seminar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group on the preparation and development of the first draft report of the Trade Policy Review of the Republic of Tajikistan to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other relevant issues 13.03.2019 The second meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group on the preparation and development of the first draft report of the Trade Policy Review of the Republic of Tajikistan to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other relevant issues


              On February 25, 2019 the second meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group on the preparation and development of the first draft report of the Trade Policy Review of the Republic of Tajikistan to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other relevant issues in the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan was held under the guidance of the Head of WTO Affairs Department Abdurakhmonov A. S. the representatives of relevant ministries and departments (members of the group) attended the meeting.

           It should be noted that according to the consent of the Founder of Peace and National Unity - the Leader of the Nation, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon and the decree of the Head of the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan dated January 5, 2019, No. 22/10, the date of the first review of the trade policy of the Republic of Tajikistan WTO will April 2020.

           In order to fulfill the decree of the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan dated December 18, 2017, No. 17382 (22-6) of the draft report on the review of the trade policy of the Republic of Tajikistan at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other relevant issues and in order to conduct a review, the Order The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of June 29, 2018, No. 42, established the Interdepartmental Working Group.

            Also, in according to WTO rules, WTO member states should submit a report on the review of their country's trade policy to the WTO Secretariat, in connection with further submission to WTO member states. The main purpose of reporting to member countries is to create a transparent and predictable business environment within the WTO.

            In this regard, the achievement of these goals is impossible without a regular review of trade policy. Member countries of the WTO should report the activities, achievements and progress of their country within the framework of the trade policy review mechanism.

             At the meeting, also from the part of the Head of the WTO Affairs Department, Abdurakhmonov A. S., an Action Plan was presented for preparing and writing a report on the trade policy review of the Republic of Tajikistan to WTO for information.

26.02.2019 DG Azevêdo: EU leadership vital to strengthening trading system

           Addressing a meeting of European Union trade ministers in Bucharest, Romania, on 21 February 2019, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo welcomed the EUs engagement in the conversations aimed at strengthening the WTO and called for their continued leadership to help address some of the key challenges in global trade, including current trade tensions and the impasse in the WTOs dispute settlement system.
The Director-General said:
         Strengthening the trading architecture is a critical element in improving prospects for global trade. WTO members are exploring possible reforms to the trading system that would help efforts to that end. This is very positive. We have struck a series of major new trade deals over the last few years, but we must do more to make the WTO faster and responsive to members' needs. I welcome the key role that the EU is playing here to help us meet these challenges and find positive ways forward.
          Theres no doubt that we are faced, today, with an extremely difficult and complex range of challenges. But we also have the opportunity to put the trading system on a stronger footing for the years to come. Our best response is to tackle systemic issues head on, while also advancing wherever possible in our negotiating work and other issues which are of interest to members. On all of this, the EU's leadership will be essential.
            The Director-General also commented on the current situation regarding the impasse in appointments to the WTO Appellate Body, urging all members to keep probing for possible ways forward. The meeting was chaired by Romania's Minister for Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Ștefan-Radu Oprea. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Bernd Lange MEP and Chair of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade also addressed the meeting.
           During his visit to Bucharest, DG Azevêdo also had a bilateral meeting with Romanian Vice Prime Minister Ana Birchall to discuss the outlook for global trade and Romania's continued integration into the global economy.

Belarus sets out ambitious target of WTO accession by next Ministerial Conference 21.02.2019 Belarus sets out ambitious target of WTO accession by next Ministerial Conference

          Belarus stressed its strong commitment to conclude WTO accession negotiations by the 12th Ministerial Conference, which will take place in June 2020 in Astana, Kazakhstan. At the 11th meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of Belarus on 15 February, members commended Belarus efforts to bring its trade regime in conformity with WTO rules but underlined that significant progress will be needed if such an ambitious target is to be met. The meeting was the fourth since the resumption of the Working Party process in January 2017.

       H.E. Mr. Andrei Yeudachenka, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, led a 30-person delegation in Geneva which included deputy ministers of the Ministries of Justice, Anti-monopoly Regulation and Trade, and Agriculture as well as high-level officials of various government agencies and the chief negotiator for the WTO accession of Belarus, Ambassador Vladimir Serpikov.

          "The year of 2019 is crucial for Belarus on its path to WTO membership. Weve set an ambitious goal to agree on all modalities of our accession to the WTO before the 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2020 in Astana," Mr. Yeudachenka said. "We believe that the time has come to move from a 25-year-long review of the Belarusian foreign trade regime to finalizing the draft commitments language," he added.

