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TAJIKISTAN


 

 

In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 1,303 1,208 1,100 148
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 190 180 180 197
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
143,100 

Population 
7,011,556

Principal 
ethnic groups 
Tajiks 62.3%
Uzbeks 23.5%
Russians 17.6%

Capital 
Dushanbe

Currency 
Tajik Somoni

President 
Emomali Rakhmonov



Update No: 303 - (27/03/06)

Tajik president to visit Kazakstan
The most important country in Central Asia for Tajikistan is its near neighbour, Kazakstan. Relations are more strained with its actual neighbour, Uzbekistan, as is the wont of those next door to each other. The border, indeed, between the two is closed.
Emomali Rahmonov, President of Tajikistan, will pay a visit to Kazakstan, Yerlan Abildayev, Ambassador of Tajikistan to Kazakstan, told journalists, Kazakstan Today correspondent reported. Mr. Abildayev did not name a concrete date of the visit, but he noted that several agreements will be signed during the visit, including agreements on air communication, labour migration, supplies of oil products, and cultural co-operation. 
Also, according to Mr. Abildayev, the heads of state will possibly discuss construction of a power transmission line from Tajikistan to Kazakstan after the commissioning of one of three hydropower stations in Tajikistan (Rogoun, Sangutdin-1 and -2.) "The Investment Fund of Kazakstan in its turn is interested in construction of a co-ordinated hydroelectric system on Zerafshan river in Tajikistan," - he said adding that Kazakstani investors are studying the economic climate of Tajikistan and conditions for cooperation not only in energy, but also in pharmaceuticals and agricultural processing. 

IMF plans to realize new three-year PRGF programme in Tajikistan
On March 14th, President Rahmonov met the head of IMF mission in Tajikistan Carlos Pinerua, according to a REGNUM correspondent. As Pinerua stated at a news conference after the meeting, they discussed questions regarding new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) on Tajikistan.
He said, that the previous PRGF programme finished in the beginning of February, and IMF highly appreciated the results of it, so it decided to grant a new programme on PRGF to Tajikistan. Negotiations regarding it will start on the same day.
According to Pinerua, the IMF in May-June will present the new programme. Funds granted in the framework of the project are 55% of the total Tajikistan quota in IMF and reach US$120 million.
He stressed that this sum can be lowered or raised depending on the projects implemented and Tajikistan's balance of payment.
Pinerua informed the press that IMF would develop a partnership with Tajikistan in macro-economic policy, which is a leading IMF activity sphere. Also, the two sides will work on budget, monetary and credit policies, strengthening of taxation system, management of governmental spends and reforms in power engineering, agriculture etc.

Dushanbe synagogue saved
A wonderful event has happened for the Jews of Dushanbe. The Government of Tajikistan has decided to allow the historical Synagogue in Dushanbe to remain on the site where it has stood for the past 100 years. It helps to have a regime in place implacably opposed to religious sectarians, notably Islamic fundamentalists, such as are on the rampage in the Taleban-infested southern regions of neighbouring Afghanistan.
Over the past few years, the international Jewish community has been alarmed by the tragic fate of the Dushanbe Synagogue, the only synagogue in Tajikistan, which was slated for destruction to make room for newer developments planned by the municipal government. In this regard, Chief Rabbi of Uzbekistan David Gurevich has paid several visits to Dushanbe in order to meet with foreign ambassadors, state officials and the city's Mayor, Mahmadsaid Ubaidulayev.
Lev Leviev, the President of the Ohr Avner Foundation and of the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS, forwarded letters to Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmonov, in which he expressed concern regarding the fate of the century-old Synagogue. In these messages, Mr. Leviev also expressed his certainty that the Government of Tajikistan, which has always been friendly towards the Jewish Diaspora, will allow this building, which is sacred to Jews of Dushanbe, to remain in its place.
This development has shown that the efforts of the local Jewish community, as well as those taken by Jews throughout the world, have finally been successful. "We are very happy that the government has decided to keep the Synagogue on its historical site," expressed Rabbi Gurevich, who plans to appeal to world Jewry at the Sixth Bukharian Jewish Congress, which is to take place in the near future, regarding the required financial support to support the reconstruction of the Dushanbe Synagogue.
Rabbi Gurevich has assured local authorities that, in the case that the Synagogue is able to remain on its historical site, he will find the means to fit the building into the appearance of the 'Palace of Nations', which is being built in the city centre.

