Tajikistan needs to focus on competitive industries and exports – ADB

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DUSHANBE (TCA) — Tajikistan’s economic growth is forecast to slow further in 2016, reflecting the need for accelerating reforms to develop competitive industries and exports, and to create jobs, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2016 forecasts growth to come in at 3.8% in 2016, as a recession continues in the Russian Federation and demand remains weak from other main trade partners, before picking up slightly to 4% in 2017. In 2015, growth dipped to 6.0% from 6.7% in 2014, hit by lower commodity prices, weak private investment, and remittance shortfalls, the ADB Country Office in Tajikistan said on March 30.

“Sustained growth will require urgent reforms to revive the country’s industrial base and create jobs,” said C.C. Yu, ADB’s Country Director for Tajikistan. “This may be achieved by creating an enabling environment that supports businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, which can provide the bulk of the employment the country needs to absorb its growing population and returning migrants.”

Inflation is forecast to accelerate to 8.5% in 2016—reflecting the lagged effect on import prices of the Somoni depreciation in 2015—before easing back to 7.5% in 2017. In 2015, inflation slowed to 5.1% from 6.1% the year earlier, reflecting a drop in private consumption, lower global prices for petroleum and wheat, and the currency depreciations of Tajikistan’s main trade partners.

ADO, ADB’s flagship annual economic publication provides a comprehensive analysis of macroeconomic issues in developing Asia, including growth projections by country and region.

Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, and to date ADB has approved around $1.4 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. ADB’s current partnership strategy with Tajikistan focuses on improved connectivity, energy security, and private sector development.

Sergey Kwan

TCA