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Tajikistan is a challenging place to do business but presents potential high-risk, high-reward opportunities for foreign investors who have experience in the region, a long-term investment horizon, and the patience and resources to conduct significant research and due diligence.  At the most senior levels, the Tajik government continues to express interest in attracting more foreign investment. In October 2022, the U.S.-Tajik Business Council in partnership with the Tajik Government and the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe hosted a United States-Tajikistan Private Business Roundtable to explore business and investment issues facing U.S. companies in Tajikistan. Also in 2022, the government hosted international business delegations from Russian, Iranian, Belarusian, and South Korean companies. Nevertheless, the poorest of the Central Asian countries has few U.S. investors and remains a largely uncompetitive investment destination.

President Emomali Rahmon publicly emphasizes the need to foster private-sector-led growth, and his administration prioritizes attracting investment in national development strategies, especially investment in industrialization, technological development, fintech, and moving Tajikistan’s agriculture and light industries up the value chain. These strategy documents notwithstanding, authoritarian policies, bureaucratic and financial hurdles, widespread corruption, a flawed banking sector, and countless business and tax inspections greatly hinder investors, according to the business community. The government’s commitment to dedicate significant financial resources to the construction of the Roghun Dam hydropower plant creates pressure for the Tax Committee to enforce or creatively interpret arbitrary tax regulations in order to meet ever-increasing revenue targets.

Politics also play a role.  Remittances sent by Tajik labor migrants historically have accounted for the equivalent of one-third of Tajikistan’s GDP, and the Russian Federation uses this leverage to ensure Tajik support for Russian foreign policy priorities, and/or to exert pressure on Tajikistan to join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union. Tajikistan is also saturated in opaque loans connected to the People’s Republic of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. According to the official statistics, Chinese investments accounted for more than 99.8 percent of the country’s Foreign Direct Investment in 2022.  Despite Tajikistan’s 2013 accession to the World Trade Organization, the Tajik government has imposed trade policies to protect private domestic interests without notifying its partners, notably in the poultry, mining, and alcoholic beverage sectors.
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare endemic transport and infrastructure challenges in landlocked Tajikistan, imposed by geography but exacerbated by political isolation as borders with Afghanistan (following the Taliban’s return to power) and the Kyrgyz Republic (following deadly April 2021 border clashes) remain closed. Tajikistan’s rigid economy represents another systemic barrier as analyses show growth is consistently driven by remittance-fueled consumption and exports are concentrated in mining, metals, and agriculture, making Tajikistan especially vulnerable to commodity shocks in world markets.

Despite these challenges and risks to potential investors, Tajikistan is pursuing greater trade and investment links and has made modest progress on trade facilitation and tax reform to improve its investment climate in past years.  In 2022, authorities continued small steps towards compliance on intellectual property rights protections.  Should the government pursue an economic reform path, opportunities in energy, agribusiness, food processing, tourism, IT, and mining could prove promising.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 150 of 180 
Global Innovation Index 2022 104 of 132 
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2021* $38 
World Bank GNI per capita 2021* $1,150 

* Latest data available at time of report


In its public pronouncements, the government of Tajikistan consistently seeks greater U.S. investment in its private enterprise. In its practice, however, according to official statistics, the government favors state-led investment and seeks external loans, historically from the People’s Republic of China and Russia. In 2022, overall Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Tajikistan was $429 million, and Chinese direct investments accounted for 99.8 per cent.  Turkey ($6.5 million) was the second largest source of FDI in 2022, followed by British Virgin Islands ($3.3 million) and Hong Kong ($3.3 million).

Tajikistan’s Investment Law (Article 7) guarantees equal rights for both local and foreign investors.  According to this law, foreigners can invest by jointly owning shares in existing companies with other Tajik companies or Tajik citizens; by creating fully foreign-owned companies; or by concluding agreements with legal entities or citizens of Tajikistan that provide for other forms of foreign investment activity.  Foreign firms may acquire assets, including shares and other securities, as well as land leasing and mineral usage rights.  Foreign firms may also exercise all property rights to which they are entitled, either independently or shared with other Tajik companies and citizens of Tajikistan.  Most of Tajikistan’s current international agreements provide most-favored-nation status.

Tajikistan’s legislation does not formally discriminate against foreign investors by prohibiting, limiting, or conditioning foreign investment.  To receive permission and licenses for operation, however, a foreign investor must navigate a complicated, cumbersome, and often corrupt bureaucratic system. In practice, foreign companies may encounter bureaucratic or administrative hurdles while exercising their rights. For example, registration of a company by a foreign entity or foreigner may be a more complicated process than for local founders.

