- Brief Look
- Fun Facts
- Tajikistan in OBOR
- A Little More About Tajikistan
- General Information
A Very Brief Look at the Country
Being the only Persian-speaking region, Tajikistan is an ancient country that possesses some very distinctive culture and traditions that make it unique in Central Asia. Located right next to the Xinjiang Province of China, in addition to little coverage on a global level, Tajikistan seems to remain a mysterious place to the world as it is not the most popular traveling destination.
However, Tajikistan has kept visitors going back. Despite the fact that it is the smallest country in Central Asia, one can never be bored of Tajikistan. It boasts some of the most mesmerizing landscapes and captivating lakes in the world, as well as a huge range of activities ranging from skiing, hiking, horseback riding to indulging one-self in hot springs, vibrant markets, historical remains date back to 5000 years ago, and of course, good food!
- Dushanbe, the capital of the country, meant “Monday” in Tajik language, as the city developed from a popular Monday marketplace in the old times
- The Iskanderkul Lake of Tajikistan is named after Alexander the Great, while Ismoili Somoni, the highest point (7495m) in the country, is named after the popular ruler of the Tajiks from 10th century
- When guests are invited to a meal, tea is always served to the host first – to show that it is safe to drink
- According to the law, citizens are obliged to celebrate birthdays ONLY with family. Citizens who have violated the law would be prosecuted and a fine will be ordered.
- The country has the largest water resources in Central Asia. When fully utilized, hydroelectric power generated from Tajikistan is sufficient to provide for all five Central Asian countries!
- The Fedchenko Glacier in the country is the largest glacier in the world outside the polar regions
- Yeti (or “Abominable Snowman”) the UMA was reported seen in Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountain ranges, while locals today still pass on the legend of Yeti
- Tajikistan and its southern neighbor Pakistan do not share a border. A passageway called the Wakhan Corridor separate these two countries. In some places the corridor is less than ten miles wide!
- The world’s highest embankment dam is located in Tajikistan (300m)
Together with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan tops the most remittance-dependent countries in the world, with roughly 49% of its GDP (40% after the Russian economy crisis) generated from migrant workers working overseas, mainly in Russia. Many of these migrant workers have recently returned to their home country Tajikistan, providing a big pool of labor force.
To avoid the economy being too vulnerable to external shocks, the Tajik government has been endeavoring to strengthen its domestic economy, with success: It has become a transitional economy since the civil war came to an end in 1997, and Tajikistan has undergone rapid economic growth with GDP average to almost 10% for 10 consecutive years.
The country has joined the World Trade Organization in 2013. It has now lowered tariffs on many imported items, and has established two free economics zones where foreign firms can receive tax exemptions, along with advantages on fees and customs. Banking system has also improved comparatively through regulatory reforms.
A big part of the Tajik economy relies on exporting aluminum, electricity, cotton and fruits. Tajikistan has the biggest aluminum plant in Central Asia, where imports of aluminium oxide is in great demand to process the metal. It also highly relies on importing food (especially meat and dairy products) to cater for domestic demand due to the country’s inefficiency in agriculture.
Important trading partners with Tajikistan include Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan and China.
Tajikistan has a vast amount of coal and precious metals deposits, including gold and silver. The country also has great hydropower potential that can supply for all Central Asian countries, where power gap is huge. The government has been focusing on building hydroelectric power stations and is in need of foreign investment. Current investors include Russia and China, ADB, IFC and IDB; and the Tajik government is also targeting public-private partnerships for a more transparent and efficient procedure.
93% of the Tajik land is covered by mountains, ranging from 300m to 7500m, and 50% of the country is over 3000m above sea level. The Pamir Range runs through the country, where the Pamir Highway is one of the highest paved roads on earth in terms of altitude, and has been used by travelers and businessmen along the ancient Silk Road over a thousand years ago.
Glaciers in the Pamir Range and the Alay Range are the major source of many rivers in Tajikistan. Unlike other countries in Central Asia, Tajikistan has a vast amount of water resources, where at least 900 rivers are longer than 10 km. These rivers are rich in soil deposits which create a fertile environment for the country’s agriculture.
Tajikistan in OBOR
- Tajikistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan are upgrading and constructing a 1300km highway and rail system to help connect to Pakistan’s ports from all 3 countries, with all construction on the Tajik side recently completed
- Oil, gas and water pipelines to connect the 3 countries above are also under construction
- Two hydroelectric power plants invested by foreign companies, the Rogun power plant and the Sangduta-2, are currently under construction
- The local TJK Agricultural Investment Bank has signed an agricultural cooperation agreement with Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) in 2014, where apart from loans and trade agreement, ABC will also provide the local bank with training on financial products and risk management
- 500 hectares of agricultural land has been leased to foreign firms in recent years for experiments on technologies that would help make the Tajik agriculture more productive and efficient
A Little More About Tajikistan
Tajikistan is the only former state of Soviet Union that had undergone a period of civil war (1992-1997) after the Soviet Union collapsed. However, security was regained quickly after the current president came to power.
Efforts have been poured in to revive the economy by taking more of a market mechanism’s approach. This progress, though slow, have been promising, as the country is also showing substantial economic growth as the country endeavor to become less dependent on remittances by building and strengthening its own industries.
Although Tajikistan is not a very frequently visited country, it has a lot more to offer than one would normally imagine, no matter you are adventurous, cultural, sporty or just prefer to relax. Dushanbe, the capital, is considered few of the most well equipped cities in Central Asia for travelers, and is an interesting place that is more ethnically diverse than London.
Since ancient times, the country’s domination by mountains had made it difficult for residents scattered around to connect to each other, and this has helped develop very distinctive language, culture and customs around Tajikistan.
Tajikistan has remained very good ties with China, as China is one of the first few countries that acknowledged Tajikistan’s independence; where Tajikistan is also the first ever Central Asian country invited to China for a state visit, and heads of both states have met officially as many as almost 20 times. Political ties have made it more convenient for merchants of Chinese descendants to do business in Tajikistan. Bilateral trades between the two countries have increased up to an astonishing 1000 times for the past 10 years.
. In which 1 Lari roughly = 1.2~1.6 HK Dollars
|Population||. 8.6 million (2015 estimate)|
|Official language||. Tajik
. Russian is also widely spoken in the countrys
|Timezone||. GMT + 5:00
. (3 hours behind Hong Kong)
|Climate||. Huge range of climate within the country, depending on the region and elevation: continental, subtropical, semiarid, arid
. Precipitation is highest in Tajikistan among Central Asian countries, with winter being the wettest season