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Mixed Reports about Electricity Rationing in Tajikistan

Electricity rationing in the center of northern Sughd Province has been suspended in Tajikistan.

Electricity rationing in the center of northern Sughd Province has been suspended in Tajikistan. The Barqi Tojik, the energy supply company, said that higher temperatures and additional power imports from neighboring countries have allowed for the suspension. However, other reports suggest otherwise and state that rationing in the districts and villages of the northern province remain unchanged. Locals have reported that they still only have one hour to thirty minutes of electricity a day. Rationing in Sughd Province started in October.

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Tajikistan Establishes Two Free Economic Zones

Tajikistan has established two free economic zones according to the Tajik Deputy Minister of Economic Development Larissa Kislyakova.

Tajikistan has established two free economic zones according to the Tajik Deputy Minister of Economic Development Larissa Kislyakova. The two assigned regions are the Suhd region near Khujand city in the north and Panj region in the souther Tajik province of Khatlon. The regions will be permitted as free economic zones for the next twenty-five years. The first seven years will allow operating companies in the regions to be exempted from taxes.

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Tajikistan to Continue to Build Power Plant Despite Global Crisis

Despite the global financial crisis, Tajik government has re-stated its commitment to budget for the largest hydroelectric power station in Central Asia.

Despite the global financial crisis, Tajik government has re-stated its commitment to budget for the largest hydroelectric power station in Central Asia. Prime Minister of Tajikistan, Oqil Oqilov, visited the region in which the Roghun hydroelectric power station is being constructed and is satisfied with the progress that is being made. He also announced that the government remains committed to launch its first unit by 2012. The project costs an estimated $2.2 billion.

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Tajiks Lose Jobs and Hopes as Crisis Hits the Poor

Many previous members of the Former Soviet Union have been impacted by Russia's financial crisis.

Many previous members of the Former Soviet Union have been impacted by Russia's financial crisis. Tajikistan has been no exception. The nation is plagued by poverty, crime and failed incomes. If the nation is incapable of reversing its current track, Tajikistan can see itself as a failed state. This could potentially prove problematic for the West, which are looking to Tajikistan to be a new supply transit station for the American troops. Half of the workforce in the nation of 7 million mostly work abroad in Russia, with remittances accounting for 43 percent of Tajikistan's GDP.

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Tajikistan Weathers Energy, Food Shortages through Winter

Last year Tajikistan was faced with energy infrastructure failure that left hundreds of Tajiks dead due to the extreme cold and the crop devastation that left many without food.

Last year Tajikistan was faced with energy infrastructure failure that left hundreds of Tajiks dead due to the extreme cold and the crop devastation that left many without food. This year the United States had pledged $5 million in emergency aid to help needy Tajiks. According to the International Crisis Group, Tajikistan is on the way to a failed state. The farther a city is from government centers the less access they have to basic necessities such as running water and electricity. The border is heavily patrolled by soldiers and guards, including American drug enforcement officials, trying to tamp down on the burgeoning poppy drug smuggling coming out of Afghanistan. Tajikistan is also facing a high unemployment rate, use of child labour in the cotton fields and crop devastation due to last year's winter.

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Uzbekistan Curtailing Gas Deliveries Due To Tajik Debt

Uzbekistan is forcing Tajikistan to fully repay its $18 million debt before Uzbekistan will restart full gas export services to the country.

Uzbekistan is forcing Tajikistan to fully repay its $18 million debt before Uzbekistan will restart full gas export services to the country. The director of the state-owned utility Tajiktransgaz, Saidmamad Sharofiddinov, told sources that Uzbekistan currently exports only 50 percent of the gas Tajikistan needs this year. The reason why Uzbekistan does not export all of its gas is due to the unpaid debt. Tajiktransgaz has reported paid $4 million, and civilians owe $1 million, whilst various companies owe the other $13 million. Earlier in the year, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan increased gas prices, which means Tajikistan now pays $240 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas compared to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas a year ago.

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China Potential to Become Tajikistan's Main Economic Partner

In the past, Tajikistan's main economic trading partner has been Russia but China may soon replace Russia.

In the past, Tajikistan's main economic trading partner has been Russia but China may soon replace Russia. Tensions between Russian and Tajik government have been strained due to the lack of fiscal aid provided to Tajikistan from Russia. Tajik's president had visited Moscow in late February. He was expecting an assistance package that included re-commencing the construction of the Rogun Dam but returned back to Tajikistan empty handed. The lack of assistance has opened the door for Beijing, where already Chinese companies are completing road infrastructure projects. Once road infrastructure has been completed, the belief is that the Chinese companies will also take part and assist in hydro-power projects.

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Tajikistan to Allow Foreign Banks to Operate

From the capital city of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, the Tajik Parliament's lower house has recently approved legislation that permits foreign banks to operate in the country.

From the capital city of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, the Tajik Parliament's lower house has recently approved legislation that permits foreign banks to operate in the country. The permitting of foreign banks is said to push local banks to compete for clients and bring down high rates of debt. The legislations seeks to increase bank competitiveness, which would be healthier for the economy. The bill is now awaiting the president's signature.

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Tajik Cotton Farms Picked Clean

Falling cotton prices has pushed Tajikistan's cotton industry on the verge of bankruptcy.

Falling cotton prices has pushed Tajikistan's cotton industry on the verge of bankruptcy. Tajik's government had launched a scheme last year that made loans more accessible to farmers. But, the falling prices might potentially mean that farmers shall be unable to repay their debts because last autumn's harvest was worse than expected. A huge part of Tajikistan's economy comes from cotton export, which has contributed around a firth of export revenues and provides half of the country's workforce.

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Yemen, Tajikistan Hold Official Talks Session

The Republic of Yemen and the Republic of Tajikistan held talks on Friday in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe.

The Republic of Yemen and the Republic of Tajikistan held talks on Friday in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. The talks yielded greater cooperation in the investment and medical field. President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen expressed his content with the visit and the talks that hosted a number of ministers from both countries. President also noted that the bilateral ties are still strong and both nations wish to continue the partnership. President Emomalii Rhamom of Tajikistan noted that a number of important agreements were signed during this visit to strengthen ties especially in the investment sector.

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Tajikstan: After a Dalliance with Washington, Is Dushanbe Getting Back Together with Moscow?

Russia is likely to renew financial assistance to Tajikstan.

Russia is likely to renew financial assistance to Tajikstan. Tajik President Imomali Rahmom scheduled a visit to Moscow on February 24. The Rogun Dam project has had a couple of set backs due to lack of capital funding since the project began in 2004. The slow construction of the hydropower energy center is be connected to the lack of capital in Tajikistan. The talks between Moscow and Tajik's President will be focused on restoring bilateral relationships between the two nations.

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Tajikstan: Dushanbe on the Edge of Instability

The state of the nation Tajikistan is on the verge of failure according to the International Crisis Group.

The state of the nation Tajikistan is on the verge of failure according to the International Crisis Group. According to the report by the International Crisis Group, Tajik government is unable to curb the economic problems. Foreign diplomats and international financiers have commented on the lack of concrete results based on the aid provided to the government. Most recently the International Monetary Fund loaned $120 million to Tajikistan despite the increased criticism of the lack of living conditions; the fund is allocated to poverty-reduction measures.

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IMF Agrees $120 Million, 3-Year Loan To Help Struggling Tajikistan

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan (AFP)--The International Monetary Fund agreed a $120 million loan to crisis-hit Tajikistan Wednesday, in a bid to help the Central Asian state weather the financial downturn

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan (AFP)--The International Monetary Fund agreed a $120 million loan to crisis-hit Tajikistan Wednesday, in a bid to help the Central Asian state weather the financial downturn. Tajikistan is currently caught in a massive energy crisis. The government has implemented an energy rationing scheme, leaving the country with severe energy shortages. Although the situation is "indeed very serious", Schimmelpfennig said the country looked unlikely to collapse economically or financially.

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Tajikistan: Critics Toss Cold Water Oon Proposed Hydro Tax

A proposed new water tax in Tajikistan would torpedo indebted companies, cripple small farmers and jeopardize the entire economy, say opponents of the measure.

A proposed new water tax in Tajikistan would torpedo indebted companies, cripple small farmers and jeopardize the entire economy, say opponents of the measure. Nusratullo Davlatov, the newly appointed head of the Tajikistan's State Tax Committee, said the levy would be applied to working hydro energy plants and agricultural users of both river and ground water, the CA-news.org website reported February 12. The water tax plan drew immediate fire, however. MP Mirzosharif Islomiddinov complained that the tax would create a major disincentive for foreign investors to sink money into the Tajik energy sector. Additionally, Islomiddinov expressed doubts about the government's ability to collect. For example, the levy would cost Barqi-Tajik, the struggling state-owned electricity company, an extra $8 million per year. The company, according to Islomiddinov, would be unlikely to pay up given that it already owes the more than $30 million in back taxes, he said. Deputy Yusufdzhon Ahmedov added that farmers and the domestic economy would be hit hard by the proposed tax. "Many farms that use groundwater for irrigation simply won't be able to afford this type of tax. In addition, the tax will result in higher prices for building materials," he warned.

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Electricity Rationing Tightened In Tajikistan

DUSHANBE -- New power rationing in the Tajik capital has imposed a limit on residents of 11 hours of electricity per day, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

DUSHANBE -- New power rationing in the Tajik capital has imposed a limit on residents of 11 hours of electricity per day, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports. Some regions of the country recently had their energy ration eliminated and now have no electricity at all. Uzbekistan stopped transporting Turkmen electricity to Tajikistan in December in a move that the Tajik side claims is a breach of contractual obligations. The Uzbek move prompted Tajik electricity distributor Barqi Tojik-main to ask the government to impose restrictions. Dushanbe residents currently have power from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and again between 4:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Dushanbe city spokesman Shavkat Saidov told RFE/RL that the restrictions apply to all but state-owned buildings.

