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Riyadh, Dushanbe Eye Joint Investments in Industrial, Mining Sectors

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Coordination is underway between officials in the Saudi Investment Ministry and the State Committee on Investment in Tajikistan for arranging meetings of the Saudi-Tajik joint committee and a business forum during the coming period, a Tajik diplomat revealed.

Moreover, coordination is in full swing to hold the Saudi-Tajik Business Sector Forum in Riyadh in the second half of 2022, with the participation of representatives of the private sectors in the two countries.

“We are preparing to hold the third session in the coming months in Tajikistan, in the presence of Eng. Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi Minister of Investment and co-chair of the joint committee,” Tajikistan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Akram Karimi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“We look forward to holding the businessmen forum on the sidelines of the next session of the joint committee to establish partnerships between the private sectors of the two countries,” added Karimi.

According to the diplomat, Saudi Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar Alkhorayef had held a virtual meeting with his Tajikistani counterpart lately to discuss cooperation opportunities in the industry and minerals sectors.

The two ministers agreed to form a joint team and put in place a plan for the future of cooperation.

Karimi predicted that joint investments in the two sectors would be launched soon.

Tajikistan’s Economic Development and Trade Minister Zavqi Zavqizoda had also held a virtual meeting with the Islamic Development Bank Chairman Muhammed Al-Jasser.

In their meeting, the two officials discussed ways of cooperation between the bank and the Saudi Fund for Development in the development of hydropower projects in Tajikistan.

Tajikistan currently has five free economic zones in which there are favorable conditions for the establishment of investment projects and the conclusion of agreements between foreign investors and these zones.

Karimi announced the preparation of an agreement for the encouragement and mutual protection of investments. Sponsored by the Saudi Investment Ministry and the Tajikistani State Committee on Investment, the deal is expected to be signed soon during Al-Falih’s visit to Tajikistan.

An agreement to avoid double taxation between the two countries was signed in 2014, along with a package of existing bilateral agreements covering various fields.

“For our part, we believe that it is time to establish the Saudi-Tajik Businessmen Council, especially since there is a memorandum of understanding between the Federation of Saudi Chambers and the Tajik Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” said Karimi, explaining that the MoU verifies the two countries’ desire to establish such a council.

“We are currently working to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan,” he added.

Karimi pointed out that the Kingdom is an important development partner for Tajikistan.

He noted that the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has made remarkable efforts in developing social and humanitarian programs in Tajikistan, with a value exceeding $12 million.

Karimi acknowledged that economic, investment and trade cooperation between the Kingdom and Tajikistan is still at the beginning of the road.

The ambassador emphasized that there is a sincere desire on both sides to strengthen relations.

He indicated that the areas nominated for economic cooperation between the two countries in the future are in the sectors of energy, industry, mining, and agriculture.

Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan would also work on raising the balance of bilateral trade.

On the most pressing challenges facing the movement of trade and investments between the two countries, Karimi explained that his country is a landlocked country that does not have any seaports.

The diplomat pointed out that there are feasible attempts by some commercial companies to overcome this logistical challenge.