Coronavirus pandemic significantly affects Tajikistan’s economy

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Concerning Tajikistan, Eurasianet notes that workers at the Tajik aluminum smelter and Roghun, which is the largest industrial project, Tajikistan’s largest factory and largest industrial project say they have not been paid in months.

 

Schools will reopen on August 17, earlier than normal to allow students to make up for time lost in the spring.

 

A year-long pandemic-induced crisis would see remittances to Central Asia fall by $3.4 billion this year, or about 24 percent, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on August 3. Russia, the largest source of remittances for the region, is experiencing a sharp economic decline due to coronavirus as well as low oil prices. Last year, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan received the equivalent of about 30 percent of GDP in the form of cash transfers from laborers abroad.

 

Remittances from Russia in the first half of 2020 decreased 15 percent year-on-year, the chairman of the National Bank told reporters in Dushanbe on July 22. Tajikistan’s economy is perilously reliant on remittances. In 2019, those payments amounted to around $2.5 billion, which is equivalent to around one-third of GDP.

 

Tajikistan’s external debt grew by $170.9 million in the first half of 2020 to $3.1 billion, the finance minister told journalists on July 29, putting the country’s ratio of external debt to GDP at 36.1 percent. The vast majority, US$1.1 billion, is owed to China’s Eximbank.

 

The government said on July 23 that the number of migrants departing for work abroad fell 57 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019.

 

Source: Asia Plus