There is a growing shared interest in the countries participating in the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) to promote trade and transport facilitation in their region and to strengthen digital connectivity along trade corridors. Building on the political support of Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan, as an incoming Chair of SPECA, co-organizes together with UNECE an International High-level Conference entitled “Digital Transformation of Information Exchange in Supply Chains Using United Nations Standards” to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 31 October 2022.
The International High-level Conference will build on years of work for trade facilitation in Azerbaijan, Central Asia, and the broader UNECE region, notably on streamlining procedures, Single Window, port community systems, implementation of trade agreements, and digitalization of multimodal transport data and document exchange. Developing digital connectivity among the SPECA countries requires innovative solutions, using international standards and best practices.
The discussion will focus on the current situation and needs for enhancing the digitalization of supply chain data sharing along trade routes using various modes of transport between Europe and East Asia, crossing the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. Seamless flow of information, using UNECE UN/CEFACT standards for digital data sharing, already facilitates trade and transport in the European continent and the Conference intends to bring the benefits of this innovative approach to the SPECA countries. Speakers will also share information on progress in the application of a new package of standards and reference data models of the UNECE, notably UN/CEFACT which is aimed at digital transformation of data and document exchanges in multimodal digital supply chains.
Discussions on the contribution of UN standards and the role of International Organizations and Private Sector in this endeavour will lead to the formulation of conclusions and recommendations on the next steps in the initiative to support relevant initiatives in the SPECA region.