Two hydrometric stations have been opened along the cross-border Great Fergana Canal and North Fergana Canal, according to a report by news portal Gazeta.uz. Construction of the stations was facilitated by the Swiss government’s Blue Peace Central Asia initiative. The project was started in 2017 in response to the need for a cross-border strategy for water management in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The hydrometric stations were opened as part of the sixth meeting of the Uzbekistan-Tajikistan working group on the coordinated use of the transnational rivers’ water resources in Central Asia. The two countries signed a protocol on the automated computations and real-time transfer of cost data to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan from the two stations. The Gazeta.uz report claims that Switzerland has been assisting water reform initiatives in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for nearly 20 years, employing an integrated approach to national water resources management. Blue Peace Central Asia supports the creation of guidelines for regional cooperation aimed at ensuring water security for the entire population of Central Asia. Recently, the data source Meteojurnal released statistics regarding the use of Amudarya water by Central Asian nations in 2023, based on information from the scientific information center of the Central Asian interstate water management coordination commission (Afghanistan was not taken into account). The largest user of river water was Turkmenistan, which diverted 42% of river water (20 cubic kilometers) to its own country. In second place was Uzbekistan, which used 38.4% of the river’s water (about 18.3 cubic kilometers). The next largest user, Tajikistan, accounted for 19.8% of water (more than 9.4 cubic kilometers).
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For the first time since the start of armed clashes on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, business cooperation between the two countries has begun to return. Kyrgyz Energy Minister Taalaibek Ibrayev and his delegation recently visited a pair of Tajikistan's energy facilities, the Rogun and Nurek hydroelectric power plants (HPP), according to the press service of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Energy. Tajikistan's Deputy Minister for Energy Halmukhamadzoda Sobron showed Kyrgyz colleagues how the Rogun HPP is being built, as well as some special underground facilities and tunnels under the plant. Sobron described problems faced by Tajik hydro construction workers when using construction equipment at the site, and detailed the integrated stage-by-stage approach to building the main structures of the hydropower plant. "More than 15,000 hydro construction workers are involved in the construction of the Rogun HPP, more than 300,000 machines and equipment are operated, and skillful planning allows dozens of contracting companies to work simultaneously," Tajik power engineers emphasized. The Kyrgyz side noted that the exchange of experience in the construction of such grandiose facilities will be useful in the construction of Kambar-Ata HPP-1 in Kyrgyzstan. During the three-day visit, Kyrgyz power engineers also visited plants responsible for the production of hydromechanical equipment and for the production of electrical equipment. During the meetings it was emphasized that after the border issue is resolved, the sides are ready to cooperate with each other again on all issues. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are usually connected by high-voltage power lines, which play an important role in the regular supply of electricity to local residents living in the border areas. However, these lines are now out of operation. The problem with the border between the two countries arose after the collapse of the USSR. Essentially both parties claimed land that's rich in water resources, as the issue of agricultural irrigation is very relevant in the arid region. More than 30 years have passed since then, and the parties still cannot agree on the disputed territories. Because of this, conflicts periodically arise between citizens of border villages -- as well as residents of enclaves and border guards of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan -- including with the use of heavy weaponry. The last such conflict took place in the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan and Sughd region of Tajikistan in September 2022 -- at which time there were hundreds of deaths on both sides and civilian infrastructure was destroyed. Since May 2021, transportation by land or air between the countries remains closed. Trade and all business contacts have been suspended. To date, the two countries have agreed to demarcate about 90% of the disputed territories. Rogun HPP is a hydroelectric power plant under construction on the Vakhsh River. It is the largest HPP in Central Asia. Construction of Rogun HPP began in the 1970s, but in the 1990s work was stopped due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the outbreak of civil war in Tajikistan. Construction resumed only in 2010 with the support of the World Bank. The first...
