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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)

Books on Tajikistan

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: 302 - (27/02/06)

Teheran forges closer ties with Dushanbe
The Iranian regime is under threat. Washington seems to have taken it as its next prime target. Yet with Russia's apparent blessing, Iran is pressing ahead with efforts to forge stronger ties with Tajikistan. There may be wheels within wheels here.
Tajikistan could, in the future, provide Iran with an abundance of hydro-electricity should it want it. But the leaders in Tehran appear adamant to take the nuclear option anyway, putting their country at great risk, given the ballistic propensities of the Americans.
Tajik President, Emomali Rakhmonov, paved the way for an expansion of bilateral ties with a January 16-17 visit to Tehran. During the trip, Tajik and Iranian leaders issued a Joint Declaration on Broader Relations, as well as signed agreements providing for Iranian assistance for several Tajik infrastructure projects, including construction of the Sangtuda-2 hydroelectric power station and the Shahristan Tunnel. 
"Iran and Tajikistan are one spirit in two bodies," Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying after he welcomed Rahmonov. "Broad and deep grounds have been established for bilateral relations and there are no limits to the expansion of relations." 
The visit showed that the deep-rooted cultural ties between Iranians and Tajiks are capable of overcoming political-religious differences between the governments. Rahmonov is a Soviet-style secularist who has acted steadily to curb the influence of Islam in Tajikistan's politics in recent years. Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, is the product of an Islamic puritan movement that wants to restore the guiding principles of Iran's 1979 revolution. Following Ahmadinejad's victory in Iran's 2005 presidential election, some Tajik political analysts predicted a downturn in Tajik-Iranian relations, citing the two governments' apparent ideological incompatibility. Ahmadinejad has proven such predictions wrong, however. Some observers speculate that US and European Union pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme prompted conservative Islamic leaders in Tehran to set aside long-standing political and religious considerations in their search for international allies. 
In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist tragedy, Tajikistan developed into a forum for US-Russian geopolitical competition and the US has an important base there. The Rakhmonov administration initially embraced closer ties with the United States only to later pull back somewhat from Washington and move a little closer to Russia. Last October, Moscow and Dushanbe signed a far-reaching strategic cooperation pact that sanctioned the establishment of permanent Russian military bases on Tajik territory, but of course, Russian troops never left this former Soviet satellite after the collapse of the USSR. 
Given Russia's strong geopolitical position in Tajikistan, local observers say it is unlikely that Rakhmonov would have made the trip to Iran had he not had Russia's approval. Moscow has emerged in recent weeks as one of Iran's main apologists in Tehran's ongoing nuclear dispute with the United States and EU. 
In an interview published by IRNA on January 24, Russia's ambassador to Tajikistan, Ramazan Abdullatipov, offered a vigorous defence of Iran's peaceful intentions concerning its nuclear programme. US and EU leaders believe Iranian research is geared toward developing nuclear weapons. 
A few observers in Tajikistan express rather alarmist reservations about the benefits of stronger Tajik-Iranian ties. They harbour concerns that Iranian hardliners, acting in the spirit of 1979, could possibly seek to use Farsi-speaking Tajikistan as a vehicle for promoting an Iranian-style Islamic revolutionary movement in Central Asia. 

Kabul gingerly rejects overture
Iran had extended an invitation to Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, to visit Tehran at the same time Rahmonov was in the Iranian capital. But Karzai declined the invitation, blaming "bad weather," "technical problems" and his need to prepare for the donors' conference scheduled to be held in late January in London.
Political analysts suggest Karzai stayed away from Tehran so as not to jeopardize Afghanistan's ability to attract economic aid from Western donors. 
Kabul-Dushanbe relations are anyway close and cooperative. The ethnic Tajiks are the backbone of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. When the Lion of the North, Sheik Massoud, was mortally wounded two days before 9:11 in 2001, he was taken to an Indian military hospital in Tajikistan, where he duly died. 

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FOREIGN DEBT

World Bank to cancel Tajikistan's debt 

The World Bank plans to write off Tajikistan's debt, World Bank Senior vice-president, Francois Bourguignon, said after a meeting with Tajik President, Emomali Rahmonov, New Europe reported.
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. The foreign debt of Tajikistan grew 9.3 per cent, to 894.94 million Euro in 2005. Its main creditors are international financial institutions; among them the World Bank, the Islamic and Asian Development Banks and the IMF.

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FOREIGN ECONOMIC COOPERATION

Rahmonov, Ahmadinejad to boost Tajik-Iranian ties 

Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on January 17th extended an official welcome for Tajik President, Emomali Rahmonov, who arrived in Iran for a two-day visit. Rahmonov was invited by Ahmadinejad to attend a conference on Iran-Tajikistan economic cooperation and held talks with Iranian officials, Interfax News Agency reported.
Rahmonov was also welcomed by Iranian Commerce Minister, Massoud Mir-Kazemi, upon arrival at Mehrabad International Airport. During his stay, Rahmonov met with Majlis Speaker, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, Expediency Council Chairman, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki. During these meetings, the two sides discussed bilateral, regional and international developments. Iran and Tajikistan currently enjoy a high-level of political and economic cooperation. The restructuring of Tajikistan's debt to Iran was also discussed. "The question of restructuring Tajikistan's debt to Iran will be mulled, and we hope for a decision that would be positive for Tajikistan," Rahmonov said at the conference of energy experts from Iran, Russia and Tajikistan. "An impressive package of documents has been compiled. The construction of the Anzob tunnel will be discussed. We also intend to propose the construction of the Shahristan tunnel to Iran," Rahmonov said. 
Tajikistan owes Iran nine million Euro. Iran has expressed its readiness to invest up to 170 million Euro in the Sangtuda-2 hydro power station, with a capacity of 220 megawatts in Tajikistan. Russia's UES is completing the construction of the 670 megawatt Sangtuda-1 station, and RusAl, the 3,600 megawatt Rogun power station. 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 Sangtuda 2 power plant. Iran's Ambassador to Dushanbe, Nasser Sarmadi Parsa, said that Rahmonov's visit to Tehran would open a new chapter in expansion of economic and cultural ties between the two countries. Sarmadi said that during Rahmonov's stay in Tehran, implementation of various economic projects was discussed. A draft agreement has been prepared by Iran, Tajikistan and Afghanistan on trilateral cooperation in the electricity sector, Iran's minister of Energy, Parviz Fattah, said on January 17th. He referred to the dam construction as one of the focal issues in the talks currently held between Iranian and Tajik officials. Besides the drafts of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the transfer of electricity from Tajikistan has already been prepared. He added that after their approval, the agreements would be disclosed in further detail. Iran and Tajikistan plan to expand their bilateral cooperation in the field of dam construction in the near future. Tajikistan is also interested in the expertise of Iranian experts and engineers in the sector.

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MINERALS & METALS

Aluminium production up 10% in 2005 

Tajikistan's aluminium production was up nearly 10 per cent in 2005 to more than 375,000 metric tonnes, Muboraksho Mashkhulov, a high-ranking official from the ministry of economics and trade, said recently, Interfax News Agency reported.
The aluminium industry is the Tajikistan's main source of income. According to Mashkhulov, production increased by 32,700 tonnes year-on-year and gathered 563 million Euro. Tajik President, Emomali Rahmonov, has said the production of this metal accounts for 50 per cent of the Central Asian republic's budget.

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