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DUSHANBE, January 24, 3:35 /ITAR-TASS/. Economic partnership priorities and the problems of Russian business in Tajikistan will be discussed here on Friday at the 12th session of the Russia-Tajikistan intergovernmental commission (IGC) for economic cooperation.
The Russian delegation is led by First Vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov and the Tajik one is headed by Prime Minister Kokhir Radulzoda. An official at the RF Trade Representative Office in Dushanbe has told Itar-Tass that there are about 18 items on the sesson's agenda.
"Considering the fact that, for various reasons, the Commission did not met in the past three years, quite a number of matters (for discussion) have piled up," the official said. At the same time he pointed out that "there are certain successes" in trade-and-economic cooperation between the two countries.
"Last year, turnover in trade between the two countries ran at over the $1 billion mark, although it decreased for a number of objective reasons as compared with that in 2012. This year, there are all prerequisites for a rise in this indicator by 25 percent resultant of the increase in the number of joint ventures and purely Russian companies," the Representative Office expert maintains.
The activities of Gazprom, which is actively developing the promising oil and gas deposit at Sarikamysh in the republic's west may serve as an example of Russian capital's effective presence in Tajikistan.
At the same time, Russia's business circles encounter certain problems in Tajikistan: various bureaucratic procrastinations in the registration of Russian companies, and the practice of non-payments, as happened with the Sangtudin-1 hydropower station (HPS) where the Barki Todzhik state-run monopoilist energy holding has been failing to pay for the received electric power for several years now.
As of now, the indebtedness has amounted to more than $89 million and continues to grow.
Tajikistan, for its part, hopes for a rescheduling of the accrued debt to Russian power engineers and, moreover, counts on Russian capital's participation in building another two to three medium-capacity HPS on the republic's inland rivers.
"Russia remains Tajikistan's strategic partner in all fields and the IGC session, opening Friday, will make it possible to work out new mutually beneficial priorities in Tajik-Russian economic partnership,"Kodiri Kosim, head of the governmental committee on investments and the managment of state property, told journalists on Thursday.
Participants in the IGC session are also to discuss a timeframe for the start of research work by the Pamir-Chakaltai International research center. An agreement on founding it was signed by the governments of Russia and Tajikistan in August 2008. A charter of the Center was approved in December last year.
In the opinion of the leadership of the National Academy of Sciences, "there have remained minor hiccups, the removal of which is within the IGC's competence".
On Frifay afternoon, Igor Shuvalov is to meet with Tajikidtan's President Emomali Rakhmon.