Ready4Trade Central Asia conducts gender-responsive trade facilitation workshops in Turkmenistan
01 September 2021
The European Union-funded Ready4Trade Central Asia project aims to increase opportunities for women-led enterprises to participate in international trade.
In Turkmenistan, the project recently completed a series of awareness-raising workshops on gender-responsive trade facilitation. The workshops were held in Balkan and Lebap velayats over the course of the month of August for the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan.
As explained by the Trade Facilitation Programme Officer at ITC, Ms. Alina Fetisova, who designed the trainings:
“The objective of these workshops is to allow trade policymakers, customs officers, and border officials understand why facilitating trade for women is important, while highlighting some of the constraints that women face when engaging in international trade. The trainings will also provide recommendations to enhance opportunities for women’s participation in trade and to create conducive border environments through trade facilitation reforms”.
The workshop sessions were delivered by two local customs experts and attended by 46 representatives of customs services of the 2 velayats. These experts were first trained by ITC to then hold workshops for their fellow colleagues.
Ms. Chemen Bayramova, trainer and representative of the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan stated:
“Understanding the gender dimension of cross-border trade and defining the role that civil servants can play in creating more sustainable trade environments is important. We are glad to receive this training and support from the Ready4Trade project".
The series of trainings came after earlier consultations with governmental entities, business associations and private sector representatives in Central Asia. Findings showed that there was a strong demand for gender-focused activities in the area of trade, especially for cross-border trade.
During the workshop, participants learned about the gender equality in cross-border trade, identified existing opportunities for change and reviewed the next steps that government agencies can take to address issues faced by women entrepreneurs.
As highlighted by Mr. Rustam Alymov, ITC National Project Manager in Turkmenistan:
“Addressing gender issues in cross-border trade is essential for the economic empowerment of women as workers, consumers and family members. New global evidence confirms that trade benefits women in several ways. For one, trade openness can improve women’s welfare: as firms grow and begin to engage in international trade, they can hire more employees and thus employ more women. Trade also creates better jobs for women, increasing wages and improving economic equality”.
It is expected that the next training will take place in Ashgabat.
The Ready4Trade Central Asia project is a joint initiative of the European Union and the International Trade Centre. Its aim is to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in 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. The project operates in 5 countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. More information: intracen.org/Ready4Trade.