The economic development of the Republic of Tajikistan:
The main macroeconomic indicators in 2012
- GDP 36161.1 million somoni (107.5% compared to the year 2011)
- GDP per capita 4.6 thousand somoni (118.6% compared to the year 2011)
- The volume of industrial products 9797.5 million somoni (110.4% compared to the year 2011)
- The volume of agricultural production 16477.5 million somoni (110.4% compared to the year 2011)
- The volume of paid services 8954.2 million somoni (115.3% compared to the year 2011)
- Inflation in the consumer sector of 5.8% (compared with 2011)
- Foreign trade turnover 5,137.6 million US dollars (115.1% compared to the year 2011)
- The CIS countries 2310.9 million US dollars (114.6% compared to the year 2011)
- Foreign countries 2826.7 million US dollars (115.5% compared to the year 2011)
- Export 1359.4 million US dollars (108.1% compared to the year 2011)
- Import 3778.2 million US dollars (117.8% compared to the year 2011)
For 20 years of independence the main achievements in the field of foreign policy was the fact that the Republic of Tajikistan has been recognized as an independent and democratic country in the world community, diplomatic and trade relations with other countries were founded and developed, as well as membership in international and regional organizations. Today, the Republic of Tajikistan has trade relations with more than 100 countries, and these relations are enhanced every year. In the years of independence the policy of the Republic of Tajikistan government was aimed at the development of economic relations, restoration of infrastructure, attraction of investments, creation of conditions for free trade, the reduction of tariff barriers and the removal of barriers in foreign trade, to support entrepreneurship, problem-solving transit roads and tunnels to support and trade development in Tajikistan. In conditions of globalization of the market and the interconnectedness of the economies of all countries of the world, the development of international economic organizations and associations, no country can stand aside. Under these conditions, the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) facilitate the integration process of the Republic of Tajikistan in the regional and global contexts.
On March 2, 2013 The Republic of Tajikistan became the 159th full member of the World Trade Organization. With this the process of country’s accession to all international organizations was completed. Tajikistan’s membership in this influential organization will give a serious impetus to the production of finished, high quality products which meet international standards, and will contribute to the growth of foreign trade turnover, profitability of domestic goods for export destination, will increase knowledge and skills of local entrepreneurs and increase foreign investment.
Tajikistan’s relations with international financial institutions, namely the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and a number of foundations and organizations in different countries are developing in a very fruitful and successful cooperation.
Tajikistan from the position of the policy of “open doors”, expressed its willingness to develop and improve a productive relationship with West and East and Islamic world. In order to attract more investments from countries such as Russia, China, USA, Europe, Islamic world and other countries, our country is taking steps to develop reliable relations at bilateral and multilateral level on the basis of economic pragmatism and mutual understanding.
During 22 years of independence the policy of Republic of Tajikistan Government in the field of foreign relations was aimed at creating a favorable climate for investment, gradual trade liberalization, reduction of tariffs and elimination of non-tariff barriers in international trade, trade facilitation, removing obstacles of development of transport and transit of goods for the purpose of continuous development of commercial processes.
During this period, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, under the guidance of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, has adopted number key strategic documents that define the main priorities and socio-economic policy. Among them, the Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2007-2009, 2010-2012, the Strategy for improving the welfare of the population of Tajikistan for 2013-2015, the National Development Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan until 2015, according to state investment programs, grants and capital construction for 2011-2013, 2012-2014, 2013-2015.
These documents are of a strategic nature, they are aimed at improving the level and quality of life of the population through sustainable economic development, diversification of production, strengthening the export potential of the state, improving the investment climate, support for entrepreneurship, social protection, labor market development and strengthening of human potential.
As a result of measures taken by the Government of Tajikistan to stabilize macroeconomic indicators inflation rate and the difference in exchange rates were decreased. Since 1997, GDP growth is provided. The execution of the sequence economic reforms, the development of new areas of the economy, the implementation of strategic and program goals and objectives, the adoption of measures to ensure macroeconomic stability has allowed providing a significant increase in the economic development of the country since 2000. In the period of 2000-2005, the annual GDP growth rate amounted to 9.4 percent; inflation fell to 7.1 percent, the external debt which was 108 per cent in relation to GDP in 2000 decreased to 38.9 percent in 2005.
