UNDP in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, organized a round table on the topic "Blockchain for sustainable trade facilitation: harnessing the potential of blockchain technology" on the sidelines of the International Week of Innovation Ideas "Innoweek 2023" on October 19.
Introduction of blockchain technology for trade facilitation in Uzbekistan
October 19, 2023
Blockchain technology, which has generated considerable interest worldwide, is emerging as a powerful tool for transforming trade processes and expanding a country's access to new markets. Uzbekistan and other economies in transition are actively exploring the potential of this advanced technology to enhance transparency and streamline operations. However, despite the growing interest in blockchain, significant knowledge gaps and legal barriers impede its widespread adoption and implementation.
Considering the innovation and promise of this area, UNDP, together with UNECE, initiated the development of an analytical document on policy and regulatory analysis on blockchain application in Uzbekistan, in order to identify shortcomings and develop a development plan for the future. The focus ares will cover the key sectors of the Uzbek economy including garment and footwear, minerals and agriculture.
As part of this initiative, as well as on the sidelines of Innoweek 2023, held from 16 to 20 October 2023, representatives of the UNECE and UNDP held a series of bilateral meetings with key ministries and agencies to exchange information and study opinions regarding the implementation of blockchain technology in promising directions. On October 19, a round table was also held with the participation of more than 40 representatives of government agencies and the business community.
The event participants actively shared their ideas about the problems and opportunities for using blockchain in the country. The event also reviewed practical examples from UNECE pilot blockchain initiatives in the cotton and textile sectors of Uzbekistan. These initiatives aim to improve compliance with environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, diversify export opportunities and attract investment into the country, including by harnessing the potential of innovative, cutting-edge technologies.
“While the promise of blockchain technology in Uzbekistan is substantial, it is crucial to acknowledge that the regulatory and policy landscape in Uzbekistan presents significant barriers for the adoption and implementation of blockchain-based solutions. These challenges include, but not limited to, regulatory clarity, data privacy and security concerns, compliance with international standards, interoperability and integration, educational and skills gapsm, etc. Overcoming these complex challenges demand thoughtful evaluation and well-planned solutions,”
added Ravshan Yunusov, UNDP Inclusive Growth Cluster Leader.
Based on the outcome of the round table, it was decided to submit for discussion a draft analytical report on policy and regulatory analysis on blockchain application in Uzbekistan among all interested parties until May 2024.
The ‘Aid for Trade in Central Asia’ project is funded by the Government of Finland and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Investments, Industry and Trade of Uzbekistan. The overall objective of the project is to support Central Asian countries in promoting inclusive and sustainable growth through promoting green value chains and increasing the competitiveness of economies.