TAJIKISTAN REPORTS ECONOMIC GROWTH IN 1997.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 57

Tajikistan, the country reporting the largest cumulative decline in GDP within the CIS during 1991-96, officially registered economic growth in 1997 for the first time since independence. Although the 1.7 percent growth in real GDP reported for 1997 pales next to the rapid growth recorded by Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and other CIS economies, it does suggest that Tajikistan may have seen the worst of its economic problems. (Interfax, March 18)

According to data provided by presidential press secretary Zafar Saidov, agricultural production, trade and transport all posted increases in 1997. So did the output of oil and coal. Although industrial production as a whole did fall slightly in 1997, Tajikistan’s foreign trade turnover did increase by nearly 10 percent during this time. Inflation also fell, from 500 percent in 1996 to about 39 percent in 1997. Serious problems continued to plague Tajikistan’s financial system, especially in terms of arrears in general and inter-enterprise debts in particular. Still, these number suggest that, in months following the July 1997 cease-fire agreement that ended five years of guerrilla warfare, significant progress has been made in "normalizing" economic life in Tajikistan.

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