Export Management Coaching Initiative primes 200 companies in Central Asia
More than 200 companies acquired necessary tools on export management to facilitate their cross-border operations under the ITC Ready4Trade Central Asia project. A regional wrap-up event in Almaty celebrated the end of the Export Management Coaching Initiative.
As part of the International Trade Centre’s EU-funded Ready4Trade Central Asia project, numerous coaching sessions running over five days equipped 212 small businesses in Central Asia with the tools and knowledge necessary to export abroad, known as the Export Management Coaching Initiative.
This Initiative helps entrepreneurs solve everyday problems they are facing when managing their export operations, consisting of face-to-face, on-the-job training sessions conducted at the premises of the participating company. Businesses from the five participating countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) have benefited from technical assistance on specific issues related to packaging and labeling, customs formalities, international shipping, regulatory compliance and export planning.
At the opening event of the training in Almaty on 18 March 2022, Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, said: “ITC is organizing this last regional event to celebrate the handover of the Export Management Coaching Initiative. As participants, you will be able to share your observations and recommendations on the development of this Initiative and ways to ensure the sustainability of new practices in the future.”
He added: “I strongly believe that Ready4Trade will help improve the ability of Central Asian companies to comply with cross-border regulations and promote a national business coaching environment.”
Building resilience for post-COVID recovery
Trade Facilitation Consultant Augustin Baret, who led the coordination efforts on behalf of the International Trade Centre over the past year, said: “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economies of Central Asia has been profound. They will have serious implications for their continued development and diversification in the years to come. The recovery will be built on the strength and resilience of small businesses.”
“The Initiative addressed some of the main trade-related bottlenecks faced by exporters in the region and improved their overall knowledge on export management”, he concluded.
The institutional partners of the project from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan shared their observations and recommendations to adapt the Export Management Coaching Initiative in the region and ensure the sustainability of the project in the future.
“The Export Management Coaching Initiative is one of the most sought-after tools among small and medium-sized enterprises. To date, 44 companies in Kazakhstan have taken advantage of the programme, 50% of whom are women”, said Nurlan Kulbatyrov, Deputy CEO at JSC Trade Policy Development Center ‘QazTrade’, the partnering organization of the initiative in Kazakhstan.
During the event, the Ready4Trade team shared success stories and best practices, covering a few of companies that participated in the programme.
Dinara Dyussenova, a participating entrepreneur of ZTwon Development from Kazakhstan, said: “Thanks to the new knowledge we gained during the coaching, we were able to correct some errors in our packaging, labels and shipping documents. This allowed us to access the markets in Georgia, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Sri Lanka.”
A small exhibition highlighted the assortment of goods produced by the beneficiary companies for local and international markets. At the end of the event, the participating companies were awarded certificates for completing their training.