A round table entitled "Presentation of results of the survey among participants of foreign economic activity on current system of export-import operations regulation and customs administration in the Republic of Uzbekistan" was held at the conference hall of Grand Orzu Hotel on 21 September 2007.
Strengthening economic growth of to a large extent depends on development of the country’s foreign economic activity. Acceleration of economic growth in 2004-2005 was largely due to a significant increase in the foreign trade turnover with Uzbek exports increasing twofold in 2003-2007, from US$3.7 billion to US$7.6 billion. The expansion was a result of measures undertaken on liberalization of foreign trade and currency policies, stimulation of private sector development and favorable trends in world markets. Another important factor was the reduction of transactional costs of doing business in Uzbekistan.
However, the procedures of export-import operations and customs clearance are still time consuming and cause substantial costs for participants of foreign economic activity. The customs regulatory framework is rather complicated and confusing, and its administration lacks transparency. In this regard, regulation of export-import operations and customs administration should become key instruments in establishment of the most favorable conditions for increasing participation of private sector in the country’s foreign economic activity.
With an aim of revealing opinions of foreign economic activity participants concerning the current system of export-import operations regulation and customs administration, problems arising during the process of export and import of goods and services, as well as transactional costs in this process, UNDP "Improving the system of customs administration in the Republic of Uzbekistan" Project in May-June 2007 carried out the sociological survey among entrepreneurs and business entities engaged in export-import operations, and transport companies.
With the purpose of presenting results of conducted survey, the round table entitled "Presentation of results of the survey among participants of foreign economic activity on current system of export-import operations regulation and customs administration in the Republic of Uzbekistan" was held at the conference hall of Grand Orzu Hotel on 21 September 2007.
During the course of the event, participants of foreign economic activity, customs brokers, representatives of scientific and research institutions as well as government officials exchanged opinions on main results of the survey. In addition, the concept note of the policy paper on "Enhancing the efficiency of customs control and improving the mechanism of regulation of export-import operations" was discussed at the round-table.
Among the issues discussed during the event were existing limitations on foreign currency (100% prepayment requirement during export, hard currency conversion issues during imports) and export of goods (export bans and licensing procedures), complicated administrative procedures during certification and marking of goods, and registration of necessary export-import documents in the authorized bodies (customs, banks, ministries, state committees, etc.). The special attention has been given to the issue of customs clearance procedures (especially during stages of declaration of goods, customs valuation and classification of goods).
At the close of the round-table participants expressed opinions on necessity of further reduction of transactional costs in the process of foreign economic activity in the country, reducing unnecessary stages of passing administrative procedures during export and import, implementing policy of simplification of customs procedures and formalities.
The round table is organized within the framework of joint project of UNDP and the Government "Improving the System of Customs Administration in the Republic of Uzbekistan".