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Tajikistan: Iran To The Rescue

Iran will participate in efforts to complete the long-stalled Rogun hydroelectric power project in Tajikistan, Iran's ambassador to Dushanbe has announced.

Iran will participate in efforts to complete the long-stalled Rogun hydroelectric power project in Tajikistan, Iran's ambassador to Dushanbe has announced. Tehran would "be involved in the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric power station, both at the governmental level and through the private sector," Ali Asghar Sherdust said, the news agency CA-news.org reported February 6. The announcement follows meetings February 4-5 involving President Imomali Rahmon, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Ghulomjon Bobozoda and parliamentary chairman Mahmadsaid Ubaidulloyev, and a visiting Iranian delegation headed by Minister of Commerce, Masud Mir-Kazemi, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported. Ubaidulloyev was quoted as saying during the visit that Tajik-Iranian trade relations needed "new impulse." A spokesman for Ubaidulloyev told the Asia Plus news agency on February 5 that in light of the global financial crisis the two countries would "develop joint economic projects and effectively use the potential of parliamentarians to promote further expansion of bilateral cooperation."

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Electricity Shortage Affects Tajik Independent Weekly

The Kazakh weekly newspaper "Varorud" is not on newsstands in the northwestern Tajik province of Sughd because a power shortage stopped the printing presses.

The Kazakh weekly newspaper "Varorud" is not on newsstands in the northwestern Tajik province of Sughd because a power shortage stopped the printing presses. The independent weekly's chief editor, Jurakhon Yusufi, told RFE/RL's Tajik Service that the rationing of electricity introduced by Tajik officials on January 27 made it impossible for the local publishing house to print the weekly's issue. Yusufi said the newspaper's staff cannot afford to buy a power generator that could resolve the problem. Meanwhile, Khujand's publishing house is on the list of strategic entities that were to have been excluded from the electricity rationing system and should be receiving normal levels of electricity. However, publishing house officials told RFE/RL that their building is not getting a steady supply of electricity.

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Dushanbe Ratifies Tajik-Pakistani Agreement on Investments

The Tajik parliament has ratified an agreement with Pakistan on the mutual guarantee of investments, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The Tajik parliament has ratified an agreement with Pakistan on the mutual guarantee of investments, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports. Members of parliament told RFE/RL that the ratification of the document makes Pakistan eligible to participate in the Roghun hydropower station project. The government in neighboring Uzbekistan opposes the project. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev supported the Uzbek position on Roghun when meeting with Uzbek President Islam Karimov in Tashkent last week. He said all plans on the construction of new hydropower stations should be approved by all the Central Asian countries.

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UN Rural Development Arm To Help Poor Farmers In Tajikistan

Farmers in Tajikistan's poorest region will receive a $12 million boost from the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to help curb poverty, boost incomes and improve the lives of farmers in 250 villages.

Farmers in Tajikistan's poorest region will receive a $12 million boost from the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to help curb poverty, boost incomes and improve the lives of farmers in 250 villages. The initiative will target the Khatlon region, the poorest in the Central Asian nation, where more than two-thirds of the rural population is poor. In the past three decades, IFAD has invested over $10 billion to help more than 350 million rural poor people boost their incomes and provide for their families. Today, the agency supports nearly 250 programmes and projects in almost 90 developing nations.

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Tajikistan Objects To Medvedev's Comments On Water Policy

Tajikistan has handed a note to Russia's official representative in Dushanbe expressing concern about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's comments on the construction of hydropower stations in the region.

Tajikistan has handed a note to Russia's official representative in Dushanbe expressing concern about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's comments on the construction of hydropower stations in the region. During a visit to Uzbekistan last week, Medvedev said that all plans on the construction of new hydropower stations should be approved by all the Central Asian countries. Uzbekistan has long opposed the project, but Tajik officials are committed to building the 347-meter-tall dam despite Uzbek concerns.

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Tajikistan Delays Urban Renewal Plan For Capital

The Tajik capital's administration says it has changed its controversial reconstruction plan for Dushanbe due to financial problems, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

The Tajik capital's administration says it has changed its controversial reconstruction plan for Dushanbe due to financial problems, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports. City officials have decided to establish a Center for Dushanbe's Architecture and Development that will resume construction on the massive project next year. Officials from the State Committee on Architecture and Development told RFE/RL that the changes in the rebuilding plan may have been caused by the recent 30 percent decline in prices in Tajik real estate.

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Tethys Petroleum: Tajikistan Gas Sales Contract Signed

Tethys Petroleum Limited today announced that Kulob Petroleum Limited, its subsidiary, has signed a 1-year gas sales contract with OJSC Kulyabgaz to supply gas to the town of Kulob in Southern Tajikistan.

Tethys Petroleum Limited today announced that Kulob Petroleum Limited, its subsidiary, has signed a 1-year gas sales contract with OJSC Kulyabgaz to supply gas to the town of Kulob in Southern Tajikistan. the initial contract is to supply up to 65,000 cubic metres (2.3 million cubic feet) of gas per day. Dr. David Robson, CEO and President of Tethys, commented, "We are delighted to have concluded this initial gas contract and hence begin to monetise our work in Tajikistan. It is our company strategy to generate early cash flow in all our focus areas, whilst moving forward with an active exploration program for potentially large oil and gas prospects. This is an important first step to achieving this and we expect the demand in the Kulob area to be much larger than the quantity we have currently agreed. In the near future we hope to replicate this success in the Dushanbe area where the dynamics of the gas pricing should be even more favourable.". Tethys is focused on oil and gas exploration and production activities in Central Asia with activities currently in the Republics of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.

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Tajik Households Face Hike in Gas Bills

Households in the impoverished Central Asian nation of Tajikistan will face a sharp increase in prices of natural gas.

Households in the impoverished Central Asian nation of Tajikistan will face a sharp increase in prices of natural gas. Prices will increase by 54 per cent more than last year. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan's main gas supplier, has sharply increased its prices which might lead to severe hardship across Tajikistan as gas is mainly used for cooking and heating. The country faced one of the harshest winters ever last year with frequent power shortages. With this increase in prices, heating will become a major concern to the Tajiki people in winter 2009.

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Tensions Rising Over Food Prices in Tajikistan

There is much political unrest in Tajikistan, as inhabitants gathered on June 18th in front of the government building in Khorog in protest of government militarism and the rising cost of food.

There is much political unrest in Tajikistan, as inhabitants gathered on June 18th in front of the government building in Khorog in protest of government militarism and the rising cost of food. Inhabitants believe there is increasing interference from the government, and not enough subsidized provisions for the locals.

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Tajikistan: Energy Shortages, Extreme Cold Create Crisis Situation

Severe winter weather in Tajikistan has caused a tremendous shortage in energy and gas and an increase in the prices of food and gasoline.

Severe winter weather in Tajikistan has caused a tremendous shortage in energy and gas and an increase in the prices of food and gasoline. With temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius, Tajikistan is always dependent on its neighbors to provide electricity during long winter months, but they have not had enough this year. The weather could also lead to greater unemployment and dismal wages.

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IMF CATCHES DUSHANBE IN CREATIVE ACCOUNTING SCANDAL

Tajikistan must repay loans to the International Monetary Fund as a result of the inaccurate data provided by the Tajik National Bank.

Tajikistan must repay loans to the International Monetary Fund as a result of the inaccurate data provided by the Tajik National Bank. The IMF is expecting to be repaid $47.4 million by September 5, 2008.

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Tajikistan to Improve Roads with Support of Asian Development Bank

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) will receive USD79 million in loans from the Asian Development Bank

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) will receive USD79 million in loans from the Asian Development Bank for Regional Road Corridor Improvement Project, a project which seeks to improve important roads. The project links the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan to The People's Republic of China and will improve 263 kilometers of the road. The roads are key to the landlocked Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic and will allow trade with the People's Republic of China as well as provide numerous other connections as it becomes part of the major Asian highway network.

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Tajikistan to Recieve Funding from Japan

Tajikistan will receive funding from the Asian Development Bank and Japan to restore infrastructure destroyed in a 2006 flood.

Tajikistan will receive funding from the Asian Development Bank and Japan to restore infrastructure destroyed in a 2006 flood. The Japan fund for poverty reduction is providing USD2 million to be managed by the ADB. Several communities in northeast Tajikistan were isolated after the flood destroyed a suspension bridge. The project to restore access to the cut-off communities will cost an estimated USD2.369 million.

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Tajiks Doubtful of Energy Deal with Turkmenistan

Tajiks remain pessimistic about the winter despite the fact that Tajikistan officials have signed an agreement to bring Turkmen electricity to Tajikistan in order to prevent power shortages.

Tajiks remain pessimistic about the winter despite the fact that Tajikistan officials have signed an agreement to bring Turkmen electricity to Tajikistan in order to prevent power shortages. Currently, electricity distribution is in place allowing households to receive a mere six to eight hours of electricity a day. Tajikistan reportedly could produce over 300 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity due to its massive amount of hydroelectric power capacity. Tajikistan officials say they have a bright future and they are working to develop and improve it's energy-producing infrastructure. Due to the failure of a similar deal with Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan residents are not hopeful about their cold, dark winter.

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Tajikistan May Cut Domestic Power in Favor of Afghanistan

Tajik state-run power company Barqi Tojik considers the possibility of cutting short energy supply for domestic recipients during the winter months to ensure supply for neighboring Afghanistan.

Tajik state-run power company Barqi Tojik considers the possibility of cutting short energy supply for domestic recipients during the winter months to ensure supply for neighboring Afghanistan. The company is worried about loosing Afghanistan as customer if they are not capable of perpetuating the 10 megawatts supply. Afghanistan remunerates the company with 2 US cents per kilowatt-hour, whereas Tajik customers only pay 0.68 US cents.

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Russian RusAl Will Not Participate in Tajik Dam Project

The Tajik Government had unilaterally canceled an agreement with the Russian company RusAl on the construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant, stating that "the fate of such a strategically important facility for the country" should not lie in the hands of only one private company.

