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DUSHANBE, January 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia remains Tajikistan's key partner in all areas, including economy, a Tajik official said here on Wednesday.
In the past eight years, Russia's investment in the Tajik economy has exceeded 310 million dollars, which includes 216 million dollars of direct investment. The investments were largely channeled into services, communications, energy and several other sectors, said Kodiri Kosim, chairman of Tajikistan's State Committee for Investments and State Property Management at the opening of the Russian-Tajik Business Dialogue forum.
Tajikistan maintains direct dies with 80 Russian regions, and more than 110 Russian companies are operating in Tajikistan. "Our countries have a serious potential for strengthening relations; we are interested in expanding further strategic partnership with Russia," Kosim said.
Speaking at the business forum, Russian Ambassador to Tajikistan Igor Lyakin-Frolov welcomed the Russian-Tajik dialogue which had started in Dushanbe. He expressed the hope that the participants would consider "the pressing issues which are of interest to the business circles of the two countries."
Russia attaches an important significance to the upcoming session of the intergovernmental economic cooperation commission which will sum up the results of bilateral relations for the past three years and set priority guidelines for the future, the diplomat said.
The Commission will convene on January 24. The agenda will address a broad range of 22 issues emerging as priority topics since the commission's last meeting in 2010. They have been tabled for discussion this time under Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov while Tajikistan has raised the status of its co-chair to that of prime minister Qohir Rasulzoda.
Last year, Russian-Tajik trade exceeded one billion dollars.