17.02.2017. On February 17 2017 several businessmen visited Sughd Free Economic Zone to discuss possible areas of cooperation. The main article of the meeting was the discussion of possible business opportunities for the development of cooperation between German and Tajik entrepreneurs.
The guests told about the opportunities of cooperation the benefits of which are obvious to both sides. During the meeting such kind of collaboration areas, like the manufacture of hoses, glassware, German tiles, stationery products, processing of dried fruits, etc.
At the end of the meeting, the guests noted that there is a potential for cooperation in Tajikistan and the country is rich in mineral resources with well-developing industry. The use of technology offered by German companies will enable the region to produce high-quality products for the domestic and foreign markets.
13.01.2017. January 13, 2017 pupils of 11th grade of the secondary schools of Khatlon and Sughd regions, who won the competition and became participants of the winter camp organized with an initiative of Sughd chairman and within the framework of the National Association of Business Women of Tajikistan funded by USAID, have visited FEZ Sughd for familiarization. The aim of the project is to teach the current generation to the nuances and the basics of entrepreneurship and prepare them for independent living.
The meeting was held in the conference hall of the Technical College, subject of FEZ, where study more than 350 students from different regions of the country.
The presentation of FEZ and the college was demonstrated to the audience. After the presentations, participants asked their interesting questions.
The meeting was held in very warm and friendly atmosphere.
12.01.2017. January 11-12, 2017 Mr. Joseph Lim - the coordinator of the Asia Pacific Project Preparation Facility funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) came to Sughd region to discuss the implementation of the project of construction of a railroad line from “Spitamen” station to Sughd Free economic zone. During the visit, various issues of the project were discussed, as well as held several meetings and negotiations with stakeholders and future users of this line.
During the meeting in the Administration of Sughd free zone the feasibility study, construction and financing of the project were discussed. At the meeting director of investment company “Original Tajikistan”, which was registered in the last year as the subject of FEZ to take part in the attraction of investments for the realization of the railway and other investment projects of FEZ.
Construction of the railroad will promote not only to the growth of the export potential of free zone subjects but also positively impacts to the improvement of the private sector in Sughd area. This railway line may be an integral part of the future railroad to the cotton, the mining and processing industrial companies located on the right bank of the Syr Darya River.
It should be noted that the Asia Pacific Project Preparation Facility funded by Asian Development Bank, which promotes and supports public–private partnership (PPP) project is considering the possibility of funding the feasibility study of the railroad project.
03.01.2017 As of January 1, 2017 2 companies were registered as the subjects of Sughd FEZ and 7 of them with foreign capital. In 2016 three new subjects with total investment amount of 11 million TJS were registered.
The volume of manufactured products of Sughd free zone entities in 2016 amounted to 73.3 million. Somoni (growth rate is 27.4%). Export of goods amounted to 9.4 million TJS (growth rate is 93%). The products were exported to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
Payments to the budget made $ 12.6 million TJS.
The average number of employees in subjects of FEZ “Sughd” is 400 people. The level of the average monthly salary is 1100 TJS.
The total amount of investments of subjects is 3.5 million TJS.
16.11.2016. On November 16, 2016, Mr. Akhremchik A.S. a head of Administration of FEZ “Minsk” on the delegation consisting of members of Belarusian Commercial and industry chamber’s branch in Minsk city led by deputy director general Mrs. Dubova Tatyana Yaroslavovna visited Sughd free zone. The delegation was accompanied by representatives of Belarusian giant brands, such as MAZ (manufacture of trucks and passenger vehicles), BelOMO (production of optical-mechanical ware), Glassworks Neman (crystal and glass production) and others.
The meeting was held in the conference hall of FEZ subject Archa LLC, where were put the samples of furniture for educational institutions, which will be manufactured in future by a new subject of Sughd FEZ Archa-Mebel LLC. This conference hall was not chosen accidently, because Archa closely collaborates with Belarusian suppliers of wood and lumber and in the case of economic improvement establishment of a joint venture is planned.
Head of Administration of Sughd FEZ Mr. Alimov greeted and welcomed guests and told about the background of two countries and remembered of Belarusian experts during the foundation of Sughd FEZ including cooperation with Vitebsk and Brest free zones.
During the meeting Mr. Alimov comprehensively told about privileges and advantages provided for investors in Sughd free zone. He assured the delegation that any Belarusian company which is aiming in opening its branch or going to produce in Tajikistan will not be mistaken by choosing Sughd FEZ as the best and appropriate place.
