• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
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  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09388 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
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China Invests over $5 billion in Tajikistan’s Energy Sector

Since gaining independence, Tajikistan has implemented 35 energy projects with financial assistance from China of  over $5.3 billion, reports Tajikistan's Ministry of Energy and Water Resources press service The Export-Import Bank of China has provided $880 million in soft loans to support projects financed by the PRC include the Dushanbe TPP-2, the Dushanbe-500 and Sughd-500 500 kW electric substations, the South-North 500 kW power transmission line (263.8 km), Rogun (263.8 km), Rogun-Dushanbe (198 km), 220 kW substations in Lolazor, Khatlon, Aini, Shakhriston, and Shahrinav, as well as 220 kW transmission lines from Lolazor to Khatlon and from Khujand to Aini. Tajikistan's energy sector has also benefitted from direct investments of $197 million by Chinese companies. Participants in the realization of investment projects in the country, as contractors and suppliers of equipment, currently include:  leading design and construction company, Power Construction Corporation of China Limited (Power China), electrical and photovoltaic company TBEA Company Limited, one of the world's largest telecommunications companies, Huawei, energy company Sinohydro International Engineering, transformer equipment manufacturer Pinggao Group Co Ltd, and one of the largest electronics manufacturers Shenzhen Kaifa Technology. Within the oil and gas sector, Tajikistan has established cooperation with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The company, which conducts geophysical work, will begin seismic exploration of an area covering thousands of square kilometres, at the end of July 2024. Over the past year, memoranda on renewable energy development have been signed with TBEA and Powerchain leading to the funding and construction of a series of solar and wind power plants with a total capacity of 1,500 MW in Tajikistan.

Astana Hosts SCO Summit: A New Platform for Kazakh Diplomacy

With the first events of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit taking place this morning in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, conversations are beginning about what the host country will be discussing – and with whom. The SCO is a political, security and economic alliance in the wider Eurasia region, aimed at promoting trade and investments between member states, as well as global security. Its nine full members are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, China, Russia, Iran, India and Pakistan. The Organization – which includes four observer states and 14 dialogue partners – covers half of the world’s population, and almost a third of global GDP. Kazakhstan’s multi-vector approach to its foreign policy has seen the country combining its role within the SCO with cooperation with Western governments, through dialogue with the European Union and the United States’ C5+1 platform. President Tokayev recently commented that: “Kazakhstan is committed to multilateral cooperation. In our foreign policy we proceed from the national interests, and are in favor of solving all disputable issues on the basis of rational compromise. In addition to the SCO, this year our country is chairing five other international organizations. This is an unprecedented case, one could say an achievement in the history of Kazakh diplomacy.” This multi-vector approach is key to Kazakhstan’s international diplomacy. Indeed, ‘mutually beneficial cooperation’ and ‘mutually beneficial strategic partnership’ have become the watchwords of Tokayev’s presidency. Over the past decade, Kazakhstan has become an increasingly important land-bridge between East and West, both in terms of trade and diplomacy. Due to projects such as the Belt and Road Initiative and the Middle Corridor, Kazakhstan’s location has made it an indispensable ally to China, whilst playing a pivotal role in the expansion of transcontinental trade has led to Central Asia, in the words of Tokayev, “become a global stakeholder.” In the opinion of experts, more of the same can be expected at this week’s SCO Summit. In an interview conducted by the Kazinform news agency, local political analyst Valery Volodin stressed that: “It goes without saying that each government will be defending its own interests [at the Summit]. But Kazakhstan will be placing an emphasis on regional stability, which will allow countries to implement a host of joint projects with China and Russia. Besides this, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s gift for diplomacy will push the SCO to become not just a discussion club, but a real mechanism to solve problems in Eurasia using dialogue between governments.” In an article in The Geopolitics, Michael Rossi, a professor of political science at Long Island University, posited that Kazakhstan is not playing the so-called ‘Great Game’ between East and West, but rather pointing out the scope for "Big Opportunities". “Kazakhstan’s positive relations with countries often in conflict, such as Russia and Ukraine, China and the United States, Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Israel and the Palestinian territories, grant Astana legitimacy,” Rossi writes, “to act as a buffer and stabilizing force among major powers. This positioning allows Kazakhstan to reduce tensions and potentially mediate conflicts. Under...

