President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Statement by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon at Tajikistan – US Business Meeting

21.09.2017 17:52, United States

Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen!

I am delighted to meet you.

I would like to first of all welcome you all and express profound gratitude for your participation at this meeting.

Strengthening partnership relations and promotion of wide-ranging cooperation with the USA is one of the major directions of our foreign policy.

Since we established diplomatic relationships, Tajikistan expressed its commitment to bolster economic and trade cooperation with the United States of America.

Nearly 30 Agreements on bilateral cooperation have been signed over these years including Agreement on Trade Cooperation and Agreement on Cooperation to facilitate the provision of assistance which create a solid ground for strengthening our commercial linkages.

Economic and trade cooperation between our countries entered a new milestone by signing Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between the Government of the United States and governments of Central Asian countries in 2004.

Economic and trade cooperation between Tajikistan and the United States which was initiated since we gained our independence, cover all major areas of economic and commercial ties between the two countries.

Today more than 50 legal entities are registered with American investments in Tajikistan.

These companies are engaged in such sectors as: trade, industry, construction, communication and financial services and play contribute to the economic development of the country.

Although, trade between the two countries has increased over the past years, however its overall volume still remains insignificant.

There is a tremendous potential and wide opportunities for our cooperation still remains untapped.

I am confident that giving the existing opportunities, cooperation among the business communities of two countries will further be enhanced and American companies will increase the volume of investment into priority sector of our economy.

The Government of Tajikistan continues to take necessary measures aimed to improve friendly investment climate in the country.

The legislation in the country related to the economic and trade sector was brought into compliance with the international standards to make sure we can protect investors.

Only in the past two years, to conform the economy with the requirements of World Trade Organization, more than 100 legal acts, including 40 new laws were adopted and relevant amendments were introduced to the existing regulatory acts.

Legislative acts we adopted are aimed at faciliting the registration process of businesses and further strengthen protection of their rights.

To attract more businesses, we broadly use a mechanism of tax and custom preferences and provide other guarantees for foreign business.

For the time being there are 240 types of tax reliefs and 70 types of investment preferences introduced in Tajikistan.

“One stop shop” system is already implemented in the country, which significantly reduced the number of required documents for business registration from 13 to 3 and decreased the processing period to 3 - 5 days.

There are four Free Economic Zones in the country with international standards infrastructure easy to foreign investors set a business.

With the view to ease  the travels of investors and business to Tajikistan, we introduced a special category of “investment” visa.

Based on reforms we have carried out, Tajikistan improved its international position with regards to business registration, taxation, credit access and international trade.

In a recognition of Tajikistan’s reform achievements by our international partners, we pledge to continue carrying out reforms in other critical areas to make doing business easier.

Distinguished participants,

The first gathering of US - Tajikistan Business Council Meeting was held this July in Dushanbe.

Many of you attended that meeting and have seen at first hand opportunities of doing business in Tajikistan and got familiarized with the national legislation framework on business legislative basis.

I wish to draw your attention to many specific areas that Tajikistan is strongly committed to promote cooperation with American companies.

Three goals - energy independence, break in the communication deadlock and food security have been identified as the key in the National Development Strategy of Tajikistan 2030.

We in this Strategy put objectives aimed at transforming Tajikistan to industrial - agricultural country. 

Today we have the major tasks: promote effective use of enormous hydropower resources, transforming Tajikistan into a transit country and improve the living standards of the population, as well as increase employment opportunities in the manufacturing sectors.

Attracting foreign direct investments and cutting-edge technology to the implementation of energy, infrastructural and transport projects, as well as development of industrial manufacturing, particularly focusing on private sector development are at the top of our priorities.

Energy sector is the main pillar for sustainable economic development in the Republic of Tajikistan.

Tajikistan, despite the lack of oil and gas, has vast untapped hydropower resources.

We intend to use this wealth for the benefit of our country and Central and South Asia, and we stand ready for the mutually beneficial and constructive cooperation with all our partners and goodwill countries.

With this purpose, the Government is taking practical steps to develop new hydropower plants and modernize the existing hydropower potential.

Today more than 1300 megawatts of added "green energy" have been generated and supplied to meet population’s and consumers’ need for electricity.

We today continue building Rogun Hydro Power Plant with a capacity of 3600 megawatts and expect to launch its first hydro aggregate by the end of the next year.

Accomplishment of construction of this Power Plant will not only satisfy the growing domestic demand for electricity, but it will also allow Tajikistan to become the largest exporter of environmentally friendly and discounted energy in the region.

In this context, implementation of the high voltage power transmission line project CASA-1000 is critical and we are ready to work with the international partners on this regional project.

In this connection, I would like to thank the United States for its support of this project.

It is worth mentioning that Tajikistan is already exporting its surplus energy to the neighboring countries, including Afghanistan during summer period, and the construction of additional power transmission networks will enable to increase the export potential of the country.

We are taking appropriate measures to improve the infrastructure in our country.

More than 2 thousand kilometers of road and highways, 190 kilometers of railroads and over 30 kilometers of road tunnels have been constructed in Tajikistan over the past years.

At the same time, there is a lot of joint regional infrastructure projects where we need our partners’ support to implement projects.

These projects are aimed at the expansion of the transit potential of the region through the territory of Afghanistan to the sea ports of Southeast Asia.

It is noteworthy that the bridge in Pyanj river, built with American support, is located on this route and plays an important part in boosting our trade with Afghanistan, Pakistan and other South and East Asian countries.

We believe that strengthening sustainable development and regional cooperation is a powerful factor in improving the situation in Afghanistan.

Active engagement of American business in the implementation of Tajikistan's infrastructure projects will shape economic cooperation in the region and we very much look forward to continue working together in the fields of shared interest

Industrial sector could be another promising area of our cooperation.

Tajikistan has tremendous potential to produce and export competitive industrial products.

Tajikistan has abundant natural resources, including water and minerals, favorable climate and sufficient labor force. To use these opportunities, investment and modern technology is key.

American entrepreneurs and investors can enter the promising areas of the economy like machinery, textile, food and agriculture, chemical and pharmaceutical, as well as production and processing of minerals, precious metals and construction materials.

Tourism is yet another field of our cooperation.

Tajikistan has a favorable climate, spectacular nature, unique landscape and many historical and cultural sites that attract tourists.

According to statistics evaluations of the World Tourism Organization, Republic of Tajikistan is positioned among the top ten attractive countries for tourism where tourism industry is developing.

Tourism industry has also been provided with  a range of benefits and privileges, including on imports of equipment and other materials for infrastructure development.

Strengthening cooperation in this area will certainly be a crucial factor in the effective development of the socio-economic ties between our countries.

Distinguished participants!

Tajikistan’s economy is a market that has not yet fully been discovered and there is enormous opportunity to do business and investments.

I in this context, encourage you to take firm steps to enter the country's economic life and contribute to the development and expansion of the economic and trade cooperation between our countries.

Tajikistan pursues “open doors” foreign policy and we welcome any positive initiative and suggestions from our international partners, where the United States of America is among the most important of them.

I wish you every success and best of luck to your endeavors to make your business flourishing.

Thank you!

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