Dushanbe, Tajikistan, November 12, 2021-- IFC together with the Government of Switzerland signed an agreement with the Government of Tajikistan today to support key sectors, cut red tape and bureaucracy, and help attract more investment, to boost competitiveness and the country's economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tajikistan's tourism and textile sectors – both key sectors for the economy – have been hit hard by the pandemic, with 83 percent of tourism businesses losing more than half their revenue and production volumes in the textile sector declining by 30 percent.
IFC advisory services financed by the Government of Switzerland's State Secretariat for Economic Affairs will help the government to open the country up to tourists again by simplifying visa and permit procedures, reviewing the market to help create new routes, improving tourism products and offers, especially from smaller businesses, and helping to attract more investment.
In textiles, IFC will help companies improve their production processes and establish long-term cooperation with global markets to sell products abroad, while also cutting red tape and bureaucracy.
"Our aim is to remove the roadblocks that are hindering the development of our economy – by streamlining regulatory processes and boosting competitiveness in important sectors to attract more investment," said Saadi Qodirzoda, Chairperson of the State Committee on Investment and State Property Management. "That will be essential to stimulate economic growth and combat the negative effects of the pandemic."
IFC will also continue to support the government in implementing economy wide-reforms by developing the country's first online register, to simplify permits and licensing procedures and reduce the number of inspections.
"Developing the private sector in Tajikistan is essential to identify new sources of growth and create new markets," said Dahlia Khalifa, IFC Senior Manager for Creating Markets Advisory in Middle East, Central Asia, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan. "This requires a combined approach to resolving sector-specific bottlenecks while also addressing select issues to improve the country's business environment."
The project is part of IFC's Tajikistan Competitiveness Enhancement Project, implemented in partnership with the Government of Switzerland.
"The Swiss-funded Tajikistan Competitiveness Enhancement Project is unique as it offers comprehensive support both, on policy level but also aims to enhance competitiveness of the local industries prioritized by the Government of Tajikistan such as tourism and the textile sector to find new opportunities to grow and be sustainable," said Salome Steib, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2021, IFC committed a record $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan
The Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan represents the Government of Switzerland and supervises Swiss-funded projects implemented in Tajikistan. There are actually two Swiss Federal Agencies working in the country, namely the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Switzerland funds projects in the following domains: Water, infrastructure and climate change; Governance and Institution buildings; Employment and economic development. Additionally the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan promotes arts and culture and supports small project from local organizations.
The Government of Switzerland also gives substantial contributions to the World Bank (WB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United Nations system. Those organizations also support the Republic of Tajikistan. For more information, visit https://www.eda.admin.ch/countries/tajikistan/en/home/representations/cooperation-office.html