The International Trade Center (ITC), through its partnership with international logistics providers such as DHL, is facilitating digital trade and enabling competitive mechanisms for small businesses in developing countries.

DHL, the world's leading logistics company, is working with the ITC to help Central Asia businesses and artisans deliver their products to global customers.  DHL is offering beneficiaries of the European Union-funded ITC Ready4Trade project preferential rates for business-to-consumer (B2C) export activities, which are substantially lower than the standard rates.

According to ITC National Office in Tajikistan, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Central Asia face challenges in providing their international B2C clients with fast product delivery at attractive rates.  The partnership with DHL reportedly creates the opportunity for over 150 SMEs to develop their international client base by providing efficient shipping worldwide and thus enhancing their competitiveness.

DHL special rates are offered to Ready4Trade project beneficiaries in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The latter is especially important, as DHL has resumed its operations in Tajikistan after four years of business suspension.

Ms. Tahmina Karimova, the director, and co-founder of "Ozara" in Tajikistan, currently enrolled in the Ready4Trade project, made the first shipment with DHL using preferential rates, says press release issued ITC National Office in Tajikistan.

“Working with DHL was a great experience,” said Karimova.  ”We were able to efficiently deliver a customized order - a dress with handmade embroidery - to our client in the Netherlands.  The service was fast and affordable due to the special rates provided I received. Such a partnership can be a significant factor for Tajik artisans to advance B2C exports worldwide.”

The Ready4Trade Central Asia aims to support the development of intra-regional and international trade in five Central Asian countries.  The 4-year initiative is a trade component of a larger EU-funded program which aims to support Investment, Competitiveness and Trade, thus contributing to sustainable and inclusive economic development in the region.  The Ready4Trade Central Asia project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Trade Center.