On 12 May 2021, the OECD organised the first capacity-building webinar on supporting the legal environment for business in Tajikistan as part of the EU Central Asia Invest initiative.
The event was an opportunity to support ongoing and future reforms to the legal framework for investment in Tajikistan. The webinar was conducted as part of the OECD Policy Component of the EU Central Asia Invest initiative, with the capacity-building themes based on analysis undertaken by the OECD in 2019-20. The event brought together senior policy-makers from Tajikistan with experts from the OECD Secretariat and Georgia.
Opening the session, First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management Mr Khurshed Mirzo stressed that improving the coherence and transparency of the legal environment for FDI would be crucial as the country sought to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Mr Stefano Ellero, Head of Co-operation at the European Union Delegation to Tajikistan noted that in a more competitive investment climate, potential investors would likely be less forgiving of some long-standing challenges in Tajikistan’s business environment, and that it was important to act now to address these issues.
Mr Luke Mackle, Policy Analyst in the OECD Eurasia Division, presented an overview of the impact of the crisis on investment in Tajikistan and in the global context, before outlining some of the key recommendations for the country from the Improving the Legal Environment for Business in Central Asia report.
Complementing Mr Mackle’s presentation, Ms Talisa zur Hausen, Policy Analyst in the OECD Eurasia Division, introduced some preliminary findings from the ongoing peer review of investment promotion practices in Tajikistan.
Ms Sarah Dayan, Policy Analyst in the OECD Investment Division, introduced the findings from a recent report on investment policy perspectives in the MENA region. Ms Dayan noted that while many aspects of Tajikistan’s economy differ greatly from those in the MENA region, there are many shared challenges for investors – including the clarity and coherence of the legal framework.
Mr Giorgi Cherkezishvili led the second session, drawing on Georgia’s recent experience with an OECD Investment Policy Review. Mr Cherkezishvili noted that while improvements in international rankings were a necessary condition for improving the business climate, they were not sufficient to attract investment. Mr Cherkezishvili proceeded to outline a number of key reforms undertaken to improve country’s investment climate, drawing attention to the importance of reforms to the banking sector.
Concluding the substantive contributions, the meeting heard from Mr Jean-Jacques Kudela, who is leading an EU-financed project on digitalisation in Tajikistan. Mr Kudela gave a short overview of the investment needs in the country’s digital infrastructure, while noting the importance of successful digital agenda for potential investors.
Mr Mirzo provided concluding remarks, thanking participants for their contributions and reiterating his willingness for the State Committee to build on the project findings.