Several Tajik government agencies are responsible for investment promotion, but they frequently have competing interests.  The State Committee on Investments and State Property Management (  ) facilitates FDI.  In addition, state-owned enterprise Tajinvest under the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management is responsible for attracting investment into Tajikistan (  ). Although a donor-supported Consultative Council on the Improvement of the Investment Climate (  ) provides a formal venue for dialogue, investors continue to claim that complaints to the government go unheeded.


Tajikistan’s legislation provides a right for all forms of foreign and domestic ownership to establish business enterprises and engage in remunerative activity.  There are no limits on foreign ownership or control of firms and no sector-specific restrictions that discriminate against market access.  Local law considers all land and subsoil resources to belong exclusively to the state, although initial efforts to establish a private land market are underway.

Tajikistan’s legislation allows for 100 percent foreign ownership of local companies.  In the context of jointly owned companies, local partners generally seek to possess a controlling share (51 percent or more) at the initial stage of business development and in some cases may seek to increase their stake over time. In practice, foreign investors have reported that government registration of companies with mixed ownership (that is, a foreign partner investing with a Tajik citizen) undergoes a more complicated and lengthy registration process. Firms operating in the Tajik market report the details of this process are often not clearly and legally delineated, and this complex process acts as a barrier to foreign entry into the Tajik market. It also serves to discourage foreign investment in established domestic companies.

All sectors of Tajikistan’s economy are open to foreign participation except for aviation, defense, security, and law enforcement, which require special government permission.  Tajikistan does not restrict foreign investment; it does not mandate local stakeholder equity positions or local partnership, though local licensing may be required. There are no mandatory IP/technology transfer requirements.

Tajikistan’s State Committee on Investments and State Property Management screens inbound foreign investments involving government interests, including investments into the country’s five Free Economic Zones, in which it holds approval authority. The government takes particular interest in investments requiring government financial support or state guarantees as well as projects that may impact the country’s national security.

Investors must submit their proposals to all relevant government agencies to solicit feedback or objection, and investors report this process can be lengthy and cumbersome.  Screening proposals often involve background checks on the company, the person(s) representing the company, and identification of a financial source to comply with anti-money laundering regulations.  Investors report that the government process of registration is over-centralized; legal processes can be excessively bureaucratic due to the small circle of authorized, high-ranking decision-makers and the low level of technical expertise in administrative and judicial bodies. The review process could reject proposals that violate Tajik law or flag a proposal as “incomplete.”  Applicants may appeal the government’s decision by submitting a claim to the Tajik Economic Court.

While there is no legislative bar to foreigners acquiring and maintaining either residential or commercial real estate, in practice, investors report the government often implements administrative barriers to it. To certify a real estate transaction, notaries require foreigners to obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Justice – a practice with no standing in legislation.


In December 2021 the World Trade Organization conducted its first  Trade Policy Review  for Tajikistan. In 2020, an OECD Peer Review of Investment Promotion in Tajikistan suggested enhancing communication with existing investors and establishing a clear investment strategy that articulates economic objectives and agency roles. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) conducted investment policy reviews in 2016 and 2022. ( )


Although the Tajik government simplified the business registration process by adopting a single-window registration system for investors in 2019, that process still requires significant legal and human resources, government connections, and time.  The law, promulgated in 2009, states that a company could be registered in no more than five working days. Administrative delays and bureaucratic obstruction often mean a much longer process, according to investors.

In 2022, the government implemented a moratorium on business inspections, designed to reduce unannounced tax inspections of companies. These tax inspections were largely ad-hoc efforts to search for technical violations of arcane or opaque regulations, to assess fines with the purpose of increasing government revenues. Anecdotal reports indicate the tax commission inspectors assess predetermined penalties for “violations”. This moratorium is due to expire in 2023.

The Tax Committee is the primary agency responsible for business registration (  ).  In addition to obtaining state registration through a single-window, a company must also register with the Social Protection Agency ( ); Statistics Agency under the President of Tajikistan ( ); Ministry of Labor, Migration, and Employment ( ); and Sanitary-Epidemiological Service at the Ministry of Health ( ); as well as with local authorities and municipal services.  According to Tajik regulations, registering a business should take less than five business days; in reality, it may take several weeks or even months due to bureaucracy and what investors have characterized as inappropriate or unlawful actions of the registering agencies. If a foreign citizen is appointed director of the company, additional documents may also be required, as well as their presence in Tajikistan.

The international donor community, in coordination with the government, funds a number of projects that stimulate development of small and medium enterprises in Tajikistan.


The Tajik government does not promote outward investments.  Private companies from Tajikistan have invested in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Turkey, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the UAE, primarily in trade, food processing, real estate, and business development.  The Tajik government does not restrict domestic investors from investing abroad.

The government does implement regulations to restrict foreign currency exchange, and capital outflows. For example, the currency legislation requires companies to notify the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) when carrying out foreign exchange transactions related to the outbound movement of capital. These operations may include, but are not limited to: direct investments of residents in foreign countries; the purchase of securities, shares of investment funds, or other financial instruments; participation in the creation of authorized capital and other transactions with derivative securities; obtaining or granting commercial loans with a maturity exceeding one year; opening by residents of bank accounts in foreign banks; or other internationally-recognized currency transactions between private entities.

