Tajikistan has a relatively open economy and low tariffs: the total value of foreign trade equals 56% of GDP, and the average applied rate is 5% (World Bank - latest available data). Tajikistan has taken steps to improve its global and regional integration through accession to the WTO in 2013, and participation in a free-trade agreement with the CIS. Historically, Tajik exports are mainly made of aluminium, agricultural products and light industry. Low product diversification and dependence on natural resources make the country's economy particularly sensitive to volatile commodity prices. In 2021, exports were made up mostly of gold, silver and other metals (58%), minerals (9.5%), aluminium (9.1%), and cotton fibre (8% - TajTrade, latest data available). The country mainly imports oil, machinery and food products.
In 2021, the main suppliers were Russia (30.4%), Kazakhstan (19.4%), China (16.1%), and Turkey (3.7%); while the main customers were Switzerland (41.7%), Kazakhstan (16.7%), Turkey (10.8%), China (7.4%), and Uzbekistan (6% - data TajTrade).The government of Tajikistan has implemented a number of measures to promote exports, including the establishment of export promotion agencies and the provision of various incentives for exporters. These incentives include tax breaks, subsidies, and financial assistance. At the same time, the government has also taken measures to protect domestic industries, such as imposing tariffs and quotas on certain imported goods.
Tajikistan has a structurally negative trade balance. Data from TajTrade shows that in 2021 exports of goods stood at USD 2.1 billion (marking an increase of 52.8% compared to one year earlier), whereas imports reached USD 4.2 billion (+33.6% year on year). Tajikistan is also a net importer of services: in 2021, it imported USD 159 million of services against USD 147 million of exports. According to preliminary figures from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, in the first nine months of 2022, exports of goods amounted to USD 1.6 billion, marking a 5.5% increase vis-à-vis the same period one year earlier; while imports totalled USD 3.7 billion (+25.7%). The main trading partners were Russia (USD 1.2 billion), Kazakhstan (USD 1 billion), and China (USD 965 million).
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||2,775||3,151||3,349||3,151||4,210|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||1,198||1,073||1,174||1,407||2,150|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||368||434||479||404||532|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||247||238||239||136||147|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||-1,517||-1,890||-1,920||-1,445||-1,712|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||54||56||56||56||n/a|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||39||41||41||38||n/a|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||15||14||15||17||n/a|
Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.
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Member of CIS - Commonwealth of Independent States
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Latest Update: September 2023