Tajikistan weighing pros and cons of joining EEU

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DUSHANBE (TCA) — Tajikistan is thoroughly considering its possible accession of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), weighing all pluses and minuses of the move, Avesta news agency reported citing Khurshed Karimzoda, first deputy head of Tajikistan’s Customs Service.  

The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration. The EEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labor in its member countries, which now include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

“First we need to answer a number of questions, in particular what can Tajikistan offer in the market of the EEU member countries, do our products meet EEU standards, and will there be a healthy competition,” Karimzoda told a news conference in Dushanbe on January 17.  

He said that the government of Tajikistan is thoroughly studying the experience of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, which entered the EEU later than its founding members Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and it is not clear what advantages or disadvantages would Tajikistan have if it joins the organization.

Karimzoda emphasized the importance of fair competition in the EEU. “Production and export of agricultural products is a relevant issue for Tajikistan. Here we need to calculate the costs of Tajik producers that import mineral fertilizers and fuel from other EEU member states,” he said.  

Some experts believe that Tajikistan is not yet ready for joining the EEU and the country’s accession would take a quite long period of time.

In addition, Tajikistan’s economy is now closely connected to China, which is not an EEU member.

A definite advantage of Tajikistan’s entry to the EEU would be a possibility for the Tajik government to solve employment problems of Tajik migrant workers in Russia and Kazakhstan.

Sergey Kwan

TCA