The country reached high growth of economic recovery, the achievement of stability of macroeconomic indicators for the five-year period from 1999 to 2003 to reduce the poverty rate from 81 per cent in 1999 to 64 percent in 2003.
Despite the negative impact of the global financial and economic crisis and other difficulties, the Government of Tajikistan could provide the implementation of its adopted programs and gradual development of the national economy for the last 7 years. Gross domestic product increased from 9.3 billion somoni to 2006 to 36.2 billion somoni in 2012, its annual real growth rate has averaged 7%, which indicates the sustainable development of the economy. At this stage, the GDP per capita increased from 1335 to 4580 somoni, or 3.4 times. The income of the population increased by 4.2 times, the volume of deposits – by 4.5 times and real average earnings per worker by 5.5 times. The total volume of state budget revenues and expenditures for the last 7 years has increased from 1.7 billion somoni to 12.2 billion somoni in 2013 that more than 7 times more compared to 2006. The analysis shows that the ratio of government revenue to GDP was equal to 12.6% in 2000, and then this index reached 19.4% in 2006 and will reach 22% this year. Along with the increase in the state budget the funding for social sectors is increased as well, in the current year it is 6.4 billion somoni, or more than half of the state budget.
If in 2006 the total expenditure of social spheres was 903 million somoni, the figure in 2013 is 7 times more compared to 2006. In particular the funding for education increased in 6,7 times, health care – 8.6, social protection of the population – 6.8, culture, sports and services to the population – 7.1 times. If the total costs of social spheres were 106 million somoni in 2000, then this year it has increased by 60 times.
Also, starting from 2006 to 2012, the average wages of public sector workers, scholarships, financial aid and benefits on average increased by 6 times. In 2012, salaries of employees of social institutions, including the salaries of workers of pre-school institutions, educational institutions, residential homes for the elderly and disabled children have increased by more than 60%, health care – by 40, Science – 30, and culture, as well as scholarships – up to 50%. Furthermore, from 2006 to 2013, the amount of pensions fund was increased in 4.5 times, from 212 million somoni it has reached 1.6 billion somoni, which means it has increased by 7.5 times, and this policy will be continued in the future.
As a result of these measures the level of poverty in the country has decreased from 81% in 1999 to 38%, ie almost 45%. The poverty reduction is largely the result of economic development and macroeconomic and social stability.
The review of economy and foreign trade for the year 2012
During the reporting year the GDP was 36.2 billion somoni, its real growth reached 7.5%.
The dynamics of GDP growth
Its increase is mainly observed in retail trade turnover (19.6%), paid services (15.3%), agricultural production and industry (10.4%), and reducing construction (24.4%). In 2012,the industrial production growth was mainly due to the production of petroleum products (1.7 times), leather products (49.4%), the production of rubber and plastic (43.5%), textile and clothing manufacturing (28.7%), paper production, publishing and printing (28.5%), wood processing and manufacturing of wood products (23.8%), chemical products (9.4%), production of non-energy materials (23.7%), the production of energy materials (26.9%) and food (5.4%).
The growth in agricultural production was generated by the growth of production of basic industries of plant growing products, such as: fruits 19.4%, potatoes 14.8%, cereals 12.2%, 9.9%, melons, vegetables and grapes, 8.1%, 8.0%. The increase in the production of certain types of animal products have been marked such as eggs by 14.5%, animal and chicken meat by 7.5% and the production of milk 11.8%.
According to the Ministry of Finance on results of 2012 state budget was implemented by 101.7% to 9.6 billion somoni. The total expenditures of the state budget for this period are 9.1 billion somoni, that in relation to the previous year, more than 5.9%. The total volume of paid services rendered to population was 8.9 billion somoni, 15.1% of which is for the public sector and 84.9% for the private sector enterprises. The largest share of services accounted for the personal services 40.4%, passenger transport 22.7%, communications 13.8%, education 8.1%, medical services 2.7% and other paid services 12.3%.
