Ambassador Marilyn Josefon, Head of the European Union Delegation to Tajikistan, Delegation/Ambassador yesterday met here with senior representatives of the Customs Service under the Government of Tajikistan, according to the Customs Service press center.

The two sides reportedly discussed issues related to the possibility of Tajikistan’s joining the GSP+ program and further actions.  

Azim Tursunzoda, the deputy head of the Customs Service, in particular noted that preferences provided within the framework of the GSP+ program would help Tajik exporters  increase the profitability of their activities, the Customs Service press center said. 

Besides, Tajikistan’s joining to the GSP+ program can promote creation of new jobs and become foundation of diversification of the country’s economy, Tursunzoda added. 

Recall, in response to a request by the Government of Tajikistan to prepare a possible accession to the European Union (EU)'s Special Incentive Arrangement for Sustainable Development (GSP+), the EU on February 11-13, 2019 deployed a joint technical mission from the European Commission Directorate General for Trade and the European External Action Service in Brussels to Dushanbe.

According to the EU Delegation to Tajikistan, the purpose of this mission was to engage in initial discussions with key stakeholders of the Tajik government on the process and specific benefits for Tajikistan with regard to GSP+.  Agriculture, climate change, water and energy as well as sustainable development, export promotion, tax tariffs and rule of law constituted important areas of discussion.  The pre-application phase for GSP+ should be seen in the context of the further strengthening of EU-Tajikistan relations.  A successful application for GSP+ would translate into a zero tariff for Tajik exports to the EU for more than 6600 goods.

The GSP+ is an arrangement under the EU's Generalized Scheme of Preferences (‘GSP’) for lower-middle income countries. It offers additional trade incentives to partner countries in support of the effective implementation of core international conventions on environmental protection, good governance, labor and human rights.  Kyrgyzstan is one among 8 countries currently benefitting from GSP+, while Tajikistan has signaled its strong interest in joining GSP+ and willingness to work towards a formal application.