Tajikistan eyes U.S. direct investment for mineral exploration and development

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Tajik First Deputy Prime Minister, Davlatali Said, remarked this at a virtual meeting with representatives of the U.S. business community, according to the State Committee on Investment and State-owned-owned Property Management (GosKomInvest).

The meeting participants reportedly included senior representatives of relevant government bodies, Tajik Ambassador to the United States Farrukh Hamralizoda, Chairman of the U.S. Tajikistan Business Council (USTJBC) Philip de Leon, and representatives of the private sectors of the two countries: American Councils for International Education; Boeing; General Electric; Caterpillar; Coca-Cola; Comsup Commodities; John Deer; Medtronic; Silverleafe; Valmont; VISA; Zeppelin; Xenophon Strategies; Somon Air; Tojik Air; and some others.

Representatives of Tajikistan reportedly acquainted American businessmen with the investment opportunities of Tajikistan and invited them to participate in the country's priority investment projects.

They, in particular, invited them to invest in Tajikistan’s mining and agrarian sectors.

A series of virtual meetings between representatives of the private sectors of the two countries are expected to be organized in the near future.

Meanwhile a report by the U.S. Department of State notes that Tajikistan is a challenging place to do business but could present high-risk, high-reward opportunities for foreign investors who have experience in the region, a long-term investment horizon, and the patience and resources to conduct significant research and due diligence. ?

2020 Investment Climate Statements: Tajikistan says that at the most senior levels, the Tajik government consistently expresses interest in attracting more U.S. investment, but “the poorest of the Central Asian countries harbors few U.S. investors and remains a largely uncompetitive investment destination.”

According to the report, Tajikistan is saturated in opaque loans connected to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and Chinese investments account for more than three-quarters of the country’s total Foreign Direct Investment. Tajikistan is also reportedly considering joining the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.

“Should it apply for and receive membership, U.S. firms could experience higher trade tariffs. Finally, despite Tajikistan’s 2013 accession to the World Trade Organization, the Tajik government has imposed both blanket and targeted trade policies to protect private interests without notifying its partners, as occurred with bans on imported chicken meat in 2017 and exports of mining concentrate in 2019,” the report says.

Source: Asia plus