Country Series: Republic of Tajikistan

To introduce Pakistani traders and industrialists to non-traditional markets, the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) has initiated a series of five Country Profiles aimed at introducing opportunities in the Central Asian Republics. This Country Profile covers the final publication of the Central Asia Country Series and features the Republic of Tajikistan.

The Republic of Tajikistan is the smallest country in Central Asia, with a total area of 141,510 km2. It is a landlocked country, bordered by China, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Apart from being a remittance dependent country, Tajikistan is highly reliant on its top exports (aluminum, ores, slag, ash and cotton) which accounted for over 72% of its exports in 2016.

Tajikistan derives 64.2% of its GDP from the services sector, while agriculture and industrial sectors each contribute 20.7% and 15.1% respectively. Gold, silver, natural gas, oil and coal are some of the key natural resources found in Tajikistan which have still not been fully exploited due to its geographic location. Hydro-energy, infrastructure, textiles, agro, mining and the metal processing sectors are the main recipients of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Tajikistan.

Tajikistan’s major trading partners are China, Russia and Kazakhstan. In 2016, Tajikistan exported $0.7 billion worth of goods which included aluminum, ores and cotton. Imports in 2016 totaled $3.2 billion which mainly comprised of machinery, mechanical appliances, mineral fuels and articles of apparel and clothing.

The following table shows that in comparison to Pakistan, Tajikistan has a much smaller population, its GDP is also lower as is its per GDP per capita. However, Tajikistan’s inflation and GDP growth rates are higher than Pakistan’s.

Pakistan Tajikistan
Population (million) 207.8 (2017) 8.7 (2016)
2014 2015 2016 2014 2015 2016
GDP (current US$ billion) 244.36 271.05 283.66 9.24 7.85 6.95
GDP per capita (current US$) 1,317.0 1,431.2 1,468.2 1,104.5 918.7 795.8
GDP growth (annual %) 4.7 4.7 5.7 6.7 6.0 6.9
Inflation, consumer prices (annual %) 7.2 2.5 3.8 6.1 5.7 6.0
Official exchange rate

(US$, period average)

101.1 102.8 104.8 4.9 6.2 7.8

In 2016, trade with Pakistan was in favor of Tajikistan with a trade surplus of $14.6 million. Cotton constituted 99.0% of Tajikistan’s exports to Pakistan while sugar, dairy produce and pharmaceutical products are the major imported products.  From Tajikistan’s perspective, trade with Pakistan has been minimal considering the indicative trade potential. As of 2016, Pakistan’s potential exports to Tajikistan were $3.2 billion with the main items being medium oils, medicaments and wheat. The potential imports from Tajikistan were $0.7 million with the main products being aluminum, cotton unwrought aluminum alloys and gold. This potential might be realized once the conditions and transportation links routes between the two nations are improved.