The presentation about the activities of group of companies of Kedr Association, which includes three FEZ subjects, was demonstrated by the director of Archa-mebel LLC Dadobaev Narzullo. He has highlighted three main motives to strengthen mutual cooperation with Belarusian partners – technology, raw material and establishment of joint ventures with using and advancement of Belarusian brands.
At the sides exchanged with ideas on how to make bilateral cooperation. The culmination of the meeting became a conclusion of a memorandum between Sughd FEZ and Minsk FEZ.
11.11.2016.In the last international Business forum on economy and investment called “The Pearl of the Silk Road”, which was held on November 11, 2016, in the capital of Tajikistan, a number of domestic and foreign companies that have significantly contributed to the development of national economy were awarded an economic cooperation prize “Silk Road”.
The participants of the Forum were Assistant of the President of Tajikistan on economic issues - Farrukh Hamralizoda, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan - Nematullo Hikmatullozoda, Advisor to the Chairman of the People's Republic of China on security issues – Mr. Chen Guoping, Deputy ministers and head of engaged governmental institutions, as well as representatives from the private sector, both domestic and foreign investors and the subjects of the country’s free economic zones.
During the Forum was noted the importance of revival of Silk Road in Tajikistan and improvement of collaboration with regional partners by using all available opportunities. The realization of Silk Road potential gives considerable push to development of small and medium entrepreneurship in the republic, including free economic zones.
Among speakers of the Forum Mr. Narzullo Dadaboev - deputy head of “Archa” LLC demonstrated a presentation on achievements and future plans.
The Association Kedr which includes 3 subjects of Sughd free zone was awarded an economic cooperation award “Silk Road”.
Two more new companies acquired a right to use advantages and preferences of Sughd free zone. Two new subjects – “Tajikpolyethylene” LLC and Tajik-Turkish join venture “Archa-mebel” were solemnly awarded certificates of FEZ by the Minister of Ministry of Economic development and trade of RT during the International entrepreneurship forum Dushanbe-2016, held on October 14, this year.
The local company of “Tajikpolyethylene” is planning to establish a plant on manufacturing variety of plastic bags. The project is an innovative, because such kinds of goods, which have their own standard, are still imported from abroad. Implementation of this project gives an opportunity to free the domestic market from low-grade products of foreign countries, as well as to fill the market with high-quality packages holding local advertisement. Therefore, the implementation of the project is essential for both society and the business in whole.
The Tajik-Turkish venture “Archa-mebel”, which is established in the base of existing subject “Fortuna-Co”, will produce modern furniture for educational, medical and administration buildings on international standards. This project is an innovative and strategically important as such kind of furniture is not manufactured in the country which could meet the increasing demand of educational and preschool institutions. The furniture will be manufactured under the modern technology by using ecologic harmless materials that is most necessary for rising generation. It should be noted that “Fortuna-Co” LLC has a rich experience in production of timber products and in arranging of delivery duct of raw materials. Thus, the company is shortening the production start term of the new enterprise which will already supply its own products to educational establishments in the next year.
On October 11, 2016 a representative of Islamic Cooperation for the Development of the Private Sector, Member of Islamic Development Bank Mr. Ismael Nicolas Barry was on official visit in Sughd region. The aim of the visit was to explore economic opportunities of the area for discussion of investment issues of private sector within the framework of bilateral cooperation.
Mr. Barry met with Anvar Yakubi a Deputy Chairman of Sughd region in the morning. After the meeting he was suggested to visit a number of sites, particularly the new town of Saikhun.
Afternoon he came to the Administration of Sughd free zone in order to become familiar with the activities of FEZ and discuss issues and problems related to the potential and perspective of forming food cluster in its territory.
The presentation of FEZ was shown to Mr. Barry, during which all his questions were discussed.
Head of FEZ Administration Firdavs Alimov noted that unique geographic location and bio-climatic conditions form the basis of competitive advantage for Tajikistan’s, particularly Sughd area’s fruit and vegetable product manufacturers in the markets of CIS and other foreign countries. Nowadays, the region has almost 6% of all apricot gardens in the world and Tajikistan as a whole occupies 37.4% of the Russian market of imported dried fruits. However, due to shortage of raw material base fruits and vegetables are imported from the neighboring parts of Kirgizstan and Uzbekistan for their further processing in Sughd region.
