The downward trend in Tajikistan’s external debt continues

Tajikistan's external debt has decreased by 16.6 million US dollars over the first three months and it has amounted to 3,211,700,000 US dollars as of April 1, 2023, according to the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

An official source at a MoF says government borrowing, which ensures the performance of public services, reportedly accounted for little more that 95.6 percent of the country's external debt - 3.071 billion U.S. dollars.

Debts with a state guarantee in the structure of external debt have amounted to 140.5 million U.S. dollars as of April 1, 2023.

The debts of the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) have amounted to about 3.8 million US dollars, including the NBT's debts to the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) amounting to 1.9 million US dollars each.

As of January 1, 2023, the country's external debt has reportedly amounted to 3,288,830,000 US dollars, which was equal to 28.5 percent of Tajikistan's gross domestic product (GDP).

'During 2022, the country's external debt decreased by 15.4 million US dollars, and GDP's real growth rate last year stood at 8.0 percent,' said the source. 'In 2022, GDP's nominal volume increased by 16 billion somonis (equivalent to 1.5 billion US dollars).'

The Export-Import Bank of China (Eximbank) remains the largest creditor of Tajikistan - more than 1 billion U.S. dollars.

Tajikistan's large-scale borrowing from China started around 2006. According to Eurasianet, Dushanbe and Beijing signed their last major loan deal in 2014, with the project - Stage 2 of the Dushanbe-2 combined heat and power (CHP) plant completed in 2016. Despite extensive Chinese FDI in mining and other ventures with commercial potential, there is reportedly no major project currently under construction in Tajikistan directly financed by Eximbank.

Tajikistan pleaded for relief from its international creditors and has already received positive feedback from China. China has suspended debt repayments from Tajikistan.

Tajikistan now also owes significant funds to the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the IsDB.

Debts due to placement of government bonds (Eurobonds) in international financial markets amount to US$500 million.

Source: Asia-Plus