France and Tajikistan

Political relations

An agreement of 8 December 2001 enabled the deployment at Dushanbe airport of an air detachment to support our operations in Afghanistan. This detachment, the Détair, officially left Douchanbe in late October 2014.

Our diplomatic office became a fully-fledged Embassy following President Rakhmon’s visit to Paris (December 2002). Military and defence cooperation was formally implemented in the cooperation Agreement of 30 December 2002. In this context, the Ministry of Defence has participated in major work to modernize Dushanbe Airport (upgrading the runways, taxiways and parking facilities at a cost of €28 million) and will finance the construction of a new control tower, initially slated for 2015, but whose construction could not begin before 2017-2018: the French bill authorizing its construction was ratified by the Council of Ministers in July 2016 and was due to be examined by the National Assembly in November 2016.

Tajikistan opened an Embassy in Paris in September 2013.

Visits

While visits are infrequent, the Minister of Defence has made regular stopovers in Tajikistan to visit the Détair. During his trip to Central Asia, Mr Le Drian travelled to Dushanbe on 18 July 2012, the date of the last visit by a French government representative in Tajikistan.

The France-Tajikistan (National Assembly) and France-Central Asia (Senate) friendship groups have made several visits to the region. The last mission of the Interparliamentary France-Central Asia group took place in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in September 2013. The President of the Senate of Tajikistan, Mr Ubaidulloev, met his counterpart in Paris in June 2014.

On 26 November 2014 in Paris, the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Mr Rahimzoda, met the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad, Mr Matthias Fekl.

Economic relations

The official visit of President Rakhmon in December 2002 led to the signature of an investment protection agreement and enabled contacts with French companies. There is a growing number of French companies in the country: Alstom for electricity networks, Sofreco, Engie-INEO, Legrand, Fondation Mérieux (construction of a bacteriological laboratory). Also present are Lafarge, Isover, Saint-Gobain, Itron France (formerly Schlumberger Compteurs), Nutristar, which opened an animal feed plant, Seureca (Veolia), Coyne & Bellier (Tractebel), Mazars consultancy (audit, advice, corporate services). Alongside Tethys Petroleum and Chinese state-owned company CNPC, in June 2013 Total signed an agreement for exploration and development of the Bokhtar oil and gas field (35,000 km²) in the south-west of the country. In January 2013, Vinci Airports resumed work on the new terminal at Dushanbe Airport, partly financed by a €20 million concessional loan, which was inaugurated in September 2014. On 31 May 2013, Michelin inaugurated a sales network in Dushanbe and Auchan is preparing to open its first supermarket there.

French exports to Tajikistan are very limited (€12.5 million), mainly consisting of mechanical and electrical equipment.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Most of our cultural, educational and linguistic cooperation is made possible by the financing of the Bactriane Cultural Centre, which was founded and managed by French NGO Acted, or as regards healthcare by a partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation. Cooperation flows delegated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development were €58,000 in 2016 (as in 2015).

Other types of cooperation

Tajikistan is the first country in the region with which France has signed an agreement on internal security cooperation (December 2002), under the European Union and OSCE programmes: strengthening border security (European BOMCA programme, Border Management Programme in Central Asia) and fighting drugs (Central Asia Drug Action Programme (CADAP)).

Security and defence cooperation is mainly in compensation for facilities granted to our military presence in the region. France is focusing its cooperation on training, advice and expertise, and support for the teaching of French in the military.

Updated: 10 January 2017

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