The fifth meeting of the Central Asian Working Group on Export Promotion of Agricultural Produce from Central Asia (CAWG) was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan form June 21 to 22. 

According to the European Union Delegation to Tajikistan, the meeting brought together stakeholders from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan to discuss plans for further cooperation.  The aim was to develop coordinated position and vision on promoting commercial quality standards, food safety of agricultural products, increasing the competitiveness of the region and promoting export.

The Participants of the Central Asian Working Group jointly summarized the results so far achieved during 2020 - 2021 and considered the following priorities: proposals for amending current UNECE’s Standards taking into account products exported from the region, drafting the explanatory materials on fresh and dried agricultural products, discuss the strategies and plans for joint activities to enhance knowledge of UNECE’s Standards and food safety (incl. Global GAP) among producers, processors and exporters.

Considering that the promotion of geographical indications (GI) could improve the image of agricultural products in Central Asia, as well as countries in foreign markets, the implementation of the best international practices for the identification and designation of regional agricultural products (GI) was discussed and agreed. The set of planned marketing activities was aimed at promoting a group of goods, the quality of which was determined by their place of origin and the unique combination of local natural resources and cultural values of the production area

The activities of the CAWG included the harmonization of several methods of product promotion in the following areas: 1) ensuring the compliance of agricultural products with the marketing and commercial quality control standards; 2)ensuring the compliance of agricultural products with food safety standards; and 3) implementation of the best international practices of identification for agricultural products, which will increase the recognizability of Central Asian products and participating countries in foreign markets.

The CAWG meeting participants reportedly included representatives of the state bodies, e.g., standardization bodies, export agencies, ministries of economy and agriculture of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, business associations and representatives of the private sector - producers, processors and exporters of the Central Asian region.

The meeting was reportedly organized by the "CANDY V" consortium led by the Austrian internationally active organization Hilfswerk International in the framework of the project, Regional Integration and Capacity Building to Boost Agribusiness MSMEs Competitiveness and Trade Promotion in Central Asia – CANDY V", funded by the European Union program "Central Asia - Invest V" and the Austrian Development Cooperation jointly with the UNDP Regional project “Aid for Trade for Central Asia" funded by the Government of Finland.