Overview

  • Country Context

    TAJIKISTAN

    2018

    Population, million

    9.1

    GDP, current US$ billion

    7.5

    GDP per capita, current US$

    822

    Life Expectancy at Birth, years (2015)

    71.1

    Since 2000, Tajikistan has experienced high economic growth and significant poverty reduction. Between 2000 and 2017, GDP grew by more than 7 percent per year and poverty was reduced from above 80 percent to below 30 percent of the population. However, economic growth was not inclusive or sustainable during that period. Job creation was slow and unable to keep pace with a fast-growing population.

    The country’s multidimensional poverty index indicates that non-monetary deprivations in the country are widespread.

    The National Development Strategy (NDS) to 2030 sets a target of increasing domestic incomes by up to 3.5 times by 2030 and reducing poverty by half. This target is achievable if Tajikistan transforms its current growth model and gives the private sector more opportunities to invest, create jobs, and contribute to the economy.

    Today, the domestic private sector plays a limited role in the economy. It contributes to only 15 percent of total investments, 30 percent of industrial output, and about 13 percent of formal employment. Tajikistan ranks 126th among 190 economies in the Doing Business report.

    Going forward, the country needs to prioritize reforms to improve the business climate and provide enterprises with the space necessary to compete successfully in domestic as well as neighboring regional markets.

    This will enable job creation with wages that are conducive to poverty reduction. Investments in human capital are critical to ensuring that Tajikistan’s young and growing population is productive and competitive in tomorrow’s economy.

  • Strategy

    World Bank Portfolio in Tajikistan
    Number of projects17
    IDA grants and credit$684 million

    About the World Bank Group in Tajikistan

    Tajikistan joined the World Bank in 1993 and the International Development Association (IDA) in 1994. During this time, the World Bank invested over $1.4 billion to support Tajikistan’s efforts to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.

    Over twenty-five years, the partnership with Tajikistan has evolved in line with changes in local needs and the global economy. Initially, the World Bank focused on post-conflict reconstruction projects in the late 1990s and provided emergency funding in response to food insecurity and natural disasters.

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    Starting in 2000, investments have aimed to restore productivity-led growth and job creation through improved education, better access to healthcare and safe drinking water, enhanced land rights, diversification of agriculture in rural areas, and an improved business environment.

    Following the 2008 and 2014 economic shocks, which impacted Tajikistan through reduced remittances and lower export commodity prices, Bank support aimed at protecting the poorest households and creating income generation opportunities in rural regions.

    Subsequent strategies focused on supporting second generation reforms in agriculture, energy, health, and education, to increase acess to and quality of services for the population. At the same time, the World Bank Group worked closely with the government of Tajikistan, the private sector, civil society and development partners to improve the business environment, promote private investments for better job creation and create sources of sustainable economic growth.

    The current World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy aims to support Tajikistan’s transition to a new growth model led by investment and exports. The active World Bank portfolio in Tajikistan includes 16 projects (including regional projects) with a net commitment of $560 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in the energy sector (44%), followed by water (16%) and urban and rural development (12%). Other sectors supported by the Bank Group include transport, governance, agriculture, health, education, and social protection.

    Tajikistan and the World Bank Group are currently consulting on strategic priorities to be addressed jointly under the new Country Partnership Framework for 2019–23. This new strategy aims to support the country’s efforts to transform the economy along the “industrial-innovative scenario” spelled out in Tajikistan’s National Development Strategy to 2030.

    Tajikistan became a member of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 1994. The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. Since 1997, the IFC has invested $152 million to support 40 private sector projects in the financial, hydropower, retail, tourism, and manufacturing sectors.

    The IFC’s Advisory activities focus on improving the business environment, promoting private sector development, strengthening the financial sector, supporting the improvement of corporate governance practices, promoting electronic and digital financial services, supporting agribusiness, and enabling private sector involvement in infrastructure. The IFC’s investment portfolio in Tajikistan stands at $32 million. The current portfolio comprises 45% in the financial market and 37% in telecommunications, while the rest is distributed among food, retail and agribusiness. 

    Tajikistan’s portfolio is complemented by Trust Fund grants to the amount of $356 million. These grants cover important sectors including education, energy, agriculture, food security and social sectors. Some of the World Bank Group’s technical assistance in Tajikistan is financed directly by the country’s various bilateral and multilateral development partners.

