Countries / Territories

About the Ready4Trade - Central Asia Project

  • ready4trade

    With the project 'Ready4Trade Central Asia', the European Union (EU) and ITC are joining forces to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of the region by boosting intra-regional and international trade in Central Asia. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), in particular women led enterprises, and Business Support Organizations (BSOs).

    The project operates in five countries in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It is funded by the EU and is implemented by ITC. Country project offices coordinate activities at the country level.

    Ready4Trade was launched in January 2020 and is projected to last for 4 years.

    The first phase of the project, i.e. the inception phase, was completed in June 2020. The inception phase allowed the project to:

    • Customize its approach to fit each beneficiary country's specific needs.
    • Identify strategic partners in each country
    • Map the activities currently being implemented in Central Asia by other development organizations on the issues of relevance to the project in order to avoid duplication of work and encourage synergies.

    The implementation phase of Ready4Trade started in July 2020.

    Read our Press Release announcing the launch of the implementation phase of the project here.

    The project at a glance

    About the Ready4trade - Central Asia Project

    Project rationale/ background

    Despite some economic growth in recent years, Central Asian countries remain characterized by a low level of economic diversification and a high dependence on a small number of trading partners. The contribution of SMEs to GDP and employment in Central Asia, as well as their participation in the world economy, is low compared to many countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Increasing access of SMEs to regional and global markets is crucial for diversifying economic activity and creating jobs.

    Project priorities

    To help spur economic growth, the Ready4Trade Central Asia project will target these 4 main objectives:

    • Address regulatory and procedural obstacles to international trade;
    • Improve SMEs capacities to comply with cross-border requirements;
    • Improve readiness of Central Asian countries, in particular women-led companies, to conduct cross-border e-commerce;
    • Increase opportunities for women-led enterprises to participate in international trade

    Impact on UN Sustainable Development Goals:


    Direct impact on:

    SDG 8 (Decent work and  

    economic growth)


     About the Ready4trade - Central Asia Project2


    Indirect impact on:

    SDG 5 (Gender equality) &

    SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals)


    About the Ready4trade - Central Asia Project3

    Ready4Trade Central Asia and COVID-19

    The project has become even more relevant today, given the significant disruption of  international trade by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a devastating effect on SMEs all over the world, including in Central Asia. In the wake of new realities, the introduction of trade facilitation measures, including the promotion of e-commerce activities, is more critical than ever to help mitigate the negative impacts brought on by the pandemic on SMEs in the region and therefore contribute to alleviating its drastic economic consequences. 

    For more information, contact

    Stay Connected: #Ready4Trade


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    For more information, contact us:

    Stay Connected: #Ready4Trade