Cihangir Fikri Saatçioğlu, Chairperson of the Turkey-Tajikistan Business Council
We are working to reach the $1-billion trade volume goal between Turkey and Tajikistan in the upcoming period.
Turkey and Tajikistan’s trade volume was $355 million in 2019. Both countries attach importance to the political cooperation and strategic partnership and have made it their goal to reach a $1 billion trade volume. In August 2019, Mustafa Varank, T.R. Minister of Industry and Technology and Nematullo Hikmatullozoda, Tajikistan’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade attended the 10th Joint Economic Commission of Turkey and Tajikistan. The countries signed a new protocol in the meeting. It needs to be pointed out that this protocol brings about a very important opportunity to transfer the Turkish industry and contracting experience from industry to technology, from agriculture to energy, from transportation to contracting and from education to culture & tourism to Tajikistan.
The Vision of National Technology, Strong Industry
The SME cooperation plan between the countries is predicted to contribute to the economy and mutual trade volume of Tajikistan. In these circumstances, the two countries have made it their main goal to achieve high value-added and technology-oriented production with the vision of “national technology, strong industry.” Turkey has become the global exporter of the automotive, defence industry, telecommunication, textile, and electric-electronic sectors in recent years. Substantial plans are made to adapt this SME model to Tajikistan. We should also point out that Tajikistan also has a similar organisation to Turkey’s KOSGEB (Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organisation) called State Committee on Investment and State Property Management under the Republic of Tajikistan, and important steps will be taken in Tajikistan with the visit of our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the upcoming period.
Turkey Ranks the 4th In Tajikistan’s Trade
According to 2019 data, Turkey ranked the first in Tajikistan’s exports. Now, Turkey ranks the 4th in Tajikistan’s trade. While gold is among the most exported products of the country, unprocessed aluminium, cotton, cotton yarn, cement, electrical energy, zinc, and lead ores are also other prominent products exported. Tajikistan wants to benefit from Turkey’s experiences in many sectors from energy to textile, from agriculture to aluminium production, aluminium and cotton processing, and construction. Tajikistan’s cotton exports to Turkey especially play an important role. In recent years, we see that Turkish companies in the mining and gold fields have started jewellery production.
On the other hand, foreign companies start constructing hydroelectric power stations in Tajikistan. The country wants to benefit from the experience of Turkish companies especially in dams and hydroelectric power stations. Meeting 60% of Central Asia’s water demand and supplying the majority of its electricity with its hydroelectric power stations, Tajikistan carries great opportunities for the Turkish companies in the contracting and energy sectors.
Agriculture and animal husbandry are among the other important sectors of Tajikistan. However, modern agricultural methods only make up 10% of the sector. There are important opportunities for the Turkish machine industry to show its experience in the agricultural sector in Tajikistan’s agricultural basin, the Sughd Region. There were $200 million worth of Turkish investments in Tajikistan in the last 10 years in beverage, food, automotive, die, cotton yarn, leather, and textile retail sectors. Turkish contracting and technical consultancy companies have undertaken $600 million worth of business with 50 projects in the last 20 years. We can say that there are 80 Turkish companies operating in Tajikistan currently.
We Are Ready to Cooperate
As the Turkey-Tajikistan Business Councils, we are working to increase the Turkish investments in Tajikistan and reach the trade volume target between the countries in the upcoming period. We can increase the figures. We can raise the foreign trade between our countries to a higher level through cooperation. We act in harmony with the Commercial Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in Dushanbe and Tajikistan Embassy in Ankara. During the pandemic, we held Tajikistan introduction activities and online meetings on different platforms. I can say that we drew the attention of Turkish companies to Tajikistan. And I would like to say that we are ready to cooperate with other institutions to conduct similar activities in the upcoming period. Tajikistan has one of the lowest tax rates among the Central Asian countries. In addition, the Turkish quality has been internalized in Tajikistan and we are ready for cooperation to introduce the country to our Turkish companies.