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 (2018)

    71.1

    Over the past decade, Tajikistan has made steady progress in reducing poverty and growing its economy. Between 2000 and 2017, the poverty rate fell from 83 to 29.5 percent of the population, while the economy grew at an average rate of 7 percent per year.

    However, the rate of job creation has not kept pace with the growing population, leaving the economy vulnerable to external shocks, and the private sector’s role in the economy remains limited, contributing to only 13 percent of formal employment and 15 percent of total investments. Non-monetary poverty indicators in rural areas remain high, as only 36 percent of the population in rural regions has access to safe drinking water. Tajikistan scores 0.53 in the Human Capital Index, which is lower than the average for its region but higher than the average for its income group.

    Tajikistan’s high vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters represents an additional challenge to successful economic management. Between 1992 and 2016, natural and climate-related disasters led to GDP losses of roughly US$1.8 billion, affecting almost 7 million people.

    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.

  • Strategy

    World Bank Portfolio in Tajikistan
    Number of projects17
    IDA grants and credit$655 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

    Tajikistan’s real GDP growth picked up from 7.3 percent in 2018 to 7.5 percent during the first half of 2019. Robust expansion of industry (12.5 percent), agriculture (11 percent), and services (9 percent) was the main driver of growth. On the demand side, growth was supported by net exports and public investment. Private consumption has been muted because of the unchanged inflow of remittances thus far in 2019.

    Tajikistan’s export basket remains small and concentrated in metallic minerals, leaving the country highly vulnerable to fluctuations in international commodity prices. Chinese investment in the mining sector helped lift foreign direct investment (FDI) from 0.9 percent of GDP in 2017 to 2.6 percent in 2018.

    Except for two problem banks, the financial sector continues on its path of recovery from the 2016 banking crisis, with positive improvements in the quality of the credit portfolio. The share of non-performing loans declined from 30 percent in 2018 to 27 percent by June 2019. The profitability of the banking sector continued to improve, and the level of dollarization continued to decline. The National Bank of Tajikistan advanced reforms of the country’s banking supervision and deposit insurance scheme.

    Poverty reduction based on the country’s official poverty line has speeded up since the second half of 2017 and fell to 27.4 percent in 2018, reflecting the recovery of remittances.

    Economic Outlook

    Tajikistan’s medium-term outlook reflects the projected slowdown in China and the Russian Federation and the volatility in international prices for major export commodities. Growth is likely to be supported by the large public investment programs that the authorities have committed to implement before the country celebrates its 30th anniversary of independence in 2021. In addition, the expected deepening of regional cooperation, connectivity, and trade should also help to sustain high rates of GDP growth, and remittances are expected to support private consumption. Fiscal pressures are expected to remain high, as the country’s elevated risk of debt distress indicates the need for fiscal consolidation throughout the medium term to restore macroeconomic stability. The long-awaited resolution of problem banks, once completed, would help lead to a gradual pickup in private credit and investment.

    The FDI inflow is forecasted to remain modest, mirroring shortcomings in Tajikistan’s business environment.

    Domestic and external risk factors weigh down Tajikistan's economic growth prospects. Governance challenges in public enterprises present high quasi-fiscal risks and threaten the sustainability of public finances. Delays in implementing reforms to improve the business environment will further dampen private sector development. Limited fiscal space and low policy buffers leave Tajikistan vulnerable to potential shocks. An escalation of global trade tensions or an economic slowdown in the region's large economies would negatively impact inflows of FDI and remittances.

  • ALL PROJECTS

    Highlighted Project

    Tajikistan Tax Administration Reform Project

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    A Tax Committee staff member assists a visiting taxpayer with an online application at the Contact Center in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

    An effective and service-oriented tax administration is essential to ensuring a healthy business environment and economic growth. The Government of Tajikistan has therefore made tax reform a priority, though revenue collection continues to be a challenge. Poor quality taxpayer services, low institutional capacity, poorly integrated IT systems, and gaps in tax policy analysis and revenue forecasting all contribute to the problem.

    To support efforts to build a more efficient, transparent, and service-oriented tax system, the World Bank-financed Tax Administration Reform Project has supported the ability of Tajikistan’s Tax Committee to operate more effectively in a newly automated environment. The modernization of IT infrastructure and introduction of a unified tax management system mean increased efficiency, with reduced physical interaction between tax officials and taxpayers.

    As a result, the rate of e-filing is now as high as 87.4 percent, with 97.2 percent of all legal entities and 77.8 percent of individual entrepreneurs filing their tax returns electronically. The new system enables the Tax Committee to generate the data necessary for its analytical work and to improve reporting and tax assessments. Around 200 electronic kiosks are being built and equipped in remote locations to help taxpayers who wish to file electronically but do not have access to computers. Thanks to these improved taxpayer services, the number of active firms and individual taxpayers filing taxes has doubled. The Tax Committee is now able to manage all human resources–related issues, such as recruitment, payroll, performance appraisal, benefits, and competencies, through a dedicated system. Moreover, an improved tax training institute with four regional training centers provides regular courses to enhance the professional capacity of staff throughout the country.


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
almatyreception@worldbank.org