SCO Summit: Tokayev and Xi Laud Kazakhstan-China Ties

On the eve of the 2024 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit, hosted this year by Kazakhstan in its capital Astana, the leaders of Kazakhstan and China were keen to highlight the strength of their countries’ partnership. The SCO is a political, security and economic alliance in the wider Eurasia region, aimed at promoting trade and investments between member states, as well as global security. The Organization – which includes nine full members, four observer states and 14 dialogue partners – covers half of the world’s population, and almost a third of global GDP.  In comments to China’s Xinhua news agency, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke of a “close political dialogue” between the two countries, supported by the SCO, thanks to which “China is consolidating its position as Kazakhstan’s leading trade and investment partner”.  Mutual trade between the countries reached a historic record of $41 billion in 2023. Tokayev added that “China became one of the top four foreign investors in Kazakhstan in 2023, investing around $2 billion in direct investments, a year-on-year growth of 16.4%. The total volume of Chinese investment in the Kazakh economy is over $25 billion. Around 4,700 Kazakh-Chinese enterprises operate in our country.” In his comments to Xinhua Tokayev also highlighted Kazakhstan’s growing cultural ties with China, mentioning a new agreement on a visa-free regime between the countries, the creation of cultural centers in both nations, and the fact that 2024 has been named the “Year of Kazakhstan tourism in China”. The president himself lived in China for eight years, where he studied Chinese in Beijing before working for the Soviet Union’s embassy to China. In turn, in a letter published by the Kazinform news agency, China’s leader Xi Jinping noted: “China is now Kazakhstan’s largest trading partner and its top export destination. Major strategic projects including the Zhanatas wind farm, Turgusun hydropower station, and the modernization of Shymkent Oil Refinery have been completed and commissioned. China-Kazakhstan crude oil and natural gas pipelines are operating in a safe and stable manner. The ‘green lanes’ for fast customs clearance of agricultural products are available at all border ports between the two countries, which makes green agri-products of high quality from Kazakhstan easily accessible for Chinese consumers. The potential for cooperation in new energy and transportation infrastructure has been unleashed. The transport and logistics terminal in Xi’an, the Western Europe-Western China Highway, and the China-Europe Railway Express all operate smoothly, providing a strong boost to the development of both China and Kazakhstan.” Kazakhstan has a multi-vector approach to its foreign policy; its role within the SCO complements the country's cooperation with the United States through the C5+1 platform, and a constant dialogue with the European Union. In a recent speech about Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization this year, President Tokayev commented: "Kazakhstan is committed to multilateral cooperation. In our foreign policy we proceed from the national interests, and are in favor of solving all disputable issues on the basis of rational compromise. In addition to the...

Representatives of World Bank and IFC Speak About Projects in Tajikistan

The President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon received Vice President of the World Bank, Antonella Bassani and Vice President of the International Finance Corporation, Hela Cheikhrouhou. The meeting was followed by a press conference wherein joint projects were spoken about, Avesta.tj has reported. According to Bassani, the parties discussed the state of their bilateral partnership and cooperation between Tajikistan and the World Bank. Twenty-five projects worth $1.7 billion are being implemented in Tajikistan under the International Development Association. These projects cover investment development, political reform implementation, energy, water supply, agriculture, education, health, natural resource management, and other sectors. "The meeting also discussed promising areas contributing to deepening and expanding cooperation. We concluded that in the area of drinking water supply, it is necessary to intensify further actions in this direction and improve cooperation," the World Bank Vice President said, noting that the government's efforts to promote reforms are appreciated. Vice-President of the IFC, Hela Cheikhrouhou said that simplifying entrepreneurship for young people and women was also on the agenda. "The International Finance Corporation team decided to introduce global knowledge and experience into the private sector, which can become a source of quality jobs and economic development in Tajikistan," she stated. Cheikhrouhou also noted that she looks forward to cooperating within the framework of the Roadmap to reduce barriers to entrepreneurship and provide opportunities for young people, women, and girls to create successful enterprises in various sectors of Tajikistan's economy. "The International Finance Corporation for Tajikistan has sent $60 million of investments in the last 12 months, and we intend to increase it soon," Cheikhrouhou emphasized.