Tajikistan does not have a bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the United States and does not participate in United States Trade Representative (USTR)’s Generalized System of Preferences program. Information about Tajikistan’s bilateral investment treaties is available at:  Tajikistan Bilateral Investment Agreements .

Based on the principles of succession, the Convention between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Matters of Taxation is currently in force. The convention can be found here:   Convention between United States and USSR on Taxation .  The Tajik government does not recognize this treaty and has requested a double taxation treaty with the United States.  In 2004, Tajikistan became a signatory to the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) along with the United States, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan.

Tajikistan’s other investment agreements include: the Eurasian Investment Agreement; the European Community-Tajikistan Partnership Agreement with the European Union; the Commonwealth of Independent States Investor Rights Convention; the Energy Charter Treaty; and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Investment Agreement.

Tajikistan does not have a Free Trade Agreement or an Association Agreement in force with the European Union but is a beneficiary of the EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, a bilateral trade arrangement through which the EU provides preferential access to its market to developing countries and territories in the form of reduced tariffs for their goods when entering the EU market.  Preferential imports from Tajikistan are heavily concentrated in two sectors: industrial products – such as base metals – and textiles.

Although Tajikistan is not a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and therefore not a party to its trade agreements, it nevertheless pledged in 1992 to uphold certain USSR treaty obligations, including an Income Tax Treaty that entered into force in 1976.

A new, ostensibly simplified Tax Code went into force on January 1, 2022 following extensive, World Bank-funded technical assistance. The Tax Committee, subsequently, held consultations with concerned businesses to explain changes in the Code. Investors should be aware that financial transfers from parent companies to branches within Tajikistan will be taxed as revenue. Investors who qualify for a value-added tax (VAT) exemption on imported materials should be aware that they must submit applications for exemption no later than January 1 of a given year and that any exemption granted will expire December 31 of that year. According to Article 189 of the new Tax Code, all manufacturing companies are tax exempt for two years, and that period can be extended based on the size of the investment.

Tajikistan is not a member of the OECD Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting.

A list of bilateral agreements to avoid double taxation can be found here:  List of Bilateral Agreements on Double Taxation .


According to the business community, Tajikistan’s regulatory system lacks transparency, and the government does not encourage companies to disclose environmental, social, or governance transparency.  Despite recent improvements to allow access to presidential decrees and laws online, governmental instructions, ministerial memos, and regulations are often inaccessible to the public or unpublished.  Although Tajikistan archives laws, regulations, and policies at  , investors must purchase access to Adlia ( ), a commercial legal database, to obtain updated legal and regulatory information.

Tajikistan’s legislation allows a draft law to be published for public discussion in the media. In practice, this provision is not implemented. Government agencies submit proposed draft regulations to government commissions, which receive a final review and approval from the Executive Office of President.

TajikStandard, the government agency responsible for certifying goods and services and supervising compliance with state standards, lacks experts and appropriate equipment.  TajikStandard does not publish its fees for licenses and certificates, or its regulatory requirements. Ongoing assistance from the World Bank helps the Ministry of Finance and some parastatals adopt International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in order to comply with the government’s 2011 Accounting Law. Publicly available budget documents fall short of internationally accepted standards, but the government has made progress towards greater fiscal transparency in recent years.


Tajikistan is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).  Government officials are still studying the prospect of membership in the EAEU.  The regulatory system that governs Tajikistan’s cotton sector incorporates CIS and U.S. technical norms. Tajikistan became a WTO member in 2013. According to a December 2021 WTO report, Tajikistan is overdue in its reporting requirements for several economic reports.


Tajikistan’s legal system is a civic code, where judicial decisions are not sources of law, but interpretations of legal code. Tajikistan has a civil legal system in which parties to a contract can seek enforcement by submitting claims or disputes to Tajikistan’s Economic Court. Nominally, the judicial system is independent.  In practice, the executive branch interferes in judiciary matters.  According to reports from businesses, the current judicial process is neither fair nor reliable and outcomes tend to favor the government’s executive branch. The judiciary system consists of the Constitutional Court, courts of general jurisdiction, and economic courts. The Constitutional Court considers constitutional complaints for compliance of laws with the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan. Courts of general jurisdiction deal mainly with civil, criminal, family, labor, military, and other cases. Economic courts consider commercial disputes, as well as cases related to entrepreneurial and other commercial activities. The legislation provides for the appeal of judicial decisions and acts of state bodies. At the same time, it should be noted that in practice, in disputes with some state bodies, such as tax authorities, in practice annulment requests have not been successful.


