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Posted: January 26, 2013 in Economy and Resources

Dushanbe, Tajikistan, January 10, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, supported Tajikistan’s first private credit bureau in acquiring a license from the central bank, helping the country strengthen financial market infrastructure and improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises, and entrepreneurs.

The National Bank of Tajikistan in December issued a license to the Credit Information Bureau Tajikistan, enabling it to become the first private credit bureau in the country and start credit information sharing services. From now on, it is officially authorized to start collecting information on borrowers from Tajik financial institutions.

This initiative will enable Tajik financial institutions and other potential participants such as mobile operators and utility companies to have timely access to accountable and objective information on borrowers, which could allow them to reduce loan processing times and credit defaults, and lend to more small and medium enterprises.

“Launching a bureau of credit histories plays an important role in enhancing the sustainability of the whole banking system,” said Abdujabbor Shirinov, Chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan. “The credit bureau will help financial institutions get credible information on borrowers and reduce credit defaults.”

via IFC Home.

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Investors operating in three post-Soviet Central Asian republics face an “extreme risk” of having their businesses expropriated, according to a survey released last week in the UK.

Maplecroft, a Bath-based political risk consultancy, said on January 9 that it had found plenty of reasons to be wary of the business climate in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan after “evaluating the risk to business from discriminatory acts by the government that reduces ownership, control or rights of private investments either gradually or as a result of a single action.” Recent fits of resource nationalism in Kyrgyzstan — where the Kumtor gold mine, operated by Toronto-based Centerra Gold, accounted for 12 percent of GDP in 2011 and more than half the country’s industrial output – and rampant authoritarianism in places like Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have led Maplecroft to rank these countries among the most risky in the world. Not far behind, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan both fall in the “high risk” category.

From the study:

Central Asia is characterized by areas of increasing natural resource exploration and exploitation, but also for poor respect for property rights. Indeed, Turkmenistan (11), Tajikistan (18) and Kyrgyzstan (20) are all categorized as extreme risk. Kazakhstan (26), Azerbaijan (58) and the already mentioned Uzbekistan [24] are rated as ‘high risk’. As such, the region presents high expropriation risk particularly motivated by low regulation enforcement and widespread corruption. Various instances of expropriation have occurred in 2012. These include the allegedly unlawful expropriation and demolition of housing in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku; the expulsion of Russian telecommunications firm MTS in 2012 and the continued fallout associated with the expropriation of a gold mine belonging to Oxus in 2011 in Uzbekistan; and increasingly frequent hostility towards the mining sector from parliament in Kyrgyzstan.

The index, released as part of Maplecroft’s fifth-annual Political Risk Atlas, will offer little surprise to embattled foreign investors. Yet it offers a chance to rank the region, legendary for its pervasive corruption and venal dictators, internationally. Turkmenistan, regularly named by human rights groups as one of the most authoritarian and closed regimes on the planet, sits right after Omar al-Bashir’s war-weary Sudan in the expropriation index. Nepotistic Tajikistan, where the president’s family reportedly controls almost all business interests, is sandwiched between Angola and Bolivia.

via Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan Present “Extreme Risk” to Investors – Survey | EurasiaNet.org.

DUSHANBE, January 14 (RIA Novosti) – Tajik law-enforcers seized some six metric tons of drugs in the country in 2012, up 41.1 percent since 2011, a spokeswoman for the country’s drug control agency said on Monday.

“Cannabis-based drugs – weighting 4.8 metric tons in total – accounted for the bulk of the seizures. A total of 630 kilograms of raw opium and 515 kilograms of heroin were also seized,” Drug Control Agency spokeswoman Umeda Yusupova said.

A total of 895 drug-related crimes were registered in the country in 2012, and citizens of Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan were detained.

As of 2012, the country had more than 7,200 registered drug users, including 4,882 heroin addicts.

About 90 percent of heroin consumed in Russia is smuggled from Afghanistan, the world’s largest heroin producer, via former Soviet republics, including Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

via Six Tons of Drugs Seized in Tajikistan in 2012 | Crime | RIA Novosti.

DUSHANBE(BullionStreet): Former soviet state Tajikistan said country has mapped prospective reserves of stream gold deposits.

According to Tajikistan’s chief geologist Azim Ibrohim, prospective stream gold reserves in the country make about 100 tons.

The stream gold deposits mainly lie in the north and the south-east of the country. Over 1,500 work places will be created during development of these deposits, he said.

The geological exploration at the Hirshona deposit developed by the Tajik-Chinese joint venture Zarafshon found the deposit hosts around 10 prospective tons of gold.

Several companies prepare to launch gold extraction in Tajikistan, including UK’s Kryso Resources Plc, which plans to start gold production at Pakrut deposit in March 2014.

The prospective reserves at this deposit exceed 100 tons. The finds will be welcome news to the impoverished nation, which is seeking new miners to exploit its gold and silver reserves.

It will provide a significant boost to the nation’s proven reserves of the precious metal. The country’s mining industry currently produces from between 1.3 tons and 1.5 tons of the precious metal per year

via Tajikistan holds 100 tons of stream Gold reserves.

An agreement on financing ‘Professional literacy programs for poverty reduction’ was signed in Dushanbe between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), AsiaPlus news agency reported on Saturday.

The total project cost is $ 11 million on a credit basis. The project will be implemented until 2016.

According to the Secretariat of the Tajik Finance Ministry, the agreement was signed by the Minister of Finance Safarali Najmiddinov and Vice – President of the IDB, Ahmet Tiktik.

The ‘Professional literacy programs for poverty reduction” are aimed to decrease poverty rates, especially in rural areas; training of young people and women by enhancing relevant professional literacy, practical skills and productivity.

via IDB to contribute $ 11 million to Tajikistan to reduce poverty – Trend.Az.

MOSCOW, January 11 (RIA Novosti) – Taking care of facial hair became a murky affair in Tajikistan after local authorities, known for their fight against long beards, also urged local barbers to stop giving their clients a clean shave.

The measure should help combat the spread of HIV/AIDS in the nation, Tajik Health Minister Nusratullo Salimov said at a press conference in Dushanbe on Thursday, CA-News.org regional news website reported.

The number of HIV-positive people in Tajikistan grew 17 percent to 4,500 over 2012, according to official statistics, which gave no separate figures for the number of cases where the infection was transmitted through barber razors.

UNAIDS estimated the real number of HIV-positive Tajikistan residents at 11,000 in 2011, the latest year for which statistics are available. The country’s government won some praise in its anti-HIV efforts, but prevention and statistics are both hampered by negative public attitude to the disease and a drug epidemic blamed on an inflow of Afghan heroin.

via Beard-Fighting Tajikistan Urges Ban on Barber Shaving | World | RIA Novosti.

MINSK, 11 January (BelTA) – Belarus and Tajikistan are determined to step up cultural and humanitarian cooperation. This statement was made at the session of the Tajikistan-Belarus friendship society on 11 January, BelTA learnt from the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus.

The session reviewed the work of the friendship society in 2012 and outlined the plans for the year 2013. The participants of the session emphasized the need to expand contacts between educational and research facilities of Belarus and Tajikistan and boost the bilateral cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

via Belarus, Tajikistan to expand cultural ties – Society / News / Belarus News | Belarusian news | Belarus today | news in Belarus | Minsk news | BELTA – Belarus News | Belarusian news | Belarus today | news in Belarus | Minsk news | BELTA.