Market Access Series 2021-22: The Republic of Tajikistan

In order to promote Pakistan’s trade with its non-traditional trading partners, the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in 2015 initiated a Country Profile Series aimed at introducing non-traditional markets to Pakistani exporters. In 2021 – 22, the Country Profile Series covers economies in Africa and Central Asia. This Study which features the Republic of Tajikistan is the first in the Central Asia Series 2021 – 22.

The Republic of Tajikistan (Tajikistan) is a country in Central Asia with a total area of 143.1 thousand square kilometers. The population of Tajikistan in 2020 was estimated at 9.5 million. A comparison of the economic profiles of Pakistan and Tajikistan is shown in the table below.

Pakistan Tajikistan
Economic Indicators 2018 2019 2020 2018 2019 2020
Population (Millions) 212.2 216.6 220.9 9.1 9.3 9.5
GDP (Current US$, Billions) 314.6 278.2 263.7 7.8 8.3 8.2
GDP Per Capita (Current US$) 1,482.2 1,284.7 1,193.7 853.2 890.5 859.1
GDP Growth (%) 5.8 1.0 0.5 7.6 7.4 4.5
Inflation (%) 2.5 8.6 9.3 2.5 3.7 2.3
Real Interest Rate (%) 5.9 3.3 1.3 24.1 19.2
FDI, net inflows (Current US$, Millions) 1,737.0 2,234.0 220.9 212.8
Official Exchange Rate (LCU per US$, period average) 121.8 150.0 161.8 9.2 9.5 10.3

Pakistan’s population is approximately 23 times that of Tajikistan. Pakistan also has a higher GDP and per capita income than Tajikistan.

In 2020, Tajikistan ranked 106th in the world on the Doing Business (DB) Indicator. The country ranked 104th on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) in 2019. Tajikistan ranked 134th on the Logistics Performance Indicator (LPI) in 2018.

The Republic of Tajikistan is part of multilateral organizations and trade blocs such as the CIS, WTO and the ECO.

The figure below shows Tajikistan’s trade with the world.

Tajikistan's Trade Overview

The Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and China are the top trading partners of Tajikistan. Turkey is also among the top 10 trading partners of Tajikistan.

The top export commodities of Tajikistan to the world are monetary gold, aluminium, cotton, lead ores, portland cement and zinc ores among others while the country’s top imports from the world are wheat, mineral fuels, propane, iron and steel etc.

The figure below shows bilateral trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Pakistan-Tajikistan Trade

In 2020, Pakistan’s exports to Tajikistan were US$ 2.1 Million while its imports from Tajikistan were only US$ 836,000/- resulting in a trade surplus of roughly US$ 1.2 Million for Pakistan.

Pakistan’s main exports to Tajikistan are buttermilk, wilkings, citrus and pharmaceutical products, while the country’s main imports from Tajikistan are textile products and kidney beans.

In 2020, Pakistan had a potential to increase exports of products related to Chemical or Allied Industries, Foodstuffs, Vegetable Products and Live Animals & Animal Products to Tajikistan. Pakistan had an export potential of at least US$ 12.5 Million for each group. Some of these products including pharmaceutical products, paints and varnishes, food preparations, rice, bananas and dairy products are already being exported to Tajikistan. Other sectors for which a market can be developed in Tajikistan are Metals, Machinery & Electrical Equipment and Plastics & Rubber as these sectors had a combined export potential of at least US$ 71.2 Million in 2020.

In Fiscal Year 2020, Pakistan’s exports of services to Tajikistan were worth US$ 1.3 Million while its imports of services from Tajikistan were worth US$ 2.7 Million. Pakistan had a trade deficit of roughly US$ 1.4 Million in services with Tajikistan in FY 2020.

The biggest hurdle a Pakistani company faces while exporting to Tajikistan is that the consignment has to go via Afghanistan using the Torkham and Sher Khan borders. Any cargo from Pakistan reaching the two borders faces issues because of Afghan government regulations. Furthermore, the cargo isn’t allowed to go from Chaman and Jalalabad in Afghanistan to reach Tajikistan.

There is a limited availability of foreign funds, especially US Dollars, in Tajikistan and therefore, ensuring payments to Pakistani exporters is a tedious task.

For promoting trade, Government of Pakistan needs among other things to support the Tajik Government in its efforts to become a member of the Quadrilateral Traffic in Transit Agreement (QTTA) by involving the Chinese Government enabling Pakistan to export to other CIS countries using Tajikistan as a transit hub.

Pakistan and Tajikistan can begin negotiations for signing a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with the aim of increasing mutually beneficial bilateral trade. The PTA at a later date can be converted into an FTA.

The PBC is a private sector not-for-profit advocacy platform set-up in 2005 by 14 (now 88) of Pakistan’s largest businesses. PBC’s research-based advocacy supports measures which improve Pakistani industry’s regional and global competitiveness. More information about PBC, its members, objectives and activities can be found on its website: