FREE ECONOMIC AREAS ARE TO BE CREATED IN TAJIKISTAN
The speech of Emomali Rakhmon, President of Tajikistan, made at the First Trade Economic and Investment Forum, Dubai, April 11, 2007
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all I would like to congratulate you on taking part in the First Trade Economic and Investment Forum arranged by Tajikistan and the United Arab Emirates and wish this constructive meeting heralded a new stage of reciprocal cooperation between our friendly countries. Let me express my sincere gratitude to the UAE leadership and much-esteemed UAE President in particular, as well as officials, responsible for the high-level Forum and cordial reception.
It is evident, that in the comparatively short while the UAE have reached the level of a highly developed country, which is famous as a world trade center and all-embracing infrastructure. The above-mentioned achievements are the result of peaceful constructive struggle for development. There is an Arabian proverb, which runs that experience is better than seven wide rules. Tajikistan can adopt many useful attainments from the experience gained by the UAE. It is pleasant to note, that besides economic interest our countries are connected by ancient cultural ties, cooperation and friendship, based on similarity of our nations. I am convinced, that it is within our power to develop multilateral cooperation and consolidate our friendship through proper use of these ties and consistent activity.
I would like attract your attention to the steps taken by the Tajik Government with the aim of arrange favourable conditions for attraction of investments. It should be mentioned, that the foreign policy of the Tajik Government is directed at sustain economical development since our country has become independent.
Our primary responsibility is to provide for all possible advances under conditions of new economic system. At present various institutions and structures in Tajikistan are being reformed, new economic and market systems are being formed. Moreover we try to provide the rapid growth of economic development within the framework of our Strategy of National Development. In 2006-2007 the average annual increase of the national produce of Tajikistan has amounted to 9%. The Gross Domestic Product has increased by 80%, industrial production has increased two times. At the same time the external debt, equal to the Gross Domestic Product in the beginning of the period, decreased by 30%. It has made possible to work out large-scale economic projects of international and regional importance, which should contribute to the development of our country greatly.
Well-directed reasonable program on attracting investments together with multilateral cooperation is a core element composing the Strategy of National Development. All necessary conditions are arranged and legal assistance rendered to our investors within the framework of the Strategy, for we believe, that economy of any country and developing in particular require intensive capital investment.
Rational use of natural and human resources allows using investments for the benefit of the nation, while reciprocal cooperation is profitable for investors as well. The foreign policy of Tajikistan is directed at investments’ attraction to various fields of economy and industry. At present over 50 joined projects are piloted in such spheres as transport, energy industries, communications, construction and so on. It is worth mentioning, that Chinese investments compose approximately 1-bln USD.
In general over 400 investment projects have been drawn, for implementation of which over 4-bln USD have been allocated. There are immensely profitable projects of wide scope among them. They prove general development and multilateral cooperation of Tajikistan with the countries of the whole world.
From this point of view trade and economic collaboration between our countries do not correspond with our possibilities and do not meet present requirement, despite tenfold increase of the turnover within the last 5 years. At present only 6 Tajik enterprises function with the help of the UAE investors. It is evidently insufficient. I would like to stress, that the Tajik Government hopes on considerable progress in our trade and economic cooperation and has arranged all necessary conditions for it.
Let me draw your attention to the fields, which are most profitable in the view of investment.
One of such fields is power engineering. As it is known, Tajikistan has in its disposal enormous energy resources and ranks one of the first places in the world. We are able to produce up to 527-bln kwh a year, but on account of lack generating capacity only 5-6% of the above-mentioned figure are produced.
According to our Strategy volume of power energy is to have been raised up to 80-bln kwh a year by 2025, that will satisfy increasing needs as of our country as of Afghanistan, Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. At present a group of hydropower stations under construction is invested and investing of another similar group is considered.
It should be mentioned, that these projects are of multiple benefit, which is supposed to cover all the losses in a short space of time. In addition to dams and reservoir construction these projects allow watering the area of almost 2-mln hectares in other countries of Central Asia.
It should be underlined, that the Tajik Government connects power-engineering development with rational use of water resources and consider this issue of the utmost importance.
Taking into account these circumstances I suggest that interested companies should take an active part in the implementation of these projects.
Investment projects concerning power engineering being presented you have opportunity to choose.
Next fields deal with mining, precious metals and gems, aluminum final products, fruits and vegetable processing, cotton growing and tradable raw material processing.
We believe, that the most reasonable way of implementation of investment projects is creation of three free economic areas, situated in different regions of Tajikistan. These areas are supposed to become one of the most important development factors. The UAE are rather experienced in this direction, so I appeal to you for assistance in implementation of the projects.
The free economic areas project is called into being by a favourable geographical location. Tajikistan is situated at the crossroads of Eurasia, Near East and Southern Asia. With your support these regions are expected to contribute to export increase and maintenance of multilateral cooperation with the UAE as well.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tourism is one of the profitable fields for foreign investment as well. Mild climate, unique nature, healing hot wells and ecologically safe products are extremely favourable for tourism development. The main drawback is absence of corresponding infrastructure, but our investors are engaged here. I hope, that you will also take an active part in this profitable and very significant project.
Investors can make a considerable contribution to other spheres, which are of great benefit for them, Tajikistan and multilateral cooperation in general.
Let me assure you, that Tajikistan disposes of an uncommonly vast economic and natural resources for reciprocal cooperation in the above-mentioned spheres and is ready for transition to a new stage of economic relationship.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Trade Economic and Investment Forum is a significant event and effective means of multilateral cooperation. I am firmly convinced, that it will give an impulse to consolidation of economic ties between our countries, organization of new fields and forms of cooperation and signing documents on effective collaboration.
I wish you well and invite you to visit our ancient country in order to study its potential personally. We are intended to hold the second Trade Economic and Investment Forum in Dushanbe, which is a capital of Tajikistan.
We are able and certain to reach the modern level of cooperation. And on this point I wish you strength of mind and great achievements.
Thank you for your attention.