The proportion of GDP per capita at the end of 2012 amounted to almost 4.6 thousands somoni which is compared with the previous year, more than 18.6%. Foreign trade turnover in 2012 amounted to 5.1 billion US dollars; it is increased over the previous year by 15.1%. In particular, the trade turnover with the CIS countries increased by 14.6% and from the non-CIS countries by 15.5%.
The trade balance in the reporting year was negative; a deficit amounted to 2.4 billion US dollars which is compared with the previous year, more than 24.1. This change was due to lower prices for exported goods in world markets and the growth of import prices, particularly for food products, flammable materials and investment goods.
The export of goods in the reporting year developed steadily and its volume amounted to 1.4 billion USA dollars, which is compared with the previous year, more than 8.1%. The growth of its volume mainly occurred due to the increase of exports of vehicles 100.9%, mineral products 100.3%, precious metals 58.7%, textiles 11.6% and stone products 9.1%, which was connected with an increase of demand on world markets.
Exports by countries
Exports are mainly carried out from the following countries: Turkey – 36.6% (493.3 million US dollars), Afghanistan – 14.1% (192.2 million US dollars), China – 13.3% (181, 0,000,000 US dollars), Russia – 7.9% (106.8 million US dollars), Kazakhstan – 7.5% (101.5 million US dollars), Switzerland – 6.7% (90, 5 million US dollars) Iran – 4.9% (66 million US dollars), Pakistan – 1.9% (26.5 million US dollars), Latvia – 1.5% (20.5 million US dollars) and others 5.9%.
Imports of goods in the reporting year amounted to 3.8 billion US dollars which is compared to the previous year is more by 17.8%. The growth in volumes is mainly due to the increase of imports of vehicles by 2.3 times, vegetative production by 35.8%, non-precious metals and products made of them by 30.5%, wood and its products 18.0%, finished food products 9.3% and 4.9% of mineral products.
Imports by countries
Imports are mainly carried out in the following countries: Russia – 25.4% (960.6 million US dollars), Kazakhstan – 16.0% (604.2 million US dollars), China – 12.9% (181.0 million US dollars), the United States – 5.1% (193.9 million US dollars), Turkmenistan – 4.1% (154.8 million US dollars), Iran – 4.0 % (151.4 million US dollars), Lithuania – 3.8% (143.2 million US dollars), Turkey – 2.8% (107.1 million US dollars), and the other 26% (982.2 million US dollars).
The official exchange rate of the national currency during the year had a stable tendency to change and in relation to the US dollar fell from 4.7585 somoni at the beginning of the period to 4.7644 somoni at the end of the period or by 0.1%.
The overview of the energy sector of the Republic of Tajikistan
- The general potential reserves of 527 billion kWh per year (8th in the world), 4% of the world’s hydropower potential
- The average annual electricity generation of 16.5 billion kWh (4-5% of the potential reserves)
- The power grid 5190 MW (4872 MW HPP for 94%, CHP 318MVt 6%)
- The design capacity of the Rogun HPP 3600 MW / 13 billion kWh per year
- The development of the energy sector 15% of the budget expenditures
- The excess of electric energy in the summer of 3-5 billion kWh
- The electricity shortages in winter 2.5 billion kWh
- The tariff for the population 2.32 US cents /1 kWh
- The tariff for the industry 5.61 US cents / 1 kWh
- The export of electric energy in 2013 about 1 billion kWh/34 million US dollars
- The coal reserves 4.5 billion tons
- The coal production in 2013 about 500 thousand tons.
Tajikistan has abundant hydropower resources, which are estimated at 527 billion kWh in year. In technical terms, the hydropower resources of Tajikistan have good prospects for development and consist of 317 billion KWh per year, only 4-5% of which are used now. Tajikistan in its hydropower potential is in eighth place after China, Russia, the USA, Brazil, Zaire, India and Canada. The hydropower is the basis of the energy sector of Tajikistan; it is 95 percent or more. The hydropower potential of Tajikistan is three times higher than the current consumption of electric energy of the whole Central Asia. With the effective use of these resources, an inexpensive and clean energy might be provided to the region. The main hydroelectric potential is concentrated in the basins of Vakhsh, Panj-Amu Darya, Syr Darya and Zarafshan rivers.
