New horizons for Tajikistan-UAE relations, says top envoy

The Central Asian country is looking for foreign investments in its rich natural resources



Tajikistan is seeking foreign investments in exploration of natural resources
Tajikistan is seeking foreign investments in exploration of natural resources
by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Mon 13 Jun 2022, 6:40 PM

Tajikistan is keen on exploring new ways of cooperation with the UAE, mainly in areas of energy, water, mining, tourism, a top envoy said in Abu Dhabi.

Bahodur Sharifi, Ambassador of Tajikistan to the UAE, told Khaleej Times that the bilateral ties between the two countries have become stronger over the years, especially with exceptional cooperation during the Covid-19 pandemic, and now it was time to scale new heights.

“Tajikistan has rich reserves of gold, silver, and almost all elements of the chemical periodic table like zinc, tin, coal, lead, nickel etc. We have the potential of creating one of the world’s leading mining and metallurgical clusters. We welcome the UAE to come and explore the prospects of drilling these rich resources.” Sharifi said.

Bahodur Sharifi, Ambassador of Tajikistan to the UAE at the Embassy in Abu Dhabi
Bahodur Sharifi, Ambassador of Tajikistan to the UAE at the Embassy in Abu Dhabi

Tajikistan is a mountainous country in the heart of Central Asia. It is located on the Silk Road connecting the west and the east. It is sitting on deposits of highly valued natural resources, and is seeking foreign investments in exploration.

Tajikistan is located on the Silk Road
Tajikistan is located on the Silk Road

“Only 5 per cent of Tajikistan’s geological reserves have been explored, making mining the most prospective sector of investments in the country,” says Sharifi.

The country of mountains, glaciers and lakes, the ambassador noted, is eagerly looking to develop its potential of hydro-power and mining resources.

Mountains, lakes, glaciers, in Central Asia
Mountains, lakes, glaciers, in Central Asia

Tajikistan possesses more than 60 per cent of all clean water resources of Central Asia, potentially providing 600 gigabytes of clean hydro energy, making it the region’s main hydro energy source. However, it currently utilises only 6 per cent of its potential.

“We will roll out a red carpet to investors from the UAE. We promise tax exemptions, like no income tax, no VAT or corporate tax, customs duty etc.”

Sharifi noted that a delegation from Tajikistan is in talks with Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, for cooperation in clean energy projects and mining.

“We are focused on hydro and solar energies. We shouldn't be focused on one form of energy but diversify. Tajikistan is looking to partner with the UAE to explore sources of diversification.”

Last week, Tajikistan hosted the Second International High-Level Conference on the International Decade for Action titled ‘Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028’ in the capital city of Dushanbe.

Yousef Al Ali during the international conference in Dushanbe
Yousef Al Ali during the international conference in Dushanbe

The UAE delegation led by Yousef Al Ali, Assistant Undersecretary for the Electricity, Water and Future Energy Sector at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, took part in the four-day conference.

“Both the countries have been prioritising the efforts to address climate change,” the ambassador added.

Meanwhile, tourism is another sector that the country is aiming to promote. It has majestic mountains, archaeological attractions, fortress, hiking and camping sites, and offers visa-free entry to more than 60 countries. Since January 1, UAE nationals with diplomatic, special and normal passports could travel to Tajikistan without pre-entry visas and for stays of up to 30 days for each visit.

Tajikistan has majestic mountains, archaeological attractions, hiking and camping sites
Tajikistan has majestic mountains, archaeological attractions, hiking and camping sites

“During the pandemic, we increased the frequency of flights to six, mainly from Dubai. We are looking to connect both the Capital cities. We are a beautiful country just three hours from here,” Sharifi added.


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