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Tajikistan’s Integration Development in 2019

Remittances remain an important integration channel linking Tajikistan with EDB member countries

Catherine BISSON-SERIAN
Friday 24 July 2020

MOSCOW (EDB press service) — Remittances remain strategically important to stimulating consumer and investment demand in the country, as well as to Tajikistan’s balance of payments, as they compensate the significant foreign trade deficit. This finding is presented in the report entitled Main Tendencies in Tajikistan’s Integration Development in 2019 prepared by the Eurasian Development Bank’s (EDB) Centre for Integration Studies.

Main Tendencies in Tajikistan’s Integration Development in 2019 (PDF)
(Click to download)

Given the geographical distribution of incoming money transfers, remittances remain an important integration channel linking Tajikistan with EDB member countries. In 2019, the country received $2.576 bln in remittances, up 0.9% compared to 2018 ($2.553 bln).

Since 2015, Tajikistan has been considering the feasibility of joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, Union). Neither Tajikistan nor the EAEU believes that the country should join the Union only for the sake of becoming its member. Global integration developments, in particular those within the European Union, suggest that the process of artificially involving countries in regional groupings only creates additional problems and does not contribute to their progressive development.

The index of mutual trade between Tajikistan and EDB member states was 39% in 2019, which is 1.1% points less than the year before. That said, the figure for imports from the Bank’s member countries is a little bit higher than that for exports, suggesting that Tajikistan relies more on imports from the states of the region than on its exports to these countries.

The main buyer of products from Tajikistan in the region is Kazakhstan. The key commodity group supplied to Kazakhstan is zinc and lead ores and concentrates, although trade in these has been declining for the third year in a row. By contrast, imports from EDB member countries have been growing. In 2019, they reached $1.5 bln, an increase of 12.3% year-on-year. Russia and Kazakhstan accounted for the bulk of supplies — over 60% and 30%, respectively. Tajikistan imports mineral fuel and wheat from Kazakhstan. Russia also supplies fuel, as well as food products, timber, and machinery and equipment.

To date, the Tajik government has not made a final decision on joining the EAEU. However, this should not hamper the development of partnerships with the Union countries. In addition, Tajikistan is a member of the EDB, which also facilitates its integration with other Bank shareholders. ■


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