Kazakhstan's First National Report on Trade Facilitation Presented in Astana - "QazTrade" Trade Policy Development Center" JSC
Kazakhstan’s First National Report on Trade Facilitation Presented in Astana

Kazakhstan’s First National Report on Trade Facilitation Presented in Astana

The presentation of Kazakhstan’s first National Report on trade facilitation took place in Astana at a seminar chaired by Vice Minister of Trade and Integration Kairat Balykbaev.

The National Report was prepared by the Ministry of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan together with QazTrade JSC with the support of The United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Report provides an analysis of the measures taken by the Government of Kazakhstan aimed at simplifying trade procedures over the 7 years since the country joined the WTO. An assessment is made of Kazakhstan’s participation in global supply chains, and an analysis is made of how far the state has managed to advance in the development of paperless cross-border trade.

“Kazakhstan, located at the junction of Europe and Asia, plays a key role in regional trade. Significant progress has been made in trade facilitation in recent years. It reflected positive changes on issues such as improved customs legislation and administration, the institution of paperless cross-border trade, sustainable trade, as well as the full implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement,” the vice minister said in his welcoming speech.

As Kairat Balykbaev noted, simplification of trade procedures has a positive effect on the development of foreign economic activity. Today Kazakhstan trades with 131 countries. In 2022, Kazakhstan’s foreign trade turnover reached $135.5 billion, which was 33.2% higher than the previous year. The country faces the task of increasing trade volumes with Uzbekistan to $10 billion and Kyrgyzstan to $2 billion. Achieving these goals, according to experts, will be facilitated by further optimization of trade procedures.

In 2022, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development praised the Government’s efforts to facilitate trade and named Kazakhstan a leader among Central Asian countries in this matter.

According to the UN Global Study on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation, Kazakhstan improved its overall trade optimization score to 76.34% in 2023.

“Kazakhstan’s success in simplifying trade procedures became possible thanks to the effective, consistent and coordinated actions and measures of all authorized bodies of the country, departments and associations, as well as international organizations and donors,” Kairat Balykbaev emphasized.

Since 2018, the National Trade Facilitation Committee has been operating in Kazakhstan, which includes representatives of government agencies and business. It is created to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the provisions of the WTO Agreement, as well as carry out reforms taking into account the interests of the state and the private sector.

In recent years, large projects have been implemented in Kazakhstan, which have created favorable conditions for the development of international trade. Thus, in 2018-2019, the ASTANA-1 and Single Window for Export-Import Operations information systems were introduced. Last year, the Kazakhstan Trade Facilitation Portal was launched. In 2023, the Central Asia Gateway Regional Trade Portal began operating, which received the highest UN award and was recognized as the best information trade portal in the world. Another significant project for the development of foreign trade was the online educational platform for exporters QazTrade Academy, a joint initiative with UNESCAP to assess the country’s readiness for cross-border paperless trade.

According to the Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kestutis Jankauskas, this year was full of foreign economic events and Kazakhstan demonstrated significant progress in improving trade procedures. The EU also has a significant contribution to this work. In particular, with the support of the European Union, the International Trade Centre implemented the project  “Ready4Trade Central Asia” in order to develop the cross-border trade.

In turn, as noted by USAID Program Manager in the Republic of Kazakhstan Stephen Orr, the publication of the National Report reflects the joint work of our countries to improve the international reputation of Kazakhstan. USAID supports the efforts of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and promotes trade between Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.

In conclusion, Deputy Director General of QazTrade JSC Nurlan Kulbatyrov presented the main sections of the National Report. At the same time, he noted the contribution of international experts to Kazakhstan’s achievement of sustainable development goals in the field of trade.

Representatives of government agencies, international organizations and business associations took part in the seminar.


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