On 30 September 2021, the OECD held the third and last virtual working group on monitoring SME export promotion policies in Uzbekistan. The OECD presented its final results and recommendations, while representatives of Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) and Business France, the French and German export promotion agencies, discussed with Uzbek peers the creation of an export promotion network abroad, and monitoring practices.
The working group was an opportunity to discuss progress made by Uzbekistan since the 2017 OECD peer review of its export promotion efforts, and assessments of new priorities linked to the COVID pandemic, and Uzbekistan’s recently renewed WTO accession talks and membership of the European Union’s GSP+ scheme. The event was organised as part of the OECD Policy Component of the EU Central Asia Invest initiative and brought together experts from the OECD, Germany, and France with a number of stakeholders, from the public and private sector in Uzbekistan.
Opening the event, Mr Tengiz Asanov,Deputy Head of the Investment Climate Department at the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade, emphasised the relevance of OECD work in supporting the government’s reform agenda. He indicated that the monitoring exercise had been a timely exercise for the institutions active in export promotion in Uzbekistan.
Mr Alessandro Liamine, Deputy Head of Co-operation in the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, welcomed the successful cooperation between the EU, the OECD, and Uzbekistan. He noted that the implementation of the EPCA agreement, and Uzbekistan’s adherence to GSP+ and WTO accession talks are an acknowledgment of the country’s will to reform its trading environment.
In the first session, Ms Amélie Schurich-Rey, Economist and Policy Analyst in the OECD Eurasia Division, presented the results of the OECD monitoring, drawing attention to the successful development of a supportive institutional environment for export promotion over recent years. She then suggested future improvements related to the development of a network of offices of the Export Promotion Agency abroad, and the implementation of a more outcome-based and complex evaluation system of policies.
Mr Murod Rakhimov, Head of Division at the Export Promotion Agency of Uzbekistan, commented on the OECD presentation, providing an overview of the agency’s programmes to support exporting SMEs.
Complementing these presentations, Mr Sebastian Labrencis-Keck, Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships, and Ms Angela Bley, Managing Director for Market Access at GTAI, shared their agency’s experience in developing a network of offices abroad, providing both trade representation and export-market knowledge services to the home and the foreign countries.
Mr Yvergniaux detailed Business France’s targeting and impact cycle, a comprehensive approach to export promotion policies from their design to the measurement of their impact. He emphasised that Business France’s approach to measuring efficiency relies both on a qualitative value feedback scheme and quantitative performance indicators.
Mr Asanov and Mr Liamine offered closing remarks, thanking the EU and the OECD carrying out this project, which contributes to the country’s recovery and growth efforts. Mr Asanov in particular welcomed the results and recommendations of the monitoring,underlining their benefits for the further development of the export promotion landscape in Uzbekistan.