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IMF Forecasts Sharp Decline in Remittance Flows to Tajikistan in 2015

Monday 9 March 2015

DUSHANBE (Asia-Plus) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts a sharp decline in remittance flows to Tajikistan this year. The IMF forecasts that dollar remittance flows to Tajikistan will decline by approximately 30% this year compared to 2014.

Aidyn Bibolov

“Thus, we can expect economic slowdown in the country and pressure on the exchange rate of the national currency, the somoni, this year”, Mr. Aidyn Bibolov, IMF Resident Representative in Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus in an interview.

According to him, remittances remain a critical component of Tajikistan’s economy and they keep many families in the country above the poverty line. “Decline in the attractiveness of working in the Russian Federation may lead to increase in the number of labour migrants who will remain in the country and the situation of remittance-dependent families will deteriorate”, said Mr. Bibolov. “The government should take measures to improve employment opportunities in order to provide assistance to them. As far as we know the government thinks about this together with partners for development.”

The IMF resident representative advises Tajik nationals “to keep their savings in the currencies and forms that meet current and future requirements.”

Specialists from Tajik central bank attribute the decline in remittance flows to unprecedented fall in the international oil prices and sanctions imposed by the Western countries on Russia, which is the main destination country for Tajik migrant workers and one of major trading partners of Tajikistan. According to data from the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT), a total volume of remittances sent to Tajikistan last year amounted to $3.9 bln which was 8.3% less than in 2013. In 2014, 89.1% of remittances from Russia to Tajikistan were reportedly sent in Russian rubles (RR), 10.8% in U.S. dollars, and only 0.1% in euros.

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