Growth in Tajikistan Is Expected to Slow in 2014, 2015: ADB

DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN – Tajikistan achieved robust growth in 2013, supported mainly by remittances; however, the economy is expected to slow down in 2014 and 2015. One of the most serious challenges in the country is to generate employment through higher private investment, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says in its annual economic report.

ADB's flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2014 (ADO), released today, forecasts annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth for Tajikistan of 6.0% in 2014, and 5.8% in 2015, below 7.4% in 2013.

“Tajikistan has several sectors that can compete domestically, regionally, and even globally, but developing them depends upon attracting greater private investment,” said Kakhor Aminov, economics officer at ADB’s Tajikistan resident mission. “Immediate action is needed to boost private investment by improving governance and investment climate.”

The report highlights that, despite some progress, private sector participation in the economy remains limited. Private investment stands at only about 5% of GDP, compared to 15% in Kazakhstan, for example. Continued improvements to the business and investment climate are important, especially in the areas of making policy more predictable, reducing excessive regulation, securing property rights, and further improving tax policy and administration.

Inflation is forecast to accelerate slightly to 5.5% in 2014 and 6.0% in 2015, mainly because of higher utility prices, particularly for electricity. In 2013, inflation slowed to 5.1% from 5.8% in 2012.

ADO includes a comprehensive analysis of macroeconomic issues and examines medium-term prospects in developing Asia, by country and region. Its special theme chapter, Fiscal Policy for Inclusive Growth, explores how countries can raise more revenue and how they should use it to promote broad-based growth.

Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998 and, to date, the institution has approved total assistance of over $1.2 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. The 15 years of ADB-Tajikistan partnership has promoted social development, restored and built new infrastructure, expanded agricultural production, and encouraged regional cooperation and trade within the framework of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program.