Christophe FONTAINE, MEDEF International Representative: “The development of logistic facilities for Tajikistan is important”
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Interview of Mr. Christophe FONTAINE Chairman of MEDEF International's France-Tajikistan Business Council, Managing Director of the Identity Business Unit and member of the Group Executive Committee of Oberthur Technology to NIAT Khovar correspondent.
NIAT Khovar: One year passed since the first French-Tajik Business Forum was held in Dushanbe. What are the results of the French-Tajik Business Forum? What measures have been undertaken to attract investments of the French private sector in the Tajik economy?
Christophe FONTAINE: First of all, I would like to remind that MEDEF International's delegation to Dushanbe in April 2015 was the first French private sector's business delegation ever organized to Tajikistan. The participation of 25 French company representatives testified of the high interest of French companies towards Tajikistan.
The first French-Tajik Business Forum, organized in the framework of MEDEF International's visit, was a significant step in bringing closer French companies with their Tajik counterparts and the Tajik Government. In this regard, I would like to underline the involvement and the support provided by the Tajik Ministries and the State Committee on Investment and State Property Management.
Following this visit, MEDEF International invited, in November 2015, the Tajikistan's State Committee on Investment and State Property Management and a delegation of Tajik companies to meet with French companies at MEDEF. On this occasion, in order to foster French companies' development in Tajikistan, MEDEF International launched a French-Tajik Business Council in partnership with the Tajikistan State Committee on Investment and State Property Management. I have the pleasure to co-chair this Council, together with Mr. Nekruy ZABIRZODA, Executive Director of Taj Invest State Agency.
We are convinced that the French-Tajik Business Council's activities, in close cooperation with the French and the Tajik authorities, will give an additional impetus to the development of the relation between French and Tajik business communities. It will contribute to deepening the French companies' awareness of Tajik economic potential, to densifying and diversifying economic and commercial ties between our two countries.
Once again, I would like to invite French and Tajik companies, of all sizes and from all sectors, to find the ways to establish new cooperation and to develop common projects. The French-Tajik Business Council is at their disposal to help them to meet with each other, in Paris and in Dushanbe, to exchange on their experience and define how they could partner.
During the French-Tajik Business Forum, the Tajik side invited French companies to invest in the construction of logistic facilities. What is the status of this issue?
Christophe FONTAINE: Despite its landlockedness situation, Tajikistan offers a unique geographic localization bordering with large and fast growing markets such as China, Pakistan and Uzbekistan, being also close by Iran and India. The development of both logistic facilities and transport infrastructures could definitely help Tajikistan take advantage of the demand coming from these fast developing economies.
The development of logistic facilities for Tajikistan's domestic needs is important, above all for its agriculture sector, agro-food industry and distribution business for instance. In this regard, we were very proud to learn about Auchan's opening of its first supermarket in Tajikistan.
MEDEF International will further fosters French companies to consider how they could contribute to the development of Tajikistan's logistic sector, as well as to the improvement of country's connectedness. MEDEF International's French-Tajik Business Council stands ready to facilitate the contact with the French companies specialized in this sector.
NIAT Khovar: What is the general activity of OberthurTechnology, and what are its ambitions in Tajikistan?
Christophe FONTAINE: Oberthur Technology (OT) is a world leader in terms of digital security. OT is active on 3 main domains: credit cards for banks, SIM and new generation cards for cell phones, and probably the most dynamic market for the coming years, all the Biometric and Electronic Identity documents as passports, ID card, voting card, health card, driving license and any service around the e government initiatives.OT is already very active in Russia, Ukraine, Caucasus and Central Asia countries. In particular, OT provides driving license in Azerbaijan, passports in Georgia and in Uzbekistan. Naturally, OT is fully prepared to participate to any ID initiative in Tajikistan, and would consider very seriously any opportunity of local investment.
NIAT Khovar Information:
Founded in 1989, MEDEF International is a non-profit private-funded organization, chaired by Mr. Frederic SANCHEZ, Chairman of the Executive Board of FIVES.
MEDEF International is the most representative organization of the French private sector at an international level: it represents the French Business Confederation (MEDEF) and its 800000 companies, in the world. It gathers more than 6,700 French companies already operating in the world, in 82 Business Councils headed by 53 CEOs of major international French companies.
MEDEF International is the Private Sector Liaison Officer for the World Bank, the EBRD, the ADB, the IDB and other Development Banks and International organizations.
Source: National information agency of Tajikistan