Why the project?

The project ‘Facilitating the process of Uzbekistan’s Accession to the WTO’ is a five-year initiative funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). The project, which started in February 2020, aims to support Uzbekistan's development plans to modernize its economy by leveraging its WTO accession process.

Overall objective

Contribute to the economic development of Uzbekistan by assisting the country to create a trade environment that is in conformity with international standards, including predictable and enforceable laws and regulations.

Specific objective

Contribute to Uzbekistan's economic development through the creation of a trade environment that is in conformity with the WTO rules.

If the Uzbekistan’s WTO accession process concludes within the implementation phase of the project, the focus of ITC’s assistance will shift to support Uzbekistan’s compliance with WTO requirements and implementation of the commitments made during the accession process.

Who is funding the project?

Funded by
the European

More information on EU’s work in Uzbekistan can be found here

Who are the beneficiaries?

  • The primary beneficiary of the programme will be the ministry responsible for the WTO accession negotiations: the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade (MIFT). Other direct beneficiaries will include the various government departments/agencies involved in both the pre- and post- WTO accession process.
  • The project will also work closely with the Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as sectoral business organizations and associations, export-import enterprises, universities, economic research centers and civil society organizations, including women, youth and consumer associations.
  • The ultimate stakeholders will be the Uzbek businesses, especially SMEs as well as the consumers, in particular women, youth and people living in vulnerable and marginalized situation.

What are the foreseen results?

The Uzbek government will be better equipped to draft the documents and develop its negotiating positions as required by the WTO accession process

The executive and legislative branches will be better informed to develop specific sectoral laws and regulations as needed to comply with Uzbekistan’s new international commitments

The policymakers' understanding of the WTO accession process and its legal framework will be reinforced

Uzbekistan will have an increased capacity to comply with WTO Rules, in particular with regards to the SPS/TBT & Trade Facilitation Agreements of the WTO

ITC’s work will increase the business sector’s - including women's associations- awareness of the WTO accession process and benefits


Within ITC’s exclusive mandate to foster the private sectors’ participation, in particular SMEs, for trade-led economic growth, ITC aims at supporting developing countries’ private sector participation in the WTO accession process. The assistance provided is customized according to each country’s stage of accession and specific economic situation as well as development strategies.

ITC’s provides support to WTO acceding developing countries with a twofold objective:

Build a national consensus and international momentum around their accession process

Accede to the WTO with balanced accession strategies and accompanying policy and regulatory reforms that are paramount to enhance the business integration into the global economy.

With this objective as its backdrop, ITC has been successfully assisting least developed and developing countries in their WTO accession process since 2009 by providing them with a wide range of technical assistance services and capacity building activities. These include supporting the drafting of their WTO accession documents (Memorandum of Foreign Trade Regime and Legal Action Plan), achieving balanced accession strategies (drafting of the goods and services initial offers, supporting the conclusion of national trade policy strategies), and implementing a nation-wide public-private dialogue methodology to build consensus around the accession and negotiations positions. Samoa, Yemen, Lao PDR, Comoros, Liberia, Sudan, Tajikistan and Ethiopia are all among the beneficiaries of ITC’s assistance on the path to their WTO membership.

To reach this ambitious goal, ITC has developed a five-fold strategy that is tailored to the needs and situation of each country. This strategy encompasses the following:

Awareness raising on the WTO system and covered agreements to inform public sector officers and bridge the knowledge asymmetry between the government and the private sector;

Drafting the Memorandum of Foreign Trade Regime and Legislative Action Plan and/or assistance to reply to WTO Members’ questions following the submission of these documents;

Drafting comprehensive services and goods initial offers, which will be aligned with the country’s development strategy and the private sector’s needs;

Creation of a pool of knowledge for sustainable capacity building on WTO related issues;

Providing advisory services to ensure a fruitful participation in WTO negotiations

Beyond the accession process, ITC also supports countries that have recently acceded to the organization in the implementation of their WTO commitments.
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