DUSHANBE , August 4, Asia-Plus - India and Tajikistan have agreed to further develop bilateral cooperation in the areas of trade, industry, agriculture, including processing of farm produce, construction, transport, education, scientific and technical cooperation and tourism.  These issues were discussed at the third session of the Tajik-Indian commission for economic and trade cooperation that was held in New Delhi from July 31 to August 1. 

According to information from the Ministry of Economy and Trade, during the session it was noted that Tajikistan and India should radically change parameters and structure of economic and commercial cooperation between them.  

During the meeting it was noted that the present state of trade and economic relations between the two countries was at improper level and there was considerable room for expansion of economic ties.  It was noted that Indian entrepreneurs were not so active in investing in Tajikistan ’s economy.  “In this connection, the Indian side intends to familiarize itself with business environment in Tajikistan in near future,” the source said.   

In order to widen trade and economic relations between the two countries, the Indian side has agreed to hold a meeting of the business forum of both the countries during the forthcoming visit of the President of Tajikistan to India in August.  The Tajik side also agreed to hold a similar Forum in May 2007 in Dushanbe .

India ’s The Economic Times says the Tajik-Indian commission for trade and economic cooperation was signed in New Delhi by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Special Secretary, G K Pillai on behalf of the Government of India and Minister for Economy and Trade of Tajikistan Hakim Soliyev.

Both sides have underlined the importance of establishing long-term cooperation in the field of industry and have agreed to make efforts to achieve this goal, especially in view of the great potential for cooperation in the manufacturing sector in textiles, chemicals, construction materials, mining and processing of light metals, according to The Economic Times.  Possibilities of setting up joint ventures in the territories of both countries in identified areas will also be considered, it said.

The source in the Ministry of Economy and Trade, has told Asia-Plus that Tajikistan offered the Indian side to consider the possibility of supplying alumina to Tajikistan at the rate of 350,000 tons a year, with further launch of a joint venture on processing primary aluminum through conclusion of a contract by the Tajik Aluminum Plant (TadAZ) and Indian companies.  According to the source, the India side will present proposals to the Indian business circles.   

“Besides, the Indian side has agreed to provide technical assistance to Tajikistan for completion of a process of its admission to the World Trade Organization,” the Asia-Plus interlocutor said.  

According to data of the State Committee for Statistics, a two-way trade between Tajikistan and India in January-June 2006 has valued at US$1.60 million.  This consisted of Tajikistan ’s exports to India estimated at US$4,600 and Tajikistan ’s imports from India worth US$1.554 million.