The power grid of Tajikistan is 5190 MW, and the share of hydro power plants accounted 93.9% of the total installed capacity. The share of thermal power plants is 318 MW, for a total of about 6.1%. The average annual electricity generation in the Tajik energy system, consisting mainly of hydro power plants is 16.5 billion kWh. It should be noted that more than 98% of the electricity generated in Tajikistan obtained from hydropower, including 97% for large and medium.
In winter, the country is experiencing a significant shortage of electric energy (2.2 -. 2.5 billion kWh) and is forced to impose restrictions on the supply of which is particularly strong impact on the rural population, constituting not less than 70% of the population. Every year, because of limited electricity supply in rural areas the loss of productivity of agricultural products is about 30%.
At the same time, the electricity supply in summer the most reliable, as at this time of the year there is a surplus electric energy in the amount of 3-7 billion kWh. The excess water causes significant scale idle discharges, which could potentially mean a huge loss of electric energy. Depending on hydrological conditions, the economic damage is 90-225 million US dollars per year.
Currently there are 11 large and medium-sized hydropower plants, as well as around 300 small total capacity of 132 MW operating in Republic of Tajikistan. The updated program for the construction of small hydropower plants was adopted in 2009. It is planned to build 189 hydroelectric power stations with total capacity of 103.6 MW under this program. More than 60 small hydropower plants with total capacity of 47 MW were built in 2010-2011, and this trend continues. Preliminary estimates show that it is technically possible and economically feasible to build more than 900 small HPPs with capacity from 100 to 3000 kW on the tributaries of the rivers, in the mountainous regions of the country. According to experts the use of small rivers energy can meet the electricity demand of about 500-600 thousand people living in remote regions of the country, by 50-70%, and in some cases by 100%.
A unified energy system of the country which connects the south energy system of the country with the north was created in 2011. All of this greatly increased the possibility of physical access to the entire population of Tajikistan to electricity. Today, the electricity tariffs for the population in the Republic of Tajikistan have the social orientation in the amount of 2.32 US cents / 1 kWh. The state partially subsidizes the tariff for the population by the increase in the tariff for other categories of consumers. Tariffs for the industry are 5.61 per 1 kWh, which is 2.4 times higher than tariffs for the population. Furthermore, the Government of the country subsidizes the consumption of electricity for low-income families from the state budget annually.
1,549,400,000 somoni, or 15.2% of the total budget is allocated for the development of the fuel and energy complex with the total volume of revenues of the state budget of the Republic of Tajikistan in 2012 10,160,600 thousands somoni. The growth of spending on fuel and energy complex will continue in 2013 (1,712,688 somoni) and is scheduled for 2014 in the amount of more than 2.2 billion somoni.
Besides hydropower resources Tajikistan has significant reserves of coal which are estimated at 4.5 billion tons. At the end of 2013 the mining enterprises of the country produced about 500 thousand tons of coal, which is two times more than the plan. There are 162 industrial enterprises in the republic which have developed their work on solid fuel, their total annual demand of coal more than 200 thousand tons. There is an active coal output in Tajikistan is performed by 7 deposits “Shurab”, “Nazarailok”, “Fon-Yagnob”, “Zidi” and others. Their reserves are estimated more than 100 million tons of coal.
The climate of Tajikistan is favorable for the use of solar energy. There are 280-330 sunny days a year on average, and the intensity of total solar radiation varies throughout the year from 280 to 925 MJ / m2 in the foothills, and from 360 to 1120 MJ / m2 in the highlands. Using the available solar energy in Tajikistan can meet 10-20% of the energy demand. According to estimates the potential of solar energy of Tajikistan is about 25 billion KWh / year. This potential is almost never used, if not to take into account that some use it to heat water. There is a small potential for wind energy, but using it as supplementing the main hydropower justified only in some regions. The strongest winds are in mountainous areas, where the landscape of the country in favor of the convergence of air flows, as well as in the Sughd and Rasht Valleys. The average wind speed in these regions is about 5-6 m/s on average.