SCO Summit in Astana: Correspondents from China Global Television Network, Times of Central Asia Discuss Upcoming Meeting

National leaders and other dignitaries from over 20 countries will be in the Kazakh capital of Astana this week for the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The Times of Central Asia will be covering the SCO Summit live on 3 and 4 July from the city’s Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. The SCO is a political, security and economic alliance in the wider Eurasia region. This year’s Summit host Kazakhstan was a founding member of the Organization in 2001, alongside China and Russia, and its Central Asian neighbors Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The last time the Summit was held in Astana, in 2017, India and Pakistan became full members. There are currently nine full member states, four observer states, and 14 dialogue partners, covering half of the world’s population, and almost a third of global GDP. This year's Summit will have significant implications for regional and global affairs. It is likely to produce initiatives aimed at reducing trade barriers, and promoting investments between SCO member states. High on the agenda will be the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – a crucial framework for enhancing connectivity and economic ties between China and its Central Asian partners. Other anticipated outcomes include new initiatives on climate change and sustainable development, as well as strengthened cultural and educational exchanges. Upon the initiative of Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, 2024 has been named the SCO “Year of Ecology”. Ahead of the Astana Summit, The Times of Central Asia’s senior editor Jonathan Campion spoke with an anchor from China Global Television Network, Mr Zhong Shi, about the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization plays in the Central Asia region. Their talk can be viewed in full in the videos below. In response to The Times of Central Asia’s question about what makes the SCO different from other alliances that the countries of Central Asia are aligned with, Mr Zhong explained that: “The SCO has been truly effective in combatting what we call the three enemies of all members, namely terrorism, extremism and separatism. There have been joint military drills conducted to enhance the coordination among armed forces”. Listen to Mr Zhong’s full response below: [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://timesca.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/fullscreen-Zhong-Shi-answer-2-questions.mp4"][/video]   [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://timesca.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/tw0-windows-Zhong-Shi-answer-2-questions.mp4"][/video] In turn, Mr Campion gave The Times of Central Asia’s perspective on the upcoming Summit. Asked about the impact that the Belt and Road Initiative has had on Central Asia, he replied: "Central Asia is evolving as a land bridge component to the Belt and Road Initiative linking China to the Caspian Sea. We’re seeing that investments in transport infrastructure are unlocking the region’s vast natural resources. With the world making a green transition, Kazakhstan stands out, as it has an abundance of critical materials – or green metals as they are known – that are used in the components of green technologies.” Listen to Mr Campion’s full response below: [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://timesca.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Jonathon-answer-Q2.mp4"][/video]   [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://timesca.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Jonathon-answer-Q3.mp4"][/video]  

Pakistan Can Become a Transport Hub for Central Asian Countries

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif has chosen Tajikistan for his first foreign visit after being re-elected as the head of government. On July 2, he will hold talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe, before traveling with him to the SCO summit in Astana. The head of Tajikistan and Sharif are expected to discuss the implementation of agreements reached during Rahmon's visit to Pakistan two years ago. Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, is interested in speeding up the start of the CASA-1000 energy project and expanding cooperation in transport and security. In exchange, Tajikistan is seeking access to Pakistan’s ports of Karachi and Gwadar. In December 2022, Rahmon visited Islamabad, where eight documents were signed at the end of negotiations with Sharif. “The fact is that Tajikistan’s intelligence services have historically not had warm relations with Pakistan, whose intelligence services have supported various militant groups in Afghanistan. But times are changing. In addition, it should be noted that today, Pakistan is closely cooperating with China economically and politically in the same way that active cooperation between China and Dushanbe is taking place,” said Alexander Vorobyov, a researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and head of the Center for Public Diplomacy and World Policy Analysis. According to Vorobyov, improving relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, whose authorities are actively promoting a project to create the Trans-Afghan railway “Termez–Mazar-i–Sharif–Kabul—Peshawar,” will help improve Tajikistan’s transport connectivity with the outside world and offer the possibility of access to South Asia. The shortest route from Tajikistan to the sea passes through Afghanistan to Pakistan. It is approximately 2,720 kilometers from Dushanbe to Karachi or Gwadar, whilst it is 3,400 kilometers to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas in the Strait of Hormuz. Tajikistan is separated from Pakistan by the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow strip of territory in the Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. This corridor is about 350 kilometers long. Experts believe that if Afghanistan's stability and security can be ensured, then Pakistan can become a transport hub for the countries of Central Asia. Pakistan's interest in Central Asian meanwhile, lies in energy resources, of which it is desperately short. To access them, the Pakistani government is promoting several major transit projects in the region that will open access to global markets and trade opportunities for the region's countries. However, as Hina Rabbani Khar, who served as Pakistan's deputy foreign minister in February 2023, said, the situation in Afghanistan is preventing Pakistan from realizing its potential in relations with Central Asia. In particular, the Central Asia-South Asia-1000 (CASA-1000) project to transmit electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan still needs to be completed. The World Bank stopped financing the project after the Taliban came to power. Following an appeal by the project's participants, implementation of CASA-1000 was resumed in May 2024 with the financial support of the World Bank. In recent years, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan have required additional kilowatts, so the completion date of the construction still...