ASTANA – The May 3 state visit of President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon to Kazakhstan showed that the strategic cooperation will grow in the coming years, Yersultan Zhanseitov from the Institute of World Economy and Politics said in an interview with Jibek Joly TV Channel.
“I believe the main goal of the visit is purely economic. Trade is one of the biggest topics alongside other topics such as transport corridors as the way to develop our bilateral trade, also politics and geopolitics like matters of Afghanistan and Central Asian integration,” the expert said.
According to him, regional integration will play a major role in defining trade flows between countries of Central Asia and catalyzing the process of solving issues related to water, energy and security in the region.
“I believe the cooperation will be expanding given the current trend towards Central Asian integration. It is not only about our two countries, it is about the whole region, in general. So we can see the trends on tightening the ties with Central Asian countries, expanding the internal trade within the region,” Zhanseitov noted.
“It might be interesting for the Kazakh side to invest into the energy sector of Tajikistan,” the expert highlighted, adding Tajikistan is a key provider of water energy to Kazakhstan, and the joint projects in this sector are in high demand in both countries.
Tajikistan is looking for new investors in its economy. Kazakhstan has the capacity to become a strong and reliable investment partner. The current trade figures are a clear evidence of that, Zhanseitov continued, as the growth in bilateral trade reached 18% last year.
During the Kazakh-Tajik business forum, organized prior to the visit of Tajik leader to Astana, businesses from two countries signed contracts worth $1.8 billion.
“Tajikistan is interested in attracting foreign money to its economy, and Kazakhstan might be one of the key players. Bilateral trade last year has exceeded what has been expected. The message is that there is a strong demand from both sides,” Zhanseitov said.