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced a subscription of up to $10m in a landmark local currency green bond issued by Tajikistan's Eskhata Bank. This green bond is the first for the country, and is aimed at boosting access to climate finance for smaller businesses amid a challenging macro-economic environment. Eskhata Bank is one of the country's leading private banks, with a focus on serving micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and retail clients. The proceeds of the green bond will enable Eskhata to support MSMEs in undertaking climate-smart initiatives, supporting economic activity at a challenging time for the country. "IFC's investment in Eskhata Bank's green bond is a testament to our dedication to supporting MSMEs in driving environmental sustainability," said Akmaljon Saifidinov, Eskhata Bank's CEO. "By channeling funds towards climate-smart projects, we are helping to build a more resilient and sustainable economy in Tajikistan.” Tajikistan recently approved its Green Economy Development Strategy for 2023–2037, which sets a clear vision for its transition to a low-carbon and resilient economy. IFC is supporting this process through its climate finance program in Central Asia, which aims to increase the flow of green finance into the country. "This first green bond issuance in Tajikistan by our long-standing client, Bank Eskhata, is a remarkable achievement that demonstrates the bank's commitment to sustainable development," said Zafar Khashimov, IFC Regional Manager. Green bonds raise funds for projects with positive environmental benefits, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, or green building.
Compared to 2022, Tajikistan imported 164,200 tons more oil products in 2023, an increase of 11.6%, Safarali Qurbanzoda, the Anti-Monopoly Service's first deputy head has announced. “According to the customs office, in 2023, 1,413,000 tons of oil products worth $892 million were imported into the republic with an average price of $631 dollars per ton. More precisely, 436,500 tons of diesel fuel, 348,100 tons of gasoline, 411,000 tons of liquefied gas and 218,000 tons of petroleum products were imported,” he stated at a press conference. Qurbanzoda added that 25.9 % of these products came from Kazakhstan, and 0.7 % from Russia, with the cost of purchases increasing by 20%. Prices at gas stations in Tajikistan also increased throughout 2023. Buses in Khojand, the second-most populous city, were stopped in October 2023 because of a sharp spike in the cost of diesel fuel, according to a report from the regional portal, SugdNews. The anti-monopoly agency attributed the rise in domestic fuel prices to “increased prices in exporting countries.”
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) on February 7th said it is working to provide $100m in funding to Tajikistan’s Somon Air, so that the national air carrier can acquire two Boeing 737 aircraft. Somon Air plans to procure two Boeings in 2024. The airline’s passenger traffic has been on the rise since 2020 and surpassed pre-pandemic levels last year, reaching 787,600 passengers in 2023 compared with 672,500 in 2019. Presently Somon Air operates its primary passenger flights with a fleet consisting of six Boeing 737 aircraft of various modifications. EDB is a multilateral development bank with member countries including Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.
The founder of the Russian e-commerce platform Wildberries Tatyana Bakalchuk has mentioned in an interview with RIA Novosti that the company is planning on entering the Tajikistan and Turkmenistan markets. "We recognize that we must increase the geographic area in which we operate in order to sustain [our] growth rate. First, we are examining the bordering nations. We are already present throughout the nations that make up the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union). We are now heading to the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) nations; for instance, we will be entering the market of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan," Bakalchuk said. Furthermore, RIA cited Bakalchuk as saying that the organization is presently attempting to establish a logistics network in Azerbaijan. “The Persian Gulf nations and the UAE market both pique our interest. Representatives from the Middle East, for instance, attended the forum 'Russia - Islamic World' in May, and many of them showed interest in our work. Thus, we will carefully consider the UAE and the Persian Gulf countries in this regard. We have already begun negotiations with a few nations." Wildberries currently operates in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The company is an international online store that sells clothing, footwear, electronics, home furnishings and other items across thousands of categories. As of April 2023 it was the ninth-most visited e-commerce portal in the world, according to Statista data. The company was established in Russia in 2004 by husband-and-wife team Vladislav and Tatyana Bakalchuk.