    As an institution of global expertise in development, the World Bank Group invests heavily in research to understand country development experience and shares this cross-country knowledge through analytical and advisory services. In Tajikistan, over 100 publications have been produced on economic and other sector issues since 2000. In addition, advisory services have brought international experience to Tajikistan on private sector development, health, education, energy, agriculture, investment strategies, and climate change.

    Tajikistan became a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) in 2002. MIGA has not, so far, provided any political risk guarantees for investment projects in Tajikistan.

  • Economy

    Recent Economic Developments

    Compared to a year before, Tajikistan’s GDP growth accelerated slightly to 7.3 percent in 2018. Growth was mainly supported by private consumption and public investment in energy, which offset a decline in net exports.

    The external position deteriorated in 2018 as public investment in energy boosted imports of machinery and construction materials. The substantial fall in international prices for minerals—one of Tajikistan’s key export commodities—severely affected export proceeds and could not be offset by the increased export of cotton and electricity.

    Although Chinese mining sector investments helped lift foreign direct investment (FDI) to 2.6 percent of GDP, the country’s investment needs are such that FDI needs to rise further.

    Preliminary estimates indicate that the fiscal deficit narrowed to 5 percent of GDP in 2018, facilitated by cuts to capital spending. Although public spending cuts and delays targeted non-priority capital expenditures, the Government safeguarded energy sector investment and core social obligations and raised civil servant wages, pensions, and other social transfers on September 1, 2018.

    Investments in the Rogun HPP accounted for 14 percent of total budget spending in 2018, only slightly less than total education spending at 16 percent. In 2018, the Government received a budget support grant from the European Union in the amount of €9.4 million.

    Except for two problem banks, the financial sector was generally healthy in 2018. Amendments to the legal framework that were adopted in mid-2018 are expected to strengthen the regulator’s supervisory powers.

    However, the banking system remains non-transparent, particularly regarding related-party lending; the overdue resolution of the two toxic banks will require additional efforts by the authorities.

    Economic Outlook

    Tajikistan’s positive medium-term outlook assumes that the external environment will remain favorable and publicly driven investment programs will be sustained.

    The prospects of positive (albeit modest) growth in Russia, elevated prices for major export commodities (cotton and aluminum), and deepening regional cooperation should sustain high rates of GDP growth in Tajikistan.

    Remittance inflows will continue to support private consumption, while the long-awaited resolution of problem banks, once completed, would restore trust in the banking system and lead to a gradual pickup in private credit and investment.

    The country’s current account is expected to remain in deficit owing to continued strong demand for capital-intensive imports for the construction of the Rogun HPP and a remittance-propelled expansion of private consumption.

    FDI inflows are forecast to suffer from weaknesses in the general business climate and slowing growth in China.

    Although the Government is expected to pursue fiscal consolidation, in the medium term, Tajikistan will continue to face fiscal stress. The primary sources of this stress will be the tight schedule for Rogun HPP construction and high public debt service obligations.

  • ALL PROJECTS

    Highlighted Project

    Tajikistan Agriculture Commercialization Project

    Agriculture accounts for 23 percent of GDP and 48 percent of employment in Tajikistan, and therefore plays a major role in economic growth and poverty reduction.

    Through a set of complementary measures, including access to finance and capacity building that involves training, advice, and value chain modernization, the Agriculture Commercialization Project aims to increase the commercialization of farm and agribusiness products in Tajikistan.

    The project is expanding opportunities for local farmers and enterprises by modernizing selected value chains to increase their productivity and expand their access to domestic and international markets.

    So far, about 2,800 farmers have received credit-line support through participating financial institutions, while about 10,500 beneficiaries have been provided with agriculture extension advice and training services, resulting in significant sales increases of agricultural products.

    Around 1,100 members of smallholder farmer groups have received US$1.4 million in grants, allowing them to grow their businesses and connect to project-supported value chains that include dairy products as well as apricots, lemons, and other fruit.

    Rustam Nazriev, head of the dairy production farmer group in Fayzobod of Tajikistan, says: “With a grant from the project, we upgraded the facility and equipment and hired 25 people, including 17 women. We hope to hire 250 people in a couple of years, once the business grows. It is very important for our district, as jobs for the population are limited.”


LENDING

Tajikistan: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments

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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Dushanbe, +992 48 701-5810
48 Ayni Street, Business Center "Sozidanie", 3rd floor, Dushanbe, Tajikistan
tajikistan@worldbank.org
Almaty, +7 727 377-8220
Central Asia Regional Office: 41A Kazybek bi Street, 4th Floor, 050010 Almaty, Kazakhstan