Subregional workshop on non-tariff measures in Armenia and North and Central Asia
Non-tariff measures (NTMs) refer to a variety of trade measures other than tariffs and include technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures that aim to protect human, animal and plant life as well as the environment. Such measures can become barriers to trade hampering economic development opportunities offered through international trade. NTMs have become more significant deterrents to trade than tariffs. Evidence indicates that NTMs can be three to four times more restrictive than tariffs and are significant contributors to trade costs. Unlike tariffs, however, NTMs are less transparent and more difficult to comply with, especially for small producers and traders. However, the effects of NTMs on trade and sustainable development are not well understood. This is particularly the case in North and Central Asia subregion, which has been identified to have among the lowest levels of NTM transparency, reflected in little publicly available information, and highest trade costs among the Asia-Pacific subregion.
This workshop is part of the ESCAP-led project, titled “Examining the impact of non-tariff measures (NTMs) on subregional trade among countries in North and Central Asia”, funded by the Government of the Russian Federation. The objectives of this meeting are:
• To enhance capacity of member States in North and Central Asia to monitor and evaluate the impact of their own and their trade partner’s NTMs;
• To present findings and gather feedback on NTM data collection in Armenia;
• To share best practices and facilitate dialogue among North and Central Asian countries to address trade costs associated with NTMs.