            Mr. Yeudachenka cited some of the recent efforts undertaken by his government to bring the Belarusian legislation in conformity with WTO rules, such as: the cancellation of the foreign currency surrender requirement; the entry into force of a new Law on Anti-monopoly Regulation; and the introduction of amendments to the Law on Public Procurement. In addition, the Belarusian government was planning to introduce new legislation on natural monopolies, and protection of copyright and related rights, Mr. Yeudachenka stated. He also reported that Belarus had been granted observer status in the Government Procurement Committee and had submitted its draft Information Technology Agreement (ITA) schedule of commitments to the ITA Committee.

         The Working Party Chair, Ambassador Kemal Madenoglu of Turkey, noted: "The Belarusian government has clearly indicated that it is fully mobilized and committed at both political and technical levels - to concluding accession negotiations by MC12. This is an ambitious objective. I hope that, collectively, we can rise to this challenge. It is clear that Belarus can only achieve its goal if key domestic policy reforms are implemented in the near future. This will send WTO members a signal that Belarus' ambitions are credible."

       "Over the next few months, I hope that we will see a genuine attempt by all parties to find common ground on key outstanding issues. Belarus has a lot to do and the ball is very much in its court. The Working Party needs to see tangible proof of Belarus' commitment to implement WTO-related reforms," he added.

      On the bilateral track, Belarus confirmed the finalization of negotiations with Argentina, Iceland, Switzerland and Chinese Taipei, and that overall 20 bilateral market access agreements have been concluded.

         On the legislative front, the Chair requested Belarus to keep the Working Party regularly informed of legislative developments by submitting translated copies of any new WTO-related legislation both at the national and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) levels. He also invited the Belarusian authorities to update its Legislative Action Plan for consideration at the next Working Party meeting.

           Members underlined the need for Belarus to advance its reform agenda and liberalize its trade regime. They asked Belarus for clarification on a wide range of issues, including the investment regime, state ownership, pricing and competition policies, industrial policy, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and intellectual property rights.

             The Chair said the timing of the next meeting will depend on the availability of the required inputs and on progress on the market access front. "A specific date will emerge in consultation with delegations and the Secretariat once the new inputs are circulated. Nonetheless, I trust that the next meeting could take place before the summer break," Ambassador Madenoglu said.

 

20.02.2019 WTO trade indicator points to slower trade growth into first quarter of 2019

       Trade weakness is likely to extend into the first quarter of 2019, according to the WTOs latest World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) released on 19 February. The simultaneous decline of several trade-related indicators should put policy makers on guard for a sharper slowdown should the current trade tensions remain unresolved.

         The most recent WTOI reading of 96.3 is the weakest since March 2010 and below the baseline value of 100 for the index, signalling below-trend trade expansion into the first quarter. Weakness in the overall index was driven by steep declines in the component indices, which appear to be under pressure from heightened trade tensions. Indices for export orders (95.3), international air freight (96.8), automobile production and sales (92.5), electronic components (88.7) and agricultural raw materials (94.3) have shown the strongest deviations from trend, approaching or surpassing previous lows since the financial crisis. Only the index for container port throughput remained relatively buoyant at 100.3, showing on-trend growth.

       Temporary factors may have influenced some of the indices. Front-loading of imports ahead of anticipated US-China tariffs may have sustained container shipping to some extent, while technical problems in the German automotive sector may have contributed to weakness in automobile production and sales. It should be noted that below-trend growth in an index does not necessarily imply a decline in the underlying data.

       This sustained loss of momentum highlights the urgency of reducing trade tensions, which together with continued political risks and financial volatility could foreshadow a broader economic downturn. The WTO downgraded its trade forecast last September amid escalating trade disputes and tighter credit market conditions. Trade growth is currently forecast to slow to 3.7% in 2019 from an expected 3.9% in 2018, but these estimates could be revised downward if trade conditions continue to deteriorate.  Nevertheless, greater certainty and improvement in the policy environment could bring about a swift rebound in trade growth.

        Designed to provide "real time" information on the trajectory of world trade relative to recent trends, the WTOI is not intended as a short-term forecast, although it does provide an indication of trade growth in the near future. It aims to identify turning points and gauge momentum in global trade growth. As such, it complements trade statistics and forecasts from the WTO and other organizations. Readings of 100 indicate growth in line with medium-term trends; readings greater than 100 suggest above-trend growth, while those below 100 indicate below trend growth.

 

 

DG Azevêdo in Mozambique: the trading system must support LDCs 19.02.2019 DG Azevêdo in Mozambique: the trading system must support LDCs

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo was in Maputo, Mozambique, today (14 February), where he met President Filipe Nyusi. They discussed how to strengthen global trade cooperation for the future, through the WTO, so it can keep supporting the integration of Mozambique and other least developed countries (LDCs) into the global economy.

