FREE GEOPOLITICAL NEWSLETTER

tajikistan  

For current reports go to EASY FINDER

TAJIKISTAN


 

 

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: 311 - (29/11/06)

Tajikistan is a strategic country sharing a long border with Afghanistan and is a close US ally in Washington's war against terror.
This is the one country Washington cannot possibly afford to lose. Without it its campaign in Afghanistan would fall apart. 

Rahmanov re-elected
The Tajiks held a presidential election on November 6th, in which the incumbent was easily re-elected - no big surprise in Central Asia. Tajikistan's election commission the next day declared that President Emomali Rahmonov, who has ruled the state since 1992, had won 79.3 per cent of the votes. 
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the EU have criticized the vote for not fully meeting international standards for democratic elections.
Rahmonov previous election victory was in November 1999, when he obtained 96 per cent of the votes. 
There is something playful about these electoral results in Central Asia. What are these tyrants playing at? Pretending to be democrats. Everybody knows that the whole affair is play-acting. 
But there is a price for this hypocrisy, the price that vice pays to virtue. It puts ideas in people's heads. A time will come when this is no longer possible. A genuine democracy will emerge. 
Actually, Rahmanov is far from the unloveliest of the Central Asian dictators. Compared to his former Soviet neighbours, he is a decent man.

Iran-Tajikistan-Congratulations 
The West is welcoming his re-election as a factor of stability in an unruly environment. So even is the East. 
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad felicitated his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmonov, on the latter's re-election. The Iranian president expressed hope Tehran-Dushanbe amicable ties will receive a further boost in the near future. 
He also hoped the Tajik president's re-election would boost efforts of Tajik authorities to achieve greater prosperity for the Central Asian country, which he describes as a "friend" of Iran. 
President Rahmonov said Tajik foreign policy gives priority to expansion of ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran. He further praised Iran's assistance in the implementation of development projects in Tajikistan.

Tajik Government Resigns
Tajikistan's government has tendered its resignation to President Emomali Rahmonov, who was re-elected for a third consecutive term earlier in early November. It did this on November 22nd
Under the constitution, all cabinet ministers will continue fulfilling their duties until a new government is formed. 
This resignation is required by the constitution and does not necessarily mean that there will be major changes.

Criticism abroad
President Emomali Rahmonov has been in power in Tajikistan since 1992. During his tenure, he has shut down virtually all independent news media and jailed several leading political opponents. According to the latest State Department human rights report, corruption has also hampered democratic and social reform. 
On other fronts, such as the war on terrorism, Tajikistan has been helpful by providing NATO with an airbase for carrying out military operations in Afghanistan. Tajikistan has also made progress in the fight against drug trafficking, it is said, but some scepticism is in order here - it has long been on the route from Afghan sources of opiates, north towards Russia and Europe . 
In a statement, the OSCE said, "The campaign was almost invisible, with media coverage concentrating on the incumbent in his role as president. In a welcome initiative all candidates were offered free airtime and print space in state media. They did not, however, use this opportunity to its full extent." 
Observers of the Tajik election also cited serious shortcomings during polling, including widespread proxy voting, multiple voting, and identical signatures on voter lists. Despite training provided to officials, voting and counting procedures were often not followed and the turnout in places was improbably high. It was after all, about getting the "big boss" confirmed in power.
Central Asia, says US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, is a region in transition. But the U.S. expects that countries like Tajikistan will work to meet international standards for elections. That includes the participation of the political opposition so that the people of Tajikistan have a genuine choice at the ballot box.

Two alleged supporters of rebel leader stand trial for murdering general
The political situation in Tajikistan is illuminated by a trial just beginning. Two alleged supporters of a Tajik rebel military officer who headed a failed coup went on trial on November 21st on charges of killing a general, officials said.
The suspects are accused of the January killing of Maj. Gen. Khokimsho Khafizov, the head of Tajikistan's military academy and former chief of special forces, said Supreme Court judge Shavkat Abdulkhairov. Abdulkhairov said the defendants are accused of being supporters of Colonel Makhmud Khudoiberdyev, who headed a failed coup against President Emomali Rahmonov in 1997, when the country was in the midst of a civil war, and in 1998 briefly seized the northern province of Sugd.
Khudoiberdyev, who is allegedly hiding in neighbouring Uzbekistan, remains the strongest secular opponent of Rahmonov, who recently won his third presidential term in a vote boycotted by opposition parties and criticized by Western observers as flawed.
Khafizov used to serve in the special forces under Khudoiberdyev's command, but later switched to Rahmonov's side.
Several alleged supporters of Khudoiberdyev have been arrested and sentenced to long prison sentences.

