Tajikistan

Tajikistan is currently a beneficiary of the EU's Standard GSP but showed interest in joining the GSP+ regime in the near future. With a per capita income of $1,030 (2019), the World Bank considers the country a low-income economy. In 2019, total EU imports from Tajikistan amounted to €44 million. Tajikistan makes considerable use of the preferences granted under the GSP. About 87% of eligible are imported using reduced tariffs.

What is the GSP?

The Standard GSP targets developing countries that are classified by the World Bank as lower or lower-middle income countries and which do not have equal preferential access to the EU market through any other arrangement. Standard GSP beneficiary countries can benefit from duty suspension for non-sensitive products as well as duty reductions for sensitive products across approximately 66% of all EU tariff lines.

At a glance: GSP beneficiaries' preferential imports to the EU

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9.1 million

Population

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Presidential Republic

Government

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7.50%

GDP Growth

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7.80%

Inflation

money

$ 8 bn

GDP

Facts about Tajikistan's economy

Aluminium Industry

Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia, for which aluminium production is of high economic importance. The aluminium plant owned by the Tajik Aluminum Company is the largest in Central Asia and is also considered one of the largest aluminium plants in the world.

Export Products

Tajikistan’s main export products are aluminium, raw cotton, and metallic ores (for example lead, zinc, antimony, and copper). Electricity from the country's hydropower plants is being exported particularly in the summer months.

Trade Partners

Tajikistan mainly trades with regional trading partners. Russia is by far the most important partner and accounts for about 35% of Tajikistan’s overall trade. China, Uzbekistan, and Turkey together account for another 30%. China and Turkey in particular are important sources of imports, while Russia is the most important export market.

Economic Structure

Agriculture and services are important pillars of Tajikistan's economy, these sectors employ about 90% of the population. Regarding the agricultural sector, the cultivation of cotton accounts for the largest share of Tajikistan's limited cultivation areas. Wheat, barley, and rice as well as the raising of livestock are additional agricultural activities. Processing the cotton and producing silk are pillars of the manufacturing sector, which is complemented by food processing and metal working industries. About 30% of the country's GDP is made of remittances, mostly sent by Tajiks working in Russia.

Usage of GSP Preferences

Tajikistan uses trade preferences granted under the GSP for about 29% of its total EU exports. The preference utilisation rate, which represents the ratio of preferential imports to GSP eligible imports, currently stands at 88.6%. This implies that the vast majority of eligible products are imported using reduced tariffs. Together with India, Tajikistan has the highest preference utilisation rate of all Standard GSP beneficiary countries.

Trade with the EU

Total trade with the EU summed up to € 44 million in 2019. With a share of 6.2% the EU is Tajikistan's sixth most important trading partner. Imports from the EU are more important for Tajikistan than the EU as an export market. Only about 1% of exports go to the European market.

Tajikistan and the EU

Imports from Tajikistan by product section

Imports from Tajikistan over time (in € m)

TAJIKISTAN AND THE EU’s GSP

Economic Impact

32%

About one third of Tajikistan's exports are eligible for GSP preferences

89%

With 89%, Tajikistan has the highest preference utilisation rate among all beneficiaries of the Standard GSP.

Preference utilisation and export diversification

Tajikistan's imports to the EU

Preference Utilisation vs. total eligible imports

Tajikistan’s preference utilisation rate showed quite some fluctuations until 2015 and remained relatively stable at about 90% thereafter. Base metals dominate overall EU imports from Tajikistan, however, only about 1% of these are eligible for duty reductions. Apparel and clothing account for about 94% of preferential imports. More than 99% of these imports use the preference granted under the GSP. Some product sections, including for instance machinery as well as fruits and vegetables could make better use of the duty reductions.

The largest product sections under the GSP

Preferential imports from Tajikistan are highly concentrated on apparel and clothing products. Textile articles and fruits and vegetables play only a minor role. Between 2016 and 2018 overall imports of cereal and grains, mineral products and pearls and stones increased substantially, however, none of these are eligible for preferential market access. Overall, imports from Tajikistan still leave room for further diversification.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

As a beneficiary of the Standard GSP, Tajikistan is not obligated to ratify any conventions to be able to benefit from preferential access to the European market. Nonetheless, Tajikistan has ratified all 15 core international conventions on human and labour rights. This includes 7 UN human rights conventions and 8 ILO conventions on labour standards. Additionally, Tajikistan has ratified 8 conventions on environmental protection and 4 conventions on good governance aspects. Recently, Tajikistan has expressed interest in joining the EU's GSP+ scheme for sustainable development, which requires beneficiaries to ratify 27 international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental protection and good governance. With the current status of ratifications, Tajikistan already fulfills this admission criteria.

Core international conventions on human rights and labour standards

Ratified

  • Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948)
  • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1969)
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1976)
  • International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (1976)
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1981)
  • Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1987)
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990)
  • Convention concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour, No 29 (1930)
  • Convention concerning Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise, No 87 (1948)
  • Convention concerning the Application of the Principles of the Right to Organise and to Bargain Collectively, No 98 (1949)
  • Convention concerning Equal Remuneration of Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value, No 100 (1951)
  • Convention concerning the Abolition of Forced Labour, No 105 (1957)
  • Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, No 111 (1958)
  • Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, No 138 (1973)
  • Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, No 182 (1999)

Additional Conventions

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (1973)
  • Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987)
  • Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal (1989)
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (1992)
  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992)
  • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (2000)
  • Stockholm Convention on persistent Organic Pollutants (2001)
  • Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1998)
  • United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961)
  • United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (1971)
  • United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988)
  • United Nations Convention against Corruption (2004)

EU-Tajikistan Bilateral Development Assistance

€ 231 million

The EU supported Tajikistan with about € 231 million between 2014 and 2020, which was about half of the overall assistance Tajikistan received. The EU assistance focused predominantly on the areas health, education, and rural development.

Opportunities in Tajikistan

  • Country with one of the greatest potentials for hydropower in the world
  • Strategic location in close proximity to China with the potential of becoming a regional transit hub

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