The Director-General also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Condugua António Pacheco and the Minister of Industry and Trade Ragendra de Sousa. In addition, the Director-General visited the National Institute for Standardisation and Quality. 

While in Mozambique, the Director-General said:

I am pleased to be in Mozambique, following President Nyusi's visit to the WTO last year. This is an important occasion to build on our cooperation and ensure that trade plays its full role here in Mozambique.

These are challenging times for multilateralism. We need to strengthen the global trading system to ensure that it is equipped to support a changing global economy, and that it continues to support the integration of Mozambique and other LDCs. As WTO members discuss how to modernize the organization and make the system more agile and responsive to economic change, Mozambique and the LDCs have to make their voices heard in this debate. Working together, we can ensure that more LDCs benefit from global trade, and that the global trading system is truly working for the common good.

 

04.02.2019 Protocol of the sixth meeting of the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures

Protocol of the sixth meeting of the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures

Dushanbe 6 21 December 2018

Head of the Committee: Minister of economic development and trade - N. Hikmatullozoda


         From 24 Members of the Committee, that was established by the Decree of the Government of Tajikistan (24 December 2016, 529) only 19 members participated, however other members without any excuse did not participate in the meeting.
At the same time, from 12 representatives of the trade organizations and associations (Committee members) only 6 of them were present in the meeting, 6 members of the Committee did not participate in the meeting.
Moreover, representatives of International organizations and development partners participated in the meeting including ITC, UNDP, SECO, USAID, ADB, EU Delegation in Tajikistan and OSCE.
The list of participants is attached.

         According to the agenda of the meeting 3 main topics were discussed:

1. Results and actions of the permanent Working Group of experts on improvement of tariff and non-tariff tools for support of domestic producers and export development

2. Tajikistan trade facilitation information portal.

3. Report of ministries and agencies on the execution of orders of the 4th and 5th meetings of the CCFTP.

          Minister of economic development and trade Head of the Committee, N. Hikmatullozoda has started the meeting by expressing gratitude to the Committee members and other participants.
It was noted that the activities of the Committee will lead to implementation of the strategic documents including National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period until 2030 and the National program on support of export and import substitution for the periods of 2016-2020 in order to facilitate trade procedures and increase export.
In addition, the Head of the Committee noted that the issue of bringing the favourable terms for foreign and domestic trade was addressed during the annual speech of the Founder of Peace and National Unity Leader of Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon to the Parliament of the Country on 22 December 2017.
           The First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and trade presented a presentation on the 1st item of the meetings agenda (Results and actions of the permanent Working Group of experts on improvement of tariff and non-tariff tools for support of domestic producers and export development).
He has noted that the Working Group already held 8 meetings, reviewed more than 44 types of products and relevant decisions for supporting domestic producers were made.
In addition, 109 suggestions from the private sector were prepared and 137-page report with the request of implementation of the given suggestions was sent to the Government of the country.
           Moreover, in the framework of the WGs activities a number of significant tasks were completed:
- Project of the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan On import customs duty rates of the Republic of Tajikistan was developed and approved from 8 August 2018, 399

- Project of the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan On amendments to the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan from 9 June 2018, 302 was developed and approved from 6 August 2018, 397

- 3 business entities have been supported by the amount of 15.3 mln TJS in order to establish and rehabilitate bird keeping entities

