On April 26, 2018 AmCham Tajikistan held it’s Monthly Business Breakfast with Mr. Sharaf Sheralizoda, Head of the Secretariat of the Consultative Council on investment climate improvement under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Gulanor Atobek, Chairman of Amcham’ Board of Directors, in her opening speech thanked Sharaf Sheralizoda for agreeing to participate and speak for members of Amcham. She stressed that business breakfasts are held to discuss the obstacles and challenges for the development of Tajikistan with government officials in an informal atmosphere.
Sharaf Sheralizoda, Head of Secretariat of the Consultative Council on Improvement of the Investment Climate under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, thanked Amсham for the invitation and expressed the willingness of the Secretariat of the Consultative Council to cooperate with business organizations and private sector representatives. He stressed that the Consultative Council on Improvement of Investment Climate is a platform for creating a constructive dialogue between the state and business.
Mr. Sheralizoda pointed out that various reforms were undertaken, such as easing of the registration, trading across borders, tourism development, securities market, system of single window, elimination of physical contact of taxpayer with tax authorities, etc. Formation of Central Asia Stock Exchange and Committee for Tourism Development were named as big achievements in the previous years. Currently equal rights are given to international and national investors. Additionally, Mr. Sheralizoda noted that Tajikistan recently received B3 credit rating by Moody’s and S&P, which is a big move for investment climate improvement. Also, Tajikistan has been named as a top reformer several times in the World Bank Doing Business Report. Head of Secretariat talked about the challenges facing businesses in Tajikistan, such as challenges in financial system and the potential of the private sector itself.
After his speech, the head of the Secretariat answered all the questions of Amcham members who represented local and foreign investors. All participants actively asked their questions and shared their suggestions for improving the business environment in the country. In particular,
v Gulanor Atobek, CEO of Deloitte in Tajikistan, proposed to actively use the resources of the private sector as experts in conducting studies and making an action plan and recommendations at the draft reform stage. She also spoke about the discrepancy between price and quality in the services of local postal and courier services
v Leila Babakhanova, Crowe Horwath lawyer in Tajikistan, spoke about the problems during the registration of the business, about the contradictions with respect to documents requested by the tax authorities, such as the power of attorney for extract, and the personal presence of the company's founder
v Heli Nykänen, UN Volunteer Program Officer asked the head of the Secretariat to tell about the government intentions on youth entrepreneurship development in the country
v Maksad Iskakov, Head of Air Astana Representative Office in Tajikistan, talked about problems in the telecommunications sector, and the importance of increasing the competitiveness of the aviation industry in Tajikistan
v Almaz Sayfutdinov, an Economist at the US Embassy in Tajikistan, pointed to the problems in the telecommunications and banking sectors, and said that this could serve as an indicator for foreign investors and it is necessary to take measures to improve the entrepreneurial among these sectors. He said that the US Embassy is concerned about the ban on imports of chicken from the United States. Also, Almaz asked the head of the Secretariat of the Consultative Council to support the preparation of the reports of the US Embassy on the Investment Environment in Tajikistan (Country Commercial Guide, Investment Climate Statement)
v Philip De Leon, Chairman of the Business Council of the United States and Tajikistan, spoke about the difficulties of American investors in the event of unexpected tax checks and large environmental fines.
v Other participants' questions related to the problems of logistics and courier services in Tajikistan, the theme of the effectiveness of the State Unitary Enterprise in the country, the status of the Digital CASA project and the participation of Tajikistan in it, the possibility of PPP projects in the aviation industry, the subscription bonus in mining activities, the contradictions in the Tax Code and actions of employees of the tax authority, and other issues related to the development of the private sector
All participants of the Business Breakfast received detailed answers to their questions, and expressed their gratitude to the head of the Secretariat. In conclusion, all parties expressed willingness for cooperation for the benefit of private sector development and improvement of the business environment.