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Belarus Invites Tajikistan to Participate in Privatization of Cotton Mill

Monday 31 October 2011

DUSHANBE (BelTA) – Belarus has invited participation from Tajikistan in the privatization of Baranovichi Cotton Mill. The invitation was extended during a meeting between Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus and his Tajikistan counterpart Emomali Rahmon.

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Cotton is more than an agricultural product in Tajikistan; people call it “white gold” here. The cotton industry creates the largest number of jobs in the agricultural sector, which employs over two thirds of the country’s population. Cotton accounts for a significant portion of Tajikistan’s GDP and its export ensures significant currency proceeds. Even cotton stems are used by farmers to heat their homes in qishlaqs (قشلاق). So it is no accident that cotton, as one of the symbols of Tajikistan, is depicted on the country’s emblem.

The Belarusian President asked Tajikistan to send its specialists to see the cotton mill. He said that he intends to privatize the company and would like to reach an accord with Tajikistan on the issue. He added that cooperation with Tajikistan would not be bound by any political conditions.

The Belarusian head of state stated that both the sides discussed establishing a joint venture in the south of Tajikistan to produce tractors.

Moreover, the President expressed Belarus’s willingness to export combine harvesters and other agricultural equipment used in cotton cultivation to Tajikistan.

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