          On the 2nd item of the agenda the National consultant on development of the national trade facilitation Portal presented a presentation on the structure, usage and other aspects of the mentioned Portal.
It was noted that with the support of the ITC and other International Organizations the Portal was developed and it will assist and facilitate the export, import and transit procedures.
Furthermore, the data in the Portal was approved by the relevant ministries and agencies. Portal will also help to reduce unnecessary procedures and irrelevant payments.
          The Head of the IT and communication centre of the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan (Mirzoyon Nodir Ramazoni) suggested to get the Portal in line with the requirements of the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan from 10 July 2017, 344.
          Also a representative of the National legislation centre suggested that the name of the Portal should be approved by the Committee of language under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.
           After that the Head of the Committee noted that the during the previous meetings of the committee the categorization of the Tajikistans TFA obligations were reviewed and sent to the Members of the Committee for further comments and suggestions. Members did not have any suggestions and the A, B and C categories obligations were approved. Head of the committee also instructed the executive secretary to send the A, B and C categories obligations via notification to the WTO Secretariat.
          In addition, Head of the committee also reminded that the Roadmap of the committee also was reviewed and sent to the committee members for their suggestions. The Roadmap was changed with the view of Members suggestions and would be sent for the revision of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Meanwhile, according to the agenda, the First Deputy Head of the Customs Service Tursunzoda A. H. presented a presentation on progress of implementation of action Plan in order to bring the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan in line with the requirements of the International Convention on the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention).
          After that Members of the Committee presented their reports on the implementation of the Action Plan in order to bring the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan in line with the requirements of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
      During the meeting discussions took place and members of the committee including Head of the committee, private sector representatives and the development partners shared their views on the agenda items.
At the end of the meeting Head of the Committee noted that the protocol of the meeting should be prepared and shared with the participants of the meeting.
           The following decisions were made and included to the protocol of the meeting:
1. Protocol instructions execution should be under monitoring of the Secretariat of the Committee;
2. Action plan of the A, B and C Categories obligations is approved and should be sent to the Secretariat of the WTO via notification;
3. Project of the Roadmap of the Committee should be sent to the Government of the country for their review;
4. Working Groups of the Committee should send reports on completed tasks to the secretariat of the Committee;
5. Working Group on improvement of tariff and non-tariff tools should take necessary measures in order to implement its protocol instructions and in this order support domestic producers and increase export;
6. Members of the committee should take necessary measures in order to fully implement the action plan on the compliance of the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement;
7. Head of the WTO Affairs Department the Executive Secretary (Abdurahmonov A.) should organize a meeting with the representatives of the Private sector in order to prepare a list of the new Members of the Committee from the number of Private sector representatives, which is going to be approved in the next meeting of the Committee;
8. Heads of the ministries and agencies, that are the members of the committee (Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, 24 December 2016, 529) should be warned that if they wont participate in the next meetings of the Committee, relevant reports are going to be sent to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Director General Azevêdo meets ministers in Davos: discussions focus on reform; progress on e-commerce 28.01.2019 Director General Azevêdo meets ministers in Davos: discussions focus on reform; progress on e-commerce

       

        Participating in a series of ministerial discussions during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos this week, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo reviewed the challenges and opportunities facing global trade today, and stressed that the trading system must evolve if it is to remain relevant.

       The meetings included the informal ministerial gathering on WTO issues hosted by the Swiss government on 25 January. This discussion largely focused on possible reforms to the trading system, with a range of different perspectives being aired. The need to address the impasse in appointments to the WTO's Appellate Body was a common theme, along with the need to make progress in a number of other areas.

     DG Azevêdo also participated, by invitation, in a Canadian-organised ministerial meeting on WTO reform which took place on 24 January; a meeting on 25 January where a group of WTO members issued a joint ministerial declaration setting out their intention to launch negotiations on electronic commerce; and a range of discussions organized by the World Economic Forum throughout the week.

          Speaking at the conclusion of his program in Davos, the Director-General said:

        "Trade has been at top the of the agenda in Davos. We had some very productive discussions this week across a range of meetings, and notably we've seen real progress towards negotiations that were announced on e-commerce. This is all very welcome. It is a sign of the strong and very widely-shared commitment to the global trading system. This is particularly vital now, as we face a number of significant challenges."

          "The current trade tensions pose a threat to the entire international community. The risks are real and have real economic effects. But the opportunities are real too. It is in everyone's interests that we improve prospects for global trade. It is vital for jobs, growth and development around the world. This is what the WTO is all about so we are taking action."

         "First, by working urgently to ease tensions. We're facilitating conversations between members, complementing bilateral efforts. And we're helping members to resolve their disputes. Second, we are working to modernise and strengthen the global trading architecture to ensure that it can support a changing global economy. These are the key elements that we have been discussing here this week.

          "The word we keep hearing is 'reform'. Members are exploring possible reforms that would help to diffuse the current tensions, fix the impasse in appointments to the Appellate Body, improve monitoring and transparency in the system, and speed up our negotiating processes both on the longstanding issues and on other initiatives that been launched more recently."

       "We must do more to make the WTO work faster, and be more flexible and responsive to members' needs building on the progress of recent years. The G20 leaders' declaration made this clear. It called for "necessary reforms" to the WTO so that it can keep playing its essential role in the global economy. All this has created a political window to modernize the WTO. We must seize that opportunity."

         "We are working hard on all of this. 2019 will be a crucial year for global trade and for the WTO. We have an opportunity to tackle the systemic challenges before us and strengthen the WTO for generations to come. Ultimately our success will depend on whether members are ready for the system to evolve."

          The meeting was attended by representatives from a wide range of WTO members, including representatives of the WTO Least-developed countries Group, the WTO Africa Group, and the WTO Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group. The joint statement on e-commerce was signed by 76 WTO members, which account for 90% of global trade.

