Easing cross-border trade through peer learning
Experts share best practices and innovative ideas in managing Single Window platforms for better cross-border trade
Single Window systems are centralized, digital platforms that enable traders to submit information and obtain various documents required for completing cross-border trade procedures. They save substantial time and costs for all international trade participants and contribute to a paperless, streamlined trade environment.
In October 2022, trade officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan participated in a Peer Learning Initiative event on how to implement and manage these Single Windows systems.
The event brought together public and private sector representatives, including customs and trade experts from the region, who discussed the status and challenges of the National Single Window of each country. In addition, the Peer Learning Initiative allowed mutual learning, the consolidation of a regional network of experts, strengthening trust and brainstorming regional solutions in facilitating trade and border practices.
The Initiative was organized by the International Trade Centre’s Ready4Trade Central Asia project, funded by the European Union (EU), and hosted by the Pakistan Single Window, which represents good practices in the automation and integration of customs and trade procedures of border regulatory agencies.
“The Peer Learning Initiative is a unique opportunity to exchange knowledge between the administrations of National Single Windows, which will definitely bring positive results in identifying gaps in the operations of National Single Windows,” said Rustam Abdusalomov, Deputy Chair of the Association of Customs Brokers in Tajikistan at the opening.
Johannes Baur, Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan added: “The Peer Learning Initiative provides a regional mechanism for experience sharing, exchange of best practices, mutual learning, and cooperation, which are critical for sustainable trade facilitation reforms and deepened cooperation at the regional level.”
“Peer Learning Initiatives are useful platforms as they allow networking with people who are facing similar challenges, to exchange ideas for bringing reforms and to create a human infrastructure that is necessary for coordination and connection of countries for trade reforms,” concluded Pierre Bonthonneau, Senior Trade Facilitation Adviser at the International Trade Centre.
About the project
The Peer Leaning Initiative of the International Trade Centre’s Ready4Trade Central Asia project fosters sustainable cooperation, cross-learning and experience sharing among subject matter experts from Central Asia. It brings together experts who learn about regional best practices, network with their peers, and brainstorm on ways to further coordinate and harmonize border practices.
Single Windows are of key interest to stakeholders from Central Asia. This Peer Learning Initiative focused on strategic digitization reforms that consider the existing regional IT infrastructure, its potential for inter-operability and integrated data flows in the region.