President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Speech at the First Investment Forum of the OIC Plan of Action for Cooperation with Central Asia

27.10.2014 09:43, Dushanbe city

In the name of the God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Your excellencies, heads and members of participating delegation!
Your Excellency, Secretary General of Organization for Islamic Cooperation!
Distinguished representatives of businesses and trade!
Dear sisters and brothers!

First of all, with a great pleasure, on behalf of the Government and public of Tajikistan, I would to welcome your visit to Dushanbe, the capital city of Tajikstan and your participation in the First Investment Forum of the OIC Plan of Action for Cooperation with Central Asia.

It is indeed symbolic that this Plan of Action was proposed and adopted in Dushanbe within the Organization’s 37th Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affair.

The major objective of this Forum is to promote international support for thorough implementation of the Plan of Action, and it will particularly contribute to the development of energy, transport, industry, agriculture, tourism, investment and trade among the Organization’s member states.

I believe that implementation of the Plan of Action will also promote strengthening beneficial cooperation in the areas of research, development of technologies, science and education and healthcare.

Distinguished participants!

Historical, cultural, political, religious and economic routes of our countries and peoples have been linking us over centuries and there is no doubt, this factor is the tool for strengthening fruitful cooperation among the Organization’s member states in the earlier mentioned areas.

Contribution of the Islamic civilization and Islamic countries in the historical establishment of economic, political and cultural life in the contemporary world is significant, which is also being implemented through the Organization for Islamic Cooperation and Islamc Development Bank.

It is worthwhile mentioning that almost 70 percent of the world’s oil resources and 50% of the world gas resources are located within the Organization’s member states, and this factor illustrates their important position in the global economy.

Alongside with this, we hope that the role of OIC in strengthening cooperation among islamic countries and sustainable development of member states will increase further and will make it possible to increase their mutual contribution in the international arena.

However, it is obvious that the majority  of member states of the Organization ae prone to the risk of negative impact of global threats, including the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis, high rate of poverty, limited access to safe water, food, electricity and other basic commodities, shortcomings in the sectors of educaton, healthcare, outburst of infectious deceases, global climate change and rapidly changing global and regional trends.

In addition to this, it is not secret that, unfortunately, transnational negative phenomena, like terrorism, extremism, drugs smuggling and traffic in persons, organized crime and so on are increasing in some developing countries.

Dear Friends!

Effective addressing of economic and social challenges and fight against transnational negative phenomena make us dedicate all efforts and opportunities.

The Divinity has gifted us all types of wealth and necessary resources, including water, land, flora, minerals, fuel, physicial and intellectual skills. And the God made us responsible to ensure development and decent living standards in every Islamic country and household of every muslim through the rational use of these resources.

It would be logical to mobilize investments from the financially powerful Islamic countries for implementation of investment projects in low-income Islamic countries, since in accordance with the Oyat 2 of Sura Al-Ma’idah in the Noble Koran, the Supreme Being ordered:  Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression.

We think that in this regard, the Islamic Development Bank and its affiliated institutions play a very important role. Increasing the Bank’s Charter Capital by 70bn Islamic dinars and reaching 100bn Islamic dinars is a timely and important measures.

If we see specific examples, we can say that within cooperation of Tajkstan with Islamic organizations, 53 investment projects, including 41 projects amounting more than 348m USD through the Islamic Development Bank, were supported and 42 projects are implemented. Now, this Bank jointly with Islamic organizations continues implementation of 11 joint investment projects amounting around 300m USD.

We are pleased with our effective cooperation with th IDB and hope that by expanding the Bank’s opportunities our cooperation will also expand in different sectors, including development of infrastructure, trade, support of education and healthcare sectors and thereby will proactively promote economic development, creation of new jobs, addressing social issues and improving public living standards.

Given the difficult economic situation in Islamic countries and their increasing need to investment sources, it is necessary for the Bank to increase its support and investments for implementation of regional and economic development projects.

According to the Statement of the 12th Session of the Summit of Heads of Islamic Countries, fund of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development for adoption and implementation of poverty reduction projects accounts for 1.9bn USD. It is necessary to allocate sufficient resources out of this fund, including out of the Program  on Renewable Energy for Poverty Reduction for implementation of national and regional projects in Central Asian countries.

The Organization’s strategy pays a particular attention to development of agriculture and food security, which at the same time is very important for poverty reduction, because, we are concerned with evaluaton of the Organization’s 30 member states as low-income countries suffering from food products shortage.

Therefore, as you are aware, with this objective,  the Islamic Organization for Food Security was established and Decent Life Fund with 100m USD capital was initiated by the direct support of HH Emeer of the State of Quwait.

We would lke to call on the Organization’s General Secretariat and its different affiliated institutions to make efforts to increase this fund by encouraging resources from the countries and international financial institutions and to give priority to the low-income member states suffering from food shortage in the allocation of resources within the fund.

On the other hand, it is a great pleasure that the contribution of mutual trade among the Organization’s member states within the overall amount of foreign trade turnover increased from 14% in 2004 to 18% in 2012 and there are intentions to increase it to 20% in 2015. In this process, Islamic Centre for Development of Trade and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation play an important role to mobilize regional and international support to the member states, including through the Trade Facilitation Program.

Distingueshed Participants!