 

Members kick off 2019 with first cluster of fisheries subsidies meetings 25.01.2019 Members kick off 2019 with first cluster of fisheries subsidies meetings
 

      WTO members in the Negotiating Group on Rules held their first cluster of fisheries subsidies meetings for the year on 14-18 January. Some members indicated they were working on proposing new draft texts covering certain areas of fisheries subsidies disciplines that WTO members had committed to agree by end-2019.
    In line with the January to July 2019 work programme for fisheries subsidies negotiations agreed by the Negotiating Group, the week-long cluster of meetings was composed of a mix of bilateral talks, other member-organized discussions, and consultations open to all delegations.
    The work in open-ended consultations was organized around four main topics: subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; subsidies to fishing where stocks are overfished; subsidies contributing to fishing overcapacity and to overfishing; and cross-cutting issues which include special and differential treatment for developing and least-developed members, dispute settlement, institutional issues, and notification and transparency.
       Based on suggestions from members, the Chair selected four delegates to act as facilitators for each of these areas and they reported to the Negotiating Group their impressions of where the negotiations stood and what issues emerged during the week.
Some members indicated they were working with other delegations on drafting new language for certain areas of the fisheries subsidies disciplines, for consideration by the Negotiating Group. A number of delegations underlined the importance of receiving such new contributions as soon as possible.
         The next cluster of fisheries subsidies meetings will be on 25 February-1 March.

24.01.2019 General Council Chair appoints facilitator to address disagreement on Appellate Body

           General Council Chair Junichi Ihara of Japan has appointed Amb. David Walker of New Zealand to assist him in working with WTO members to resolve differences on the urgent matter of the functioning of the organizations Appellate Body.
             At the 12 December General Council, WTO members agreed with Chair Ihara's proposal to launch an informal process to overcome the impasse on the selection of Appellate Body members. Normally, there are seven members of the Appellate Body but the deadlock has prevented the appointment of new members to fill vacancies created when a member's term expires. As a result, there are currently only three sitting AB members, the minimum required for any appeal.
             Following the General Council, Chair Ihara met with 25 delegations to hear their views on how he should proceed. He told an informal Heads of Delegation meeting on 17 January that these consultations revealed most delegations believed the issue of the Appellate Body needed to be addressed "very urgently", that the immediate outcome of the informal process should be the unblocking of the selection process and that discussions between members should be solution-oriented, focused and issue specific.
        Chair Ihara said in looking for a facilitator he sought an ambassador with "thorough knowledge and practical experience" in WTO dispute settlement, someone who had chaired a WTO body and someone familiar with WTO informal processes. Amb. Walker accepted the chair's invitation and spoke to members at the 17 January meeting where he led the discussions.
During the meeting, WTO members debated three proposals on reforming the Appellate Body. While significant differences between members remain, there was a high level of engagement between ambassadors and all delegations showed willingness to intensify their efforts to finding a solution.
          "I believe we had a good kick off to this process," said Amb. Walker. "I will reach out to members and discuss with them how to take the process forward, always in a solution-oriented spirit."

22.01.2019 Members mark 10th year of WTO monitoring of cotton development assistance, trade trends

        At the WTOs cotton days, the major milestones achieved in the past ten years in monitoring cotton development assistance were welcomed by members and the Cotton 4 Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali. Members also took stock of progress over ten rounds of dedicated discussions on cotton trade. Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff underscored the dynamic and project-focused approach that underpins WTO work on cotton development assistance. Ambassador Ford of Guyana recalled trade achievements which demonstrate members determination and ability to deliver results on cotton.
           Cote d'Ivoire attended the cotton days for the first time as a Cotton 4 (C4) observer country following its application for observer status at the C4 ministerial meeting in N'Djamena, Chad.
          At the two-day meeting, known as the WTO cotton days, WTO members discussed both the latest developments in cotton trade and the assistance provided to developing countries. At the end of the two days, WTO members endorsed the joint initiative of the WTO, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) to enhance the economic potential of cotton by-products.
                                                                          Development assistance

       According to the latest version of the Director-General's Evolving Table on Cotton Development Assistance (WT/CFMC/6/Rev.25, 15 November 2018) prepared by the WTO Secretariat to keep record of all cotton-related development assistance projects, 29 active cotton-specific projects have been recorded, benefiting 32 countries. This reflects an increase in development assistance in this area. Three new projects were recorded from GIZ-Germany and Switzerland. This is the 10th year that the evolving table exists in its current form (see flyer).
         Members examined the Cotton 4s "Cotton Roadmap Project" (WT/CFMC/W/73 and presentation by Amb. Laourou), including two country-specific projects from Mali and one from Benin. The Cotton 4 selected Mali to carry out two new pilot projects to address high soil acidity and improve yields. If successful, the model will be replicated in other countries. Benin proposed a project looking at the possibility of improving organic matter in soils by introducing more diversified crops. The estimated cost will be evaluated on a country-by-country basis.
          The Brazilian Cooperation Agency presented its activities on cotton. Since 2015, Brazil has started a new trend of working with international organizations, such as the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization to assist African countries in the development of the cotton sector. Thirty-six projects have been implemented, mostly in Africa and Latin America, and various new technical missions will start in December 2018.
                                             Business sheds lights on how to tap into the cotton markets

