Riyadh and Dushanbe for joint investments in the industrial and mining sectors
Karimi to Asharq Al-Awsat: A forum for the business sector in Riyadh mid-2022
Sunday – 30 Ramadan 1443 AH – 01 May 2022 AD Issue No. [
Tajikistan seeks to strengthen economic relations with Saudi Arabia, and in this context, Akram Karimi, the ambassador of Tajikistan in Riyadh (AFP)
Riyadh: Fath Al-Rahman Yusuf
A Tajik diplomat revealed that coordination is currently underway between officials in the Saudi Ministry of Investment and the State Investment Committee in Tajikistan to arrange the meetings of the Joint Committee and the Business Forum during the coming period, in addition to ongoing coordination to hold the Saudi-Tajik Business Sector Forum in Riyadh in the second half of the year 2022, with the participation of representatives of the private sectors in the two countries.
Akram Karimi, Tajikistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We are preparing to hold the third session in the coming months in Tajikistan, in the presence of Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi Minister of Investment and co-chair of the joint committee, and we look forward to holding the businessmen forum on the sidelines of the next session of the joint committee.” To establish partnerships between the private sectors of the two countries.
He pointed out that the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Al-Khorayef, and his counterpart, the Tajik Minister of Industry and Modern Technologies, Sher Ali Kabir, discussed in a recent visual meeting opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the industrial and mining sectors, where it was agreed to establish a joint working group and develop a future plan for cooperation. It is expected to launch joint investments in the industrial and mining sectors soon.
Karimi disclosed that the Tajik Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Dr. Zafqi Zafkizoda, discussed, the day before yesterday, in a virtual meeting, with the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, ways of cooperation between the Bank and the Saudi Fund for Development in developing hydropower projects in Tajikistan, including the “Ragon” project. Within the framework of the joint work within the framework of the Arab Coordination Group, stating that his country currently has five free economic zones in which there are favorable conditions for the establishment of investment projects and the conclusion of agreements between the foreign investor and these zones.
Karimi announced the preparation of an agreement for the encouragement and mutual protection of investments, the project of which was initialed between the Saudi Ministry of Investment and the State Investment Committee in Tajikistan, and is expected to be signed soon during Minister Khalid Al-Falih’s visit to Tajikistan, while the agreement to avoid double taxation between the two countries was signed. It was signed in 2014, in addition to a package of existing bilateral agreements covering various fields.
Karimi added: “For our part, we believe that it is time to establish the Saudi-Tajik Businessmen Council, especially since there is a memorandum of understanding between the Federation of Saudi Chambers and the Tajik Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which states the desire of both sides to establish such a council, at a time when we are currently working to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of its establishment. Diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Karimi pointed out that the Kingdom is an important development partner for Tajikistan, within the framework of development programs and projects that are implemented with the contribution of the Saudi Fund for Development and the Islamic Development Bank, noting that the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action has made remarkable efforts in developing social and humanitarian programs in his country, with a value of more than 12 million. dollars, while there are programs currently under implementation, as well as the mobile medical clinics project that was recently operated in Tajikistan, funded by the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Foundation for Charitable Activities in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank.
Nevertheless, Karimi acknowledged that the economic, investment and trade cooperation between the two countries is still at the beginning of the road, and there is a sincere desire on both sides to strengthen these relations in terms of the opportunities and capabilities that they have, indicating that the candidate areas for economic cooperation between the two countries in the future are represented in the energy and industry sectors. Mining and agriculture, in addition to raising the balance of intra-regional trade.
On the most important challenges facing the movement of trade and investments between the two countries, Karimi explained that his country is a landlocked country that does not overlook seaports, as intra-trade in contemporary times in light of the increasing competitions needs less expensive transportation methods, stressing that the logistical issue is of paramount importance. To activate trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, noting that recently there have been feasible attempts by some commercial companies to break this challenge.
He explained that the Tajik “Ameed” Trading Company had recently worked to solve the logistical dilemma, and had launched a route to manage the export and import movement between the Kingdom and Tajikistan by sea from Saudi ports to Pakistani seaports, from them to Tajikistan, noting that the closest way for Tajikistan’s exit to the sea is through the ports of Pakistan The Navy, such as Karachi and Gwadar, called on businessmen and concerned authorities in the Kingdom to study this path to activate the trade movement between the two countries.
Karimi stressed that the renewable energy sector, especially hydropower, is one of the priorities for the Tajik government to achieve sustainable economic development for the country, looking forward to the Kingdom’s presence through the Public Investment Fund and specialized companies such as ACWA Power in the investment arena in Tajikistan to implement hydropower projects. .
Karimi indicated that his country ranks first in the region and eighth in the world in terms of hydropower resources, estimated at 527 billion kilowatt hours, but the country only exploits these resources by 4 or 5 percent, noting that about 98 percent of Electricity in the country is produced by renewable hydropower. Karimi said, “We look forward to the Kingdom being an important development partner for us, to become one of the countries investing in Tajikistan.” We had our contacts and meetings in this regard with senior Saudi officials, officials of the Public Investment Fund, the Federation of Saudi Chambers and private sector companies, including ACWA Power.”