On 28 January the OECD organised a webinar to launch a new peer review of Tajikistan – as part of the EU Central Asia Invest programme. The peer review will support the government in improving its investment promotion framework and policies.
Opening the session, Mr Sharaf Sheralizoda, First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Investment and Property Management (SCIPM) struck a cautious note regarding investment prospects in the short- to medium-term, quoting a recent UNCTAD forecast of a 77% drop in FDI to transition economies in 2020. To attract FDI in a more competitive global investment climate, Mr Sheralizoda underscored the importance of improving Tajikistan’s policy and institutional environment for investment attraction. These sentiments were echoed by Mr Stefano Ellero, Head of the Co-operation Section at the EU Delegation to Tajikistan, who noted the importance of building in investment promotion policies to the broader post-crisis recovery effort.
The OECD Eurasia Division delivered two presentations. Ms Talisa zur Hausen, Policy Analyst, introduced the peer review methodology and project timeline and discussed the crosscutting significance of the work for a number of the government’s policy agendas, including economic diversification. Ms Peline Atamer, Policy Analyst and Team Leader, introduced findings from a recent OECD mapping of Investment Promotion Agencies in Eurasia. This work provides a wealth of information that facilitates the identification of priority areas for the peer review.
Mr Merali Bodurshozoda, Head of the Single Window Unit on Investor Assistance at the SCIPM, described recent efforts undertaken by the government, including the simplification of business registration. Mr Bodurshozoda stressed the importance of FDI for a range of other policy priorities – from improving productivity in agriculture to SME innovation. Mr Jamshed Jumakhonzoda of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry highlighted the reforms that had been done to better protect investment, while acknowledging the need for further SME support and reforms of the business and taxation codes. Mr Numon Abdughafforzoda, Head of the Secretariat of the Consultative Council on Improvement of the Investment Climate, underscored the importance of involving the private sector in policy dialogue and developing an online single window to simplify processes for prospective – and current – investors.
Mr Sheralizoda and Mr Francesco Straniero, Attaché at the EU Delegation to Tajikistan, concluded the session, thanking the OECD and the various participants for their support and attendance and looking forward to the findings of the peer review.