The Tajik Government had unilaterally canceled an agreement with the Russian company RusAl on the construction of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant, stating that "the fate of such a strategically important facility for the country" should not lie in the hands of only one private company. According to Tajikistan's President Imomali Rahmon, the Russian Government had been notified about this decision a year ago already.

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Cotton Harvest Pulls Tajik Students Out of the Classroom

In what has become a yearly tradition, an order from the local authorities to the schools and universities in the southern Khatlon region of Tajikistan have been required to send all students above ninth grade to pick cotton to help expedite the harvest. According to Asia-Plus, some schools send students pick cotton every day after contracting schooldays, whereas other schools actually relocate their students to temporary shelters in cotton fields. Yet, students are not alone in their agrarian labor, teachers and faculty members of state institutions will join the students in the fields to ensure a productive harvest. Cotton is Tajikistan's largest cash crop and a major export

In what has become a yearly tradition, an order from the local authorities to the schools and universities in the southern Khatlon region of Tajikistan have been required to send all students above ninth grade to pick cotton to help expedite the harvest. According to Asia-Plus, some schools send students pick cotton every day after contracting schooldays, whereas other schools actually relocate their students to temporary shelters in cotton fields. Yet, students are not alone in their agrarian labor, teachers and faculty members of state institutions will join the students in the fields to ensure a productive harvest. Cotton is Tajikistan's largest cash crop and a major export.

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Tajikistan’s Gorno Badakhshan in the Midst of a Population Skid

The population growth rate of Tajikistan's largest geographical province is exhibiting a downward tendency. Surayo Mamadnazarova, an official at the GBAO agency of for statistics revealed that the growth rate drop in population was first observable in the mid-1990s. In 1995, 5,181 newborns were registered in the region, in 2000, the number plummeted to 3,506, whereas last year only 3, 255 newborns were registered. It is by no coincidence that the Tajik civil war that was unleashed in 1992 has attributed to this drop in population growth, especially when on considers that the GBAO was the province that saw much warfare and the mountainous region became a bastion for the insurgent opposition.

According to data from the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast or Province (GBAO) Statistical Agency, the population growth rate of Tajikistan's largest geographical province is exhibiting a downward tendency. Surayo Mamadnazarova, an official at the GBAO agency of for statistics revealed that the growth rate drop in population was first observable in the mid-1990s. In 1995, 5,181 newborns were registered in the region, in 2000, the number plummeted to 3,506, whereas last year only 3, 255 newborns were registered. It is by no coincidence that the Tajik civil war that was unleashed in 1992 has played a role in attributing to this drop, especially when one considers that the GBAO was the province that saw much warfare as the mountainous region became a bastion for the insurgent opposition.

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Underdevelopment Hinders Free Economic Zones in Tajikistan

Tajikistan's President, Imomali Rahmon, has expressed his dissatisfaction about the slow progress the country makes regarding the establishment of Free Economic Zones (FEZs).

Tajikistan's President, Imomali Rahmon, has expressed his dissatisfaction about the slow progress the country makes regarding the establishment of Free Economic Zones (FEZs). Having started to consider FEZs as an option to enhance economic development in the mid nineties, thoughts still are stuck in research on possible effects. In addition to this, NBCentralAsia experts state that Tajikistan still is not yet far enough developed to establish FEZs to attract investors. According to them, first and foremost the country needs to tackle problems like the lack in basic infrastructure and reliable energy supply.

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Tajikistan Aborts Deal with Russia to Build Hydropower Plant

Tajikistan has said that it will complete the construction of a hydropower plant that had begun in the 1980s but stalled when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Tajik government and Russian aluminum producer United company RUSAL failed to reach agreement on multiple issues regarding the continuation of the construction. RUSAL was not informed of any changes to the previous agreement.

Tajikistan has said that it will complete the construction of a hydropower plant that had begun in the 1980s but stalled when the Soviet Union collapsed. The Tajik government and Russian aluminum producer United company RUSAL failed to reach agreement on multiple issues regarding the continuation of the construction. RUSAL was not informed of any changes to the previous agreement.

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Tajikistan's Strategic Importance Attracts Infrastructure Development

Tajikistan's rich reserve of hydrocarbons, and its strategic location, bordering China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan has helped it to attract many large scale investments and infrastructure development projects. The Indian government is looking to win Tajikistan's favor through the erection of hydroelectric power plants that will help to solidify the country's infrastructure. In return, Tajikistan can help India to meet it's need for fuel sources with its own natural resources as well as providing easier access to other central Asian countries.

Tajikistan's rich reserve of hydrocarbons, and its strategic location, bordering China, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan has helped it to attract many large scale investments and infrastructure development projects. The Indian government is looking to win Tajikistan's favor through the erection of hydroelectric power plants that will help to solidify the country's infrastructure. In return, Tajikistan can help India to meet it's need for fuel sources with its own natural resources as well as providing easier access to other central Asian countries.

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Bridge Linking Tajikistan/Afghanistan Opened

A bridge linking Tajikistan and Afghanistan has been opened in the hopes of strengthening trade in the region. The newly built structure connects the borders of the two countries over the Pyanj River, and will help to revitalize the economic and cultural relations of the two countries. However, both governments must be cognizant of the bridge's potential to facilitate illegal activities, and must establish appropriate regulations to prevent such activities.

A bridge linking Tajikistan and Afghanistan has been opened in the hopes of strengthening trade in the region. The newly built structure connects the borders of the two countries over the Pyanj River, and will help to revitalize the economic and cultural relations of the two countries. However, both governments must be cognizant of the bridge's potential to facilitate illegal activities, and must establish appropriate regulations to prevent such activities.

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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Keen on Turkmenistan Membership

According to a deputy Russian foreign minister, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is interested in involving energy-rich Turkmenistan in its activities. The SCO has offered Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov an invitation to attend Thursday's meeting in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek. The possibility of establishing an energy club will be touched upon by the heads of state from Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Pakistan, India, Mongolia, and Iran will be in attendance as well, considering the four nations role in the SCO, which is observer status.

According to a deputy Russian foreign minister, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is interested in involving energy-rich Turkmenistan in its activities. The SCO has offered Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov an invitation to attend Thursday's meeting in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek. The possibility of establishing an energy club will be touched upon by the heads of state from Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Pakistan, India, Mongolia, and Iran will be in attendance as well, considering the four nations role in the SCO, which is observer status.

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Stroitelnaya Gazeta Unveiled to Tajik Builders

According to editor-in-chief Dilbar Tabarova, the open joint-stock company (OJSC) Seltekhproekt has launched Stroitelnaya Gazeta (Constructional Newspaper) that is geared to Tajik builders. As a testament to number of construction projects in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, the first issue of the newspaper was rolled out off the presses on August 12 on the occasion of the professional holiday of Tajik builders.

According to editor-in-chief Dilbar Tabarova, the open joint-stock company (OJSC) Seltekhproekt has launched Stroitelnaya Gazeta (Constructional Newspaper) that is geared to Tajik builders. As a testament to number of construction projects in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, the first issue of the newspaper was rolled out off the presses on August 12 on the occasion of the professional holiday of Tajik builders.

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Tajik Hydropower Projects Perk Investors’ Interests

According to Sharif Said, the Head of Tajikistan's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), delegates of businessmen from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) met in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe to discuss possible investment deals. The businessmen discussed their interest in implementing hydropower projects and considered the possibility of establishing joint air carriers companies in Tajikistan. Despite the interest, the CCI head outlined industrial and agrarian processing enterprises in the country as the priorities for investment.

According to Sharif Said, the Head of Tajikistan's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI), delegates of businessmen from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) met in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe to discuss possible investment deals. The businessmen discussed their interest in implementing hydropower projects and considered the possibility of establishing joint air carriers companies in Tajikistan. Despite the interest, the CCI head outlined industrial and agrarian processing enterprises in the country as the priorities for investment.

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tajikistan

First Meeting of Anticorruption Agency Calls Upon the Tajik Public

On Tuesday, the first meeting of a working group assembled in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe to discuss and draft a strategy for a national program to battle corruption. The meeting discussed organizational issues and outlined the main directions and priorities of the group, placing Sherali Salimov at the head of the group. According to Qurbonali Mahmadov, the chief of staff of the Agency for State Financial Contral and Combating Corruption, the meeting's participants decided to call upon the public, state and non-government organizations (NGOs) to take an active role in submitting proposals and elaborating on the draft strategy.

On Tuesday, the first meeting of a working group assembled in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe to discuss and draft a strategy for a national program to battle corruption. The meeting discussed organizational issues and outlined the main directions and priorities of the group, placing Sherali Salimov at the head of the group. According to Qurbonali Mahmadov, the chief of staff of the Agency for State Financial Contral and Combating Corruption, the meeting's participants decided to call upon the public, state and non-government organizations (NGOs) to take an active role in submitting proposals and elaborating on the draft strategy.

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tajikistan

Dushanbe-based AgroInvestBonk Raises Capital

Tajik bank AgroInvestBonk issued a limited amount of privileged shares which account for 5 percent (or TJS 2.7 million) of the bank's declared capital value of TJS 54 million. According to Tatiana Syomina, the chairwoman of AgroInvestBonk's department for work with issued share capital, dividends on the privileged shares are fixed; their amount is determined in advance and issued twice a year. Currently, AgroInvestBonk has 1,250 shareholders.

Tajik bank AgroInvestBonk issued a limited amount of privileged shares which account for 5 percent (or TJS 2.7 million) of the bank's declared capital value of TJS 54 million. According to Tatiana Syomina, the chairwoman of AgroInvestBonk's department for work with issued share capital, dividends on the privileged shares are fixed; their amount is determined in advance and issued twice a year. Currently, AgroInvestBonk has 1,250 shareholders.