The transport sector in the Republic of Tajikistan
In the period of independence in the Republic of Tajikistan the country’s economic infrastructure, including transport, which is one of the main determining factors in the development of the economy, along with the rise in living standards and poverty reduction of the population in the country has continued to develop. The development of the transport sector will support both domestic and foreign trade, which is one of the main tasks of the development of economic relations, entrepreneurship and international transit.
In turn, the leadership of the country and the government since the first years of independence has put the main task of the output of Tajikistan from communication deadlock and creating transit corridors through our country. Tajikistan’s strategy for the output from communication deadlock was in the annual address of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to the Majlisi Oli – the Parliament of the Republic in 2010.
The strategy includes two main areas:
- The first – the creation of an integrated transport network in the country and its connection with international transport corridors.
- The second – the accession of the Republic of Tajikistan to the international conventions and agreements in the field of transport.
The basis of the strategy of the government of the Republic of Tajikistan for the way out of the transport deadlock include construction and rehabilitation of major road sections, for example, highways Kulob-Khorog-Kulma-Karokurum (Shohon-Zigar and Shkev-Zigar), Dushanbe – Kurgan Tube – Kulob and opening of new tunnels Shahriston, Ozodi, Istiklol and Chormagzak, highway Dushanbe – Chanoқ, Vahdat – Chirgatol – Saritosh (Kyrgyzstan border), Dushanbe-Tursunzade (Uzbekistan Border), Aini-Penjikent (Uzbekistan Border).
It should be noted that the construction of the railway Kurgan-Tube – Kulob, a number of international highways, tunnels and international bridges have been commissioned, and in this regard, Tajikistan has become one of the corridors of regional importance, linked with neighboring countries in the four directions.
The last ten years 23 state investment projects worth a total of about 3.2 billion somoni have been implemented in order to output the country from communication deadlock and access to world maritime ports. As a result, 1650 km of roads were reconstructed and constructed, 109 bridges and 27 km of tunnels were built and put into operation. Now 11 public investment projects worth a total of 5.5 billion somoni are implemented in the transport sector.
The reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads are continued, the construction and restoration of the road Aini-Penjikent, Dushanbe-Tursunzoda, Kulob-Kalai Khumb, construction of a modern terminal at the Dushanbe International Airport, the railway line Dushanbe-Qurghonteppa (Vahdat-Yavan section) and Kurgantyube- Nizhniy Panj are planned until 2015.
In addition, the problem of the construction of alternative roads requires that the government of the country, expanding the scope of economic integration has taken the necessary measures in the framework of regional organizations to accede to the international communication networks and the organization of new, meet modern standards, networks.
To this end, necessary measures are being taken related to the implementation of the project of construction of the railway Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan, which can be an important factor in economic development of Tajikistan and other countries of the region. On March 21 this year, during the visit of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on the occasion of the celebration of the International Nowruz holiday, the parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the construction of railway Tajikistan-Afghanistan-Turkmenistan.
In addition to the above, for the creation of completed internal transport network and ensure the release of all regions of the country on the international highway, on the basis of expert internal and external analysis, the program of restoration and reconstruction of these roads has been developed up to 2025. This program takes into account the socio-economic benefits to all aspects and will reduce the cost of transport services. The program envisages the construction and reconstruction of more than four thousand of roads and 576 bridges in the amount of 4.4 billion somoni.
Given the specificity of the geographical location of the country, work continues on the development of transport infrastructure in Tajikistan, creating a favorable environment for the use of transport routes, which in the near future will have a transcontinental character, linking Asia and Europe.
It should be noted that in the years of independence, the President and the Government of Tajikistan has paid special attention to the transport sector: 39 agreements with nine countries of the CIS and the seven countries of Central Asia and Europe were signed; also 27 agreements and 7 conventions of international organizations were signed.