It was noted that there is a number of organizational, production and logistic problems that can form obstacles to the development of this activity. That is why the territory of FEZ is an important site to create a modern production system on growing, processing, packaging and exporting of fruits and vegetables, as well as their sale in local and foreign markets, using preferences offered by FEZ. The preferences will contribute to promoting of regional brand and improve the competiveness of products in domestic and foreign markets.
During the meeting were also discussed issues concerned with registration procedure of FEZ subjects.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Barry expressed gratitude for such meaningful meeting and declared his intention to consider all the details of the meeting, with his colleagues, associated with the creation of food cluster in Sughd free zone.
The sides made an agreement to continue cooperation on information exchange in this direction.
Sughd free economic zone opens new investor finding directions. September 22, the South Korean entrepreneurs Brandon Song and Yuriy Cha visited FEZ.
The South Korean companies are already working in the market of Tajikistan in different spheres for a long time. Sughd free zone finds huge perspectives in cooperation with this country, which is a sample of a new industrially developed country in Eastern Asia.
Mr. Song is a CEO and Cha Young Sik is an executive director of logistic company CNB Logistics, which has its representative offices in Kazakhstan and Kirgizstan. It should be noted that the company represents itself in Kirgizstan as a resident of Bishkek free economic zone. Also, they are interested in Sughd free zone due to its favorable geographic location which makes it attractive in terms of logistic and export opportunities.
In the Administration of FEZ the detailed presentation of its investing opportunities was demonstrated to the guests and during it, several interested questions of potential investors have been discussed. Particularly issues concerned with tax and customs preferences, land issues and the registration procedure as a subject.
In the course of the talk were considered the perspectives of building warehouses in the territory of FEZ, because at the moment there is a great need in storing tons of different goods daily incoming to cities and villages where a lot of companies using the services of warehouses. The territory of FEZ is an appropriate and advantageous place to organize such kind of activity.
As well as the Korean entrepreneurs got acquainted with a priority project of logistical and transportation center, including the feasibility study which was presented by the Administration of Sughd free zone.
The guests have been suggested to look through the territory of FEZ, in particular buildings and facilities which are more comfortable to use them as a warehouse.
At the end of the meeting all necessary materials on deep exploring of FEZ activities were given to Mr. Song.
September 19, 2016, the United States Ambassador to Tajikistan, Elisabeth Millard officially visited Sughd region. This is her first visit to Sughd area, after her assignment as the U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan on December 14, 2015. The purpose of her visit was to get acquainted with economic opportunities of the area, in order to talk over collaboration issues. At the beginning of the day, Ms. Millard accompanied by the representatives of the Embassy met with the Chairman of Sughd region Abdurahmon Kodiri.
After that meeting, she and the Deputy Chairman of Sughd region Anvar Yakubi have visited Sughd free zone.
Head of Sughd free zone Administration, Firdavs Alimov greeted guests and made special mention of the importance of this meeting and hoped that this meeting will serve as a continuation of bilateral cooperation between FEZ and the U.S. Embassy, including partner organizations accredited directly by the government of the USA.
At the beginning of the meeting, the presentation material of FEZ was demonstrated to guests during which the interested questions of Ambassador, such as issues and problems related with import and export of goods produced in Sughd free zone and inter-regional trade and cooperation were discussed.
Anvar Yakubi noted that with the aim of consolidation of regional trade, special fairs and exhibitions are organized annually, where the foreign business groups participate. Those events provide the inflow of investments and innovations to the republic, as well as contribute to the realization of goods at new international markets. Besides, the mentioned events let not only to diversify trade but also strengthen the cultural ties.
During the meeting, the importance of partnership with an American organization - USAID was mentioned as well, which had assisted Sughd free zone with financial aid at the time of its establishment and made the weighty contribution to the beginning of Administration activities.
After the meeting which passed in a mutual understanding atmosphere, the guests were suggested to visit a Technical college located in the territory of FEZ, where more than 300 students study. Ms. Millard became familiar with the technical fitting of lecture rooms, library and teaching process of the college.
At the end of the meeting, Ms. Millard expressed her gratitude for such fruitful meeting and stated her intention to consider all details and issues of the meeting with colleagues, including issues concerned with assistance to the further development of FEZ.
Parties came to an arrangement to continue long-term cooperation on mutual beneficial directions.