Key bottlenecks for Uzbek exports to the EU
In April 2021, Uzbekistan received the GSP+ status from the EU, which significantly lowers tariff barriers for Uzbek products on the EU market. Against this background, we examine the bottlenecks for Uzbek products with the highest export potential in the EU – fruits and vegetables as well as apparel.
For fruit and vegetables, we identify as most pressing bottlenecks the cold chain, the availability of high-quality packaging and food safety certification. In the case of apparel, the poor image about labour standards is a significant obstacle, which prevails despite Uzbekistan meeting ILO standards. Another pressing bottleneck is the expensive audit of compliance with social standards.
To overcome these bottlenecks, we recommend supporting investment into precooling facilities, reducing Uzbek import duties for packaging and providing education, training and financial support for quality management at companies. In the case of apparel exports, we suggest an information campaign in the EU on compliance with ILO standards and a state support scheme for international social responsibility standards certification.