Trade Policy

Trade is critical to all CAREC economies. As landlocked nations rich in natural and other resources the ability to efficiently interact with world markets is critical to achieve sustainable economic growth.

CAREC's Trade Policy Strategic Action Plan (TPSAP) seeks to achieve trade expansion through regional cooperation. The main goals are

  • increasing trade openness to stimulate stronger growth and development, contributing to poverty reduction;
  • helping all CAREC countries achieve World Trade Organization membership; and
  • capacity building in the area of trade and trade policy.

The action plan aims to simplify and liberalize national trade regimes within a reasonable timeframe, improving the investment climate across Central Asia. Specific initiatives include uniformly applying value-added and excise taxes on domestically produced and imported goods, cutting tariffs, and eliminating quantitative restrictions on exports and imports.

The TPSAP 2013-2017 builds on and encompasses the agenda of the previous action plan, and expands the agenda into important areas for integrating CAREC countries into the world trading environment: (i) expanding trade in services; and (ii) reducing and rationalizing non-tariff measures, including the trade-impeding impact of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade.

The action plan builds on a series of reports developed by the Trade Policy Coordinating Committee. These include

The WTO Accession Knowledge Sharing Program has been launched, jointly sponsored by ADB and the World Bank, to support trade liberalization. The first three WTO training seminars took place in March, May, and July 2012.

Monitored results in the institutional environment for trade show that many CAREC countries have achieved progress in recent years, but with considerable variations in institutional quality.

As policy actions and reforms in trade policy concentrate on building knowledge and capacity, CAREC is supporting greater openness and competition.

[Trade policy-related materials can be accessed at Senior Officials' Meetings and Trade Policy Coordinating Committee (TPCC) meetings.]