The Tajik government regulates investments through several laws, inter alia, the Law on Investment Agreement, Law on Concessions, Law on Resources, Law on Legal Status of Foreigners, Law on Free Economic Zones, Law on Investments, Concept of State Policy on Investments and Protection of Investments, Law on Natural Resources Tenders, and Law on Privatization of Housing.

The Tajik government’s “one-stop-shop” Single Window website for investors launched in 2019::  .


The Antimonopoly Service under the Government (  ) is responsible for regulating prices for products of monopolistic enterprises and for preventing and eliminating monopolistic activity, abuse, and unfair competition. The agency’s decisions are subject to a legal appeals process, although there are few instances in which decisions have been overruled. In some markets, the same owner may have several companies in the same industry, giving only an appearance of competition.


The Tajik government can legally expropriate property under the terms of Tajikistan’s Law on Investments, Law on Privatization, civil code, and criminal code.  The laws authorize expropriation if the Tajik government identifies procedural violations in privatizations of state-owned assets or determines a property has been used for anti-government or criminal activities, as defined in the criminal code.

Tajikistan has a history of expropriating land that was illegally privatized following independence.  In Tajikistan, all land is state-owned, but the property on the land can be privatized. After an investigation by government anti-corruption, anti-monopoly, and other law enforcement agencies, the State Committee for Investments and State Property Management can issue a finding that the asset was illegally privatized and request that the Tajik court system order its return to government control.  The media publishes information about these cases. Domestic law requires owners be reimbursed for expropriated property, but the amount of the compensation is usually well below the property’s fair market value.  There exists little to no protection against eminent domain claims, and property owners cannot be certain to receive any compensation in the event of an eminent domain claim. The Tajik government has not shown any pattern of discrimination against U.S. persons by way of illegal expropriation.


ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Tajikistan is not a member state of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Convention. Tajikistan became the 147th country to sign and ratify the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (1958) and acceded to the Convention on August 14, 2012. Nonetheless, Tajik courts have overturned arbitral awards in favor of connected officials. Courts have also occasionally refused in practice to acknowledge foreign arbitral awards in their rulings.

Tajikistan signed the New York Convention noting that it does not apply the provisions of the Convention to disputes with immovable property. Tajikistan also established that it applies the Convention only to disagreements and decisions “arising after the entry into force of the Convention and to decisions made in the territories of third countries.”

The procedure for recognition of arbitral awards is provided for in the Economic Procedural Code of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On International Commercial Arbitration”.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

In 2011, Tajikistan joined the Cape Town Convention on International Interests and Mobile Equipment.  This convention and its protocol on Matters Specific to Aircraft Equipment is intended to standardize transactions involving movable property, particularly aircraft and aircraft engines.  The treaty creates international standards for registration of ownership, security interests (liens), leases, conditional sales contracts, and various legal remedies for default in financing agreements, including repossession and the effect of a particular state’s bankruptcy laws.

Disputes involving foreign investors have primarily centered on the implementation of tax incentives.  Numerous foreign investors report difficulty utilizing promised VAT exemptions on imported items.  According to Tajikistan’s Economic Procedural Code, dispute resolution decisions should take 30-60 days after the process begins.  In practice, companies say the process typically takes much longer.

Regarding investment agreements, the courts have jurisdiction over cases involving disputes between an investor and the government. Under the law, these disputes may be submitted for resolution by an independent and impartial arbitrator located outside of Tajikistan, if the government and the investor make provision for it in their investment agreement documentation.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

Tajik law recognizes the role of local courts in dispute resolution and arbitration, but there is no reputable arbitration institution for resolving disputes domestically among individuals and businesses.  State-owned enterprise TALCO lost an international dispute process in 2013, and eventually came to terms on the dispute settlement in 2017. Tajikistan has signed bilateral agreements with several countries on arbitration and investment disputes, but local domestic courts do not always properly enforce or recognize these rulings.

In Tajikistan, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry serves as a venue for international commercial arbitration for conflict resolution. However, there are no records of any investment agreement containing an arbitration clause authorizing jurisdiction over disputes to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

As previously noted, Tajikistan is a signatory to the New York Convention on Arbitration, but in practice the courts have not consistently recognized and upheld foreign arbitral awards.


Tajik law does not criminalize bankruptcy. The Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Insolvency (Bankruptcy)” was adopted on December 8, 2003. Creditors have the right to satisfy their claims upon liquidation of a legal entity, if there are sufficient funds. Requirements are met in the following order:

  • the claims of secured creditors from the value of the security in the manner prescribed by the legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan, as well as the claims of citizens to whom the liquidated legal entity is liable for causing harm to life and health, by capitalizing the corresponding time-based payments;
  • settlements of payment of severance benefits and wages with persons working under an employment contract, as well as for the payment of remuneration under copyright agreements;
  • debt on obligatory payments to the budget is repaid;
  • settlements with other creditors are made in accordance with the law.


