Labor migrants’ remittances alongside state capital investments have represented a significant vehicle for reducing the scale and severity of poverty in Tajikistan, Tajik Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Nematullo Hikmatullozoda, stated today in Dushanbe, speaking at the presentation ceremony for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) new five-year country partnership strategy (CPS) for Tajikistan.

“Over the past twenty years, Tajikistan’s annual economic growth rate has stood at 7.0 percent and the poverty rate decreased from 81 percent in 1999 to 31.5 percent in 2015,” the minister said, noting that labor migrants’ remittances and state capital investments were the major sources of economic growth in the country over the report period.     

According to him, vulnerability of Tajikistan’s economy to external factors has led to deceleration in the country’s economic growth over the past two years.

“In 2015, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate fell to 6.0 percent.  Nevertheless, economic growth was provided last year despite the more than 30-percent decline in labor migrants’ remittance flows,” Hikmatullozoda said.

“This year, remittance flows are continuing to fall but despite this the economic growth rate over the first eight months of this year has stood at 6.7 percent.”

“The major sources of economic growth in Tajikistan are now investment activity and the rapid development of industry that is evidence of the fact that the impact of remittances on Tajikistan’s economic growth is decreasing,” the minister added.  

The National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) says that compared to January-June 2015 remittance flows to Tajikistan have declined 22.1 percent over the first six months of this year. 

Meanwhile, according to data from Russia’s central bank, 598 million U.S. dollars have been sent through money transfer system to Tajikistan from the Russian Federation over the first six months of this year, which was reportedly 14 percent less than in the same period last year (696 million U.S. dollars were sent to Tajikistan from Russia in January-June 2015).

Russian central bank says 2.22 billion U.S. dollars were sent through money transfer system to Tajikistan from Russia in 2015, which was 1.621 billion U.S. dollars less than in 2014.

3.831 billion U.S. dollars (USD) were sent through money transfer system to Tajikistan from the Russian Federation in 2014, which was 324 million USD, or almost 8 percent, less compared to 2013.

In 2013, 4.155 billion USD were remitted to banks in Tajikistan from Russia, which was 45 million USD less than in 2012.