KHOROG, January 31, Asia-Plus -- As of January 1 2006 , 162 small enterprises and 4,500 private entrepreneurs have worked in Gorno Badakhshan.  

Boimamad Alibakhshev, head of the GBAO anti-monopoly agency, has told Asia-Plus that they produced 3.7 million Somonis’ worth of output in 2005.  

According to him, opening of new roads, bridges and crossings to China and Afghanistan and development of the cross-border trade with the Afghan province of Badakhshan have promoted development of small and medium enterprises in the region.  

“Last year commercial banks provided loans to entrepreneurs for a total amount of more than 14 million Somonis, which is much more compared to 2004, when totaling 2.5 million Somonis were provided in loans to entrepreneurs in the region.”

Alibakhshev also noted that a special group comprising representatives from local authorities, fiscal and law enforcement agencies was set up in the region for coordinating activities of local entrepreneurs.