The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved $60 million in budget support assistance for the first phase of a program to expand economic opportunities, develop the private sector, and attract investments to Tajikistan. “ADB’s long-term assistance and technical advice gives the government the support it needs to introduce structural reforms that can help businesses set up and expand their production. This creates better paid jobs,” said Ruben Barreto, Financial Sector Specialist in ADB’s Central and West Asia Department.
The program includes reforms to help reduce costs of doing business, to strengthen protection for businesses, and to increase business innovation and productivity. Major reforms include a new regulatory impact analysis system for newly proposed legal acts; improving transparency through the disclosure of business ownership; reforming Tajikstandard’s functions; and developing a new electricity tariff policy to eliminate cross-customer price subsidies.
The program is divided into three phases and is due for completion in 2019. ADB’s financing for the first phase includes a $53.4 million grant and a $6.6 million concessional loan from the Asian Development Fund. The resources will be disbursed in a single tranche to the Government of Tajikistan upon compliance with policy actions. The State Committee on Investments and State Property Management is the executing agency for the program.
Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998. To date, ADB has approved total assistance of around $1.4 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. The ADB-Tajikistan partnership has promoted social development, upgraded and built new infrastructure, expanded agricultural production, developed the microfinance market, and encouraged regional cooperation and trade under the CAREC Program.