WASHINGTON, May 10, 2012 – Tajikistan’s entrepreneurs and residents of mining development communities will benefit from a US$ 10 million grant, approved today by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors, for the Tajikistan Private Sector Competitiveness Project. The project focuses on critical areas in need of reforms which can generate important improvements in the country’s business environment and capitalize on Tajikistan’s comparative advantage in the mining sector.
The first ever private sector investment operation in Tajikistan to draw direct funding from the International Development Agency (IDA), an arm of the World Bank Group, the project will focus on: (i) simplifying procedures for business registration and obtaining construction permits, (ii) improving financial infrastructure for better access to financial services, and (iii) encouraging the development of the mining industry where Tajikistan has a competitive advantage.
“The Government of Tajikistan believes the private sector must spearhead a new growth model for the country and the World Bank fully supports this vision. This operation will make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a new business and reduce the time spent by all firms on unnecessary administrative requirements,” said Marsha Olive, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan.
The Private Sector Competitiveness Project is developed in the framework of the World Bank’s Country Partnership Strategy for Tajikistan for 2010-2013, which emphasizes the need for removal of institutional barriers to economic growth, development of a highly competitive investment climate and paving the way for post-crisis recovery and sustainable development. The project supports the long-term strategic efforts of the Government of Tajikistan to increase the private sector’s share in growth and employment by improving the business environment and attracting more domestic and foreign investments.
As a result of the project entrepreneurs in Tajikistan would be able to register their businesses more easily through online one-stop-shops, get construction permits faster via a single window for processing construction permit applications, and have access to financing at lower costs thanks to improved financial intermediation and payment mechanisms. In the mining sector the project aims to create a more favorable legal and regulatory framework, to encourage new investments in mining, create jobs and new opportunities for local communities.
The current World Bank portfolio in Tajikistan consists of 14 projects with net commitments of US$225 million. The largest share of the portfolio is in the energy and water sector (35%), agriculture and rural development (31%), human development (education, health and social protection (30%), and economic policy and public sector (4%).