         Since the Cotton Day meeting of June 2018, the Consultative Mechanism has taken a pragmatic approach by bringing the private sector into the discussion. This time Mr Ryota Karube, President of the Japanese trading company Toyoshima Inc., introduced its business model and its role in linking African cotton producers to the international market. Toyoshima called for African farmers to build relations with trading companies and stressed the importance of developing strategies to exploit the increasing consumer-driven opportunities offered by cotton such as the Better Cotton Initiative and Cotton made in Africa.
           Emphasizing the ministerial mandate on cotton development assistance, DDG Wolff, Chair of the Consultative Mechanism on behalf of Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, underlined the importance of "effective assistance" and invited beneficiaries to "continue identifying their needs linked to cotton or related sectors, including on a regional basis".

                                                   Discussions on cotton policies and negotiation prospects

           WTO members noted that the WTO cotton initiative, launched in 2003, has seen many historic moments over the past ten years, including:
the 2013 Bali Ministerial Decision on Cotton, which introduced dedicated discussions twice a year for WTO members to address the trade-related developments that underpin cotton negotiations
the 2015 Nairobi Ministerial Decision on Cotton, which committed members to abolish agricultural export subsidies for cotton as of 1 January 2017, with developed members and developing members with the capacity to do so agreeing to grant duty-free and quota-free market access for exports of cotton and cotton-related products from least-developed countries
the launch of a joint WTO/ITC cotton portal at the 2017 Buenos Aires Ministerial Conference, with the aim of helping cotton producers, traders and policymakers better harness market opportunities in the cotton sector.

21.12.2018 SIXTH MEETING OF THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON THE FACILITATION OF TRADE PROCEDURES
On 21st December 2018, the sixth meeting of the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures was heldin the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade with the participation of representatives of ministries and agencies, private sector and development partners.
Head of the Committee Minister of Economic Development and Trade, distinguished NematulloHikmatullozoda noted that by discussing and dealing with the issues that are described during the meeting directly support implementation of the strategic documents and further development of the economy of the country.
Moreover, during the meeting, a presentation on results and actions of the permanent working group of experts on improvement of tariff and non-tariff tools for support of domestic producers and export development was presented by the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade distinguished Zavqizoda Z. A.
In addition, during the meeting other issues including the National Trade Facilitation Portal, reports of the relevant ministries and agencies on complying the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement were reviewed.
At the end of the meeting, aprotocol with relevant instructions was sent to the Committee Members to address the discussed issues.

31.10.2018 Protocol of the fourth and fifth meetings of the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures
Dushanbe                  4 and 5                29   October 2018

    Head of the Committee: Minister of economic development and trade - N. Hikmatullozoda  

    From 24 Members of the Committee, that was established by the Decree of the Government of Tajikistan (24 December 2016, 529) only 10 members participated, however other members without any excuse did not participate in the meeting (First Deputy Head of Customs Service, Ministries of finance; industry and new technologies, agriculture, health and social protection of population, State committee on investment and state property management, tax committee).
    At the same time, from 12 representatives of the trade organizations and associations (Committee members) only 7 of them were present in the meeting, 5 members of the Committee (AIATT, Association of banks of Tajikistan, Association of financing organizations, Association of logistics of Tajikistan, Public organization of veterinaries of Tajikistan) did not participate in the meeting.
    Moreover, representatives of International organizations and development partners participated in the meeting including ITC, UNDP, SECO, USAID, EU Delegation in Tajikistan and OSCE.
    The list of participants is attached.