According to statements by President Rahmon, there are over 200 tax, regulatory, and legal incentives for businesses.  According to the IFC Business Regulation and Investment Policy project, there are 97 incentives for investments.  In practice, businesses and investors cannot access or utilize most of these incentives. The State Committee on Investments and State Property Management’s website lists government-promoted investment opportunities (  ).

The Tajik government has officially expressed an interest in attracting FDI and in recent years the government has issued state guarantees for joint projects, principally with Chinese investments. Tajikistan’s ambitious National Development Strategy 2016-2030 highlights the critical role of private sector investment, but the strategy’s goal to attract $55 billion in FDI by 2030 may be more aspirational than realistic.


The Tajik government has established five Free Economic Zones (  ) offering reduced taxes and customs fees to both foreign and domestic businesses.  To be eligible for preferential tax treatment, manufacturing companies must invest a minimum of $500,000, trading companies $50,000, and service and consulting companies $10,000. The newest Free Economic Zone was created in March 2019, in Kulob.


The government does not practice forced data localization but does require telecommunication service providers to install surveillance equipment provided by the Russian Federation as part of a Collective Security Treaty Organization agreement.  Since 2017, Tajikistan’s Telecommunication Agency sends all internet traffic through its unified communication center.  The government does not impede the transmission of customer or other business-related data outside the country’s territory unless the data violates anti-terrorist and anti-extremist laws.


The Tajik government uses an outdated cadaster system to record, protect, and facilitate acquisition and disposition of property, and enforcement remains an issue.  Investors should be aware that establishing title might be a more involved process than in Western countries because title histories can be difficult to find. Since 2007, the U.S. government has provided significant, sustained, and focused support to the Tajik government on market-driven land reforms. The activity also supports the launch of a new automated registration system designed to centralize records, streamline procedures, and further simplify land registration.

According to domestic law, all land belongs exclusively to the state; individuals or entities may be granted first or second-tier land-use rights.  The government restricts foreigners’ first-tier land-use rights to 50 years, while Tajik individuals and entities may have indefinite first-tier land-use rights.  Foreigners may request second-tier land-use rights from the government similar to the first-tier rights of Tajik individuals and entities, for periods of up to 50 years.  Tajik first-tier land-use rights holders may also grant foreigners lease agreements for up to 20 years.

Tajik law does not allow the formal sale of land.  In 2008, however, the government passed mortgage legislation that allows parties to use immovable property as collateral.  If leaseholders do not use land in accordance with the purpose of the lease, then authorities can revert it to other owners.


Tajikistan is a signatory to several international conventions that protect intellectual property rights (IPR), including the World International Property Organization (WIPO) Convention.  Tajikistan has signed 18 WIPO administered treaties.  IPR-related laws, regulations, and treaties are listed here:  WIPO List of IPR-Laws of Tajikistan .

Tajikistan was removed from the United States Trade Representative’s Special 301 Watch List in 2019 and is not included in the Notorious Markets List.

The government has adopted a 2021-2030 National Strategy for the Development of Intellectual Property, but the strategy offers few specifics or benchmarks to guide officials in its implementation and comes with no additional resources or funding.

At present, sales from IP intensive industries do not represent a sizeable portion of the Tajik economy. Moreover, estimates indicate over 90 percent of software and other media products sold in the country are unlicensed copies, and many “brand name” consumer goods are counterfeit products manufactured in the People’s Republic of China. Officially, Tajikistan amended its customs code during WTO accession to provide authority for customs officers to seize and destroy counterfeit goods; in practice, IP enforcement actions are limited.

To register a patent or trademark with the National Center for Patents and Information (NCPI), applicants must submit an application and pay a fee.  The NCPI (  ) will search its records for conflicts and, if none is found, should register the IP within 30 days from the time the application is received.  In general, trademark registration might take four to seven months, while obtaining a patent for an invention could take up to two years.

For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at:  


Foreign portfolio investment is not a priority for the Tajik government, and the country lacks a securities market.  According to government statistics, portfolio investment in Tajikistan totaled slightly more than $502 million at the end of 2022. This includes the $500 million Eurobond the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) issued in 2017.  The NBT has made efforts to develop a system to encourage and facilitate portfolio investments, including credit rating mechanisms implemented by Moody’s and S&P.  Apart from these initial steps, however, Tajikistan has not established policies to facilitate the free flow of financial resources into product and factor markets.

Tajikistan does not place any restrictions on payments and transfers for current international transactions, per IMF Article VIII.  It regards transfers from all international sources as revenue, however, and taxes them accordingly.  Politically-driven lending has historically saddled commercial banks with a high percentage of non-performing loans.  Foreign investors can get credit on the local market, but those operating in Tajikistan avoid local credit because of comparatively high interest rates.