« Top

ECONOMY

Tajik economy grows 7.6% year-on-year 

Tajik gross domestic product grew 7.6 per cent year-on-year to 6.52 billion somoni in the first nine months of 2006, the State Statistics Committee said, Interfax News Agency reported.
Industrial output rose 6.2 per cent to 3.215 billion somoni over the period. Output of consumer goods rose 7.2 per cent to 874.4 million somoni in the nine months. Agricultural output grew 8.5 per cent to 2.41 billion somoni. Retail trade rose 10.3 per cent in factory-gate prices to 1.964 billion somoni in the nine months. The average exchange rate of the somoni against the US dollar was 3.2649 somoni in the period. The federal budget for January to August had a surplus of 1.9 million somoni, or 0.04 per cent of GDP. Budget revenue and grants stood at 1.024 billion somoni in the period and spending was 1.022 billion somoni. Tajikistan's foreign trade turnover grew 39.8 per cent or 634.4 million Euro year-on-year to 2.228 billion Euro in the first nine months of 2006, the State Statistics Committee said. Exports jumped 56 per cent or 361.5 million Euro to 1.007 billion Euro, and imports rose 28.8 per cent or 272.9 million Euro to 1.221 billion Euro. Tajikistan sent 86.6 per cent, or 872.2 million Euro, of total exports to non-CIS countries, but shipped 66.3 per cent, or 809 million Euro of imports from CIS countries. Tajikistan had a foreign trade deficit of 214 million Euro in the first nine months. Trade with fellow CIS countries in the nine months grew to 944.6 million Euro, and trade with the rest of the world rose to 1.283 billion Euro. There was a deficit of 674.9 million Euro in trade with the CIS, but a surplus of 461 million Euro with the rest of the world. Natural gas imports from Uzbekistan totalled 424.7 million cubic metres, worth 23.4 million Euro, down 9.6 per cent by volume, but up 17.2 per cent by value. Tajikistan exported 74,000 tonnes of cotton fibre in the nine months for 79.5 million Euro; this was down 6,600 tonnes and 6.6 million Euro from a year earlier. The country shipped 23.7 per cent of cotton fibre to Latvia, 19.8 per cent to Iran, 19 percent to Kazakstan, 16.2 per cent to Russia and 11.5 per cent to Uzbekistan. Industrial output grew 6.2 per cent year-on-year to 3.215 billion somoni in Tajikistan in January to September 2006, the State Statistics Committee was cited by Interfax as saying. Fuel and energy production fell 1.3 per cent to 220.9 million somoni in the period. Output in the metallurgical sector increased 9.8 per cent. Output in light industry fell 2.2 per cent to 375 million somoni. Cotton fibre production dropped 9.4 per cent to 73,500 tonnes. Output of consumer goods rose 7.2 per cent to 874.4 million somoni in the nine months. 

