Aid for Trade in Central Asia (phase IV)

Project overview:

The project aims to support Central Asian countries in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth models in rural areas and in clean production sectors. Based on lessons learned from previous phases of the UNDP Aid for Trade project, the current phase of the project will focus on identifying niche products rather than encouraging local producers to compete on international level in terms of quantity and quality in traditional exports (mainly fresh fruits and vegetables). In this regards, the project will work on three different levels that mutually reinforce each other:

  1. At the policy level (macro level) – main focus is on developing the concepts of trade policy;
  2. At the institutions level, business support (meso level) - the project supports trade support organizations in developing better services to serve their clients, which will be covered by component I;  
  3. At the business support level (micro level) - the project directly supports entrepreneurs in expanding their business and creating jobs, which will be under component II.  

 In addition, two cross-cutting themes will be gender equality and environmental sustainability. The Aid for Trade project is aligned with the SDG and currently contributes to the achievement of 12 goals and 30 related indicators.

Interim results:

Measures to support access to finance and technology for small and medium-sized enterprises:

  • For sustainable growth of small and medium-sized businesses favorable conditions have been created, including Advisory support on foreign trade and integration issues for the Ministry of Economy;
  • Support was provided to the Guarantee Fund for the implementation of corporate governance system development services for its clients;
  • An analysis of green niche products was carried out, as a result three target products were identified: natural honey, mixtures of nuts and dried fruits and vegetables, and adventure tourism;
  • The project was supported by the Ministry of Economy in the Kyrgyz Republic to develop financial products (loans) for green economy sectors.
  • In close cooperation with the Ministry of economy, the project contributed to the preparation of financial programs for export-oriented sectors, including the project of Financial support for export-oriented enterprises, the project of factoring services for exporters supplying goods to Federal retailers of the Russian Federation;
  • As a result of cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, guidelines were developed for 4 priority areas. These guidelines focused on the main aspects related with launching a business and its operations, taking into account industry aspects.

Measures to improve access to target markets:

  • In cooperation With the Agency for Investment Promotion and Protection, export Caravan was organized in 7 regions of the Kyrgyz Republic with the participation of more than 200 exporters;
  • In partnership with GIZ and IPD (Import Promotion Desk of Germany), the project continues to develop an online service based on the platform These services include export readiness checks, market reports (opportunities), market profiles, and a directory of exporters;
  • As part of the program, a project was launched to support market analysis and expand online content for exporters on the web site:;
  • A training was held on preparing the internationalization of exporters for trade support institutions for international business jointly with the UNDP-Russia platform to attract Russian experience in developing the potential of APPI for international business. 33 representatives of organizations participated;
  • In partnership with GIZ, a workshop on registering exporters in the REX system was organized with the involvement of an international expert who has experience in implementation of it. More than 100 exporters took part in this workshop.
  •  On March 27, 2019 Jannat hotel hosted the exhibition "Made in Kyrgyzstan", which was attended by 31 companies from the following industries: food processing industry, textile and clothing production and agricultural products. As a result, 8 companies signed export contracts for 16.9 million USD and 1 MOU was signed for 50 million USD (between 2 associations);   
  • From 24 to 27 of September 2019, 11 domestic companies that are producers and exporters of beans, dried fruits, canned products, sausages, dairy products and beverages participated in the 28th International exhibition of world-class food products World Food Moscow in Moscow. As a result, 6 companies signed contracts (a pre-determined amount of 0.022 million USD);
  • From November 6th to 8th 2019, 13 domestic producers and exporters of food products participated in the 22nd Central Asian international exhibition "FoodExpo Qazaqstan" at the Atakent exhibition complex in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan. As a result, 4 companies signed contracts (1.123 million USD);
  • In 2019, the project supported the participation of 9 travel companies in 4 road shows in the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait. As a result of it all companies are in the process of negotiations with potential partners for the sale of tourist products for entry tourism to Kyrgyzstan;
  • In January and February of 2020, the project provided support to the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Information and tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic to organize the participation of tourist companies in road shows in South Korea, India and the United Kingdom. As a result, the companies managed to hold negotiations with potential partners on the sale of tourist products for entry tourism to Kyrgyzstan.

Activities to support women’s entrepreneurship:

  • In 2019, UNDP established and implemented a mentoring program for women and young entrepreneurs in Osh, Jalal-Abad, Naryn and Issyk-Kul regions. The total number of participants is 216 (206 women). As a part of the mentoring program, 2 new companies were created by the wards.
  • In November 2019, the project supported a conference dedicated to Women's Entrepreneurship Day. More than 500 representatives of the private sector participated in the conference. During the conference, representatives of Women's entrepreneurship from Central Asia discussed opportunities for regional cooperation.
  • The project also launched an information campaign to highlight women's entrepreneurship issues. As part of the campaign, more than 20 videos about the mentoring program and 12 videos about female business leaders were posted on social networks. One of the goals of the program was to promote a positive role model for women entrepreneurs.


Expected results:

Support access to the market of small and medium-sized businesses:

  • Support to the State Agency for Investment Promotion and Protection in providing export promotion services for companies;
  • Support to the State Agency for Investment Promotion and Protection and business associations in holding b2b meetings to promote trade;
  • Support for export caravans in all regions of Kyrgyzstan with the participation of the Government, the private sector, civil society, the public sector, and the donor community.

Improving access to financial technologies:

  • Establishing links between suppliers of new technologies from abroad and the private sector in Kyrgyzstan;
  • Advisory support of the Ministry of Economy and the Guarantee Fund, as well as development of information tools on technologies for exporters;
  • Advisory support to the Ministry of Economy of financial instruments for exporters;
  • Implementation of a corporate governance system for clients of the Guarantee Fund.

Increase productivity and export readiness of target products through the use of innovative technologies:

  • Building the capacity of enterprises to improve productivity, product quality, packaging, and diversify new markets;
  • Implementation of international standards (Global GAP, HACCP, FSSC) to increase exports of manufactured products;
  • Introduction of green technologies;
  • Conducting practical trainings taking into account environmental aspects;
  • Support for small and medium-sized businesses to participate in international exhibitions and fairs.

Support women and young entrepreneurs in rural areas:

  • Building the capacity of women in business planning;
  • Support of business ideas of the contest participants with a special focus on the use of green technologies.

Status: Active

Start date:   July 2018

Projected end date:  June 2022

Geographic coverage:  Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, Osh, Djalal-Abad, Naryn and Issyk-Kul oblasts

Subject area:  eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions

Project coordinator:  Urmat Takirov

Partners: Ministry of Economy, Agency for Promotion and Protection of Investments and local trade support institutions that specialize in providing export services for small and medium-sized businesses and local producers, processors of agricultural products and farmers, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, business associations, JSC "Guarantee Fund", local service providers, regional and district administrations.    

Funding Source:  Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland

Budget: 2,000,000 EURO



July 2018


December 2023




United Nations Development Programme











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