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ENERGY

Construction of power plant is important for Tajikistan 

Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan, Ramezan Abdullatipov, on February 4th said the construction of hydro electric power plant Sangtoudeh-2 by Iran in Tajikistan is vital for the economy of Tajikistan, reported Interfax News Agency.
He said that the plant would expedite electricity production in Tajikistan and lead to resolution of the region's energy shortages.
On completion of the project, Russian investors will also be driven to expedite their economic project in the country. 
Meanwhile, Tehran and Moscow are ready to end the civil war in Tajikistan and sign a final document, underlined Abdullatipov. Abdullatipov also expressed his country's full support for Iran's peaceful nuclear programs. The volume of Iran-Tajikistan trade exchanges stood at 130 million Euro in 2005.
Iran exports mainly foodstuff and construction materials to Tajikistan and imports aluminium and cotton. 
Iran has generously participated in Tajikistan's development through investment in the country, particularly in the construction of the Anzab tunnel and Sangtoudeh 2 power plant.

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FOREIGN DEBT

World Bank to write off 307 million Euro debt 

The World Bank plans to write off Tajikistan's debt, World Bank Senior vice-president, Francois Bourguignon, said after meeting with Tajik president, Emomali Rakhmonov, reported Interfax News Agency.
The debt of Tajikistan to the World Bank amounted to 307.17 million Euro on January 1st 2006. Bourguignon said that the decision would be made at a meeting of the World Bank board in early February after consultations with G8 members, who had pushed for a write-off of the debts of the nine poorest countries, including Tajikistan. In addition, the World Bank will increase the funds made available to Tajikistan this year. Bourguignon said that Tajikistan has the best economic reforms among the nine poorest countries. In late 2005, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced its intention to write off 99 million Euro owed by Tajikistan in early 2006.

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FOREIGN AGREEMENTS

Tajikistan, China to sign scientific partnership deal 

Tajikistan and China are expected to sign an agreement between scientific institutes, vice-president of the Science Academy of Tajikistan, Musso Dirorsheyev, said, Interfax News Agency reported.
He expects the document will be signed during the visit of the Tajikistan scientific delegation to Beijing. The scholar said attention should be paid to Tajikistan-study, Iran-study, medicine and astronomy.
Besides, the Science Academy would like to establish cooperation in the sphere of historical sciences to study the Chinese sources of the history of Tajikistan people and Central Asian nations. The scientific institutes of both countries are also expected to be partners in the sphere of seismology and seismic construction. Currently, training of scientific personnel is being negotiated.

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Tajikistan to set up regulatory system for communications 

The Communications ministry in Tajikistan plans to establish a new regulatory system that would give state control over internet service providers and international telecoms. According to Tajik entrepreneurs, this framework would suppress the freedom of speech in the central Asian nation, reported Interfax news Agency.
Tajikistan's Ministry of Communications has launched a variety of other spin-off ventures, which was designed to handle various communications and media-related needs. State sponsorship has enabled these companies to offer customers preferential tariffs. Small-scale firms have established a strong presence in evolving sectors, namely as internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile phone network operators. Earlier the State Communication Inspectorate (SCI) regulated these sectors but last year authorities created a new body, the Communications agency (CRA) to supervise licensing and regulatory issues.
According to the chief engineer of one private ISP, the new agency is under the government's firm control and it has far broader regulatory powers than did the former inspectorate.
The CRA requires internet and mobile phone operators to provide detailed data on billing, the number of clients and profits. Several local observers said the agency's far-reaching investigatory powers have had a "chilling effect" on the ISP and mobile communications spheres, as entrepreneurs are now hesitant to develop their businesses that might displease the government and invite retaliation in the form of an audit.
Besides, the government is planning to establish a Unified Communications Centre and information Resource Unit under the Communications ministry. To implement the project, all telecommunications companies and ISP's need to route their traffic through the centre.
Many independent firms invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment but the establishment of the state-controlled centre would lead to financial calamity. For instance, Babylon-Mobile invested heavily in a fibre-optic line in Dushanbe so that it can operate independently of Tajiktelecom. Entrepreneurs believes that the government would gain virtual monopoly over telecommunications and internet service, if Unified Communications Centre is establishment. The quality of service will also suffer and the customer prices will increase.
The entrepreneurs fear that this new system would be utilised by the government to maintain surveillance on its critics and challengers. Many influential individuals in Tajikistan's political and security establishments are shareholders in nominally independent telecoms and ISPs and would resist the move by the Communications ministry to achieve dominance over those two lucrative business sectors.
Meanwhile critics argued that implementation of the plan would leave the country vulnerable to a communications blackout. Any interruption in the envisioned centre's systems could prevent Tajiks from communicating from the outside world. 
An independent political analyst on conditions of anonymity said that the new project can be implemented but it requires international aid as Tajikistan will be unable to cover the expenses of the project .
The national budget for this year is 400 million Euro. He added that the plan will face opposition from within the ruling elite.

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