    According to the agenda of the meeting 3 main topics were discussed:



    1.    Increasing the effectiveness of the Committees work
1.1. Presentation on the Committees completed tasks and establishment of the Permanent Secretariat of the Committee

1.2. Presentation on the Project of the Roadmap of the Committee

2.    Results of analysis on improvement of implementation of the Republic of Tajikistans obligations under the WTO.
    2.11Presentation on prioritization and sequencing of the A, B and C Categories measures of the TFA

3.    Transit and international transport development
3.1 Presentation on the completed tasks of the Working Group on preparation of researches for international conventions and agreements in the transport and transit sectors and proposition of the Program on transport services development
3.2. Presentation on the transporters position for the terms of passage through the border checkpoints
3.3. Presentation on the working terms of the border checkpoints with the Republic of Uzbekistan
3.4. Presentation on implementation of the project transport route: Uzbekistan Tajikistan China in order to detect opportunities and transit benefits for the Republic of Tajikistan

    Minister of economic development and trade Head of the Committee,         N. Hikmatullozoda has started the meeting by expressing gratitude to the Committee members and other participants.
    It was noted that Committees work is under constant control of the President and the Government of the country in order to promote appropriate terms for the domestic and foreign trade. The Founder of Peace and National Unity Leader of Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon has underlined development of export of the country during his annual speech to the Parliament of the Country on 22 December 2017 and instructed the related ministries and agencies to take measures in order to increase exports, diversify exports, develop processing of agricultural goods, including cotton, fruits, vegetables, metals and precious stones.
    Till this period on the basis of the protocol instructions of the Committee, number of tasks were completed and in order to further facilitate the work the Permanent Secretariat was established.
    Head of the Committee noted, that establishment of the Committee will catalyze the implementation of strategic documents of the country including National Strategy on development of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period until 2030, Midterm Program on development of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period of 2016-2020, State Program on support of export and import substitution of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period of 2016-2020 and instructions of the Founder of Peace and National Unity - Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon.
After that the First Deputy Minister of the Economic Development and Trade Zavqizoda Zavqi Amin made a presentation on the first item of the agenda completed tasks of the Committee and establishment of the Permanent Secretariat of the Comiittee.
    He has noted that in collaboration with the members of the Committee, relevant ministries and agencies, development partners and the private sector 10 draft decrees of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan were developed, 5 were adopted, 1 is being reviewed by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and 4 are under revision of the ministries and agencies.
    To adhere the decisions of the Committee, 6 Working Groups on different issues were established.
The Action Plan for reduction of time and expenses of enterprises for export, import and transit of goods was developed and approved by the relevant Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan (31 May 2018, 286).
The Customs Service was appointed as a coordinating body for the transit actions (Decree of the Government of Tajikistan from 25 December 2017, #580).
Meanwhile, in order to timely publish normative legal acts on customs activities and to appoint responsible economic manager, amendments to the Customs Code have been prepared and circulated among ministries and agencies.
    In order to support export and increase competitiveness of domestic products, the draft Law of the Republic of Tajikistan "On the Support of Export and Increasing Competitiveness" was developed and currently is under revision of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Furthermore, First Deputy Minister noted that with the aim to support Committees activities and its Working Groups, with the support of ITC and UNECE the permanent secretariat was established with a relevant order of the Ministry of economic development and trade. 3 people have qualified through the interview and now they are working in the mentioned secretariat.
Firs deputy minister made another presentation on the project of the Roadmap of the Committee and noted that this roadmap will assist in further work of the Committee.
During preparation of this project the obligations of the country within the  WTOs TFA and other strategic aims were taken into account. The project consists of 5 parts and 35 measures, that foresee reforms for the following aspects: improvement of trade procedures facilitation normative legal acts base; decrease of customs procedures; improvement of international transportation system; increase of domestic production; supply chain integration.
With a view of importance of this project, it was agreed to get comments and proposals of the Committee members in the period of 20 days. The project will be amended with the comments and proposals of the committee members, reviewed and approved during the next Committee meeting.
First deputy minister presented another presentation on Tajikistans obligations under the WTOs TFA according to the categories A, B and C.
It was informed that, with the support of the ITC and SECO a National Seminar on Prioritization, sequencing and strategizing the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement with participation of the Members of the Committee, representatives of the Private sector and development partners was held from 14 16 August 2016 in which the project of the Categories A, B and C measures and their implementation periods were prepared.
In the end, it was agreed to get comments and proposals of the Committee members on the project of the A, B and C Categories measures in the period of 10 days.
    After that the third item of agenda on transit and transportation development was reviewed. It was noted that the Working Group on preparation of analysis on implementation of international conventions and agreements on transport and transit sectors is one of the most active Working Groups, which has already completed a number of tasks.
    A presentation on completed tasks of the Working Group and proposition of the Program on development of transport services was presented by the first deputy minister of transport Mirzoev Suhrob.
    It was noted that implementation of the action plan of the project will lead to develop the transport services and support transformation of Tajikistan into transit country.
    After the presentation of the project, discussions took place and the representative of the Ministry of foreign affairs proposed to include the air transport services in the action plan as well.
    Head of the Committee has specially noted that, the National Development Strategys one of the main goals is to break in the communication deadlock and transformation into transit country. In this regard taking measures to achieve these goals is highly prioritized.
    On the position of transporters on the terms of border checkpoint passage a presentation was shown by the representative of the private sector Head of the Professional consultants union of Tajikistan, Kislyakova L. P.
    This presentation contained the problems faced by the transporters, for example corruption elements at the border authorities.
    On this matter the Head of Committee has given special instructions to related authorities and also obliged the Head of the Working Group on improvement of tariff and non-tariff tools to fully review the mentioned problem in the next meeting of the working group.  
    Moreover, the representative of the Customs services has given a presentation on the working terms of the border checkpoints with the Republic of Uzbekistan and noted that with the contribution of the Government the necessary measures are being taken in order to increase the services in the border checkpoints.
    Head of the Committee proposed the customs service to work in the framework of the acting legislation of the country and deal with the current border checkpoints problems.
    After that according to the agenda representative of the Ministry of transport has shown a presentation on Transport route: Uzbekistan Tajikistan - China During the meeting discussions took place and members of the committee including Head of the committee, private sector representatives and the development partners shared their views on the agenda items.
    At the end of the meeting Head of the Committee noted that the protocol of the meeting should be prepared and shared with the participants of the meeting.
    The following decisions were made and included to the protocol of the meeting:
1.    Protocol instructions should be under control of the Secretariat of the Committee;
2.    Secretariat should send the projects of the Roadmap and the A, B and C Categories measures to the committee members and participants of the meeting;
3.    Committee members and the participants of the meeting should send their comments and proposals on the project of the Roadmap both in electronic form and by official letter to the Committees secretariat in the period of 20 days;
4.    Secretariat should change the project of the Roadmap by including the comments of the Committee members in order to review and approve it in the next meeting of the committee;
5.    Committee members and the participants of the meeting should send their comments and proposals on the project of the A, B and C Categories measures both in electronic form and by official letter to the Committees secretariat in the period of 10 days;
6.    Committee members and the participants of the meeting should send their reports on the implementation of the Action plan on getting the legislation of the country in line with the WTOs TFA requirements, which was approved by the decision of the Committee in its second meeting (5 April 2017) to the Committees secretariat in the period of 10 days;
7.    Customs service should send their reports on the implementation of the Action plan on getting the customs legislation of the country in line with the provisions of International convention on facilitationa and harmonization of the customs procedures (Revised Kyoto Convention), which was approved by the decision of the Committee in its second meeting (5 April 2017) to the Committees secretariat in the period of 10 days;
8.    Ministry of transport by the end of 2018 with the support of the Committee members should send the Program on transport development for revision to the Government of the country after it has been reviewed by the relevant ministries and agencies;
9.    Working Groups of the Committee should send reports on completed tasks to the secretariat of the Committee;
10.    Head of the Working Group on improvement of tariff and non-tariff tools during the next meeting of the Working Group with participation of the representatives of the border control authorities should fully review the problems mentioned by the private sector and make a report in the next meeting of the committee;
11.    Heads of the ministries and agencies, that are the members of the committee (Decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, 24 December 2016, 529) should be warned that if they wont participate in the next meetings of the Committee, relevant reports are going to be sent to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan.


