By Sipanto Malazoda Rumi - During the 30 years of its independence, the Republic of Tajikistan has been able to gradually strengthen its political position on the world stage by establishing mutually beneficial relations with countries around the world, international and regional organizations. Today, Tajikistan successfully pursues its international relations in various areas, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States and Central Asia, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States, following an "open door" policy.
Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon from the first days of his appointment as Head of State and as a determinant of foreign policy began international relations to represent Tajikistan in the world and attract foreign investment by announcing an "open door" policy thus and this policy continues successfully today. In the pages of the history of international relations of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkey is one of the first countries that recognized our country as a subject of international relations and recognized its independence. This fact embodies the age-old aspirations of the two nations, the desire for direct communication, the revival of existing ties in the interests of both countries. Earlier this year, Tajikistan and Turkey celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
It should be recalled that diplomatic relations between Tajikistan and Turkey were established on January 29, 1992, and over time, relations and cooperation with Turkey have become one of the priorities of Tajikistan's foreign policy. To date, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon has visited the Republic of Turkey 8 times, the Turkish side has visited Tajikistan 5 times. The first state visit of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon in January 2007 is an important milestone in the history of bilateral relations with the Republic of Turkey.
During this, visit several new and important cooperation documents have been signed as a result of high-level talks, which laid a solid foundation for the development of friendly and mutually beneficial relations between the parties. The role of diplomacy is of special importance in strengthening and expanding relations. Thanks to the consistent efforts and constructive initiatives of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Republic of Turkey Ashrafjon Gulov under the auspice of the instructions of the Leader of the Nation Emomali Rahmon, effective measures are being taken to further develop fruitful cooperation between the two countries.
One of the important areas of bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Turkey is the economic sphere, in which concrete measures are being taken through the consistent efforts of both sides. As a result of these measures, the volume of bilateral trade between Tajikistan and Turkey in 2021 reached 390.5 million dollars. This figure is many times higher than in 2020. According to the official statistics of the Customs Service of Tajikistan, 32% or 572 million dollars of the total volume of exports to CIS countries and 68% or 1 214.7 million dollars to foreign countries. The main exports of goods to Kazakhstan - 20.2%, Turkey - 13%, China - 8.9%, Uzbekistan - 7.1%, Belgium - 5%, Afghanistan - 4.6% and Russia - 4.1%. is formed. As we can see, Turkey occupies the second place in the export system of Tajikistan. These figures testify to the fact that the relations and economic cooperation between Tajikistan have significantly developed, and it is expected that the trade turnover between the two countries will be doubled.
Attracting Turkish direct investment to the Tajik economy is one of the top priorities now. In this regard, on the initiative of the Ambassador of Tajikistan to Turkey Ashrafjon Gulov, regular negotiations are being held with the leaders and representatives of the economic bloc and the private sector of Turkey. During the meetings the sides exchanged views on the current situation and future steps to follow the agreements reached at the 11th session of the Tajik-Turkish Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, in particular the establishment of a Joint Investment Fund between Tajikistan and Turkey to finance projects of small and medium companies in Tajikistan. Naturally, the outcomes of such efforts will give a new impetus to the process of good relations in this important area of cooperation.
It should be noted that in the Address of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Leader of the Nation Emomali Rahmon "On the main directions of domestic and foreign policy" (December 21, 2022) due to the significant contribution of industry in the economic development of Tajikistan, in particular, the process of rapid industrialization of the country for 2022-2026 was declared the Year of Industrial Development. Implementation of initiatives and targeted projects based on the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management of the Republic of Tajikistan and KOSGEB, signed in the margins of the 11th session of the Tajik-Turkish Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation; is among the sustainable steps that will deepen economic, trade and investment relations between the two countries. It should be also recalled that a Turkish-Tajik business forum was held on December 6, 2021 at the Selcuklu Congress Center in Konya.
In the second part of the forum, after negotiations in B2B format with the State Institution "Center for Design and Development of New Industrial Technologies" under the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Tajikistan, 3 investment memorandums worth $52 million were signed.
Also, more than 10 memorandums and investment agreements with a total investment of more than $ 200 million were signed in the B2B format between the business circles of Tajikistan and Turkey. Indeed, the measures taken, and the documents signed show that the interest of Turkish entrepreneurs and investors in the economy of our country is growing from year to year, and in this context, of course, the development of our national economy and improving the welfare of our people is the main goal of the esteemed Leader of Nation, HE Emomali Rahmon. The mutual interest and constant efforts of the supreme authorities of Tajikistan and Turkey for the further expansion and development of mutually beneficial cooperation testify to the stable prospects of relations between the two countries. We believe that all the efforts and initiatives of the two countries will be in the interests of both countries and their peoples.