Experts of the World Trade Organization, relying on data on higher than expected rates of trade recovery in the second half of last year, are optimistic about the prospects of global trade. They expect the volume of international trade, which decreased by 5.3% due to the global pandemic, to grow by 8% this year and 4% the next year.
Despite the negative impacts of the pandemic year and trade divisions between major global players, the international trading system continued to function effectively, preventing further deterioration of the situation. Several factors contributed to its work during the crisis, including the obligations of countries within the framework of membership in the World Trade Organization, international norms and the economic interests of market participants.
WTO experts urge not to impose restrictions on international trade and ensure the normal operation of markets. The WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala emphasized at a recent press conference that this is "extremely important for both health and economic recovery."
Turkmenistan, located at the crossroads of trade routes of Eurasia, has always understood the importance of free trade for the development and establishment of partnerships. Presently, Turkmenistan, which received the WTO observer status in July last year, attaches great importance to the development of cooperation and to the promotion of Turkmen goods to global markets.
This is the goal of the Program for the Development of Foreign Economic Activity of Turkmenistan for 2020-2025, the implementation of which is carried out by dozens of ministries and the private sector. And the WTO observer status contributes to the opening of new "windows of opportunity" in strengthening the position of Turkmenistan in the international trade system and in increasing the effectiveness of its trade strategy.
Trade played an important role in ensuring the resilience of the Turkmen economy to external challenges. At a recent meeting with a Turkmen delegation in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that trade between the two countries grew by almost 40%, calling it an "excellent result".
The upcoming opening of a trading house of Turkmenistan in Kazan will contribute to the growth of bilateral trade. Its activities will be aimed at promoting the products of Turkmen enterprises in the Russian market and expanding the export opportunities of the national economy.
Presently, the discussions of mutual opening of Trading Houses of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan is underway out to promote products and conclude contracts between businesses of the two countries. The parties believe that this will become an incentive for increasing trade turnover, building up business ties between the business circles of the two states.
Given the role of small and medium-sized businesses in increasing the production of import-substituting and export-oriented products, the Head of State calls to provide comprehensive assistance to the private sector in finding new markets and ways to sell competitive Turkmen products.
This includes the provision of marketing, legal and advisory assistance to domestic private producers in the export of their products and consolidation of their positions in the global market. This will be facilitated by the creation of an export support center, and a center for providing assistance to small and medium-sized businesses. To this end, the country plans to study the experience of foreign countries.
This article was originally published in Turkmenistan: Golden Age news outlet on April 07, 2021.