DUSHANBE, November 29, Asia-Plus - A roundtable meeting jointly organized by the United States Embassy in Dushanbe and the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia (EFCA) was held in Dushanbe on November 28. 

US Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson and Jeff Erlich, EFCA’s director for regional programs, opened the meeting, which took place at the United States Embassy.

During the meeting it was noted that businesses agreed to work together to establish an American Chamber of Commerce in Tajikistan.

“We are very excited about the possibility of starting an American Chamber of Commerce in Dushanbe,” said Jacobson, “An AmCham serves as an important mechanism for new companies to interact with established investors and plug into a network of successful enterprises. It would also serve as an advocacy group for local and foreign business trying to navigate the complicated government regulations.  A single business voice can be overlooked or ignored, but many voices together can bring about powerful change.  An AmCham will also help Tajikistan attract foreign investment – an active AmCham is a sign that an economy is ready for investment”.

According to the U.S. Embassy, almost 30 businesses and organizations took part in the meeting and established a working group to found the AmCham. After Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan is the next logical country in Central Asia where AmCham can provide information for businesspeople interested in investing in Tajikistan.

“Opening an AmCham would have many benefits,” said Jeff Erlich, who served on AmCham-Uzbekistan’s board for two years. “To name just two, it will greatly expand companies’ networking and access to information, and it will boost economic growth by promoting business-friendly policies and better corporate governance.”

EFCA has pledged to play a leading role in the initiative, as it sees an AmCham as helping it carry out its mission of promoting private enterprise. It will provide office space and financial support to match companies’ initial contributions, to help ensure a successful launch.

After registering, the AmCham in Tajikistan would join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions. It includes hundreds of associations, thousands of local chambers, and more than 100 American Chambers of Commerce in 91 countries.