By Kamila Aliyeva
The U.S. has cleared Kazakhstan's goods from duties, but so far it has not seen growth in the imports on their territory.
This was stated by Deputy Assistant to the U.S. Trade Representative for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Erland Herfindahl at a business forum, Kazinform reported.
“While your neighbors - China and Russia - have to pay duties from 6 to 20 percent when importing their goods, as these are rich countries, Central Asia is included in the program of the generalized system of preferences. We have opportunities to increase trade, we opened the door. But, unfortunately, for now the trade turnover figures are lower than those we would like to see,” he said.
He noted that the benefits of the GSP are obvious not only for developing countries, which the U.S. market is opening for, but also for American consumers. They have the opportunity to obtain cheaper products of high quality produced in developing countries.
“Under the GSP program, there is a list of more than 3,500 products that developing countries can sell without paying fees. Under the GSP program over the past year, the United States imported goods worth $19 billion. Thanks to the GSP, 40 percent of products are imported into the U.S. duty-free,” Herfindahl said.
This year within the framework of the GSP, the goods worth $89 million, which is 15 percent of the total Kazakh export to the U.S., were imported.
As before, Kazakhstan sells mineral resources and agricultural products to the United States.
However, according to Herfindahl, Kazakhstan and the countries of Central Asia could export jewelry or newly-introduced tourist products except textiles - bags, backpacks, suitcases, purses, in order to “squeeze” Chinese products from the American market.
In order to increase the turnover of Kazakh and Central Asian businessmen, it is necessary to strengthen business ties with colleagues from the United States through American embassies and representative offices of chambers of commerce and industry, according to the speaker.
Director of the Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Almaty Dinmukhamed Absattarov noted that programs “Digital Kazakhstan” have been adopted, IFCA has been created in Astana, a regional transport and logistics hub is developing, which will allow domestic businessmen to open up new productions and actively promote their goods to foreign markets.
In addition, 11 agreements for $3 billion were recently signed in Astana, advisory services were extended for investors and regulatory legal acts will be translated into foreign languages.
“In 2017, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, Atameken, carried out joint work to develop the trade potential. A roadmap for the development of electronic commerce, the new tool that erases barriers, has been adopted. American companies work in our market. We hope that American companies will invest not only in the mining sector, but also in IT-technologies, intellectual potential, trade, education,” he said.
The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) has been in effect in the United States since January 1, 1976, in accordance with the Trade Act of 1974. A program is designed to support the business of developing countries.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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