The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has approved a new country strategy for Tajikistan that sets out the bank’s priorities in the country for the 2020-25 period and addresses issues such as Tajikistan’s volatile macroeconomic environment, challenging business climate, and vulnerability to climate change factors.
In the period, the EBRD will aim to improve Tajikistan’s infrastructure, its regional connectivity, and employment opportunities in a country that has one of the youngest populations that the bank invests in.
The EBRD’s operational and strategic priorities in Tajikistan will be based on three pillars –strengthening the competitiveness of the country’s businesses and improving its business environment; fostering regional integration, energy reform and infrastructure connectivity; and supporting wider access to better infrastructure and business services for women, young people and underdeveloped regions.
Regional co-operation is key to Tajikistan’s sustainable economic development, the expansion of its trade, and its energy security. Positive economic developments, including better interstate relations and connectivity, will allow the EBRD to support necessary reforms and facilitate the country’s transition to private sector-based growth.
The EBRD will be aiming to increase the size and scope of its operations, finance infrastructure and energy sector projects, and provide support for private sector companies.
To date, the EBRD has invested 839 million euros through 135 projects in various sectors of Tajikistan’s economy.
The European Union has identified Central Asia as a focus of attention at a time when many analysts say that the EU has been left behind in the region as China has made inroads with its Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).
On March 1, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon met with Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, with both sides reaffirming commitments to strengthening ties.
During the meeting, Yang recalled that last year Chinese President Xi Jinping and Rahmon agreed to jointly build a China-Tajikistan development and security community and outlined a new blueprint for developing relations between the two countries.
The two sides agreed to work jointly on BRI projects, further synergize development strategies, elevate co-operation, and enhance people-to-people exchanges, Yang said.
Tajikistan considers development of relations with China, including implementing key BRI co-operation projects, as a foreign policy priority, Rahmon said.