The country operates the Central Asian Stock Exchange ( Central Asian Stock Exchange ) established in 2015 with the stated purpose of funding entrepreneurial efforts. Operation of CASE is not transparent, especially as regards beneficial owners and state-owned enterprises having some public offerings.


According to an NBT report from December 2022, 64 credit institutions, including 14 banks, one Islamic bank; one nonbank credit institution, 19 microcredit deposit organizations; three microcredit organizations; and 26 microcredit funds function in Tajikistan.  Tajikistan has 310 bank branches and 1,205 banking service centers. The NBT has estimated roughly 25 percent of Tajiks have a bank account.

Tajikistan’s banking system is on a recovery path following a 2015 financial crisis.  AgroInvestBank and TojikSodirotbank, two of Tajikistan’s largest, entered the liquidation process in May 2021.  Tajikistan’s banking sector had assets of $3 billion as of December 2022, while liabilities reached $2.73 billion.  Although authorities report 12 percent of commercial loans are non-performing, other independent estimates are considerably higher.

The NBT is Tajikistan’s central bank and, in recent years, has pursued policies to strengthen financial inclusion and cashless payments.  Foreign banks can establish operations but are subject to NBT regulations.  United States commercial banks discontinued correspondent banking relations with Tajik commercial banks in 2012.  To establish a bank account, foreigners must submit a letter of application, a passport copy, and Tajik government-issued taxpayer identification number.


Foreign Exchange

Tajikistan places no legal limits on commercial or non-commercial money transfers, but investors find it difficult in practice to conduct large currency transactions due to the limited amount of foreign currency in the domestic financial market. Investors are free to import currency, but once deposited in a Tajik bank account it may be difficult to withdraw.

In 2015, the NBT shut down all private foreign exchange offices in Tajikistan and restricted money exchange to commercial banks; transactions require customers to register with an identity document.  In 2019, the NBT launched a national money transfer center that centralizes the receipt of all remittances from abroad.

The NBT strives for a stable exchange rate but remains highly susceptible to changes in the Russian ruble due to the high volume of remittances.  Following the launch of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the Tajik somoni in March 2022 fell 15 percent against the U.S. dollar to TJS 13 for 1 U.S. dollar before stabilizing at TJS 10 for 1 U.S. dollar in July 2022.

Remittance Policies

In 2016, the NBT mandated that commercial banks disburse remittances in local currency.  There are no official time or quantity limitations on the inflow or outflow of funds for remittances.  Tajikistan’s tax code classifies all inflows as revenue and taxes them accordingly; however, the Tajik government does not tax remittances from labor migrants. In 2021, NBT centralized remittance flows by revoking existing licenses for processing remittances, ostensibly as an anti-money laundering measure.


Tajikistan does not have a sovereign wealth fund.

World Bank and IMF reports indicate there are 920 state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including 30 large scale SOEs as TALCO, energy company Barqi Tojik, Dushanbe International Airport, and others, which employ 24 percent of the labor force, use 50 percent of all available credit, and account for 17 percent of the country’s economic output. Notably, SOEs also account for most of the state’s foreign debt, with Barqi Tojik as the predominant loss-leader. The State Committee for Investments and State Property Management maintains a private database of all SOEs in Tajikistan.

SOEs are active in travel, transportation, energy, mining, metal manufacturing/products, food processing/packaging, agriculture, construction, heavy equipment, services, finance, and information and communication sectors.  The government divested itself of smaller SOEs in successive waves of privatization but retained ownership of the largest Soviet-era enterprises and any sector deemed to be a natural monopoly.

The government appoints directors and boards to SOEs, but the absence of clear governance and internal control procedures means the government retains full control.  Tajik SOEs do not adhere to the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance for SOEs.  When SOEs are involved in investment disputes, domestic courts typically rule in their favor.  In sectors that are open to private sector and foreign competition, SOEs receive a larger percentage of government contracts/business than their private sector competitors.  Tajikistan has undertaken a commitment, as part of its WTO accession protocol, to initiate accession to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), but the agreement does not cover SOEs.

SOEs do not generally reveal financial operations through normal auditing channels but are instead audited directly by a designated commission of the central government. SOEs generally receive special tax remissions and favorable rates for energy purchases and do not disclose annual financial accounting information.


The Tajik government conducted privatization on an ad-hoc basis in the 1990s and again in the early 2000s.  Following a World Bank recommendation, in 2020 the government split national energy parastatal Barqi Tojik, into three distinct public/private partnerships.

Foreign investors are able to participate in Tajikistan’s privatization programs.  There is a public bidding process, but the privatization process is not transparent. This is largely handled through the Central Asian Stock Exchange.