30.10.2018 THE FOURTH AND FIFTH MEETINGS OF THE COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON FACILITATION OF TRADE PROCEDURES
On October 29, 2018, the fourthand fifth meetings of the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures was held in the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade with the participation of representatives of ministries and agencies, private sector and development partners.
At this meeting, different issues on increasing the efficiency of the Committees work, improvementof implementation of the Republic of Tajikistans obligations underthe World Trade Organization (WTO)and development of transit and international transport were discussed.
Minister of economic development and trade, distinguished Nematullo Hikmatullozoda noted that establishment of the Committee will lead to realization of strategic documents including National Strategy on development of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period until 2030, Midterm Program on development of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period of 2016-2020, State Program on support of export and import substitution of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period of 2016-2020 and instructions of the Founder of Peace and National Unity - Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon.
Moreover, the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, distinguished Zavqizoda Zavqi Amin, made presentations on the work of the Committee, the creation of a permanent secretariat of this Committee, the implementation of measures of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and the draft Roadmap of the Committee.
At the same time, the meeting provided a free dialogue between public and private sector representatives, during which proposals from the private sector were submitted to public sector for revision.
At the end of the meeting, appropriate protocol with relevant instructions was sent to the Committee Members to address the discussed issues.
It should be noted that the Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures was established by the relevant decree of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on December 24, 2016, 529 with the aim of harmonizing the public and private sectors, identifying and solving problems of this sector, as well as increasing and diversifying exports of domestic products.


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