President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Statement at the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum

02.08.2016 08:57, Indonesia

Distinguished Chairman,
Excellencies, Heads and Members of Delegation,
Honorable Participants!

At the outset let me extend my sincere gratitude to organizers of this event, particularly to the Governments of Indonesia and Malaysia for their hospitality and ensuring a favorable working environment.

We consider the World Islamic Economic Forum as an important platform to discuss various aspects of the development process and other topical socio-economic issues of the contemporary world.

Today’s world is changing rapidly. The new global challenges and increasing political and socio-economic factors have jeopardized sustainability of the markets in all parts of the world and declined the economic growth rate.

The trends of price fluctuation in the global markets, climate change, natural and mankind disasters, prevalence of various transmissible diseases have been increasing and directly impacting on further development of countries. It is obvious that constructive processes can be ensured only in a sustainable and secure environment.

Unfortunately, today the world is full of unprecedental wave of terrorism, extremism and ethnic and religious conflicts. These factors seriously diminished political stability of the world’s various regions and caused social conflicts and long term negative economic implications.

Nowadays we witness that millions of people have forcefully become migrants and refugees to seek peaceful life and stability. This sensitive circumstance urges us to consistently seek for new influential initiatives and ways to revive proper stability and thereby ensure socio-economic development of our countries.

It is our common task to find and implement new framework and mechanisms of effective cooperation meeting the interests and desire of our peoples. In this regard, the issues included in the agenda of the 12th Forum subtitled “Decentralizing Growth, Empowering Future Business” are of key importance for the majority of countries in the Islamic world. 

Promotion of wider integration, activation of mutual support, strengthening of mutually rewarding cooperation, expansion of trade and investment are among the issues, which should be our top strategic objectives.

The Government of Tajikistan identified the business development as one of priority areas in its economic policy. At the same time, we have been undertaking all necessary measures to ensure favorable investment climate. With a view to supporting businesses and ensuring enabling environment for the sector’s development, we have implemented a series of important reforms to simplify the procedures for business operation.

Since 2014, we have been celebrating 14th of October as the Day of Entrepreneur, and in this context, we annually arrange business symposia and fora with involvement of foreign entrepreneurs, international organizations, reputable international financial institutions, as well as partner countries.

The Government of Tajikistan established Business Support Fund funded by the public budget and annually encourages entrepreneurs to benefit from its resources. It is the results of measures undertaken in improvement of business environment and investment climate that Tajikistan has been included into the list of top ten reformers over the last three years continuously.

We ensured environment for fair competition in the country, and both domestic and foreign legal and individual entities are treated equally in terms of their legal protection.

In this context, Tajikistan makes constant efforts to strengthen its trade and economic ties with all friendly countries and development partners, as well as regional and international organizations and entities. Within these efforts, we established a close cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank, Islamic Cooperation for the Development of the Private Sector, Islamic Trade Finance Cooperation and the Bank’s Special Assistance Program.

We implemented more than 55 various projects in subsectors of transport, energy, education and health, agriculture and also development of small and medium business during our partnership with the Islamic Development Bank Group.

I would like to extend my gratitude for this support and also draw the attention of participants in two issues, which are important from our perspective.

First, it is high time to review and revise the mechanisms and rules of cooperation between the Islamic financial institutions and foundations and developing countries given the current conditions we live in. The time-being requires simplifying the procedures of banks and foundations by taking into account the need for expansion of opportunities to allocate grant resources and decrease the interest rates of loans provided.

Secondly, currently we witness different level of development of Islamic countries and it is necessary to seriously think on this issue. In our opinion, with a view to ensuring resilience of developing Islamic countries, particularly landlocked countries to global crisis and other challenges of the contemporary time-being, it is necessary to establish a specialized Islamic bank or foundation for financial support of these countries.

Developed Islamic countries with longstanding experience and vast financial and investment opportunities can play a decisive role in the process of uneven development elimination. I believe that this practice will seriously promote solution to topical development issues we face, as well as solidarity and unity of Islamic Ummah for the sake of peace and stability.

Another topical issue, which is the concern of the majority of Islamic countries, is the poverty and unemployment rate reduction. In this regard, Tajikistan effectively implemented its Living Standards Improvement Strategy and as a result, we reduced the poverty to 30% at the end of 2015. We achieved these indicators in the situation when the poverty rate was 80% before the start of implementation of this Strategy.

Currently, we adopted our National Development Strategy (to 2030) and Mid-term Development Program (2016-2020) and started implementing them. All of our programs reflect our international commitments within the SDGs adopted at the UNGA 70th Session in September 2015. Accordingly, the issues of the public social protection, energy and food security are the core objectives of our development programs.

Distinguished participants!

I would like to avail this opportunity to draw your attention to some important aspects of cooperation.

It is not secret that global trend of “green economy” formulation and in this context, focusing on renewable sources of environment friendly energy, such as hydropower is one of the peculiarities of the contemporary time-being.

93% of Tajikistan’s territory is covered by mountains with thousands of glaciers, where 60% of Central Asian water resources get accumulated. More than 1500 rivers of different size originating from our glaciers are the huge source of drinking water and power generation.

The untapped hydropower potential of Tajikistan has capacity for generation of 527 billion kwt/hours of electricity annually. Operation of this potential can meet the growing demand of the Region’s energy market in environmentally clean power and promote further development of our far and close neighbors. In this context, we pay a particular attention to expansion of hydropower through construction of hydropower plants and electricity transmission lines of regional scale and importance.

We had Official CASA-1000 Regional Power Transmission Line Project Launch Ceremony in Tajikistan recently. This Project, which will be implemented in partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Pakistan and a number of development partners, is the symbol of start of a real cooperation between the countries of wider Central and South Asia region.

Development of transport and transit subsector is another area of prospective cooperation and beneficial in terms of investment. The objective of our projects in this area is to develop the regional transportation linkage infrastructure to connect us with the ports in Indian and pacific oceans.

Tajikistan also offers a wide opportunity to investors for investment in minerals processing. We have more than 600 deposits of mineral and non-mineral resources ready for exploration and processing. About 40 types of minerals are extracted in almost 100 deposits at present. We have all types of precious stones and metals and necessary raw material, extraction and processing of which is an area for economically beneficial cooperation.

I also would like to outline about the potential of Tajikistan in agriculture and tourism. Our country has a suitable climate for viticulture, horticulture and production of environment friendly fruits and vegetables, as well as other agricultural products.

The light and food industries, including processing of cotton, fruits and vegetables and dried fruits, and arrangement of their export can be another area of mutually rewarding cooperation for the private sector. At present, we have been implementing our Strategic Program on Development of Tourism Infrastructure and Services in Tajikistan. We have sufficient potential for development of alpinism, mountaineering, ecological tourism, recreation and leisure in mountainous areas, which is attractive for entrepreneurs from Islamic countries.

It is worthwhile noting that we established four Free Economic Zones in Tajikistan, where we have ensured favorable environment and benefits for wide economic, financial, trade activities and operations in the areas of information, services and so on. We stand ready to ensure the necessary enabling environment for wider participation of foreign entrepreneurs in operation of these zones. We welcome the good desire and plans of companies and entrepreneurs from Islamic countries to participate in this initiative.

Distinguished Participants!

The Republic of Tajikistan is for close partnership with all countries of the world, including the Islamic one and is keen for wide and real cooperation with them in all areas.

At the conclusion, I wish success to the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum. I hope that its outcomes will serve as another influential factor to further strengthen mutually rewarding socio-economic cooperation between our countries. 

I wish happiness in your families.

Thank you for your attention!

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