Two delegations exchanged views on wide range of opportunities for enhancement of cooperation, and also discussed open issues related to sectoral reforms and EU projects supporting them. The meeting focused in particular on the National Development Strategy until 2030 (NDS), on budget support and public finance management, and on three key sectors of EU assistance to Tajikistan – Health, Education and Rural Development.
The Tajik delegation was led by the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mr. Zavqi Zavqizoda.
The EU side, led by the Head of EU Delegation to Tajikistan Mr. Hidajet Biščević and Deputy Head of Unit for Central/South Asia and Middle East Mr. Frank Hess, stressed that the NDS is considered by the EU as a key platform to uplift Tajik economy to new level of performance, which also needs to be more closely aligned to planning and budgeting processes.
Mr. Biščević said: "We welcome the presence of NDS as a framework for deep reaching transformation and modernization of the country, and we stand fully behind the Tajik Government as far as NDS implementation is concerned – with this in mind, we would like to assist to the authorities to ensure better linkages of this vision to the financial and budget planning and implementation. At this point, the strategies at different levels are not costed and they are disconnected from the fiscal framework. This is visible in all three EU sectors which are shared priorities both from the NDS point of view and the EU policy".
Mr. Hess added: "The EU is willing to continue budget support to Tajikistan, but we need to be reassured about stability oriented macroeconomic policies of the country".
The EU renewed its commitment to support broader regional cooperation in Central Asia, building on a positive current momentum, and including also Afghanistan, in order to enhance regional security, upgrade economic and trade relations in the region and better use of great human and natural potentials of the region.
The meeting concluded with both sides stressing the strategic importance of EU-Tajikistan cooperation, improving coordination, continuing reforms and economic development, enhancing security, stability and poverty reduction.
The meeting will be followed by EU-Tajikistan Cooperation Committee scheduled on 9 March 2018 in Brussels, where development cooperation issues will continue to be discussed in a broader context of EU-Tajikistan relations.