Tajikistan is considered to be the poorest of the former
Soviet republics in Central Asia. The disintegration of the
Soviet Union with the demise of former markets and trade
routes as well as civil war has further deteriorated the
country's economy. From 1985–95 GDP per capita fell by over
10% annually, but since the turn of the millennium, growth
Although only 6% of the country's land is arable land,
Tajikistan's economy is mainly agricultural. In 2008,
agriculture (including forestry) contributed 23.8% of GDP
and employed 67.2% of the working population. Industry
(including mining) contributed so. with 30% of GDP and 7.5%
of employment. About. 800,000 Tajiks are believed to have
permanent or seasonal work in former Soviet republics.
countryaah, Tajikistan's most important natural resource is rivers
and waterfalls. New hydropower plants have enabled the
export of electricity. One of the world's largest dam
plants, Nurek, is located near Dushanbe. Hydropower has
created the basis for the establishment of the country's
considerable aluminum industry. Hydropower represents most
of the country's electricity generation. Construction of two
of the country's largest hydropower plants, aimed at
exporting to Russia and Iran, was initiated in 2006, along
with a 700 km long transmission line to Pakistan.
The implementation of economic reforms has been slow The
corruption is widespread. The privatization of major state
enterprises has just begun. However, thousands of small
businesses, especially in commerce and services, have been
established with private owners. In order to attract foreign
investment capital, restrictions on operations for foreign
banks were lifted in 2005.
The privatization of state and collective use occurred
gradually after independence. Cotton is the most important
crop, and a considerable part of the cultivation is still
carried out on collective use. Cotton production makes the
country highly dependent on artificial irrigation,
especially from the Amu-Darja and Syr-Darja rivers.
Extensive consumption of artificial fertilizers and
insecticides has caused major environmental pollution and
caused health damage to the population. In addition to
cotton, wheat, tobacco, potatoes and vegetables, citrus
fruits, figs and sugar cane are grown. Livestock breeding is
based on karakulsau, goat and cattle. Tajikistan is
self-sufficient with animal products.
Mining, energy and industry
Tajikistan has rich mineral deposits. There are deposits
of uranium, coal, antimony, silver, aluminum, iron, lead,
tungsten, bismuth, mercury, tin and petroleum. The
mountainous landscape prevents the efficient utilization of
mineral deposits. 95 percent of the electrical energy
produced comes from hydropower. Otherwise, Tajikistan is
dependent on importing petroleum.
Traditionally, the industry has been dominated by a few
large, state-owned enterprises and many small businesses. It
is produced i.a. aluminum, power equipment, cables, metal
products, fertilizers. The light industry is dominated by
the textile industry, with large production of cotton, silk,
knitwear and clothing. Otherwise, footwear, food, carpets
and perfume oils are produced.
Aluminum is the main export commodity, in addition to
electricity and cotton. Tajikistan is dependent on oil and
gas imports. Other machinery and equipment for aluminum
production, foodstuffs and consumables are also imported.
Before independence, most of the country's trade with the
other Soviet Union took place. Later, Tajikistan has focused
on other countries, and its main trading partners in 2008
were China, Russia, Turkey and Norway.
Transport and Communications
The mountainous landscape makes it difficult to develop a
good communication network. The road network is relatively
well developed, but some areas are impassable during periods
of the year. Tajikistan is linked to the Uzbek and Turkmen
railway network both from Khodsjent in the Fergana basin and
from Dushanbe. Dushanbe has an international airport.
Otherwise, domestic airports are relatively well developed,
but several of them are exposed.