EU-Tajikistan Subcommittee on Development Cooperation meets in Dushanbe

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The first meeting of EU–Tajikistan newly established Subcommittee on Development Cooperation, which took place on February 20 in Dushanbe, focused on various current aspects and future prospects of development cooperation between the two sides, the Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan reported.

The two delegations exchanged views on a wide range of opportunities for enhancement of cooperation, and also discussed open issues related to sectoral reforms and EU projects supporting them. The meeting focused in particular on the National Development Strategy until 2030 (NDS), on budget support and public finance management, and on three key sectors of EU assistance to Tajikistan — Health, Education, and Rural Development.

The Tajik delegation was led by the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mr. Zavqi Zavqizoda.

The EU side, led by the Head of EU Delegation to Tajikistan Mr. Hidajet Biščević and Deputy Head of Unit for Central/South Asia and Middle East Mr. Frank Hess, stressed that the NDS is considered by the EU as a key platform to uplift Tajik economy to a new level of performance, which also needs to be more closely aligned to planning and budgeting processes.

Mr. Biščević said: “We welcome the presence of NDS as a framework for deep reaching transformation and modernization of the country, and we stand fully behind the Tajik Government as far as NDS implementation is concerned – with this in mind, we would like to assist to the authorities to ensure better linkages of this vision to the financial and budget planning and implementation. At this point, the strategies at different levels are not costed and they are disconnected from the fiscal framework. This is visible in all three EU sectors which are shared priorities both from the NDS point of view and the EU policy.”

Mr. Hess added: “The EU is willing to continue budget support to Tajikistan, but we need to be reassured about stability oriented macroeconomic policies of the country.”

The meeting concluded with both sides stressing the strategic importance of EU-Tajikistan cooperation, improving coordination, continuing reforms and economic development, enhancing security, stability and poverty reduction.

The meeting will be followed by EU-Tajikistan Cooperation Committee scheduled for 9 March 2018 in Brussels, where development cooperation issues will continue to be discussed in a broader context of EU-Tajikistan relations.

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Times of Central Asia