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tajikistan

Tajiks, Uzbeks Bore the Brunt of Inflationary Prices

As inflation rates are on the rise in the Central Asian nations of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, political figures and policymakers have been forced to answer to the public and to quell the associated costs. The cost of bread alone has sparked national outcry in both Central Asian nations. While attributing the rise in prices to market forces, Tajikistan's Economy and Development Ministry spokesman Rasuljan Ghafuri said, "These are market prices, but there should be mechanisms to regulate them and the government should use these mechanisms." Across the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan, the Uzbek government recently increased wages and then, shortly after, raised the prices for basic goods-a response considered to be clockwork by analysts.

As inflation rates are on the rise in the Central Asian nations of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, political figures and policymakers have been forced to answer to the public and to quell the associated costs. The cost of bread alone has sparked national outcry in both Central Asian nations. While attributing the rise in prices to market forces, Tajikistan's Economy and Development Ministry spokesman Rasuljan Ghafuri said, "These are market prices, but there should be mechanisms to regulate them and the government should use these mechanisms." Across the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan, the Uzbek government recently increased wages and then, shortly after, raised the prices for basic goods-a response considered to be clockwork by analysts.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan Central Bank Releases Inflationary Indicators

The Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT), Murodali Alimardonov, released key economic figures on Tuesday at a press conference in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe. According to the data, over the first six months of this year, GDP growth has amounted to TJS 1.264 billion, with a 9 percent increase in the industrial sector and a 6.5 percent in the agrarian sector. The Tajik central bank head noted that inflation rate for the first six months of 2007 had stood at 3.5 percent, which is 3.1 percent lower than in the same period of last year.

The Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT), Murodali Alimardonov, released key economic figures on Tuesday at a press conference in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe. According to the data, over the first six months of this year, GDP growth has amounted to TJS 1.264 billion, with a 9 percent increase in the industrial sector and a 6.5 percent in the agrarian sector. The Tajik central bank head noted that inflation rate for the first six months of 2007 had stood at 3.5 percent, which is 3.1 percent lower than in the same period of last year.

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tajikistan

Inflation to Rise in July According to Tajikistan Experts

In an announcement to journalists in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, Mirgand Shabozov, Chairman of the State Committee for Statistics, stated that specialists from his department expect inflation to rise for July. Drawing attention to the recent spike in the prices of wheat flour in Tajikistan as an example, Mr. Shabozov quoted an increase in prices for the first half of the year to 0.58 percent, nearly half of last years rate.

In an announcement to journalists in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, Mirgand Shabozov, Chairman of the State Committee for Statistics, stated that specialists from his department expect inflation to rise for July. Drawing attention to the recent spike in the prices of wheat flour in Tajikistan as an example, Mr. Shabozov quoted an increase in prices for the first half of the year to 0.58 percent, nearly half of last years rate.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan's Cotton Industry Facing Child Labor Crackdown

Tajik authorities are investigating widespread claims of school children being removed from classes to work on cotton fields for little or no compensation. Though it is no secret that this is common practice, law enforcement authorities are determined to see this investigation through to the end. Child labor is heavily utilized in Tajikistan because producers are under intense pressure to fulfill government-set quotas for the commodity. Cotton is a key export earner for Tajikistan, which remains the poorest nation in Central Asia.

Tajik authorities are investigating widespread claims of school children being removed from classes to work on cotton fields for little or no compensation. Though it is no secret that this is common practice, law enforcement authorities are determined to see this investigation through to the end. Child labor is heavily utilized in Tajikistan because producers are under intense pressure to fulfill government-set quotas for the commodity. Cotton is a key export earner for Tajikistan, which remains the poorest nation in Central Asia.

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tajikistan

Tajik Aluminum Suing United Company Rusal Over Fraud Claims

Tajik Aluminum Co., or Talco, has alleged that Russian aluminum giant United Company Rusal (UC Rusal) defrauded them of millions of dollars, and is filing suit in the British Virgin Islands. The allegations surround a corrupt relationship between a Tajik businessman and a Talco manager that allowed UC Rusal's director to defraud the company through supply and purchase arrangements. UC Rusal "categorically" denies all charges, and is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) later this year.

Tajik Aluminum Co., or Talco, has alleged that Russian aluminum giant United Company Rusal (UC Rusal) defrauded them of millions of dollars, and is filing suit in the British Virgin Islands. The allegations surround a corrupt relationship between a Tajik businessman and a Talco manager that allowed UC Rusal's director to defraud the company through supply and purchase arrangements. UC Rusal "categorically" denies all charges, and is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) later this year.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan Must Focus on NGO-State Cooperation

According to NBCentralAsia observers, non-government organizations (NGOs) need to learn to actively engage with the state in order to exert any kind of influence over policy making. At current, there are over 3,000 NGOs registered in Tajikistan, but just over 1,000 of these organizations are active. Critics have long accused the NGO sector of being passive and ineffective in promoting its interests at the state level.

According to NBCentralAsia observers, non-government organizations (NGOs) need to learn to actively engage with the state in order to exert any kind of influence over policy making. At current, there are over 3,000 NGOs registered in Tajikistan, but just over 1,000 of these organizations are active. Critics have long accused the NGO sector of being passive and ineffective in promoting its interests at the state level.

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tajikistan

Next Ferghana Valley Gubernatorial Meeting Highly Anticipated

In what was envisaged as a diplomatic endeavor to expand cooperation between the Central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, specifically in their shared inhabitance of the Ferghana Valley, hit a roadblock with the notable absence of a Tajik presence. Nevertheless, representatives and diplomats of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan focused on aligning their interests for the good of the region. The upcoming summit is scheduled for late July in Jalalabad, Krygyzstan where all parties are scheduled to be in attendence.

In what was envisaged as a diplomatic endeavor to expand cooperation between the Central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, specifically in their shared inhabitance of the Ferghana Valley, hit a roadblock with the notable absence of a Tajik presence. Nevertheless, representatives and diplomats of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan focused on aligning their interests for the good of the region. The upcoming summit is scheduled for late July in Jalalabad, Krygyzstan where all parties are scheduled to be in attendence.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan's Vast Silver Deposit Still Seeking Investment

The government of Tajikistan is actively seeking investors for the silver deposit at Koni Mansur, which is estimated to hold over 50,000 tons in reserves. The government expects the required investment to develop the deposit to be around USD 2 billion, and only businesses from Russia and Kazakhstan have expressed interest so far. NBCentralAsia observers say that the government must form a consortium to process the silver in country if the venture is to be a success.

The government of Tajikistan is actively seeking investors for the silver deposit at Koni Mansur, which is estimated to hold over 50,000 tons in reserves. The government expects the required investment to develop the deposit to be around USD 2 billion, and only businesses from Russia and Kazakhstan have expressed interest so far. NBCentralAsia observers say that the government must form a consortium to process the silver in country if the venture is to be a success.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan: AgroInvestBonk Sees 48 Percent Capital Growth

According to figures released from their Dushanbe headquarters, AgroInvestBonk's capital increased 48 percent in July 1, 2007, reaching TJS 69, 869,490 (approx. USD 20 million), whereas of July 1, 2006, the bank capital amounted to TJS 47,215,298. In what can be considered a reflection of the recent development in Tajikistan, the bank's net profit rose 52.8 percent in the year to July 1, 2007. Still the largest surge at the bank is portrayed in the total amount of resources attracted by the bank, which stood as of July 1, 2007, at TJS 358,523,995; as of July 1, 2006, the amount of attracted resources was TJS 179,351,589.

According to figures released from their Dushanbe headquarters, AgroInvestBonk's capital increased 48 percent in July 1, 2007, reaching TJS 69, 869,490 (approx. USD 20 million), whereas of July 1, 2006, the bank capital amounted to TJS 47,215,298. In what can be considered a reflection of the recent development in Tajikistan, the bank's net profit rose 52.8 percent in the year to July 1, 2007. Still the largest surge at the bank is portrayed in the total amount of resources attracted by the bank, which stood as of July 1, 2007, at TJS 358,523,995; as of July 1, 2006, the amount of attracted resources was TJS 179,351,589.

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tajikistan

Tajikstan: Hydroelectric Energy Plant Addition Complete

PamirEnergy Company, a Tajikistan-based utilities company, finalized repairs and construction on the third unit of the Pamir-1 power plant, thereby improving a constant flow of energy to Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province. After damaged by heavy flooding in Februrary, the hydroelectric plant was unable to run at full capacity due to abnormal levels of vibrations. The aid of the Swiss-based Stucky corporation consulted the rehabilitation process to ensure a cost effective and timely solution.

PamirEnergy Company, a Tajikistan-based utilities company, finalized repairs and construction on the third unit of the Pamir-1 power plant, thereby improving a constant flow of energy to Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province. After damaged by heavy flooding in Februrary, the hydroelectric plant was unable to run at full capacity due to abnormal levels of vibrations. The aid of the Swiss-based Stucky corporation consulted the rehabilitation process to ensure a cost effective and timely solution.

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tajikistan

Tajik Leaders Mull Economic Potential of Lake Sarez

Tajik leaders are undecided as to how they should tap the economic and humanitarian potential of the 17 billion cubic meter Lake Sarez. A disaster waiting to happen should its natural dam break, Lake Sarez could be a lifeline in a region where water is one of the scarcest commodities. Tajik officials are currently working on the feasibility of three plans; a safety-valve that would feed the Murghab River, a hydroelectric dam, or a water pipeline capable of serving all of Central Asia.

Tajik leaders are undecided as to how they should tap the economic and humanitarian potential of the 17 billion cubic meter Lake Sarez. A disaster waiting to happen should its natural dam break, Lake Sarez could be a lifeline in a region where water is one of the scarcest commodities. Tajik officials are currently working on the feasibility of three plans; a safety-valve that would feed the Murghab River, a hydroelectric dam, or a water pipeline capable of serving all of Central Asia.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan: Russian Vice-Premier to Discuss Energy Cooperation

On Monday, Sergey Naryshkin, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin's Special Representative to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), arrived in Dushanbe to discuss joint energy projects with Tajik state officials. Further bilateral cooperation between Russia and Tajikistan in the energy sector is to be the touchstone of the one-day working visit. Sources report that a major focus will be a new project slated for construction involving the Roghun power plant in Tajikistan.

