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How to improve “International Trade" indicator of Uzbekistan in the World Bank Report?


How to improve “International Trade" indicator of Uzbekistan in the World Bank Report?

On September 29, 2015 the Center for Economic Research held a Round Table on "Possibility of increasing the rating of Uzbekistan in «Doing Business» in terms of «International Trade»" with the involvement of experts from international organizations, ministries and agencies, state committees and research community.

The event was organized within the frameworks of a research conducted with the support of the project of the United Nations Development Programme in Uzbekistan (UNDP Uzbekistan) "Aid for Trade".

During the Round Table CER Research Coordinator presented the main findings and recommendations of the Policy Paper on "Proposals to improve the ranking of Uzbekistan in the annual World Bank report «Doing Business» in terms of «International Trade»". The research was also based on the results of the public opinion poll held by UNDP in November-December 2014 among the representatives of Uzbekistan foreign-economic activity.

The subject of the presentation attracted great interest among national experts and representatives of international organizations. After the presentation the following issues were discussed: transition to the electronic format of documents, the expected and actual timing of international transactions, and the further development of the legal framework for international trade.

All participants noted that the research was very important and actual. Most of the ideas and recommendations reflected in the Policy Paper were supported by the participants of the Round Table. In particular, it was noted that the implementation of the recommendations would definitely contribute to facilitation of foreign trade activities and reduce the transaction costs for the participants of foreign trade in Uzbekistan. In addition, it will positively affect the rating of the republic in the annual World Bank report "Doing Business", which, in turn, will increase the investment attractiveness of Uzbekistan for potential foreign private investors.

In particular, the experts of the Institute for Legislation Monitoring identified the need for further research in this area, as well as more detailed research of legislative and regulatory frameworks of the foreign trade procedures, the establishment and development processes, including international experience.

The representative of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan announced the latest government measures taken in this area, as well as the activity of the customs authorities aimed at improving foreign trade procedures. In particular, it was told that the SCC authorities were banned to demand from the foreign trade participants the documents which were not provided for by the law and were available at other government agencies. Furthermore, in recent years, the government pays great attention to the introduction of ICT, which in itself increases the efficiency of the monitoring mechanism of the foreign trade operations, accelerates the passage of the foreign trade procedures by the participants and improves the quality of public services. Today, the majority of declarations are filled through Automated information system of electronic declaration. The business entities enter the data of foreign trade contracts in electronic form through the Integrated portal of interactive government services.

The representative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said that the government of Uzbekistan has been actively cooperating with the World Bank experts in improving the business climate in the country, which had a positive impact on the rating of the republic in the annual “Doing Business” report. In his opinion, the use of the CER recommendations in the formulation of government policies in this area will further reduce the time and cost of different foreign trade registration procedures of export-import operations for the entrepreneurs. He also mentioned about the change in calculation methodology of "International Trade" indicator by the World Bank since 2015, which will positively affect the overall ranking of the country. However, due to the changes in methodology, the urgency of improving all indicators forming the ranking of Uzbekistan on "International Trade" indicator will greatly increase. In particular, such indicators as the number of authorization documents, the financial and timing costs of foreign trade participants in their preparation, customs clearance and technical control will become major factors influencing the ranking of the republic within the framework of this indicator. In addition, the IFC representative noted the importance of the organization of the systematic work to improve the legal and computer skills of local entrepreneurs, the relevance of is increasing with the expansion of e-public services.

Photo album from the event is available on CER official Facebook page.

You can view and download Russian version of the presentation from Slide Share.