Tajikistan joined nine international conventions and agreements at the official level:
- International Convention for the coordination of control cross-border transportation of goods;
- International traffic Convention;
- International Convention on road warning signs;
- International Convention for the delivery and storage of goods;
- International Customs Convention on the carriage of goods using the TIR Carnet;
- The European Agreement on the transport and delivery of dangerous goods on the road;
- Interstate agreement on perishable foodstuffs and special vehicles for the delivery of such goods;
- European Agreement concerning the activities of service vehicles on the international highways;
- Agreement on the implementation of the safety for the vehicles, as well as spare parts, which are used for them.
The Republic of Tajikistan will be a country with transit opportunities associated with international transport corridors, such as EurAsEC, TRASECA, CAREC, the EU, in which Tajikistan wants to continue to build the relationship as reliable transit delivery vehicles.
On 17-18 September this year a commemorative meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission of organization of transport Corridor of Caucasus-Asia-Europe countries (TRACECA) was held in Dushanbe and hosted an international high-level conference “Development of the potential of Central Asia for the period until 2023”. These activities according to approved programs have been prepared and carried out in collaboration with the Secretariat of TRACEC and representative of the International Road Transport Union. These events were attended by representatives of member countries and observers from Afghanistan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Lithuania. Moldova, Romania, organizations of the European Commission, OSCE, SCO, ECO, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and others, all 145 people.
Anniversary meeting of the intergovernmental commission considered the development of the international transport corridor TRACECA in recent years, implementation of the Development Strategy of the intergovernmental commission of TRACEC on the development of the corridor by 2015 and adopted an Action Plan for 2013-2015. Participants of the meeting discussed prospects of further development of transport system of the corridor during the period of the chairmanship of the Republic of Tajikistan in TRACECA for the period 2013-2014 year. The parties agreed that the effective use of the potential of the TRACECA member states will make the transport corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia more competitive, profitable and safe, and will facilitate the creation of multi-functional transport system and attract investment to the region on a modern technological and logistical basis.
The transformations performed in the field of civil aviation, an atmosphere of free competition and the market of air services for both domestic and foreign airlines created were created. There is an active work to improve service, and enhance the role of local carriers in the international market: there are all the prerequisites for work in this area.
Local air carriers of Tajikistan – Somon Air, Tajik Air, East Air and foreign companies – TurkishAirlines , FlyDubai, ChinaSouthAirlines, KamAir, OsmonAir, Utair, UralAirlines, SibirAirlines make regular flights from over 20 destinations in 11 countries of near and far abroad and increase the number of referrals every time.
Key indicators of tourism of the Republic of Tajikistan:
- Location: Central Asia
- Area: 142.6 square kilometers, mountains cover 93%
- It borders Afghanistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
- Climate: dry continental, more than 300 sunny days a year
- Water Resources: about 1000 rivers, 2,000 lakes, 8,000 glaciers
- Cultural and historical heritage: a part of Great Silk Road, the most ancient settlement “Sarazm” and National Park are listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List
- Types of tourism: mountain climbing, mountain sports, skiing, international hunting, ethnographic, medical
- Visa: For citizens of 80 countries a tourist visa is issued on arrival at the international airport of Dushanbe and Khujand
- International airlines: Turkish Airlines, Fly Dubai, China South Airlines, Kam Air, Osmon Air, Utair, Ural Airlines, Sibir Airlines
- International hotel operators: HyattRegency, SheratonHotels, SerenaHotels
Tajikistan’s territory since ancient times was on important historical ways of the Great Silk, the path connecting the East and the West. The country is in international trade and cultural exchange, linking of old possessions of Bactria – Taharistana (Chaganian, Shumon, Ahorun, Kubodiёn, Vakhsh, Huth, Rasht, Kumed, Darvoz, Vanj, Rushan and Wakhan), Sughd, Istaravshan (Ustrushana) and Ferghana with India, Afghanistan and China. The Great Silk Road was not only the exchange of goods between east and west, but also of ideas, cultures and people.
