More than 40 deals worth over $1.8 billion were signed during a Tajikistan-Kazakhstan business forum, held in Astana on Wednesday.
As many as 200 entrepreneurs and company representatives from various industries participated in the forum, held on the eve of Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon's official visit to Kazakhstan.
The main goal of the Kazakh-Tajik forum was to expand trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
According to Kazakhstan Minister of Trade and Integration Serik Zhumangarin, the business forum reaffirmed Kazakhstan's commitment to strengthening its bilateral trade and economic cooperation with its neighbour Tajikistan.
Kazakhstan and Tajikistan share a long history of cultural, economic, and political ties, as former Soviet Union members. Even as independent nations, they maintain strong economic links, particularly in trade, energy, and transportation.
Trade is a significant aspect of economic relations between the two nations, with Kazakhstan being Tajikistan's second-largest trading partner after Russia. The total trade between the two countries was valued at $1.4 billion last year, an increase of 18.5 percent.
Kazakhstan mainly exports oil and oil products, natural gas, metals, and food products to Tajikistan, while Tajikistan exports textiles, fruits, and vegetables to Kazakhstan.
Zhumangarin remarked that Tajikistan is a crucial partner of Kazakhstan in the region, with positive trade dynamics observed every year. He added that Kazakhstan has the potential to increase its exports of 60 commodity items worth $140 million, which are well-supplied processed products.
“Service providers have shown significant interest in rendering Earth remote sensing and satellite communications services for the agricultural industry and IT services,” The Astana Times quoted Zhumangarin as saying on Wednesday. “The parties are ready to cooperate in the digital transformation of public administration, as well as scientific and innovative activities.”
Meanwhile, Astana and Dushanbe are set to boost their bilateral trade volume to $2 billion. In a meeting with his Tajik counterpart in Astana, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev gave a positive appraisal of the cooperation between the two nations, highlighting the significant progress made in their trade ties.
To enhance economic collaboration, the two leaders signed a number of new agreements.
These agreements include a memorandum of cooperation between the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies and the Center for Strategic Research, a memorandum to establish sister city relations between Turkistan and Khujand, a program of cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs for the period of 2023-2025, and other agreements that aim to enhance the export, tourism, agriculture, and innovation sectors.
These agreements are expected to further strengthen the economic ties between Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.