GDP, current US$ billion
GDP per capita, current US$
Life Expectancy at Birth, years (2015)
Tajikistan has achieved rapid poverty reduction over the past two decades, mainly due to a favorable external environment. Poverty fell from over 83% to about 47% between 2000 and early 2009, and from 37% to 31% between 2012 and 2016.
In contrast to the decline in monetary poverty, Tajikistan has done less well in improving the quality and accessibility of public goods and services. The country’s multidimensional poverty index indicates that non-monetary deprivations in the country are widespread. Many residents are not satisfied with the quality of key public services, such as electricity, water, heating, and roads. Only three out of four persons have access to an improved water source—essential for maintaining good health. Market accessibility mapping highlights the lack of infrastructure integration outside the largest cities.
The National Development Strategy 2016–30 envisions improving the living standards of the population in four main areas: (i) achieving energy security; (ii) improving transport and communication connectivity; (iii) improving food security and the population’s access to good quality nutrition; and (iv) expanding productive employment.
To achieve higher growth, Tajikistan needs to implement a deeper structural reform agenda that is designed to: (a) reduce the role of the state and enlarge that of the private sector in the economy through a more favorable business climate, thus increasing private investment and generating more productive jobs; (b) modernize and improve the efficiency and social inclusiveness of basic public services; and (c) enhance the country’s connectivity to regional and global markets and knowledge.
The difficult environment for doing business in Tajikistan, as well as obstacles to foreign direct investment (FDI), have discouraged private investment and limited overall investment. Averaging about 15% of GDP annually since 2008, total investment is low by regional and international standards.
The main obstacles cited by local and foreign entrepreneurs are inadequate infrastructure, in particular, an insufficient and unreliable energy supply; weak rule of law (especially with regard to property rights); and an overly burdensome tax policy and administration. Greater private investment and new business development are crucial prerequisites to increased job creation.