On Monday, Sergey Naryshkin, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin's Special Representative to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), arrived in Dushanbe to discuss joint energy projects with Tajik state officials. Further bilateral cooperation between Russia and Tajikistan in the energy sector is to be the touchstone of the one-day working visit. Sources report that a major focus will be a new project slated for construction involving the Roghun power plant in Tajikistan.

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tajikistan

Kazakhtelecom Closes Tajikistan Office in Fiber Optic Venture

Kazakhtelecom, Kazakhstan's national telecommunications operator, intends to close its representative office in Tajikistan amid criticisms that Tajik Telecom is not fulfilling its promise to expedite the implementation of a fiber optic infrastructure. Nearly USD 100 Million is slated to be invested into this project by Kazakhtelecom, which was hoped to strategically reach markets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India through Tajikistan. Makhsut Karzhubayev, the head of Kazakhtelecom's representative office in Dushanbe noted alternative routes for the fiber optic lines are being explored in Turkmenistan.

Kazakhtelecom, Kazakhstan's national telecommunications operator, intends to close its representative office in Tajikistan amid criticisms that Tajik Telecom is not fulfilling its promise to expedite the implementation of a fiber optic infrastructure. Nearly USD 100 Million is slated to be invested into this project by Kazakhtelecom, which was hoped to strategically reach markets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India through Tajikistan. Makhsut Karzhubayev, the head of Kazakhtelecom's representative office in Dushanbe noted alternative routes for the fiber optic lines are being explored in Turkmenistan.

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tajikistan

Tajik Industrial Production Growth Surges Past Russia and Kazakhstan

According to recently released figures from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interstate Committee for Statistics, Tajikistan has made strides to accelerate the industrial production growth rate insofar as to place third among CIS states for the first half of the year. Azerbaijan and Ukraine have recorded industrial production growth rates at 36.1 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively; whereas Tajikistan tallied 8.4 percent from January to June 2007, the overarching figures demonstrate the industrial development occurring in Central Asia.

According to recently released figures from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interstate Committee for Statistics, Tajikistan has made strides to accelerate the industrial production growth rate insofar as to place third among CIS states for the first half of the year. Azerbaijan and Ukraine have recorded industrial production growth rates at 36.1 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively; whereas Tajikistan tallied 8.4 percent from January to June 2007, the overarching figures demonstrate the industrial development occurring in Central Asia.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan’s Taxpaying Enterprises Grow by 25 Percent

According to the Dushanbe-based Inspectorate for Large Taxpayers, 45 corporations have been included on the list of large taxpayers in Tajikistan, roughly a 25 percent increase that brings the total tally to 203 enterprises. Some recently listed companies include a Dushanbe-based plant for producing fittings, state unitary enterprise Dushnabekontraktprom, limited liability company Baron Oil and the cotton-ginning factory Ismoili Somoni in the Vakhsh district, altogether contributing to the 60 percent total amount of taxes annually transferred to the Tajikistan budget.

According to the Dushanbe-based Inspectorate for Large Taxpayers, 45 corporations have been included on the list of large taxpayers in Tajikistan, roughly a 25 percent increase that brings the total tally to 203 enterprises. Some recently listed companies include a Dushanbe-based plant for producing fittings, state unitary enterprise Dushnabekontraktprom, limited liability company Baron Oil and the cotton-ginning factory Ismoili Somoni in the Vakhsh district, altogether contributing to the 60 percent total amount of taxes annually transferred to the Tajikistan budget.

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tajikistan

Water: Central Asia's Newest Form of Currency

The need for a long-term strategy concerning water and energy in Central Asia has never been as dire as it is now. Each year, officials from four of the littoral states meet to negotiate an agreement on the release of water reserves from the region's hydroelectric dams. In exchange for vital irrigational water in the summer, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan pledge conventional energy aid and other agricultural goods to their mountainous neighbors, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. On June 15, the annual four-party negotiations began anew, but no such agreement was reached. On June 19, Kyrgyz power station company Elektricheskie Stantsii announced that it cannot guarantee its neighbors the water volumes they have requested for the summer of 2008 . With drought conditions expected to last until then, a crisis is brewing over Central Asia's newest form of currency.

Central Asia's water shortage has been a smoldering situation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Once a domestic issue governed by a central body, water usage among the littoral states became a matter of "international mediation" as the regional watershed was divided into separate upstream and downstream areas. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were granted a clear advantage when they inherited a network of reservoirs, dams and headwaters, which they have not hesitated to exploit for energy purposes. The Syr Darya River, fed primarily by its main tributary, Kyrzgystan's Naryn River, has been the focal point of the crisis, as it flows downstream through Uzbekistan, into the reservoirs of Tajikistan, and on to Kazakhstan, where it dries up before reaching the Aral Sea.

The situation is exacerbated by a number of factors. Kyrgyzstan has no oil and gas reserves to speak of, and thus relies heavily on the power generated at its 16 hydroelectric facilities. The brutal Kyrgyz winters call for an ample supply of power, which is provided by storing the Syr Darya's waters throughout the year and releasing it into the dam's turbines in the winter months. On the other hand, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have all the oil and gas they need, but rely on the flow of the Syr Darya to irrigate their fields. In Uzbekistan alone, agriculture accounts for over 37 percent of GDP and 44 percent of the labor force. A shortage of water combined with drought conditions in 2008 would be disastrous for the Uzbek agricultural sector, which has become the world's second-largest exporter of cotton. Tajikistan also counts on the flow of the Syr Darya to power a significant percentage of its hydroelectric dams. The delicate balance that is struck each year between the four states has so far been successful in averting crises, but with no agreement in place for 2008 and drastically low levels being recorded at the Kyrgyz Toktogul Resevoir, the coming year will be a true test. Summer's average water level is usually expected to linger around 19 billion cubic meters in order to meet both Kyrgyz winter energy needs and neighboring irrigational needs; Toktogul currently holds just over 10 billion cubic meters.

Steps have been taken for well over a decade to develop a sustainable, long-term strategy governing the multi-national use of Central Asia's rivers, but the current situation reflects the overall failure of such initiatives. The annual, multi-party swap agreement has been a successful short-term fix, but the absence of such an agreement for the coming year highlights the consequences of short-sighted solutions. Bilateral treaties have fared no better. In May, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan announced that they had reached agreement on the development of a Water and Energy Consortium, which they had hoped would permanently alleviate water supply tensions. In reality, the bilateral nature of the agreement only served to upset Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, who, along with international observers, slammed the proposal as a "meaningless institution." Even the implementation of regional bodies to govern each specific water basin has failed, as the littoral states have displayed a staunch unwillingness to submit to a supranational authority when it comes to water usage.

While violent conflict appears not to be an immediate threat, water's emergence as a form of currency in the region has pushed tensions to an alarming level. Kyrgyzstan stands by its "right to profit" on its own territorial water resources, and has shown its willingness to tax its neighbors for water usage and delivery in the absence of swap deals. The Kyrgyz have gone as far as to threaten the sale of their precious water to neighboring China should their Central Asian neighbors be unwilling to pay. Uzbekistan has not hesitated to act unilaterally itself, shown most prominently by its move to cut off 70 percent of downstream flow to Kazakhstan, which prompted mass riots among Kazakh farmers. Uzbekistan now charges over 130,000 troops with guarding the reservoirs that straddle its neighbors' boundaries, and has raised the price of gas it sells to Kyrgyzstan from USD 55 to USD 100 as of Jan. 1, 2007.

As long as these nations continue to use water as a political and financial bargaining chip to serve their own sovereign interests, it is doubtful that a long-term or permanent multi-party agreement can be reached. Energy experts have attempted on multiple occasions to apply Game Theory to the crisis in hopes of creating a sustainable payoff model for all sides, but the unique variables in the Central Asian situation have made this impossible. It appears the only immediate measure that can lead to a long-term solution is the responsible use of water resources by farmers themselves. Agricultural projects in the region have been criticized for requiring twice the water that similar American and European projects need. Aside from its potential to alleviate what is being referred to as an "under-recognized crisis-in-the-making," responsible water usage would slow the trend of environmental devastation and desertification being wrought on the region by the drying of the Aral Sea. Until such a strategy is developed or another alternative is presented, the tensions of retaining a delicate balance between energy and agriculture will live on, with a potentially explosive crisis hanging over the heads of all parties involved.

The need for a long-term strategy concerning water and energy in Central Asia has never been as dire as it is now. Each year, officials from four of the littoral states meet to negotiate an agreement on the release of water reserves from the region's hydroelectric dams. In exchange for vital irrigational water in the summer, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan pledge conventional energy aid and other agricultural goods to their mountainous neighbors, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. On June 15, the annual four-party negotiations began anew, but no such agreement was reached. On June 19, Kyrgyz power station company Elektricheskie Stantsii announced that it cannot guarantee its neighbors the water volumes they have requested for the summer of 2008 . With drought conditions expected to last until then, a crisis is brewing over Central Asia's newest form of currency.

Central Asia's water shortage has been a smoldering situation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Once a domestic issue governed by a central body, water usage among the littoral states became a matter of "international mediation" as the regional watershed was divided into separate upstream and downstream areas. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were granted a clear advantage when they inherited a network of reservoirs, dams and headwaters, which they have not hesitated to exploit for energy purposes. The Syr Darya River, fed primarily by its main tributary, Kyrzgystan's Naryn River, has been the focal point of the crisis, as it flows downstream through Uzbekistan, into the reservoirs of Tajikistan, and on to Kazakhstan, where it dries up before reaching the Aral Sea.

