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tajikistan

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  TAJIKISTAN

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km)
143,100

Population
6,578,681

Principal
ethnic groups

Tajiks 62.3%
Uzbeks 23.5%
Russians 17.6%

Capital
Dushanbe

Currency
Tajik Rouble

President
Imamali Rahmonov

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Background:
Tajikistan has experienced three changes in government and a five-year civil war since it gained independence in 1991 from the USSR. A peace agreement among rival factions was signed in 1997, and implementation reportedly completed by late 1999. Part of the agreement required the legalization of opposition political parties prior to the 1999 elections, which occurred, but such parties have made little progress in successful participation in government. Random criminal and political violence in the country remains a complication impairing Tajikistan's ability to engage internationally.

Update No: 255

The Tajiks made a decisive move back in mid-September when they sided with the Americans in the anti-terrorist 'war.' This was despite initial appeals from the Russians not to let them in. 
Now there is an American base with 3000 troops, an airfield and aircraft for surveillance and other activities in Tajikistan. The high technology of the Americans offsets the superior numbers of the Russians, who are over 20,000-strong. Tajikistan is no longer just an outpost of Russia in Central Asia.
Tajikistan is now very much on the agenda for Western institutions. It is involved in a three-year programme with the World Bank (WB). President Emomali Rakhmonov met with WB officials in February.
Rakhmonov favours stepping up work on WB projects already underway. Among these are modernisation of the water supply system in Dushanbe, development of financial institutions, reformation of the education system, and construction of the Pamir hydropower station. Negotiators have drawn a schedule of working meetings between WB experts and the Tajik leadership for the near future.
The domestic economy is reporting good figures, but these are coming after three years of drought. GDP rose by over 10% in 2001 and industrial production by 14.8%. Agricultural output went up by 11%, recovering from the worst of the drought but all this is from a fearfully low base. There is a long way yet to go in Tajikistan.

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FINANCIAL NEWS

Retail sector boosts Tajik GDP in January 2002

In January 2002, Tajikistan's GDP grew by 7.4 per cent against January 2001 to 157.5m somoni in current prices, Interfax News Agency has reported .
The volume of industrial production in January 2002 increased by 2.1 per cent to 172.1m somoni, the State Statistics Committee has told Interfax.
The republic produced consumer goods worth 44.2m somoni, down 12.5 per cent from the January 2001 figures, and agricultural production grew by 3.6 per cent to 14,862,000 somoni.
The retail turnover in January 2002 amounted to 70,661,000 somoni, up 20.1 per cent from January 2001 in real terms.
The national currency's official exchange rate is 2.65 somoni to the dollar.

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FOREIGN LOANS & DEBT

IMF will go on working with Tajikistan despite misinformation

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes that the fact that Tajikistan has provided incorrect information on its external arrears is a serious problem, but will not harm the IMF's relations with Tajikistan, Robert Christiansen, the head of the IMF mission, said, Interfax News Agency has reported.
The IMF's decision to recall the US$31.6m loan allocated to Tajikistan should not be seen as a punishment, Christiansen told a news conference in Dushanbe on 5th March. Such cases have taken place in other countries that reported incorrect information to the IMF, he said.
If IMF experts deem Tajikistan's fulfilment of the conditions necessary for the resumption of cooperation to be satisfactory, the republic will be able to receive aid from the IMF under the new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement (PRGF), Christiansen said.
This programme could start as early as in the second half of this year, he said.
The mission is satisfied with the development of the macroeconomic situation in Tajikistan, especially the results of the end of last year, when economic growth rates reached 10 per cent and inflation 13 per cent, Christiansen said.
The IMF mission, which has been on a visit in Dushanbe since 25th February, is carrying out a monitoring programme in the republic that will last until June 2002.
Since 1997, the IMF has disbursed US$140m to Tajikistan.

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