The Tajik government has given no guidance on responsible business conduct for companies and does not promote OECD or UN recommendations on these issues. There are no standards on corporate governance, accounting, or executive compensation to protect shareholders.  There are no independent NGOs, worker organizations/unions, or business associations in Tajikistan that promote or monitor responsible business conduct.

Authorities protect consumer rights through the Law on Consumer Protection, and citizens may file lawsuits against violators of consumer rights with the court system.  Tajikistan’s state labor union is responsible for safeguarding labor and employment rights but in practice, no enforcement is in place.


Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Labor


The government’s 2016-2030 National Development Strategy and midterm goals in the 2021-2025 period of the strategy promote green economy principles with few specifics. Tajikistan uses tree plantings, hydropower, and regional energy integration to work towards environmental goals but has stressed that international cooperation and financial assistance would be keys to success. Tajikistan has prioritized industrialization for economic development and poverty reduction and, accordingly, has not pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions. Significantly, coal production and use has accelerated since 2020, both to generate inputs for concrete production and to provide energy and to fuel furnaces in those concrete plants.

Additionally, the government’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the period up to 2030 stresses the country’s vulnerability to climate change, which it identifies as a barrier to development priorities. Priority sectors under the strategy include energy, water resources, transport, and agriculture.

According to Yale’s Environmental Performance Index 2022, Tajikistan ranks 117. According to the UN Climate Vulnerability Index, Tajikistan ranks 103 l. According to the International Energy Agency’s 2022 report, 90 percent of Tajikistan’s energy generation is hydropower. In the 2021 Climatescope ranking of the most attractive destinations for energy transition investments, Tajikistan places 97 of 136 countries ranked.

Tajikistan has enacted anti-corruption legislation, but enforcement is politically motivated, and generally ineffective in combating corruption of public officials. Tajikistan ranks 150 out of 180 countries according to Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index.   Amendments to the criminal code in 2016 allow individuals convicted of bribery-related crimes to avoid prison in return for payment of fines (roughly $25/day they would have served in prison). Provisions regarding the fight against corruption, anti-corruption bodies, as well as liability are provided mainly in the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Combating Corruption” dated August 7, 2020; the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On the Agency for State Financial Control and the Fight against Corruption of the Republic of Tajikistan” dated March 20, 2008; the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Tajikistan; and the Criminal Code of the Republic of Tajikistan.

Tajikistan’s laws provide conditions to counter conflict of interest in awarding contracts.  The Tajik government does not require private companies to establish internal codes of conduct that prohibit bribery of public officials.  Tajikistan became a signatory to the UN’s Anticorruption Convention in 2006.  Tajikistan is not a party to the OECD Convention on Combatting Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.  Tajik authorities do not provide protection to NGOs involved in investigating corruption.

U.S. firms have identified corruption as an obstacle to investment and have reported instances of corruption in government procurement, awards of licenses and concessions, dispute settlements, regulations, customs, and taxation. Tax inspections are the most common form of ordinary corruption foreign investors will face.


Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:

Sulaimon Sultonzoda
Head, Agency for State Financial Control and Fight with Corruption
78 Rudaki Avenue, Dushanbe
992 37 221-48-10; 992 27 234-3052; 
(The agency requests that contact be made via a form on their website –  )

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:
United Nations Development Program
39 Aini Street, Dushanbe
+992 44 600-56-00

Tajikistan’s civil war lasted from 1992 to 1997 and resulted in the deaths of 50,000 people.  Apart from a minor uprising in September 2015, however, political violence following the end of the civil war has been rare.

In 2020, President Rahmon won his fifth-consecutive term in office with 91 percent of the vote.  Earlier in the year, the President’s political party won 47 of 63 seats in parliament.  Tajikistan’s authoritarian ruler has consolidated power by silencing opposition voices and political parties.  As part of its security efforts, the Tajik government has placed numerous restrictions on religious, media, and civil freedoms.

The state furthers the interests of the ruling elite, often to the detriment of the business community.  Democratic reform is viewed by many elites as a threat to important political and financial interests.  Government institutions are often unwilling or unable to protect human rights, the judiciary is not independent, and the court system does not present Tajiks with a fair or effective forum in which to seek protection.  Law enforcement institutions often overuse their authority to monitor, question, or detain a wide spectrum of individuals, and the State Committee on National Security (GKNB) exercises a wide degree of influence in all aspects of government.

The official unemployment rate at the end of 2022 was two percent, although the World Bank estimates the unemployment rate to be 10.9 percent. Estimates on labor force participation in the informal sector vary widely, but some Embassy contacts speculate half of all Tajiks work outside of the formal sector.  Government unemployment statistics do not include the roughly one million citizens (10 percent of the population) that migrate in search of work in other countries – primarily to Russia. According to information provided by the Ministry of Labor, Migration, and Employment, Tajikistan’s labor force is comprised of 5.6 million workers.  Due to demographic growth, the World Bank estimates that demand for jobs exceeds job growth by a ratio of two to one. Tajikistan placed last in the Eastern Europe and Central Asian Region in the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Index (114 of 146 countries ranked), which noted women make up only 31 percent of the Tajik labor force and often hold jobs with few protections and meager earnings.

