NUR-SULTAN – The Trade Facilitation Portal in Kazakhstan has been launched as part of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Trade Center (ITC), on July 4.
The new online platform provides information on cross-border trading procedures and makes it more accessible for businesses.
Youri Skaskevitch, the Manager of the Ready4Trade Central Asia program from the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, said the program worth 15 million euros (US$15.6 million) is implemented in all five Central Asian countries and by the ITC. The project aims to facilitate trade between Central Asian countries and the rest of the world and the EU. One of the tasks is to resolve non-tariff barriers.
“We aim to provide information for traders, simplify, modernize and improve cross-border trade. This will also boost competitiveness and encourage the small and medium-sized companies to trade,” Skaskevitch said during the press conference.
Currently, the platform covers approximately 30 commodities with a focus on the agri-food sector, noted Madina Kazhimova, the Head of the Non-tariff Regulation Department of the Department of Foreign Trade Activities of the Ministry of Trade and Integration. The QazTrade National Company, which is responsible for the portal implementation, will continue its work to expand the range of products and improve its potential.
Kazakhstan is interested in increasing supplies by sea transport and expanding the potential of the Caspian Sea port. In this regard, documentation of the business procedures of import and export operations of seaports has been conducted. The experts compared information on trade procedures at checkpoints on the border of Kazakhstan with neighboring countries to meet the standards.
According to ITC trade facilitation expert Timothée Bruneteau, the platform helps to improve the transparency and predictability of trade throughout Central Asia.
“This is a portal solution that has been recognized by international experts as the state-of-the-art solution around the world and it has been implemented around the world in 29 countries. It provides all information for traders specifically to do cross-border trade including preliminary registration, certificates, and customs clearance. Information is presented chronologically and recognized by agencies,” he added.
The trade portal has already been operating in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It also contributes to the achievement of the goal of trade facilitation embedded in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.