CLDP Facilitates Fifth Meeting of the Central Asia-Afghanistan Expert Level Working Group on Customs Issues

October 16, 2017 - October 19, 2017
Participants of the Fifth Meeting of the Central Asia-Afghanistan Expert Level Working Group on Customs Issues

CLDP’s Michael Cofield and Yulia Melara organized the fifth meeting of the Expert Level Working Group on Customs for officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan on October 16-19. The first part of the meeting focused on risk management and post-clearance audit, with each delegation sharing its country's recent developments in these areas. Advisors from U.S. Customs and Border Protection further developed the topics through presentations and case studies. An advisor from Latvian Customs, on loan to GiZ, added to the Group's interactive discussions by providing perspective on Latvian and EU policy and practice. The Group also heard from the private sector, with an American Chamber of Commerce in Kazakhstan speaker addressing the experience of international businesses in crossing borders in the region and through participating in USAID's 7th Annual Central Asia Trade Forum. The program ended with an opportunity for the Group to participate in a C5+1 (Central Asia 5 + US) discussion of customs issues. The four-day meeting advanced the Group's goals of further developing Group into a platform for regional cooperation and integration, further developing the capacity of Central Asian officials to implement international best practices, incorporating private sector experience to allow for more open markets, and leveraging opportunities to collaborate with other USG and international projects in the region.

Upcoming Programs

July 1, 2020 - September 30, 2020

In July, August, and September 2020, CLDP, in collaboration with USTR and the University of Missouri, will provide virtual business fundamental courses to 20 Salvadoran textile representatives. CLDP has partnered with a textile and apparel expert who will conduct group sessions, as well as tailored sessions depending on the needs and businesses of the selected representatives. Lessons will cover business plan development and implementation, mentorship opportunities, local business resources, and personnel management. Furthermore, the sessions will give the Salvadoran textiles representatives the opportunity to begin developing comprehensive plans to effectively disseminate the knowledge they acquire during this program broadly across the industry with other textile professionals in El Salvador. Participants, who represent the Salvadoran private sector, key government agencies, and academia, will continue to engage their U.S. counterparts in this project for the remainder of the CLDP programming throughout 2021. This project is a part of CLDP’s and USTR’s capacity-building program to improve regional prosperity by fostering human and institutional capacity to improve the competitiveness of the Salvadoran textile industry.

July 29, 2020 - September 30, 2020

CLDP initiated a series of virtual meetings connecting Afghan representatives with Ambassador Shahzad Aroybee, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the Czech Republic. The meetings served to discuss how CLDP can work with the Afghan Embassy in the Czech Republic to support Afghanistan’s trade and agribusiness sectors, and to facilitate implementation of memoranda of understanding (MOU) focusing on trade facilitation between the two countries, which are currently being drafted. This series of meetings also connected the Afghan and Czech private sector and business communities, ultimately outlining an actionable road map including a business forum and eventual trade show. Through these conversations, private sector representatives from both countries, along with the Ambassador, discussed the existing barriers to trade between Afghanistan and the Czech Republic, and raised proposed recommendations to incorporate into the plan as the business forum approaches.

CLDP in Action

July 30, 2020

As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Commerce’s Office of Russia, Europe, and Eurasia (ORUE)CLDP participated in a video meeting with Javlon Vakhabov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the United States on June 25, 2020, to discuss Uzbekistan’s Strategy for the Development of Agriculture in 2020-2030. 

Read More about CLDP Draws upon Interagency Relationships to Assist Uzbekistan in Implementing its New Agricultural Strategy