Trade Information Portal to support Turkmenistan’s accession to the WTO

4 April 2023
ITC News

Turkmenistan Trade Information Portal helps business with information on cross-border trade procedures.

A new Trade Facilitation Portal in Turkmenistan will reduce the time and costs for trade across borders. The Portal guides businesses through import, export, and transit requirements; gives access to agreements, laws, regulations, forms, and documents; as well as shares international trade statistics covering more than 25 product groups, with a focus on the agrifood sector.

The Ready4Trade Central Asia project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC), initiated the development of the Portal.

The Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of Turkmenistan (MTFER) is the main implementing partner of this initiative. The project worked closely with the MTFER to set up a team that will administer the platform in full autonomy.

To develop the Portal and ensure the accuracy of its information, the team collaborated with more than 20 government agencies.

The official launch of the Portal took place on 4 April 2023, during a three-day trade exhibition that gathered 600 trade-related stakeholders. The launch ceremony was attended by high-level representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of Turkmenistan, H.E. Diego Ruiz Alonso, EU Ambassador to Turkmenistan and Mohammad Saeed, Chief, Trade Facilitation and Policy for Business at ITC. 

At the event, H.E. Diego Ruiz Alonso, EU Ambassador to Turkmenistan, said: “The implementation of the Trade Information Portal in Turkmenistan is a major achievement, as it will help to enhance the country's ability to comply with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and reduce barriers to trade. The portal can serve as a one-stop-shop for all relevant trade-related information, procedures, and requirements, making it easier for businesses to navigate the regulatory landscape.”

"Our team has devoted significant time and effort to gather, analyze, and validate data, culminating in the creation of this portal,” added Seyitmurad Geldiyev, a representative of the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations. “We have collaborated closely with all the regulatory agencies governing cross-border trade operations to construct a trustworthy portal that small and medium-sized enterprises can rely on for their day-to-day operations. We express our gratitude to the ITC team for their invaluable support in the successful implementation of this initiative.”

Timothee Bruneteau, Trade Facilitation Expert at the International Trade Centre concluded: “With the implementation of similar portals in all Central Asian countries, ITC and partners are closing the information gap on cross-border trade formalities. The portals provide a vital stimulus to small businesses and a boost to the regions’ integration into international markets.”

With the launch of the Portal in Turkmenistan, all five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have now access to transparent cross-border trade procedures.

The online platform, which was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), is used in around 30 countries around the world. It contributes to the compliance with Article 1.2 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and achieving the overarching goal of trade facilitation.

About the project

Ready4Trade Central Asia is a four-year EU-funded project implemented by the International Trade Centre in close collaboration with national partners, designed to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the countries of the region. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular women-led enterprises, and business support organizations.