On Friday April 15, Resident Representative of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Tajikistan, Mr. Qozidavlat Qoimdodov, met here with Mr. Lutaf Kassam, Global Director of the Industrial Promotion Service (IPS).

According to the AKDN Resident office in Tajikistan, during the meeting, the parties discussed the prospects of further cooperation in the development of energy, tourism and hotels, strengthening the sector of small and medium-sized business and agribusiness.

In the course of the talks, Mr. Qoimdodov and Mr. Kassam reportedly stressed the fruitful cooperation and stressed the importance of expanding partnership in several areas, including socio-economic.

It was noted that the rich experience and long-term activities of AKDN programs, including the Aga Khan Foundation for Economic Development (AKFED) and its entities in Tajikistan - Pamir Energy, Tcell, The First Microfinance Bank, Serena Hotels and Accelerate Prosperity are making contribution to improvement of the quality of life of the Tajik people and developing the country's industry.

Mr. Kassam, in particular, noted that a working group consisting of experts had been set up under his leadership to study AKDN's involvement in developing new medium-term programs with the Government of Tajikistan, including industrial development.

At the end, the parties expressed their readiness and interest in mutually beneficial cooperation and the development of joint programs for a longer period and to attract more funding to Tajikistan.

AKDN and its agencies focus on empowering and improving the lives of people in developing countries. AKDN programs are aimed at the well-being of all people, regardless of race, nationality, or religion.

Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) is the industrial and infrastructure development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), which is dedicated to promoting private sector entrepreneurship and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world.

In the early 1960s, a group of companies was set up under the corporate name Industrial Promotion Services (IPS).  Each company was created to provide venture capital, technical assistance and management support to encourage and expand private enterprise in countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.  Growth, privatization and a re-orientation away from import substitution and towards export promotion resulted in adjustments to IPS’ approach.

Expansion into areas such as agribusiness, packaging and infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa were accompanied by the need for new investments in the emerging economies of Central Asia in the 1990s and 2000s, in particular, in Tajikistan and Afghanistan.  Today, IPS companies play a vital role in local and regional economies.