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Story behind Tajikistan’s tourism and economic growth
April 9, 2018, 2:03 pm

Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia that borders Afghanistan to the south, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and Uzbekistan to the west and northwest. It has a rich historical and cultural inheritance and scenic landscapes that give it an upper hand when it comes to tourism. Since the very beginning of its accession with World Tourism Organization (WTO), Tajikistan has established a fruitful cooperation.

In May 2010, His Excellency T. Rifai, WTO Secretary General visited Tajikistan and conducted successful meetings with His Excellency Emomali Rahmon, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and a number of officials in relevant ministries and agencies of the country. As a result, a Memorandum of Understanding on tourism cooperation was signed between relevant authorized agencies and WTO. In 2008, with the idea of enticing more tourists to the country and presenting tourism resources in both internal and international markets, a tourism exhibition titled, ‘Tajikistan is a country of tourism’ was conducted in Dushanbe. The exhibition covered over 200 meters square and involved all tourism companies and regions with potential for tourism.

In order to further integrate Tajikistan into the international tourism process, the representatives in charge of tourism sector have since been participating in international tourism exhibitions. As a result, the world tourism community recognized Tajikistan as the country with four Silk Road directions.

Other than tourism, Tajikistan has also been implementing economic, institutional and structural changes on a regular basis, some of which are as follows: Finance, budget, taxes and customs: The Central Treasury Office and Department for External Debt Management was established in 1996 within the Ministry of the Republic of Tajikistan to improve planning and effective utilization of financial resources, strengthening supervision of public budget revenues and expenditures as well as public debt management. In order to enhance the taxation system, new Tax and Customs Codes were developed and adopted. 

The new codes include the most important issues of tax policy and tax administration, necessary for the establishment of an integrated tax collection system, to make the taxes simple and understandable and to eliminate inefficient taxes. Regarding imports, local and foreign businesses are encouraged to produce and import equipment and technology for establishment or replenishment of the statutory capital of enterprises and renovation of the existing production equipment, the import of agricultural machinery, medical equipment and supplies are exempted from the VAT and customs duty.

Investments: Over the years, Tajikistan has conducted a number of important international events on providing aid to help boost cooperation with foreign countries, international financial institutions and has improved the process of encouragement and utilization of foreign aid and the aspect of foreign aid management.

The personal contribution of H.E. Emomali Rahmon, both in strengthening partnership relations and in boosting regional and international cooperation is significant. Privatization of state property: The Government of Tajikistan has started privatization of state property as the main aspect of its economic reform policy from the very beginning of its independence and has been continuing this process ever since.

Business development: H.E. Emomali Rahmon pays special attention to business development by meeting local entrepreneurs, reforming the licensing system, improving and adopting legal and regulatory documents to overcome administrative barriers of business. These in turn helps promote the business environment and economic development.

Overcoming communication deadlock: Ensuring the country’s connectivity with other countries is a vital issue of the economic development of any country. Renovation and construction of major highways, new bridges, railways and modern airports has become a determining factor of the development of internal and foreign trade and economic relations. This huge plan has been gradually implemented within the concept of rehabilitation of the ‘Silk Road’, which in turn enabled Tajikistan to become a favorable country to ensure the movement of people and shipment of goods to all regions of the country and to other neighboring countries. Adding to travel, telecommunication and information technologies are also being developed. In this regard, major telecommunication services, namely local, intermunicipal and international telephony as well as access to the Internet is being ensured in all communities regardless of their geographical situation.

Energy and industry: Energy sufficiency is an initiative by the President to ensure better living standards, and reduction in loss of water and energy resources through the use of energy-saving electric equipment. Adding to this, the Republic of Tajikistan is also blessed with oil and gas deposits and natural gas. Construction and architecture: The state and the Government attempt to create favorable conditions for the development of the construction and architecture sector in the country. The method of mixing Eastern and Western styles in architecture is being used in the construction of new buildings in Dushanbe city which in turn will contribute in its transformation into a modern city. Tajikistan is also indulging in the construction of modern administrative, cultural, social and sport buildings in several of its cities, along with beautiful gardens and parks which is a testament to the country’s prosperity, better lifestyle and working conditions.

Ensuring food security: With the independence of the country and the end of the civil war, economic and social infrastructure of the rural area, which was in critical situation, began to improve. Thereby, the decrease of agricultural production was stopped in 1996, and from the 1997 the development of agricultural sector started.

The government played a key role in the development by implementing land reform, renewing households, adopting government programs on development of vegetation, cattlebreeding, seed planting sectors and supply of agricultural machines. With time, there was increase in production which further led to an increase in the country’s exports. Moreover, Tajikistan as a land of mountains possesses great water resources whose rational and effective use is seen as the main task of the country’s development and realization of the state policy. Tajikistan is recognized as the leader of global trends related to water by its interesting and valuable proposals on the international level. 

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