Azerbaijan Took Higher Position in Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation

Azerbaijan Took Higher Position in Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation

The United Nations has published the final version of the Global Report on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation 2021. According to the report, gaining 86% out of 100% on the assessed criteria, Azerbaijan leads in Southern and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia region.

As mentioned by Masuma Talibova, Head of the Digital Trade Hub – an innovative project of the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication, reviewing the dynamics of Azerbaijan's results from 2015 up today, the sustainable growth rate is observed. Scoring 48.39 in the first year of the study, two years later, with 56 % increase our country had reached 75.27. Then, the country managed to maintain sustainable growth with a 9% increase in 2017 and a 5% increase in 2021.

According to the Report, the trade facilitation measures are as follows: Transparency – 100%, Formalities – 91.67%, Institutional arrangement and communication – 88.89%, Paperless trade – 85.19%, Cross-border paperless trade – 66.67%. M.Talibova has also emphasized that in comparison with 2019, this year the country has improved its rating by 7% on the transparency indicator, reaching the maximum result. At the same time, with a 33% increase in cross-border paperless trade, Azerbaijan has attained significant progress.

The report compares the current situation in the country with previous years and provides detailed information on the reforms that have led to these improvements. Thus, there were taken some measures that made a positive contribution to improving the country's position globally. Among them are the creation of the “Digital Trade Hub” portal as a result of extensive reforms implemented by the country leadership and fulfillment of tasks arising from the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On additional measures to strengthen the position of the Republic of Azerbaijan as a Digital Trade Hub and expand its foreign trade operations”; the fact that Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to sign Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Paper Trade in Asia and the Pacific, which came into force on February 20, 2021; and other reforms in this sphere.  The report also mentions portal and the One-Stop-Shop Export Support Center – another innovative projects of the CAERC. Support provided by to SMBs within the projects has improved the country’s position in the report for simplification of trade procedures, transparency and paperless trade.

Along with the assessment of the current situation, the report provides recommendations to improve cross-border paperless trade. On February 10, it is planned to organize the international conference to discuss the mentioned recommendations with the participation of all involved organizations and foreign experts, as well as to approve the action plan 2022.  

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