The International Trade Center (ITC)’s Global Textiles and Clothing Program (GTEX) project has reports on the results and impact of its activities in the Tajik textile and clothing sector

The role and contribution of ITC to the textile and clothing sector of Tajikistan, and the results of the GTEX project during 2019-2020, were discussed at the e-meeting of the Project Steering Committee (PSC), on December 3.   

ITC Tajikistan says the PSC is a multi-stakeholder committee consisting of representatives from Tajikistan’s relevant ministries, private sector, academia, in addition to international counterparts: the government of Switzerland (the donor country), and the International Trade Centre. The committee aims to ensure transparency in the implementation of the project as well as to guide the project’s outputs towards the country’s priorities.

Mr. Abdurahmon Abdurahmonzoda, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan, emphasized ITC’s input in the works of the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade Procedures, including simplification of textile and clothing sector procedures: “Our partners from the Government of Switzerland and ITC assist us in achieving one of Tajikistan’s goals on facilitation of trade procedures. One of the great achievements I especially want to highlight is establishment of the Permanent Technical Secretariat of the Coordinating Committee on Facilitation of Trade procedures. Since its establishment, Secretariat greatly contributed to the works of the Committee and became an important focal point for the private sector.  Another achievement that was accomplished with the support of ITC is the development and launch of the Tajikistan Trade Portal, the unique online platform that provides step-by-step description of export, import and transit procedures from the trader’s point of view, which is now being maintained by the Permanent Technical Secretariat. I’d like to thank ITC and our Swiss friends for the assistance they provide and we hope that this fruitful cooperation will continue in the future.”

Mr. Armen Zargaryan, ITC’s Program Coordinator for the Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, highlights some of the project’s results achieved over the past two year. “With our support the Tajik textile and clothing sector was able to improve its competitiveness and expand exports to new global and regional markets,” says Mr. Zargaryan.  For him, the participation of national companies in five international trade fairs and a study tour is among the positive example of the project “these international visits led to new business contacts, partnerships and contracts to export and import goods.”

The GTEX project has also assisted other local entities, such as educational and trade support institutions. 

With the COVID-19 outbreak, ITC reportedly adjusted its plans to tackle the new challenges that arose with the pandemic.  The GTEX project organized several webinars and online coaching sessions to share relevant material and assist the companies in adapting to new realities.

Through its online platforms, ITC Tajikistan raised awareness on the impact of COVID-19 in the Tajik and global textile and clothing sector.

Overall, the impact of COVID-19 brought an opportunity to the sector to rethink and invest in new products.  Respecting the health measures to produce masks and other medical textiles, the national apparel sector was able to meet the local market’s demands to support the country throughout the pandemic.

As the GTEX project is planned to end next year, the PSC e-meeting also discussed the project’s exit strategy and work plan for 2021. 

The GTEX MENATEX program is funded by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Confederation focusing on five priority countries (Egypt, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan and Tunisia).  The program aims to encourage exports of textiles and clothing from developing countries to promote employment and income generation throughout the value chain.

Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2017-2020 for Central Asia, Switzerland focuses on four sectors in Tajikistan, such as a)Water, Infrastructure and Climate Change; b)Health; c)Governance, Institutions and Decentralization; d)Employment and Economic Development.

The overall goal of the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan is peace and social cohesion as well as responsive and inclusive institutions, and sustainable development improves the population’s well-being.