To promote competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Central Asia and foster innovative collaboration, trade promotion and job creation, a training module on clustering and cluster approach was launched with two online sessions, according to the European Delegation to Tajikistan.

The two online introductory sessions will be followed by two two-day offline trainings in the region.  The latter will offer a comprehensive and detailed input, with coaching and consulting elements.  Depending on the pandemic circumstances it will be organized in autumn 2021 in Almaty for Kyrgyz and Kazakh participants and in Tashkent for Uzbek and Tajik participants.

The objective of the training is to build the capacities of all relevant stakeholders in clustering and create the pre-conditions for the initiation of national agricultural clusters in the Central Asian countries by providing knowhow from Austria.

The online introductory sessions were reportedly conducted by Mr. Hermann Wieser, CEO of the Austrian Agricultural Cluster and Mrs. Irina Dworak, Assistant of the Austrian Agricultural Cluster.

The training covers the following topics – cluster types, initiation, mobilization and establishment of clusters, funding and policy support, specifics of territorial-sectorial clusters and – for illustration – livestock value chains, as well as approaches to address various challenges of cluster management.  The focus of the module is to clarify the role of clusters for the consolidation and promotion of local businesses and products, as well as the factors of successful work and sustainability of joint cluster initiatives.

This training is organized by the "CANDY V" consortium led by the Austrian internationally active organization Hilfswerk International, with the expert input by the Austrian Agricultural Cluster (project partner) in the framework of the project "Regional integration and capacity building to boost Agribusiness MSMEs competitiveness and trade Promotion in Central Asia – CANDY V", funded by the European Union program "Central Asia - Invest V" and the Austrian Development Cooperation jointly with the UNDP Regional project “Aid for Trade for Central Asia" funded by the Government of Finland.