Modern Tajikistan is a mountainous country with altitudes ranging from 300 to 7495 meters above sea level. 93% of the country is mountain ranges relating to Pamirs, Hissar-Alai and Tien Shan mountain system. These ranges are divided by rich and fertile lands of Fergana, Zeravshan, Vakhsh and Hissar valleys. The complexity of the relief and big amplitude of mountain systems of heights explains the exceptional diversity of flora and fauna. Tajikistan is a territory of the highest peaks, powerful glaciers, swift rapid rivers and unrepeatable in their beauty lakes, unique flora and rare animals. It is mountainous; floor landscape determines originality and uniqueness of the nature of Tajikistan, the richness of its forms brought to life by a variety of climatic zones. You can get from the sweltering heat of Vakhsh valley to the arctic cold of eternal snows of the Pamirs within a half hour flight in the republic of Tajikistan. On the basis of the existing 13 state nature reserves and “Zorkul” reserves, “Romit”, “Mozkul”, “Dashti Jum”, historical and natural park “Sirketi” and the Tajik National Park the unique ecology, landscapes and natural monuments are preserved intact.
Priority modes of international tourism in the country are considered:
- climbing, mountain sports and eco-tourism;
- rafting, paragliding, skiing;
- international hunting;
- historical, cultural and ethnographic tourism;
- Spa treatment and recreation.
Tajikistan is the richest country in terms of reserves of fresh water resources. Almost half of the water resources of the Central Asian region are formed in the mountainous rivers, lakes and glaciers of the country. The Republic of Tajikistan is ranked eighth in the world in terms of reserves hydropower. Especially Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of the republic is very rich in lakes, which have very different origins. The largest of them are Karakul, Zorkul, Rangkul, Shorkul, Bulunkul and Lake Sarez, which was formed by an earthquake in 1911. In general, in the Pamir region, at altitudes from 3200 to 5000 meters, are concentrated 1450 lakes and 220 rivers, or 83% of the total area of mirror of lakes of Tajikistan. The biggest lake in the Pamirs is a unique salty lake Karakul, located at an altitude of 3914 meters above sea level. Its maximum depth is 236 meters. It is considered that it was formed during the ice age and the bottoms of the lake, as well as some of its coast for many kilometers are covered by permafrost.
There are about 200 sources of mineral and thermal waters in Tajikistan, on the basis of which the health-kurortnoe direction of tourism is developed. The most famous of them are: resort “Khoja Obi Garm” resort “Bakhoriston” sanatorium “Shaambary”, “Obi Garm”, “Zumrad”, “Havatag”, “Yavroz”, “Kaltuch”, “Garm-Chashma”. Travertine-limestone deposits are formed on hot carbonate water sources of sanatoriums “Garmchashma”, “Bashor” and “Shahdara”. They are particularly beautiful on the source Garmchashma, located 35 km from the city of Khorog.
A unique natural monument in the Pamirs is the Pamir Botanical Garden, located at an altitude of 2320m above sea level, near the city of Khorog. This garden on the background of barren slopes is a real green miracle, which collected more than 20 thousand plants from all continents. There are such rare and unusual specimens of plants among them such as Amur velvet, cork tree, black Austrian pine and a unique collection of roses with the purest colors and the incomparable aroma.
Fan Mountains, which are located between the Zarafshan and Gissar range from Kshtutdari to Fandarya are especially popular among the tourists and climbers. Today, Fan Mountains are the most accessible high mountains of the country for tourists. There is a mirror of blue-green water – Lake Iskanderkul in a stone forest of these mountains, the largest lake in Fann mountains located in northern Tajikistan. It is stretched widely at a height of 2200 meters. Here tourists can watch the stars twinkle and mist rising from the lake. The hostel “Iskanderkul” is located on the bank of the lake 160 km from Dushanbe. This way tourists make by cars at amazing gorges of Fandarya, Yagnob and Iskanderdarya. The mountains around seem to be multicolored, as bluish, red and purple hues are dominated in them. Iskandardari gorge sometimes is called canyons of colored rocks, and wind power has turned them into intricate walls and castles.