The situation is exacerbated by a number of factors. Kyrgyzstan has no oil and gas reserves to speak of, and thus relies heavily on the power generated at its 16 hydroelectric facilities. The brutal Kyrgyz winters call for an ample supply of power, which is provided by storing the Syr Darya's waters throughout the year and releasing it into the dam's turbines in the winter months. On the other hand, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have all the oil and gas they need, but rely on the flow of the Syr Darya to irrigate their fields. In Uzbekistan alone, agriculture accounts for over 37 percent of GDP and 44 percent of the labor force. A shortage of water combined with drought conditions in 2008 would be disastrous for the Uzbek agricultural sector, which has become the world's second-largest exporter of cotton. Tajikistan also counts on the flow of the Syr Darya to power a significant percentage of its hydroelectric dams. The delicate balance that is struck each year between the four states has so far been successful in averting crises, but with no agreement in place for 2008 and drastically low levels being recorded at the Kyrgyz Toktogul Resevoir, the coming year will be a true test. Summer's average water level is usually expected to linger around 19 billion cubic meters in order to meet both Kyrgyz winter energy needs and neighboring irrigational needs; Toktogul currently holds just over 10 billion cubic meters.

Steps have been taken for well over a decade to develop a sustainable, long-term strategy governing the multi-national use of Central Asia's rivers, but the current situation reflects the overall failure of such initiatives. The annual, multi-party swap agreement has been a successful short-term fix, but the absence of such an agreement for the coming year highlights the consequences of short-sighted solutions. Bilateral treaties have fared no better. In May, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan announced that they had reached agreement on the development of a Water and Energy Consortium, which they had hoped would permanently alleviate water supply tensions. In reality, the bilateral nature of the agreement only served to upset Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, who, along with international observers, slammed the proposal as a "meaningless institution." Even the implementation of regional bodies to govern each specific water basin has failed, as the littoral states have displayed a staunch unwillingness to submit to a supranational authority when it comes to water usage.

While violent conflict appears not to be an immediate threat, water's emergence as a form of currency in the region has pushed tensions to an alarming level. Kyrgyzstan stands by its "right to profit" on its own territorial water resources, and has shown its willingness to tax its neighbors for water usage and delivery in the absence of swap deals. The Kyrgyz have gone as far as to threaten the sale of their precious water to neighboring China should their Central Asian neighbors be unwilling to pay. Uzbekistan has not hesitated to act unilaterally itself, shown most prominently by its move to cut off 70 percent of downstream flow to Kazakhstan, which prompted mass riots among Kazakh farmers. Uzbekistan now charges over 130,000 troops with guarding the reservoirs that straddle its neighbors' boundaries, and has raised the price of gas it sells to Kyrgyzstan from USD 55 to USD 100 as of Jan. 1, 2007.

As long as these nations continue to use water as a political and financial bargaining chip to serve their own sovereign interests, it is doubtful that a long-term or permanent multi-party agreement can be reached. Energy experts have attempted on multiple occasions to apply Game Theory to the crisis in hopes of creating a sustainable payoff model for all sides, but the unique variables in the Central Asian situation have made this impossible. It appears the only immediate measure that can lead to a long-term solution is the responsible use of water resources by farmers themselves. Agricultural projects in the region have been criticized for requiring twice the water that similar American and European projects need. Aside from its potential to alleviate what is being referred to as an "under-recognized crisis-in-the-making," responsible water usage would slow the trend of environmental devastation and desertification being wrought on the region by the drying of the Aral Sea. Until such a strategy is developed or another alternative is presented, the tensions of retaining a delicate balance between energy and agriculture will live on, with a potentially explosive crisis hanging over the heads of all parties involved.

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tajikistan

Somon Oil Given Prospecting Rights to Tajik Gas and Oil Fields

After a lengthy government session held in Dushanbe, the Tajik-Swiss joint venture Somon Oil received a license to explore oil and natural gas fields in northern Tajikistan. According to Tajikistan's Main Geology Directorate, the company has rights to prospect gas and oil reserves in Sughd's Bobojonghafurov, Jabborrasulov and Ghonchi districts. Despite holding 19.2 percent of the nation's proven reserves of 113 million tons of oil and 863 billion cubic meters of natural gas, many analysts are questioning the profitability of production considering Tajik hydrocarbon deposits occur at great depths, ranging from 6.5 to 8 kilometers.

After a lengthy government session held in Dushanbe, the Tajik-Swiss joint venture Somon Oil received a license to explore oil and natural gas fields in northern Tajikistan. According to Tajikistan's Main Geology Directorate, the company has rights to prospect gas and oil reserves in Sughd's Bobojonghafurov, Jabborrasulov and Ghonchi districts. Despite holding 19.2 percent of the nation's proven reserves of 113 million tons of oil and 863 billion cubic meters of natural gas, many analysts are questioning the profitability of production considering Tajik hydrocarbon deposits occur at great depths, ranging from 6.5 to 8 kilometers.

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tajikistan

Indigo Tajikistan Bought by Rival Cellular Provider at USD 400 Million

In an effort to gain control of the Central Asian mobile phone market, Fintur Holdings B.V. is completing private negotiations in buying the leading cellular provider in southern Tajikistan, Indigo Tajikistan. Fintur Holdings B.V. is one of the leading providers of mobile telecommunications services in Eurasian emerging markets through its operations in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova. Whereas MCT Corp, the parent company of Indigo Tajikistan, is considering leveraging other telecom ventures in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, where the GSM infrastructure is expansive and operational.

In an effort to gain control of the Central Asian mobile phone market, Fintur Holdings B.V. is completing private negotiations in buying the leading cellular provider in southern Tajikistan, Indigo Tajikistan. Fintur Holdings B.V. is one of the leading providers of mobile telecommunications services in Eurasian emerging markets through its operations in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Moldova. Whereas MCT Corp, the parent company of Indigo Tajikistan, is considering leveraging other telecom ventures in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, where the GSM infrastructure is expansive and operational.

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tajikistan

Need for Central Asian Water and Energy Strategy Grows

With drought conditions expected to carry through to 2008, Kyrgyzstan has warned that it may not be able to supply its neighbors downriver on the Syr Darya with the water they need for irrigation. Kyrgyzstan's Elektricheskie Stantsii controls the hydroelectric dams on the Syr Darya, and says that the amount of water they will have to release from the dams into power-producing turbines may mean that it will not have enough water in the summer of 2008 to release for its neighbors. A long-term strategy on the issue is clearly a necessity, but Kyrgyz parliamentary members feel that Kyrgyzstan should act in its own interest and conduct negotiations itself, rather than allowing Stantsii to do so.

With drought conditions expected to carry through to 2008, Kyrgyzstan has warned that it may not be able to supply its neighbors downriver on the Syr Darya with the water they need for irrigation. Kyrgyzstan's Elektricheskie Stantsii controls the hydroelectric dams on the Syr Darya, and says that the amount of water they will have to release from the dams into power-producing turbines may mean that it will not have enough water in the summer of 2008 to release for its neighbors. A long-term strategy on the issue is clearly a necessity, but Kyrgyz parliamentary members feel that Kyrgyzstan should act in its own interest and conduct negotiations itself, rather than allowing Stantsii to do so.

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tajikistan

Energy, Trade Discussed at EU's Central Asia Strategy Talks

The EU's first ever strategic talks concerning a cooperative strategy with Central Asia garnered approval from the bloc's foreign ministers following a meeting in Luxembourg. The strategy addresses a number of areas, including Central Asia's immense reserves of oil and gas as well as trade, drug-trafficking prevention, and democracy.

The EU's first ever strategic talks concerning a cooperative strategy with Central Asia garnered approval from the bloc's foreign ministers following a meeting in Luxembourg. The strategy addresses a number of areas, including Central Asia's immense reserves of oil and gas as well as trade, drug-trafficking prevention, and democracy.

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tajikistan

Tajik Judicial-Legal Reform Program Signed Into Effect

On Monday, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon signed a decree confirming a judicial-legal reform program. According to the presidential press services, the program aims to promote further strengthening of judicial power, protection of human rights and freedoms, and the establishment of rule of law in society. This signing is viewed as step in the right direction of Tajikistan's development process.

On Monday, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon signed a decree confirming a judicial-legal reform program. According to the presidential press services, the program aims to promote further strengthening of judicial power, protection of human rights and freedoms, and the establishment of rule of law in society. This signing is viewed as step in the right direction of Tajikistan's development process.

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies Begin in Tajik Capital

In the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, 11 new facilities will be put into operation as a major ribbon cutting ceremony begins on Monday. A storage facility for building stones, a plastic goods manufacturing plant, residential buildings, and the Asia Grant Hotel on Tusunzoda Street are just a cross-section of the wide and varied developmental projects that are on display in the capital and throughout Tajikstan.

In the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, 11 new facilities will be put into operation as a major ribbon cutting ceremony begins on Monday. A storage facility for building stones, a plastic goods manufacturing plant, residential buildings, and the Asia Grant Hotel on Tusunzoda Street are just a cross-section of the wide and varied developmental projects that are on display in the capital and throughout Tajikstan.

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tajikistan

Tajik Holiday Celebrates Past Amid Worries of Future

As Tajikistan prepares to celebrate Unity Day, its ten year anniversary marking the end of its civil war, analysts focus on what hasn't been done to develop the nation. Foremost among them are issues of authoritarian style governance, media restriction, and the domination of politics by corporate and regional interests, all which have lead to the heightened political and economic instability which has plagued the region since independence and which seems to have grown since the conflict, not weakened.

As Tajikistan prepares to celebrate Unity Day, its ten year anniversary marking the end of its civil war, analysts focus on what hasn't been done to develop the nation. Foremost among them are issues of authoritarian style governance, media restriction, and the domination of politics by corporate and regional interests, all which have lead to the heightened political and economic instability which has plagued the region since independence and which seems to have grown since the conflict, not weakened.

