The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) continues its series of EDB Monitoring of Mutual Investments (MMI) publications.  The EDB project on monitoring mutual direct investments of the countries of the Eurasian region has been under way since 2012.  The MMI encompasses a database of investment projects, containing detailed information on mutual direct investments in Eurasia, covering Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.   

The EDB’s “Monitoring of Mutual Investments — 2023” that was released on December 19 notes that the foreign direct investment (FDI) stock within Central Asia has been estimated at US$1.1 billion by the end of the first half-year of 2023, marking a 1.8-fold increase from 2016.  

According to EDB estimates, the countries of Central Asia are realizing 27 large-scale investment projects involving mutual investments. By the end of 1H 2023, total mutual FDI stock in the region amounted to $1.1 billion, increasing by a factor of 1.8 vs 2016.

The report notes that Kyrgyzstan is the main recipient of investments in the region with a 63% share, with a single project in the extractive sector accounting for half of that share. The key investment destinations are Uzbekistan (24%), Kazakhstan (11%), and Tajikistan (2.0%). 

According to the report, Tajikistan uses most FDI for extraction of mineral resources.  In 2022, it reportedly attracted about US$430 million of direct investments, of which 85% was directed to the extraction of mineral resources, 13% to production and processing, and 1.7% to construction and other sectors.

According to data from the Agency for Statistics under the President of Tajikistan, production in Tajikistan's mining industry over the first six months of this year has increased by 7.3 percent

During the Central Asia and Gulf Cooperation Council summit held in July 2023 in Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan announced that the list of its priority investment targets includes energy, industry (including light and food industry), agriculture, banking, tourism, digital economy, information and communications, and transit transport systems.

Tajikistan has rich deposits of gold, silver, and antimony. The largest silver deposits are in Sughd province, where Tajikistan's largest gold mining operation is also located.  More than 400 mineral deposits of some 70 different minerals have been discovered in Tajikistan, including strontium, tungsten, molybdenum, bismuth, salt, lead, zinc, fluorspar, and mercury.  These minerals have been found suitable for mining.  Uranium, an important mineral in the Soviet era, remains in some quantity but is no longer being extracted.