The ITC held a series of awareness-raising workshops for the private sector on Uzbekistan’s ongoing accession process to the World Trade Organization (WTO) during July and September 2022.
Private sector buy-in for the bid is important to ensure the economic development benefits from the integration of Uzbekistan into the global economy. Notably, WTO accession will facilitate the private sector’s greater integration into global supply chains thereby ensuring stable offset point for services and products that they supply.
Benefits spelled out
WTO membership brings a number of benefits for member countries. It helps promote greater stability in commercial transactions through transparent policy requirements and it prevents members from imposing arbitrary trade barriers on one another.
This normally ensures that the business environment becomes growth-directed, through greater market access and stable and predictable prices.
Stability and predictability, for their part, contribute to credibility which tends to encourage foreign direct investment which can give further growth impetus to the home market.
The series of private-sector-oriented workshops in Uzbekistan kicked off in Khiva, Khorezm region with a session held on 22 July 2022 and the second workshop was held on 4 August in Djizak, Djizak region.
The response from participants has been positive.
“Our country needs to join the WTO. It creates the basis for private sector producers and entrepreneurs to export their products and produce high quality and competitive products,” a businessman who participated noted after the workshop in the Khorezm region.
A woman entrepreneur in Khorezm commended the initiative to inform the private sector about Uzbekistan’s WTO accession bid: “Many thanks to the organizers of this event. It would be very useful to organize more such seminars.”
In the Kashkadarya region, Ms. Nargis Eshdavlatova, head of the“Imonaxon Faxhriddinovna” business enterprise, said: “During today’s workshop I received new knowledge and understanding. I am very happy that many doors for big opportunity will open for my private business. I support Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO.”
And in Samarkand, Mr. Aslamboy Usmanov, a jurist at EKSPORTTehashroalu commented: “The workshop delivered on Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO left a very good impression on me. Now I have a better understanding that if our country accedes to the WTO, we would have many opportunities to trade. It would create convenient ways to export goods, and exporters would enjoy greater security. The above-mentioned points are very important for exporting.”
The workshops focused predominantly on explaining the objectives and workings of the WTO. The process of accession is fleshed out and the benefits and challenges stemming from membership explained. The private sector role in the process of accession is set out against this backdrop.
Workshops held in multiple regions
The private sector-aimed workshops were organized and presented by the ITC with funding from the European Union. The workshops kicked off in July in Khorezm and continued throughout August and September in Djizak, Samarkand, Navoi, Bukhara, Fergana, Andijan, Namangan, Syrdarya, Tashkent, Surkhandarya, and Karakalpakstan.
The ITC is the implementing partner of the European Union’s ‘Facilitating the process of Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO’ project. The five-year initiative seeks to support Uzbekistan's development plans to modernize its economy by leveraging its WTO accession process. The overarching objective of the project is to contribute to the country’s economic development.