“Developing new sustainable products – but always considering the tradition:” with these words the Attaché, Cooperation Officer of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan concluded his speech at the official kick-off conference for the EU-funded project RUTSIS. Numerous speakers agreed that introducing sustainability aspects while preserving traditional values of sericulture is the balancing act on which the project’s success depends.
RUTSIS stands for Reviving Uzbekistan’s und Tajikistan’s Sustainable Ikat and Silk. It is an EU-funded project under the SWITCH Asia Grant programme and aims to promote sustainable manufacturing of silk products in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The event was held on November 26, in the Hilton Hotel in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Due to travel restrictions under the Covid-19 pandemic, many participants were unable to attend in person but instead were present online.
An important project for the cooperation of EU, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan
Moderated by Dilshod Mirsaidov, Head of International Cooperation and Research at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan, the conference was opened with welcoming speeches by representatives from the Ministry of Industry, Technology and Innovations of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tajikistan as well as the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of both countries. Representatives from the European Union Delegations to both Uzbekistan and Tajikistan held their speeches, both highlighting the relevance of the project for the cooperation between the EU and the two Central Asian countries. The challenges which the current pandemic poses to the project were also affirmed multiple times. An official photo of all conference participants rounded off the first part of the event.
More specific project insights were shared with conference participants in the second part of the event. While adelphi presented the project achievements of the last months as well as the upcoming activities, the two Chambers of Commerce and Industry added insights on their research on laws and certification as well as the results of a survey conducted among silk value chain stakeholders. Lastly, BURG University explained their vision of an online textile database, which they aim to establish throughout and beyond the project. After some closing remarks by Dr. Azkar Bazarovich of the Technological University in Dushanbe, who presented the results of his multi-year research on the potential of sericulture development in Tajikistan and again underlined the importance of the modernization along silk value chains in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the conference closed with a press conference.
Contact person: Alina Ulmer