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USAID's Trade Central Asia Activity Seeks International Trade Economist

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USAID's Trade Central Asia Activity is seeking an International Trade Economist to conduct training on trade impact analysis in the process of accession to the WTO

Title/Position: International Trade Economist

Level of Effort: 11 days + travel days

Period of Performance: June 07 -21, 2024


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Trade Central Asia (TCA) activity aims to improve region-wide trade connectivity to accelerate economic growth and increase economic opportunity in Central Asia through harmonization of customs and border procedures, increasing public-private dialogue on trade and investment, improving cross-border firm-to-firm connectivity, and addressing gender-relevant trade issues.

Since 2013, USAID has supported the Government of Turkmenistan’s (GoT) efforts in pursuing World Trade Organization (WTO) accession. In doing so, USAID arranged several high-level conferences through its programs, conducted capacity-building events (including developing Quantitative Economic Analysis Training for Turkmen ministries and Economics Skills for Quantitative Economic Analysis back in 2014), and commissioned several policy papers.

On February 23, 2022, Turkmenistan achieved a significant milestone when the WTO approved its application and granted the status of an acceding country (“active observer”) to the WTO. As the Government gears towards a fast-track accession, it recognizes the importance of forecasting and preparing for the potential economic opportunities and threats stemming from accession to the WTO. The impact on strategic sectors (winning and losing sectors) and the overall effects on GDP and inflation will be significant when considering trade liberalization.

As key stakeholders in Turkmenistan’s journey towards WTO membership, policymakers are instrumental in the success of this training program. Policymakers can better consider and implement specific economic reforms and trade policies by upskilling a pool of economists in sectoral impact and trade impact analysis. This capacity building is necessary and a testament to the policymakers’ commitment to securing Turkmenistan’s membership in the WTO and fulfilling its long-term national economic potential.


In order to prepare and comprehend evidence-based economic assessments (trade impact analysis) that use sectoral-based economic impact models, the assignment aims to upskill 25 public sector economists. The tools will combine financial data with theory—to see the outcomes for various sectors in the country (e.g., agriculture, light industry (textile), food industry, hydrocarbon, and the service sector).

The rationale for this course design is to equip the participants with tools to understand evidence-based model results and to create these models for presentation to policymakers and industry leaders. This capacity improves Turkmen leaders’ ability to capitalize upon future opportunities and prepare for sector transitions as the economy becomes more integrated with the world ahead of the WTO accession.


Background reading, interviews, and Training Needs Assessment (LoE: 2 days, offsite):

1.The Consultant(s) shall read, at a minimum, the following materials related to previous relevant outputs in this subject area:

  • Exit/training report (13 pages) on Developing Quantitative Economic Analysis Training Materials for Turkmen ministries (training course on Quantitative Methods of Conducting Economic Analyses), delivered by the USAID/MEP project on March 07, 2014.
  • The USAID/MEP project delivered an exit/training report (10 pages) on conducting the training course on mathematics and developing economic skills for quantitative economic analysis for Turkmen ministries on March 10, 2014.

2. The Consultant(s) shall meet and interview the following stakeholders to better understand the work specified:

  • A focal point of the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFET) responsible for cooperation with WTO or its designee.
  • USAID TCA Country Director in Turkmenistan, Rustam Bekmuradov.
  • [Optional] The World Bank’s representative (the responsible person for technical assistance on the economic impact on agriculture assessment for MFE)

3. Training Material Preparation (LoE: 5 days, offsite):

  • Based on findings gained from the background reading and interviews, identify specific training needs of the Government officials related to sectoral-based economic impact (focusing on CGE analysis using General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) software) in the context of upcoming WTO accession.
  • Communicate a list of training prerequisites/classroom/equipment requirements (availability of computers, IT software) to the USAID TCA team well before the training.
  • Prepare training materials covering key concepts, methodologies, and sectoral-based economic impact models (including gravity models, total factor productivity models, partial equilibrium models, and computable general equilibrium (CGE) models) used for trade policy analysis, including the WTO accession.
  • Elaborate for each class of models a fundamental principle of development, data needs, software requirements, strengths, and weaknesses of the models.
  • Facilitate practical exercises to allow participants to apply the learned concepts and methodologies to real-world scenarios. It will also present relevant case studies illustrating successful sectoral impact assessments conducted in other countries or regions undergoing or recently undergoing the WTO accession processes.
  • Provide a list of additional self-learning resources and a list of recommended literature.

4. Training Delivery (LoE: 3 days, onsite in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, o-a June 18-21, 2024):

  • Deliver training sessions to public sector officials on sectoral-based economic impact models needed for trade impact analysis, ensuring active engagement and participation during agreed-upon time.
  • During the training, conduct question-and-answer sessions to address specific queries and concerns from government officials regarding sectoral-based economic impact models and their application in conducting trade impact analysis.

5. Reporting (LoE: 1 day offsite):

  • Prepare a short end-of-assignment report in English using the TCA’s template, summarizing the delivered training program.


The consultant will report directly to TCA’s Country Director in Turkmenistan and/or TCA’s Chief of Party or his designee.


  • Master’s degree or PhD in economics or related area.
  • At least 15 years of experience in international trade, developing economic tools for trade impact analysis, including developing and conducting Free Trade Agreement analyses and models for post-soviet countries.
  • Educational experience (e.g., preparation of course materials and delivering educational programs) or similar is an advantage.
  • Working experience conducting trade impact analysis and building economic models (such as gravity models, total factor productivity models, partial equilibrium models, and CGE models) used for trade policy analysis in post-Soviet countries is an advantage.
  • Previous experience constructing numerical trade impact models in the Former Soviet Union.
  • Working knowledge of the English language is necessary, and Russian language ability is an advantage.

Please send your CV and letter of interest to the email address tca_recruitment@dai.com with vacancy title “International Trade Economist” in the subject line.

Deadline for applications is April 20, 2024. Only applications sent by email will be considered. Only short-listed candidates will be notified. No phone inquiries, please.

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USAID's Trade Central Asia Activity