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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: 258 - (27/06/02)

The Tajiks are receiving more attention than ever before, being right on the front line as regards Afghan developments. There are three ethnic Tajiks in the new Kabul government. Ethnic Tajiks were the backbone of the Northern Alliance within Afghanistan and regard themselves as victors over the more numerous Pashtun, from which tribes came the majority of the former Taleban.

The Pakistani option
The US is now an ally to some extent, counterbalancing the Russians who, however, have more than 20,000 troops on the ground It is not just the US, but the US's allies in the region which are keen on new relations with the Tajik regime. In June President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan came to Dushanbe where President Imamali Rahmonov made him welcome.
While security issues dominated the talks, they also covered plans to construct a road link between the two states via the Vakhan corridor in Afghanistan. A settlement of Afghanistan is naturally in both sides' interests. Pipelines and other ties could follow but these are clearly a long way off right now.

Water crisis
The Tajiks are desperately worried about a water crisis that is looming for the whole region. Three years of drought have lead to poor harvests. It is not that there is no rain in the Pamir mountains, but it does not come to the plains.
A scheme to redirect Siberian rivers to Central Asia is under consideration, but is unlikely to materialise soon, if at all (see Uzbekistan). For now, the Tajiks are praying for rains.

Economy takes off
In other respects the economy is faring better. GDP growth in this decade has been far higher than in the 1990s, coming in at 8.3% in 2000 and 10.2% in 2001, while being projected at 6% for 2002. 
A very welcome development is a pick-up in foreign direct investment (FDI), which shot up to US$200m in 2002. No big deal for a larger country, it is a notable result for Tajikistan where FDI was previously US$22m in 2000 and a mere US$9m in 2001. At last people are beginning to have an interest in this remote outpost of the FSU. 

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CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Tojikazot operation in full bloom 


A Tajik-Cypriot joint venture, Tojikazot, is now operating in Tajikistan, Deputy Minister of Industry, Rustam Rahmatov, told Asia-Plus. According to him, the enterprise has been launched on the basis of the joint stock company Tojikazot. The joint venture will produce mineral fertilisers. This year the enterprise plans to produce 123,600 tonnes of ammonia and 180,000 tonnes of carbonit. Company officials estimate that this enterprise will create approximately 1000 working posts. A decision on launching this joint venture was taken during a meeting between Tajik Minister of Industry, Zayd Saidov, with the president of the Cyprus-based Heirok-Holding Ltd company.

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ENERGY

Ragun projects require US$450m


The completion of the first line of works on the Ragun hydroelectric power station in Tajikistan needs US$450m (US$125m for the first stage and US$325m for the second one), President, Imamali Rahmonov, stated during his recent visit to Ragun. The construction of the Ragun power plant started in 1976, and it was supposed that its first generator would produce electricity in 1993. But for known reasons the construction of the plant was suspended in 1990. Rahmonov noted that the government attached an utmost significance to continuation of the construction of the plant because this power plant will provide energy independence of Tajikistan.

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FOREIGN LOANS & AID

IMF apportions US417m to Dushanbe mayor's office

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is allocating a credit of US$17m to the mayor's office of Dushanbe, New Europe has reported. The head of the press office of the mayor's office, Shavkat Saidov, told Asia-Plus News Agency, that preparatory issues related to the allocation of the credit had been considered during a recent visit of a Tajiks delegation led by Deputy Mayor, Sarabek Aminov, to the United States.
During the trip, the Tajik delegation met with the leadership of the IMF and as a result of the negotiations a protocol-agreement on allocation of the credit has been signed and submitted to the IMF's Board of Directors.
The government of Tajikistan and the leadership of the IMF were expected to sign an agreement on the credit on June 18th. The agreement will provide for allocation of a long-term credit to the Dushanbe mayor's office. Saidov said that the credit was supposed to be used for the reconstruction of the water supply systems of the Tajik capital and repair of the reservoir and purifying structures of the Dushanbe water enterprise.

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