Many interesting things await lovers of travel in the south of Tajikistan as well. One of the oldest cities in Central Asia Kulyab in 2006 celebrated its 2700th anniversary jubilee, which has become a landmark event for the country. Tajik archaeologists have unearthed stone tools, the oldest ever found in Central Asia, the age of 850 thousand years in the loess strata near Baljuvon district. The mausoleum of an outstanding thinker and religious leader of the fourteenth century Mir Said Ali Hamadoni in Kulyab is a unique historical and architectural monument, where many followers of his Sufi teachings make religious pilgrimages. Also there are mausoleums of Shakiki Balkhi (IX century), Schoch Nematulloi Wali (XIV century), Sulton Uvayci Karani (VII century) in this region, which will be an eye-opener for many.
Today a competitive tourist complex is formed in Tajikistan; there are more than 75 tourist enterprises. In order to promote international tourism in the country, the Government of the country made a decision on the simplification of visa regime, now the documents to enter the country, drawn up within three days. The adopted by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan decision to consider Varzob, Baljuvon and Romit regions of the country as areas of sanatorium treatment, recreation and tourism, contributes to the gradual revival of the tourism industry. More than 65% of the objects of sanatorium and tourist orientation of the country are now restored; about 35 private tourist recreation areas are built.
Culture of Tajikistan
Let’s begin from the point that Tajiks is a very old nation. Therefore, the culture of this nation is truly distinctive and has its roots in antiquity. Tajiks managed to preserve the traditions and customs of the nation, which, in turn, have built all the cultural life of the nation.
Religious buildings and findings suggesting that the prosperous cultural development are related to VI – V centuries BC. This art works made of metal, stone and terracotta. Excavations near Penjikent have discovered residential and religious buildings, the wonderful monumental paintings, sculptures, belonging to VII of-VIII centuries.
And what magnificent examples of architecture are ancient mosques! Their wall paintings – they are real works of art.
Tajik Culture “flows” in the blood of each indigenous inhabitant. Tajiks always aspired to know the world. And this experience is reflected in science, literature, art. Tajiks pay special attention to their mother tongue. They carefully preserved it for thousands of years, passing it from generation to generation, like a relic, without distorting and without adding anything alien. Arab conquerors practically destroyed the original language of Tajiks – Dari. However, Tajiks managed to return it to its former glory. And again true masterpieces of Tajik classics: fiction, songs, scientific treatises and other writings have appeared in this language.
All this indicates that Tajiks have always been characterized by a craving for culture, art, around the beautiful, aesthetic, subtle and elegant. They always have been enlightened people and celebrated the vision of the world.
But the culmination of the cultural development of the Tajik people was the period of the reign of the state of Samanids (874-1005 AD), especially during the reign of Ismail Samani. At this point, science, literature, astronomy, mathematics, science, philosophya were prospered. Ismail Samani, being an educated person, created in his state favorable conditions for cultural development. This time is also called “the Golden Age of Tajik civilization”. Best scientists, writers, philosophers, poets, astronomers, painters, alchemists were gathered at the court of Ismail Samani. Palace doors were always open for guests who bring news for the world of culture.
Such names as Ibn-Sina, Abu Raihan Beruni, Al-Khwarizmi, Imam Termeziy, Farabi, Rudaki, Ferdowsi, Saadi, Omar Khayyam are now known all over the world. They lived and worked in the territory of the modern states of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Tajiks are very respectful of that era, when actually formed the Tajik nation with a common language, territory and culture.
In 1999, a grand celebration for the entire country was the celebration of the 1100th anniversary of the Samanid state. During the celebration symposia and international conferences, not only in Tajikistan but also in many cities around the world were held.
Dushanbe in many ways is the cultural capital of the country. Every year various international festivals of arts: music, dance, cinema, folklore and many others are being held.
Modern cultural life of Tajikistan cannot be imagined without Aini State Opera and Ballet Theatre, Lakhuti Tajik Drama Theater, Russian Drama Theatre, the Academy of Sciences, State University, historical museums, fine arts museums, botanical gardens and other cultural institutions.