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tajikistan

Kazakhstan Presents Plan for Asian Energy Club

Kazakhstan has proposed a plan to create an Asian energy club to the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at its "forum of experts" meeting. The SCO is formed by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The goal of the plan is to coordinate prices, infrastructure development and the contracts between producers and consumers among the club and externally. There are some worries that this plan will be hampered by the incentive to defect due to the huge demand from China, or that some countries will wish to have ascendancy as is postulated could be the case with Russia and Kazakhstan, which may not sit well with potential partners.

Kazakhstan has proposed a plan to create an Asian energy club to the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at its "forum of experts" meeting. The SCO is formed by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The goal of the plan is to coordinate prices, infrastructure development and the contracts between producers and consumers among the club and externally. There are some worries that this plan will be hampered by the incentive to defect due to the huge demand from China, or that some countries will wish to have ascendancy as is postulated could be the case with Russia and Kazakhstan, which may not sit well with potential partners.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan Turns to Cotton for Development

A World Bank sponsored Cotton Sector Recovery Project is the new aim of development in Tajikistan's hopes for economic growth. The plan hopes to bolster the cotton industry, the life source for 75 percent of the rural population and the source of 60 percent of Tajikistan's total agricultural output. At the local level, the project's goals will improve the living standards of the some of the poorest of the Tajik population, cotton farmers. At the national level, the program will boost export earnings and tax revenue, improving the policy environment and aiding the ongoing debt crisis.

A World Bank sponsored Cotton Sector Recovery Project is the new aim of development in Tajikistan's hopes for economic growth. The plan hopes to bolster the cotton industry, the life source for 75 percent of the rural population and the source of 60 percent of Tajikistan's total agricultural output. At the local level, the project's goals will improve the living standards of the some of the poorest of the Tajik population, cotton farmers. At the national level, the program will boost export earnings and tax revenue, improving the policy environment and aiding the ongoing debt crisis.

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tajikistan

Tajik Lawsuit Provokes Big Business

Tajikistan's largest industrial company, Tajik Aluminum (Talco), plans to sue Russian mining company, Rusal, for USD 500 million over an alleged fraud after the company was said to have sold raw materials to Talco's refining plant at inflated prices. This pits the Tajik company against some of Russia's most powerful businessmen. The company has already filed a lawsuit against another company, Ancol, over allegations of corrupt payments totaling millions of pounds, a fact which will undoubtedly hurt the Tajik industry's cause.

Tajikistan's largest industrial company, Tajik Aluminum (Talco), plans to sue Russian mining company, Rusal, for USD 500 million over an alleged fraud after the company was said to have sold raw materials to Talco's refining plant at inflated prices. This pits the Tajik company against some of Russia's most powerful businessmen. The company has already filed a lawsuit against another company, Ancol, over allegations of corrupt payments totaling millions of pounds, a fact which will undoubtedly hurt the Tajik industry's cause.

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tajikistan

Central Asia Plan Seeks to Diversify Energy, Despite Human Rights

Many feel the European Union's Central Asia Plan, a move to diversify energy supplies by establishing closer ties with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, will receive a stamp of approval at the EU meeting in Brussels later this week. The plan will likely boost the economies of the aforementioned nations, but the measure must first get past Human Rights groups who decry support for the nations because of their histories of human rights abuses.

Many feel the European Union's Central Asia Plan, a move to diversify energy supplies by establishing closer ties with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, will receive a stamp of approval at the EU meeting in Brussels later this week. The plan will likely boost the economies of the aforementioned nations, but the measure must first get past Human Rights groups who decry support for the nations because of their histories of human rights abuses.

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tajikistan

Commonwealth of Independent States Still Healthy

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an organization consisting of eleven former Soviet republics created after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, recently met at a gathering held June 9-10 in St. Petersburg to discuss issues of common economic, defensive, and foreign policy collaboration. The summit dispelled rumors that the organization was near stages of collapse, as a full attendance was reported by member nations. Further conceptual review has been prepared for the next CIS Summit in Dushanbe in October of this year.

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an organization consisting of eleven former Soviet republics created after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, recently met at a gathering held June 9-10 in St. Petersburg to discuss issues of common economic, defensive, and foreign policy collaboration. The summit dispelled rumors that the organization was near stages of collapse, as a full attendance was reported by member nations. Further conceptual review has been prepared for the next CIS Summit in Dushanbe in October of this year.

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tajikistan

26 Donors Pledge USD 600 million to Tajikistan, with Promise of More

Considered the poorest country in Central Asia and one of the top priorities for the United Nation's millennium development goals, Tajikistan prepares its development strategies amid pledges of USD 600 million from 26 donors over the next three years. The proposed strategies hope to reach development goals by 2009 and reduce poverty by 2015. The proposed plans call for USD 13 billion in funds, mainly from foreign donors, who are waiting for the responsible allocation of recent funds into provisions for private enterprise, unemployment, foreign debt, and corruption, before offering further support.

Considered the poorest country in Central Asia and one of the top priorities for the United Nation's millennium development goals, Tajikistan prepares its development strategies amid pledges of USD 600 million from 26 donors over the next three years. The proposed strategies hope to reach development goals by 2009 and reduce poverty by 2015. The proposed plans call for USD 13 billion in funds, mainly from foreign donors, who are waiting for the responsible allocation of recent funds into provisions for private enterprise, unemployment, foreign debt, and corruption, before offering further support.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan Looks to Sustain Continued Growth

While speaking at the Tajikistan Development Forum in Dushanbe on Tuesday, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon stated that providing increased and sustainable economic growth is the main objective toward further development. President Rahmon illuminated the issues pertaining to tackling the debt crisis of the country's cotton industry, while continuing to call upon the support of the international financial community.

While speaking at the Tajikistan Development Forum in Dushanbe on Tuesday, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon stated that providing increased and sustainable economic growth is the main objective toward further development. President Rahmon illuminated the issues pertaining to tackling the debt crisis of the country's cotton industry, while continuing to call upon the support of the international financial community.

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tajikistan

Tajik-China Trade Route in Need of Repair, Traders Say

Traders are pushing for consistencies in Tajikistan's Khorog-Kashgar route to China, which has boosted trade for the mountain region but remains hindered by failing infrastructure and frequent closures. The road, when open, allows for casual employment for both the Chinese and the Tajik in the area who have open access to cheap consumer goods and an increased demand for their services, accounting for much of the region's livelihood.

Traders are pushing for consistencies in Tajikistan's Khorog-Kashgar route to China, which has boosted trade for the mountain region but remains hindered by failing infrastructure and frequent closures. The road, when open, allows for casual employment for both the Chinese and the Tajik in the area who have open access to cheap consumer goods and an increased demand for their services, accounting for much of the region's livelihood.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan's Afghani Bridge Inspires Hope of Regional Trade

The Italian company Rizzani de Eccher is nearly done with a strategically significant bridge across the Panj River into Afghanistan, which hopes to connect Tajikistan to an underutilized regional trade partner. "The bridge is the symbol, the concrete symbol, of larger regional integration," says US Ambassador to Tajikistan Tracey Ann Jacobson. However, the promise of increased trade is met by critics who claim that the two countries, separated so long by insufficient routes, opposing ideologies, and instability, will need more than a bridge to merge in any productive way.

The Italian company Rizzani de Eccher is nearly done with a strategically significant bridge across the Panj River into Afghanistan, which hopes to connect Tajikistan to an underutilized regional trade partner. "The bridge is the symbol, the concrete symbol, of larger regional integration," says US Ambassador to Tajikistan Tracey Ann Jacobson. However, the promise of increased trade is met by critics who claim that the two countries, separated so long by insufficient routes, opposing ideologies, and instability, will need more than a bridge to merge in any productive way.

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tajikistan

UN Tajikistan Office of Peace-Building to Dissolve on July 31st

Established in June 2000 after the mandate of the UN Mission of Observers in Tajikistan expired, the United Nations Tajikistan Office of Peace-building (UNTOP) has covered a uniquely wide range of political, legal, social, security, and media issues connected to the current stage of the post-conflict peace-building development of the country. After meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Ms. Kori Udovicki, the Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of UNDP, and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), expressed to journalists, "Today, Tajikistan is able to provide its security by itself."

Established in June 2000 after the mandate of the UN Mission of Observers in Tajikistan expired, the United Nations Tajikistan Office of Peace-building (UNTOP) has covered a uniquely wide range of political, legal, social, security, and media issues connected to the current stage of the post-conflict peace-building development of the country. After meeting with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Ms. Kori Udovicki, the Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of UNDP, and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), expressed to journalists, "Today, Tajikistan is able to provide its security by itself."

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tajikistan

Tajikistan's National Aluminum Files Suit Against United RUSAL

According to a Tajikistan press release, the State Unitary Enterprise Tajikistan Aluminum Company (Talco; formerly Tajik Aluminum Plant) has filed suit in the High Court in London against the United Company RUSAL. The claim totals USD 500 million for alleged involvement of RUSAL and its affiliates in frauds between 1996 and 2004. Talco's Dushanbe office established that RUSAL and its affiliates engaged in actions targeted against the interests of Talco, involving themselves through overcharging the delivery of alumina and other raw materials and purchase of aluminum at large discounts.

According to a Tajikistan press release, the State Unitary Enterprise Tajikistan Aluminum Company (Talco; formerly Tajik Aluminum Plant) has filed suit in the High Court in London against the United Company RUSAL. The claim totals USD 500 million for alleged involvement of RUSAL and its affiliates in frauds between 1996 and 2004. Talco's Dushanbe office established that RUSAL and its affiliates engaged in actions targeted against the interests of Talco, involving themselves through overcharging the delivery of alumina and other raw materials and purchase of aluminum at large discounts.

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tajikistan

CIS Interstate Antimonopoly Council Held in Moscow

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interstate Antimonopoly Council adjourned their 25th meeting in Moscow. This session brought discussion regarding a system of control over compliance with competitive conditions when providing state support in the CIS member states. Also, competitive policies in developing common markets within the CIS area were assessed. Some member nations, including Tajikistan, Russia, and Azerbaijan, were praised for their considerable changes to the legal foundations of activity of their antimonopoly agencies.