Unskilled labor is widely available, but skilled labor is in short supply, as many Tajiks with marketable skills choose to emigrate due to limited domestic employment opportunities.  Corruption in secondary schools and universities means degrees may not accurately reflect an applicant’s level of professional training or competency.  Foreign businesses, international organizations, and NGOs report difficulty recruiting qualified staff for their organizations in all specialties.

The government actively pursues training programs and labor localization opportunities in an effort to stem the tide of mass emigration. Labor migrants, while the source of lucrative remissions (a portion of which are claimed by the government through handling fees through the National Bank of Tajikistan) nevertheless represent the loss of potential taxes and domestic production capacity necessary to grow the economy. The government supports entrepreneurship that develops new businesses and actively seeks development of its industrial, technological, and more advanced agricultural sectors. It seeks to rise in the value chain, especially in its textile market.

The Ministry of Labor, Migration, and Employment is expanding its network of donor-assisted training centers at which Tajik workers can become more marketable.  The curriculum at these centers is primarily focused on the migrant community, offering training in English, Russian, culture, and history.  Centers also provide certification of a worker’s existing skills and short-term vocational training as welders, electricians, tractor operators, textile workers, and confectioners.

The labor market favors employers.  Article 36 of Tajikistan’s Labor Code gives employers the right to change workers’ contracts (remuneration, hours, responsibilities, etc.) due to fluctuating market conditions.  If the worker does not accept the amended contract, the employer may terminate the worker, but the worker can claim a severance payment equivalent to two months’ salary.

Tajikistan’s Labor Code does not include any provisions for waiving labor regulations in Tajikistan’s Free Economic Zones or to attract or retain investments, but the Tajik government has in some cases waived requirements on the percentage of Tajiks which make up a company’s labor force.  According to the Tajik Law on Licenses, foreign companies may negotiate the percentage of the foreign work force under an investment agreement. Large-scale projects signed between the Tajik government and a foreign entity or government require 80 percent of the workforce to be locally hired. Tajik legislation permits foreigners to hold senior management and directorial positions.  It is possible to obtain visas and residence/work permits, but applicants are required to provide documentary support, and most permits cannot exceed one year.

The International Labor Organization in its 2021 annual report on the application of international labor standards requested additional information from Tajikistan on both the country’s labor inspection practices and legal framework related to trade unions due to concerns of non-compliance with various international regulations.  Although the majority of workers are technically unionized, most are not aware of their rights, and few unions effectively advocate for workers’ rights.  The Tajik government controls unions.  Tajikistan has no formal labor dispute resolution mechanisms.  Although collective bargaining can occur, it is rare. There were no significant labor strikes in Tajikistan during 2022.

There are opportunities for the Development Finance Corporation to work in Tajikistan.  The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has supported a potato chip factory, an expansion at the University of Central Asia, and consulting companies.

Tajikistan signed an investment incentive agreement with the United States in 1992, with provisions for issuing investment insurance, loans, and guarantees administered by OPIC.

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount  
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($B USD) 2022 $10.6B 2021 $8.73B
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) 2021 $126M 2021 $38M BEA data available at
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) 2021 N/A 2018 $0 BEA data available at
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP 2021 37.7% 2020 39.1% UNCTAD data available at

* Source for Host Country Data: TajStats and Embassy estimate

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data
From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)
Inward Direct Investment Outward Direct Investment
Total Inward $4,219.0 100% Total Outward $70 100%
China, P.R. $1,968.3 46% N/A N/A N/A
Russian Federation $760.0 18% N/A N/A N/A
Islamic Republic of Iran $379 8% N/A N/A N/A
United Kingdom $333 7% N/A N/A N/A
Switzerland $140 3% N/A N/A N/A
“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.

Alan Flesch
Economic Officer
109A I. Somoni
+992 37 2292355

On This Page

  2. 1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
  3. 2. Bilateral Investment and Taxation Treaties
  4. 3. Legal Regime
      1. ICSID Convention and New York Convention
      2. Investor-State Dispute Settlement
      3. International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
  5. 4. Industrial Policies
  6. 5. Protection of Property Rights
  7. 6. Financial Sector
      1. Foreign Exchange
      2. Remittance Policies
  8. 7. State-Owned Enterprises
  9. 8. Responsible Business Conduct
  10. 9. Corruption
  11. 10. Political and Security Environment
  12. 11. Labor Policies and Practices
  13. 12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Other Investment Insurance or Development Finance Programs
  14. 13. Foreign Direct Investment Statistics
  15. 14. Contact for More Information
2023 Investment Climate Statements: Tajikistan
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