DUSHANBE, October 27, Asia-Plus -- Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Tajikistan in the banking sphere has expanded, Kazakh Ambassador to Tajikistan Yerlan Abildayev told journalists in Dushanbe on October 26.

”Recently Kazakhstan’s ATF Bank purchased shares of the Khujand-based SohibkorBonk and it plans to move SohibkorBonk’s headquarters from Khujand to Dushanbe,” said the ambassador. “Kazakh companies planning to work in Tajikistan will finance their projects through this bank. 

He said Kazakhstan is considering a number of projects to improve Tajikistan’s agrarian sector, as well as energy and mining. Abildayev noted that Kazakhstan intends to invest in the construction of three hydroelectric power stations on the Zarafshon River in northern Tajikistan. ”These power plants are small, of course; however, compared to the Roghun and Sangtuda power plants, these projects are quite workable,” the ambassador stressed. 

Abildayev noted that in the first stage, Kazakhstan intends to annually invest dozens of millions of US dollars in Tajikistan’s economy, “but the arrival of investors in Tajikistan depends on the openness of Tajik authorities.” 

The ambassador said that the formation of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) within the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) is under way. 

Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to create the EDB in January of this year in Astana. Under the agreement, the bank has authorized capital of 1.5 billion US dollars, US $500 million of which is Kazakhstan’s share and US $1 billion Russia’s.

The bank will operate, to some extent, like the World Bank in the region, according to Abildayev.