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interstate Antimonopoly Council adjourned their 25th meeting in Moscow. This session brought discussion regarding a system of control over compliance with competitive conditions when providing state support in the CIS member states. Also, competitive policies in developing common markets within the CIS area were assessed. Some member nations, including Tajikistan, Russia, and Azerbaijan, were praised for their considerable changes to the legal foundations of activity of their antimonopoly agencies.

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tajikistan

Delegation Spurs Hope of Tajik-Iranian Collaboration

Encouragement of participation by Iranian investors and businessmen in Tajikistan's markets was the main focus of a recent delegation for economic cooperation this weekend. The delegation, which included Tajikistan's ministers of energy and industry, agriculture and environment, building and architecture, and culture, made plans for collaboration in new manufacturing plants, real estate development, and technical and engineering services in the coming years.

Encouragement of participation by Iranian investors and businessmen in Tajikistan's markets was the main focus of a recent delegation for economic cooperation this weekend. The delegation, which included Tajikistan's ministers of energy and industry, agriculture and environment, building and architecture, and culture, made plans for collaboration in new manufacturing plants, real estate development, and technical and engineering services in the coming years.

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tajikistan

Tajikistan and Bangladesh to Expand Bilateral Economic Cooperation

According to Tajikistan presidential press services, President Emomali Rahmon expressed much interest in expanding political, economic, and cultural cooperation with Bangladesh after meeting with Shamim Ahsan, Bangladeshi Ambassador to Tajikistan. During the exchange, both sides vowed to boost bilateral trade and discussed prospects of an expansion of bilateral cooperation. It was noted that both nations share similar stances on a number of issues concerning international policy, which will lay the foundation for a stronger relationship.

According to Tajikistan presidential press services, President Emomali Rahmon expressed much interest in expanding political, economic, and cultural cooperation with Bangladesh after meeting with Shamim Ahsan, Bangladeshi Ambassador to Tajikistan. During the exchange, both sides vowed to boost bilateral trade and discussed prospects of an expansion of bilateral cooperation. It was noted that both nations share similar stances on a number of issues concerning international policy, which will lay the foundation for a stronger relationship.

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tajikistan

IFC Implements Foundation for Tajikistan's Primary Mortgage Market

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide technical assistance to Tajikistan in projecting legislative and regulatory documents in housing mortgage crediting. The regional program will document demand and identify gaps in the current housing finance systems. According to the IFC Dushanbe Office, this final stage of the project will provide technical assistance in the direct implementation of reforms as well as introduce the technologies of mortgage crediting into commercial banks, and it will also inform the Tajik public of the mortgage crediting.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) will provide technical assistance to Tajikistan in projecting legislative and regulatory documents in housing mortgage crediting. The regional program will document demand and identify gaps in the current housing finance systems. According to the IFC Dushanbe Office, this final stage of the project will provide technical assistance in the direct implementation of reforms as well as introduce the technologies of mortgage crediting into commercial banks, and it will also inform the Tajik public of the mortgage crediting.

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tajikistan

Tajik-Kyrgyz Consortium May Draw Regional Criticism

Officials in Central Asia are hesitant to applaud a joint water and energy consortium established by Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, saying that the ongoing regional dispute concerning access to water and hydroelectricity will lead other Central Asian nations to reject the initiative. A water consortium involving all of Central Asia has been considered for over a decade, but the delicate balance of upstream and downstream water access in the region has prevented the idea from becoming a reality.

Officials in Central Asia are hesitant to applaud a joint water and energy consortium established by Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, saying that the ongoing regional dispute concerning access to water and hydroelectricity will lead other Central Asian nations to reject the initiative. A water consortium involving all of Central Asia has been considered for over a decade, but the delicate balance of upstream and downstream water access in the region has prevented the idea from becoming a reality.

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Other Important News In Tajikistan


Tajikistan Establishes Two Free Economic Zones

Tajikistan has established two free economic zones according to the Tajik Deputy Minister of Economic Development Larissa Kislyakova.

Tajikistan has established two free economic zones according to the Tajik Deputy Minister of Economic Development Larissa Kislyakova. The two assigned regions are the Suhd region near Khujand city in the north and Panj region in the souther Tajik province of Khatlon. The regions will be permitted as free economic zones for the next twenty-five years. The first seven years will allow operating companies in the regions to be exempted from taxes.

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Tajikistan to Continue to Build Power Plant Despite Global Crisis

Despite the global financial crisis, Tajik government has re-stated its commitment to budget for the largest hydroelectric power station in Central Asia.

Despite the global financial crisis, Tajik government has re-stated its commitment to budget for the largest hydroelectric power station in Central Asia. Prime Minister of Tajikistan, Oqil Oqilov, visited the region in which the Roghun hydroelectric power station is being constructed and is satisfied with the progress that is being made. He also announced that the government remains committed to launch its first unit by 2012. The project costs an estimated $2.2 billion.

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Tajiks Lose Jobs and Hopes as Crisis Hits the Poor

Many previous members of the Former Soviet Union have been impacted by Russia's financial crisis.

Many previous members of the Former Soviet Union have been impacted by Russia's financial crisis. Tajikistan has been no exception. The nation is plagued by poverty, crime and failed incomes. If the nation is incapable of reversing its current track, Tajikistan can see itself as a failed state. This could potentially prove problematic for the West, which are looking to Tajikistan to be a new supply transit station for the American troops. Half of the workforce in the nation of 7 million mostly work abroad in Russia, with remittances accounting for 43 percent of Tajikistan's GDP.

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Tajikistan Weathers Energy, Food Shortages through Winter

Last year Tajikistan was faced with energy infrastructure failure that left hundreds of Tajiks dead due to the extreme cold and the crop devastation that left many without food.

Last year Tajikistan was faced with energy infrastructure failure that left hundreds of Tajiks dead due to the extreme cold and the crop devastation that left many without food. This year the United States had pledged $5 million in emergency aid to help needy Tajiks. According to the International Crisis Group, Tajikistan is on the way to a failed state. The farther a city is from government centers the less access they have to basic necessities such as running water and electricity. The border is heavily patrolled by soldiers and guards, including American drug enforcement officials, trying to tamp down on the burgeoning poppy drug smuggling coming out of Afghanistan. Tajikistan is also facing a high unemployment rate, use of child labour in the cotton fields and crop devastation due to last year's winter.

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Uzbekistan Curtailing Gas Deliveries Due To Tajik Debt

Uzbekistan is forcing Tajikistan to fully repay its $18 million debt before Uzbekistan will restart full gas export services to the country.

Uzbekistan is forcing Tajikistan to fully repay its $18 million debt before Uzbekistan will restart full gas export services to the country. The director of the state-owned utility Tajiktransgaz, Saidmamad Sharofiddinov, told sources that Uzbekistan currently exports only 50 percent of the gas Tajikistan needs this year. The reason why Uzbekistan does not export all of its gas is due to the unpaid debt. Tajiktransgaz has reported paid $4 million, and civilians owe $1 million, whilst various companies owe the other $13 million. Earlier in the year, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan increased gas prices, which means Tajikistan now pays $240 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas compared to $100 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas a year ago.

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China Potential to Become Tajikistan's Main Economic Partner

In the past, Tajikistan's main economic trading partner has been Russia but China may soon replace Russia.

In the past, Tajikistan's main economic trading partner has been Russia but China may soon replace Russia. Tensions between Russian and Tajik government have been strained due to the lack of fiscal aid provided to Tajikistan from Russia. Tajik's president had visited Moscow in late February. He was expecting an assistance package that included re-commencing the construction of the Rogun Dam but returned back to Tajikistan empty handed. The lack of assistance has opened the door for Beijing, where already Chinese companies are completing road infrastructure projects. Once road infrastructure has been completed, the belief is that the Chinese companies will also take part and assist in hydro-power projects.

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Tajikistan to Allow Foreign Banks to Operate

From the capital city of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, the Tajik Parliament's lower house has recently approved legislation that permits foreign banks to operate in the country.

From the capital city of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, the Tajik Parliament's lower house has recently approved legislation that permits foreign banks to operate in the country. The permitting of foreign banks is said to push local banks to compete for clients and bring down high rates of debt. The legislations seeks to increase bank competitiveness, which would be healthier for the economy. The bill is now awaiting the president's signature.

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Tajik Cotton Farms Picked Clean

Falling cotton prices has pushed Tajikistan's cotton industry on the verge of bankruptcy.

Falling cotton prices has pushed Tajikistan's cotton industry on the verge of bankruptcy. Tajik's government had launched a scheme last year that made loans more accessible to farmers. But, the falling prices might potentially mean that farmers shall be unable to repay their debts because last autumn's harvest was worse than expected. A huge part of Tajikistan's economy comes from cotton export, which has contributed around a firth of export revenues and provides half of the country's workforce.

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Yemen, Tajikistan Hold Official Talks Session

The Republic of Yemen and the Republic of Tajikistan held talks on Friday in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe.

The Republic of Yemen and the Republic of Tajikistan held talks on Friday in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. The talks yielded greater cooperation in the investment and medical field. President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen expressed his content with the visit and the talks that hosted a number of ministers from both countries. President also noted that the bilateral ties are still strong and both nations wish to continue the partnership. President Emomalii Rhamom of Tajikistan noted that a number of important agreements were signed during this visit to strengthen ties especially in the investment sector.

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Tajikstan: After a Dalliance with Washington, Is Dushanbe Getting Back Together with Moscow?

Russia is likely to renew financial assistance to Tajikstan.

Russia is likely to renew financial assistance to Tajikstan. Tajik President Imomali Rahmom scheduled a visit to Moscow on February 24. The Rogun Dam project has had a couple of set backs due to lack of capital funding since the project began in 2004. The slow construction of the hydropower energy center is be connected to the lack of capital in Tajikistan. The talks between Moscow and Tajik's President will be focused on restoring bilateral relationships between the two nations.

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