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Reducing Barriers to Trade in Central Asia

To assist in resolving constraints to trade across borders, the Regional Economic Cooperation project worked in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to build capacity to facilitate trade and uphold international trade agreements.

​The Regional Economic Cooperation project was a task order under the USAID/Central Asian Republic’s Macroeconomic Foundations for Growth indefinite quantity contract. Through this task order, Chemonics aimed to improve cross-border trade among central Asian countries and Afghanistan through an array of trade facilitation activities, including comprehensive analysis of central Asian markets and sustainable export partnership-building.

The project evaluated the export potential and business constraints in central Asia, particularly for fresh and processed agricultural products and other sectors of interest to the U.S. Department of Defense for supply to Afghanistan.

The task order developed detailed market research to evaluate the export potential and constraints of business in central Asia, particularly those in the fresh and processed agricultural products sector. To build and strengthen trade networks, the project assisted export partnership groups developed under previous projects and supported creation of new groups.

Through market research, the project first evaluated export potential of Kazakh and Uzbek firms and industries and then built the capacity of local firms to export high-quality goods in sufficient quantities. The project identified barriers preventing these local firms from exporting and developed recommendations for the best way for USAID to address these issues.

Project Results:

  • Issued eight grants for a total of $619,801 to assist Central Asian and Afghan women-owned firms improve capacity, make new connections, and increase export sales.
  • Led 51 activities that supported Tajikistan’s WTO-accession and post-accession process.
  • Initiated 29 activities to improve trade policies, regulations, and processes throughout Central Asia and Afghanistan.
  • Helped to improve Central Asia’s transport corridors, implement pro-trade policies, and increase regional economic integration and cross-border trade.

Final Report

Project Duration: 2011 - 2016


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