14 February 2018

1. Introduction of the Consultative Council, achievements, and next steps

The Head of the Secretariat of Consultative Council on Improvement of Investment Climate under the President of Republic of Tajikistan, Sharaf Sheralizoda opened the meeting with giving a short presentation on the activities of Consultative Council. In his presentation, the Head of Secretariat described the mission and objectives on the Council, how it works, and shared the main achievements of the Consultative Council in 2017. Sheralizoda Sharaf, then, talked about the next steps that the Secretariat and the Council are aiming to take to further improve the investment climate in relevant sectors in the Republic of Tajikistan.

After the presentation, all the representatives of the development partner organizations congratulated Sharaf Sheralizoda on his recent appointment as the Head of Secretariat, wishing him great success, and stated readiness and commitment for close cooperation for improvement of investment climate and private sector development in Tajikistan.

2. Discussion on private sector issues

Zarina Odinaeva, IFC representative, talked about joint cooperation in the financial sector, and proposed about organizing a meeting with focus on the development of financial sector in Tajikistan.

Peter Cardy, Head of DFID Central Asia, mentioned about it being his first such meeting in Tajikistan, and expressed readiness of DFID for cooperation. Head of DFID Central Asia suggested exploring ways to increase the effectiveness of public-private dialogue in Tajikistan, and further strengthen active dialogue of the government with the private sector. Muhammadi Boboev of the Asian Development Bank stated the interest of ADB for cooperation with the Consultative Council and expressed the intention of ADB to work with the Secretariat on the issue of business inspecting agencies and modernization of public services to the business. Head of Japan International Cooperation Agency Office in Tajikistan, thanked the Consultative Council for the opportunity to deliver a presentation in the 18th Session of the Council, and asked the Secretariat to share the monitoring and follow-up of on that issue. Also, Tanabe Hideki suggested inviting the Head of Secretariat, Sharaf Sheralizoda, to the meetings of Donor Coordination Council (DCC). Manizsha Mahmadnabieva, joined Tanabe in this suggestion and invited the Head of Secretariat to come and present in the next meeting of DCC this month.

The Head of EBRD Resident Office in Tajikistan, Ayten Rustamova suggested to invite some investors from China to the Consultative Council session, as more than 50% of FDI to Tajikistan comes from the Chinese Investors. Ayten Rustamove, also added that the issue of international logistic companies is one of the most urgent issues, and this should be addressed and solved as soon as possible. Malika Ibrohimova of SECO talked about the high expectations of the donor community with the appointment of new Head of Secretariat, and suggested to have some low-nature meetings, chaired by the First Deputy Prime Minister, and increase the frequency of the Consultative Council Sessions.

Later the attendees discussed about the tax administration issues, and suggested that private sector and the government should work as one team. Development partners mentioned that there are currently many working groups on tax issue working separately; it would be a good idea to unite the working groups to have a single and effective working group on tax issue. Tanabe Hideki, suggested to consider the dynamic evolution of business climate in Uzbekistan, and stated that while it has some benefits for the businesses in Tajikistan, it also could have negative effects for the economy and private sector in Tajikistan, in a form of greater competition for investment attraction.

Sharaf Sheralizoda noted that proposed suggestions will be taken into account by Secretariat in its further activity and assured development partners in strong commitment of the Government on more improvement of investment and business climate in Tajikistan.

3. Review of draft of Agenda of the next Session of the Consultative Council

The third part of the meeting was about the agenda of the next Session of Consultative Council. The Head of Secretariat introduced the draft Agenda and the development partners expressed their views and presented their suggestions. Kristin Laabs, KfW Country Director, stated that we should be prepared for the session by conducting several round-tables. Nargis Esufbekova, suggested to take into consideration the analysis of all the working groups on tax issues, including the analysis of Ulchabaeva on legalization of individual entrepreneurship and providing them social protection. Head of JICA Resident Office in Tajikistan suggested to include tourism issue to the Agenda of the next session of the Consultative Council, replacing the health sector in the Agenda. The development partners suggested using the public-private dialogue more effectively while choosing issues for the agenda.

In his closing remarks, the Head of Secretariat, Sharaf Sheralizoda, thanked all the development partners for the participation in the meeting. Sheralizoda, expressed the commitment of the Secretariat of Consultative Council for close cooperation with the development partners for Investment Climate Improvement and private sector development. He also, stated that with joint effort the Council can improve its position as the platform for effective public-private dialogue.

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