Today we will discuss a number of issues important for Central Asian countries, such as development of infrastructure for transport, energy, trade and investment, enhancing production and export potential, processing of agricultural products and strengthening small and medium enterprises in tourism sector.

These issues are in line with the strategic priorities for sustainable development of Central Asian countries, including Tajikistan.

In this regard, it is very important to effectively address the issues of water and energy for the region’s countries. Central Asia has huge hydroenergy resources and places itself in one of the leading positions in the world in terms of both energy potential and drinking water resources.

However, despite these enourmous opportunities, unfortunately, many people in the region do not have full access to electricity and face severe lack of energy every year in winter, which causes huge economic and social loss.

Therefore, with a view to ensuring sustainable development and improving living standards of the region’s residents, electricity supply through construction and renovation of power plants and high voltage electricity transmission lines is one of the strategic priorities of the countries, which have this potential.

Interregional project on construction of electricity transmission line of CASA-1000 for export of electricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic to Afghanistan and Pakistan, which we started with the support of the World Bank and other international financial institutions, is one of the effective ways to address the earlier mentioned issues, since this project is of great importance for socio-economic development of Central and South Asia. I would like to avail this opportunity to kindly remind the Islamic Development Bank Management that Tajikistan hopes to get necessary funds in response to its request for allocation of resources for implementation of CASA-1000 project.

Dear Friends!   

Distinguished Partners!

From geographical location perspective, Central Asia has great opportunities to become a transit region via getting access to ports and sea, however, they are not fully used yet. Great highways like Silkway passed through our region, which did not lose their importance for trade for hundreds of years. Construction of  transport nfrastructure, including modern highways and railway between Central and South Asia countries could give a strong impetus to socio-economic development of the countries via expanding trade, investment, industry, agriculture, tourism and services sectors.

Therefore, development of transport infrastructure and improvement of transportation links is identified as another strategic objective of the region’s countries, including Tajikistan. In this area, stronger support by the OIC and its affiliated institutions, particularly mechanism for transport cooperation is very important.

Development of the agriculture and fostering production and export potential of the sector with a view to achieving another strategic objectives of the Central Asan countries, which is food security, is in our limelight. The region’s countries have all resources necessary for development of this sector, such as water,land and suitable climate, raw materials and affordable labor force, however, we still feel lack of investment in this area.

Implementation of joint projects on processing of agricultural products, light industry, food industry, production of high quality drinking water and its export to other countries of the world would be economically beneficial for our partners.

Therefore,  we would like to call on the OIC and its affiliated institutions, such as Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture to increase their financial support to the Central Asian countries in enhancing capacity for production, processing and export of agricultural products.

Central Asian countries have rich cultural heritage, gorgous nature and landscapes, high mountains, vast valleys, lakes and unique flora and fauna, which is important for development of tourism. With this regard, the region’s countries pay an utmost attention to development of tourism via involvement of small and medium enterprise and foreign investments. This can be another area for expansion of beneficial cooperation among the Organization’s member states.

The Organization’s Ten-year Program of Action for 2005 – 2015 will complete next year and the Intergovernmental Experts’ Group started the process of development of a new ten-year program of action. Therefore, we would like to call on the Organization’s Management and its affiliated institutions as well as the Islamic Development Bank to take into account the priorities of Central Asian countries thoroughly while developing and proposing the next ten-year program of action for 2016-2025.

Distingushed participants!

Tajikistan, by respecting and highly appreciating holy Islamic values, has been expanding mutually beneficial cooperation with the organization’s member states with a view to achieving single objectives, which is to ensure decent life to every Islamic country and to every household of muslim.

The Government of Tajikistan makes efforts to ensure conducive environment to encourage local and foreign investments into the process of socio-economic development of the country. Now, all of the necessary conditions are ensured in the country for doing business and investment.

Regional security is important for sustainable development. In this regard, it is straightforward that first and foremost the situation in our neighboring country of Afghanistan is important for all of us. In this area, as always, we will make efforts within bilateral and multilateral cooperation, including within the OIC and other international organization to make our contribution for the regional security.

At present, large part of socio-economic development of Afghanistan, as an effective way to ensure security and stability, can be ensured via construction of transport and energy infrastructure, such as railways and highways, electricity transmission lines and gas pipes.

On our side, we stand ready to boost our cooperation with neighboring Afghanistan and mobilize our potential for implementation of projects aimed at socio-economic development in the region and this friendly country.

For this, it is necessary for the world community and friends of Afghanistan, including OIC member states to proactively contribute in this process.

We hope that Central Asian region, with good intentions and constructive cooperation of the neighboring countries will transform into a strong friendship and effective cooperation platform.

In this regard, I believe that OIC member states, investors and businesses will establish mutually beneficial cooperation following an instruction from the Noble Koran “muslim is the brother of muslim”.

Dear friends!
Distinguished participants!

We think that OIC will strengthen its role in addressing topical issues of humanbeing and the region and Tajikistan will also make its valuable contribution.

Inshaallah, all of us will make significant achievements in construction cooperation with the OIC member states and joint efforts in implementation of the Plan of Action for Central Asia.

At the conclusion, by wishing success to the First Investment Forum of the OIC Plan of Action for Cooperation with Central Asia, I would like to express my hope that the Forum will significantly promote further boosting mutually beneficial socio-economic cooperaton among the OIC member states.

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