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Tajik Export Guide Launched on the Web

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A database of Tajik exporters companies has been launched on the Web, a move which NBCentralAsia observers say should stimulate more interest among potential foreign buyers.



The online directory (www.exportdir.tj), was developed by the Business Consulting firm with support from the Swiss government, contains information about 78 medium-sized and large companies that sell abroad. It will be updated monthly.



Azizullo Avezov, the director of Business Consulting, has told NBCentralAsia that the database includes information about production volumes, technological capacity, and the availability of warehouses and infrastructure.



Tajikistan’s imports have far exceeded its exports in recent years, and the trade balance last year was in deficit by 324 million US dollars. This chronic deficit is now a priority for the government, as it affects other economic indicators including the exchange rate.



NBCentralAsia observers hope the new portal will help fill the information gap and allow Tajik firms to find new foreign partners.



The deputy minister of economic development and trade, Larisa Kislyakova, said that until now, potential buyers have been totally in the dark about Tajikistan’s economy and resources, and she hopes the directory will spread the word.



Mahmadjon Okhunov, head of the building materials department at the energy and industry ministry, warns against expecting a quick turnaround in Tajikistan’s exports. The process will move slowly to begin with as Tajik companies begin forging contacts abroad.



Some of Tajikistan’s products, for example marble, are greatly in demand abroad, but potential customers are unaware the country has them, he said.



The appearance of the new directory will not set off a massive wave of investment, he adds. Tajikistan’s export potential will only grow significantly once enterprises modernise, introducing new technology, recruiting qualified staff and advertising themselves widely.



(News Briefing Central Asia draws comment and analysis from a broad range of political observers across the region.)