DUSHANBE, September 26, Asia-Plus - Construction of a Tajik-Turkish joint textiles plant, Bursel Dushanbe Textile, has been postponed again, Deputy Industries Minister, Abdukarim Hikmatov said.

The Tajik official even has not ruled out that the joint venture may possibly not be constructed at all. 

According to him, during a meeting in Istanbul on the sideline of the conference “Turkey-Eurasia Foreign Trade Bridge” (September 17-18) it was noted that Turkey’s Bursel Holding cannot start the construction of a new textile enterprise because of its debt to Uzbek authorities.  “Several years ago, the Turkish company launched a joint textile enterprise in Uzbekistan,” said Hikmatov, “For unknown reasons the company has not fulfilled its financial obligations and its debt to Uzbek authorities has increased over the past period.”  According to the deputy industries minister, the company also has debts to other states and therefore it is unable to invest in the construction of enterprises in other countries.  May be any other Turkish company will construct this textile enterprise in Tajikistan, according to him.   

Hikmatov also added that a planned meeting with Burhan Enushtekin, the president of Bursel Holding, had not been held in Istanbul because the company had not participate at the conference.  

A groundbreaking ceremony for this enterprise was held in Dushanbe in March already.  Under an agreement between Tajikistan’s Government and Turkey’s Bursel Holding that was reached during President Rahmonov’s visit to Turkey in January, the plant was supposed to be finished in 18 months after the beginning of the construction.  Construction of the plant officially commenced on March 20, 2006; in other words, the plant was supposed to be finished and put into operation in September 2007.

The joint venture plans to process 8,000 tons of cotton into manufactured goods a year.  More than a half of the plant’s output will be exported to other countries, mainly to the United States, European countries and the Russian Federation.  Overall export potential is expected to be US$50 million. 

The estimated budget for the construction of this joint venture is US$74 million.  The enterprise’s authorized capital is expected to be US$22 million Somonis and Tajikistan will assume a 50% ownership interest in the plant in exchange for providing cotton fiber. 

The plant is expected to create some 4,000 new jobs for residents of Dushanbe, primarily women.  They will receive six months of training on how to operate the plant’s high technology.