« Top

ENERGY

Rahmonov envisages Rogun hydro to be built on its own 

Tajikistan could complete the Rogun hydro plant on its own, Tajik President, Emomali Rakhmonov, said at a conference on the regional electricity market, Interfax News Agency reported.
"Efforts to complete the dam using budgeted money will start in 2007," Rahmonov said. He said the Rogun plant was currently valued at 804 million Euro. "It will cost two billion Euro to finish the plant," he said, without specifying whether Russian aluminium producer RusAl would be involved. An agreement was reached with RusAl in October 2004 to finish building the plant. Sharifkhon Samiyev, head of the state-owned Barki Tochik energy company, said RUSAL had not paid due attention to the commencement of efforts to complete the Rogun plant during that time and that Tajikistan now faced having to raise the money itself. RusAl spokeswoman, Vera Kurochkina, told Interfax that RusAl had over the last two years been "consistently implementing the understandings reached and set down in the October 2004 agreement with Tajikistan's government." "It's up to a Russian-Tajik intergovernmental commission to resolve disputes regarding the parameters of the Rogun hydro-plant's construction. The company has received recommendations to act strictly according to the decisions reached at a working meeting of representatives of the national sections of the commission on April 13th 2006. 
In accordance with those decisions, Tajikistan received materials prepared by the company Lahmaoar to use for an appraisal by an independent organisation recommended by the World Bank," Kurochkina said. "The Russian side anticipates that the appraisal will be performed soon and that the sides will, at the next meeting of the Russian-Tajik commission, reach a final decision regarding the technical aspects of the hydro-plant, the cost of the incomplete construction and the equity stakes," she said. RusAl and Tajikistan signed an agreement on cooperation in the power and aluminium sectors in October 2004. RusAl said it intended to invest 2.2 billion Euro in the completion of the Rogun plant, the construction of a new aluminium smelter and the retrofit of the existing Tadaz smelter in the city of Tursunzade. The official ceremony to mark the resumption of work at the projected 3,600-megawatt Rogun plant took place in September 2005, but Tajikistan and RusAl differ over the height and type of the dam and the extent of incomplete construction.

« Top

FOREIGN DEBT

GDP to grow 7.2% in 2007, foreign debt by 2m 

Tajikistan is accusing Russian aluminium giant RusAl of not honouring its commitments to modernise the Tadaz aluminium smelter. "RusAl hasn't invested anything in the smelter's modernization, despite its promises, and hasn't signed one contract with Tadaz, and that company will never buy it," Sheraly Gulov, head of Tajikistan's State Property Committee, told a press conference in Dushanbe, Interfax News Agency reported.
Gulov also reiterated the government's position, which was not to privatise the region's only smelter, which has drawn interest from Russian aluminium producer SUAL as well as RusAl, for the time being. "Tadaz is in the plan for restructuring large enterprises and natural monopolies and there is no question of it being privatised," Gulov said.
"Tadaz and the State Property Committee have drafted a plan to restructure the enterprise and the government is considering this," he said. RusAl, for its part, says that it is honouring all its commitments, but that it could not start to modernize Tadaz until energy supply issues are resolved.
"The company is consistently fulfilling all commitments under an agreement with the Republic of Tajikistan calling for the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric dam, two pothouses at Tadaz and a new aluminium smelter," RusAl's press office said.
"A feasibility study has been drafted for the smelting capacity construction, but building cannot begin until energy supplies have been secured, and the Tajik side is not resolving this issue," RusAl said.
RusAl said in June this year that it planned to spend 50 million Euro rehabilitating infrastructure related to the Rogun plant. 
The company in October 2004 announced plans for major investment in Tajikistan, including the completion of the 3,600-megawatt Rogun plant, the construction of a new 200,000-tpy aluminium smelter and the modernisation of Tadaz.

« Top

FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS

Tehran to boost economic relations with Dushanbe 

An Iranian delegation led by governor general of Iranian northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi recently arrived in Dushanbe to launch a five-day exhibition of Iranian products in Tajikistan, Interfax News Agency reported. 
Over 50 joint Iranian-Tajik factories and companies have been registered in Tajikistan, but the exact numbers currently operating in that country are not revealed, the Persian service of ISNA told Interfax on October 27th. During a joint session with Iranian entrepreneurs residing in the Central Asian country, the Iranian delegation discussed ways to boost trade and economic relations between the neighbouring countries. The Iranian official said that his country is committed to help Iranian investors invest in different fields in Tajikistan, in particular in the country's agricultural, industrial and mineral, construction, tourism and processing industries. Meanwhile, Speaker of the Tajikistan National Assembly Mahmadsaid Ubaydullayev and Dushanbe mayor inaugurated Iran's first high-rise building project in Tajikistan. Iran has started its first high rise construction project in Dushanbe in presence of a number of officials. Under the housing and administrative project three 18-story high rises will be built on 61,000 square metres of land, comprising 234 flats.

« Top

 

« Back

 


 
Published by 
Newnations (a not-for-profit company)
PO Box 12 Monmouth 
United Kingdom NP25 3UW 
Fax: UK +44 (0)1600 890774
enquiries@newnations.com