President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan delivered his end-of-year address to the joint session of the Majlisi Milli (Upper Chamber) and Majlisi Namoyandagon (Lower Chamber) on 23 December 2022 in Dushanbe.
The president spoke about the salient features of the domestic and foreign policy and gave data about the performance of his administration.
Here are some passages of broader interest from his speech:
The year of 2022 was a successful year for Tajikistan overall.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of our people, we successfully implemented the development processes and plans and programs on sustainable development of the national economy and improvement of the people’s living standards.
As you are aware, in recent years the global political and economic situation has become complicated and the humanity has been in the most sensitive and difficult period of its history during the last century.
Thus, during the last five years, the negative impact of geopolitical tensions, trade wars, the spread of communicable diseases, clashes and conflicts, as well as the consequences of climate change to the world states’ economies has intensified, and the rapid armament and the beginning of the “Cold war” phase caused the disruption of the system of economic and commercial relations between states as well as the emergence of the world economic crisis.
In particular, in 2022 economic and trade sanctions were expanded, the existing supply chains of goods and products were broken, production has decreased, the prices, especially food prices went up in an unprecedented manner.
Despite the ongoing changes in the world economy and the negative impacts of external shocks on our national economy, the effective implementation of economic reforms, policies and programs and anti-crisis measures in the last five years, enabled to maintain the economic growth of Tajikistan at the rate of 7.3 percent annually in average, and to increase the gross domestic product from TJS 71 bn to TJS 115 bn and the GDP per capita by 1.5 times.
As I have mentioned on many occasions, currently, 98% of electricity in Tajikistan is generated in hydropower plants, and our country ranks sixth in the world in terms of «green energy».
Tajikistan is also among the top countries in terms of least amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
The use of “clean» energy generated in our country for charging electric vehicles, will reduce our demand in oil products, and thereby contribute to the protection and improvement of the environment.
In this context, the Ministries of Industry and New Technologies and Transport are mandated to take specific measures to initiate the manufacturing and assembly of electric vehicles within the country.
Moreover, to promote and present the environmental advantages of our industrial products manufactured with the use of «green energy», the local enterprises need to take measures to obtain a «Green Product Certification” (GPC) issued by the specialized international agencies.
Currently 20 more projects amounting TJS 17 bn in total are under implementation as part of our efforts taken in the years of independence towards energy security and efficiency.
In particular, this year, we completed the project on rehabilitation of Sarband HPP with the capacity of 270Mw amounting to TJS 1,360bn, while the initiatives on reconstruction of Norak HPP amounting TJS 7bn and Qayroqqum HPP TJS 2 bn as well as construction of Sebzor HPP amounting to TJS 612m in Roshtqal’a district of Badakhshan Mountainous Autonomous Region (GBAO) and wind and solar power plants in Murghob district amounting to TJS 170m are smoothly ongoing.
It is noteworthy that after 50 years of operation, the first unit of the Norak HPP was renovated at the cost of over TJS 800m and was launched with the new capacity of 375Mw in October 2022.
The full completion of the renovation works and installation of modern equipment and technologies will enable the Norak HPP to enter its new life with increased capacity of 775Mw.
The construction activities in Roghun HPP are also ongoing dynamically. To this end we channeled TJS 3.2bn in 2022.
At the same time, it should be underlined that the electricity loss has had a negative impact on the financial situation of companies and enterprises in this sector in recent years.
We have spent over TJS 10.7bn for restoration and renovation of the country’s electricity grids during the independence period. However, the electricity loss situation is still concerning as it was 20.4% in ten months of this year.
In this regard, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and the «Electricity Distribution Company» JSC are mandated to ensure high-quality and timely implementation of the TJS 2.4bn project on electricity loss reduction and install more than 800,000 billing meters in various districts and towns of the country within the identified time-frame.
The sensitive situation of today’s world, in particular, the severe food shortage in a quarter of the world’s countries, urges us to take additional measures to achieve our strategic goal on food security.
In recent years, despite the negative impact of external shocks, the constant drought, and restriction of food exports by some countries, we maintained food security and the abundance of the domestic market with agricultural products thanks to the everyday efforts of the country’s dedicated farmers.
In particular, the production of grains reached 1,6mln tons, potatoes — 1mln tons, and fruits and vegetables – 3,2mln tons in 2022.
As a result, during the last five years, the average annual growth of agricultural production was maintained at the rate of 7% and it has increased by 1.4 times. During this period, the production of poultry meat increased by 8 times and its import decreased by 11 times.
In the last five years, the reclamation situation of 50 000 hectares of land was improved, 13 000 hectares of new land was developed and 23 000 hectares of abandoned abundant agricultural land was resumed into operation.
The country’s farmers improved their practices on land management, particularly in the area of secondary sowings and extra harvest, based on the advice provided to them and the area of secondary cultivation lands increased from 90,000 hectares to 213,000 hectares.
According to the available data 85% of the country’s arable lands are irrigated, which also provides more than 90% of the total crop produced in the country.
At the same time, more than 40% of irrigated land depends on the operation of pump stations.
During the independence years, the population of the country increased from 5m in 1991 to 10m in July 2022 or by other words it has doubled.
Today geopolitical processes still remain difficult and complex. These processes have led to the growth of disagreements and conflicts, as well as intensification of competition between states to expand their influence in the different regions of the world.
This situation brings unprecedented security threats and challenges and in general has a serious impact on the fundamental architecture of international relations.
In such conditions, the Republic of Tajikistan continues a balanced and verified foreign policy with a view to ensuring its national interests and protecting its traditional values.
In this context, our state is determined to expand and develop bilateral and multilateral friendly relations and mutually beneficial and constructive cooperation with all countries of the world based on its «Open Doors» foreign policy.
In 2022 Tajikistan, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with most countries of the world. The maintenance of active relations and the development and strengthening of the set of relations with our strategic, traditional and reliable partners is a priority area of our foreign policy.
At the same time, we will continue our efforts towards stable development and strengthening of the spirit of good neighborliness, trust and sustained friendship in Central Asia.
Tajikistan will continue its cooperation with international partners, including the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other multilateral institutions as their active member.
In this vein, we enjoy a high-level cooperation with international financial institutions and we are willing to further expand this collaboration.
Tajikistan will further contribute to solving pressing issues of the international community, such as the fight against terrorism, extremism, transnational organized crime, arms trafficking, cybercrimes, as well as adaptation to the impacts of climate change and elimination of its consequences.
We support the resolution of international issues and regional conflicts through dialogue and are interested in the strengthening the central role of the United Nations in this process.
It is a great pleasure that Tajikistan is recognized at the international level as a champion country on water and climate issues.
On the 14th of December of this year, the United Nations General Assembly at the initiative of Tajikistan unanimously adopted its resolutions to declare 2025 as the «International Year of Glaciers’ Preservation» and March 21 as the «World Day of Glaciers».
According to this resolution there will be created a special Trust Fund in the framework of the United Nations for the implementation of projects and programs aimed at preserving glaciers. Also, Dushanbe will host an international conference on glaciers preservation in 2025.
It is a source of pride and honor for all of us that the 5th global initiative of our country on water and climate will be implemented on a global scale.
Indeed adoption of this resolution at the global level is an important milestone initiative, which is enable the international community to undertake the required joint actions on preservation of the largest drinking water sources.
I would like to avail this opportunity to offer my sincere gratitude to all countries, UN agencies and other international and regional organizations. /// nCa, 24 December 2022