Tajikistan hopes to become an important trade gateway to Central Asia

By Tengku Faezah Tengku Yusof

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 7 (NNN-BERNAMA) — Tajikistan hopes to become an important trade gateway for Malaysia to markets in Central Asia, said Tajikistan’s Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin.

On the other hand Malaysia, being strategically located in Southeast Asia, could become a bridge between Tajikistan and other ASEAN countries, he said.

Tajikistan Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin. Photo courtesy of BERNAMA.

“We encourage Malaysia to study the possibility of creating a commodity hub in one of the economic zones of Tajikistan, both for exporting its goods to Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, as well as for pre-processing and the import of products from there to Malaysia,” he told Bernama in an exclusive interview at a hotel here, today.

He said Tajikistan was also ready to start talks at higher levels and invite representatives from related agencies and institutions towards long-term networking in the halal sector.

Sirojiddin believes relations between Tajikistan and Malaysia have the potential for greater expansion in the economic as well as scientific, technical, cultural and people-to-people spheres. 

“According to the information we possess, in 2018 Malaysia imported mineral resources worth US$3.5 billion, agricultural products worth US$800 million, and cotton worth of US$600 million.

“Tajikistan has all these products to meet the needs of the Malaysian market. Currently, we can partially meet the needs of Malaysia in mineral resources, agricultural products and cotton,” he said.

Yesterday, Sirojiddin handed over invitation letters from Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon for Malaysia’s King Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to visit the country. The invitations were handed to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

“I also have the honour of delivering an invitation to Dr Mahathir Mohamad to take part in the Second High-Level International Conference on the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018 – 2028, which is scheduled to be held from June 18 to 20, 2020, in Dushanbe.

“I believe we need to intensify high-level official visits between our countries to achieve the outcomes we expect within our cooperation. My visit to Malaysia is a continuation of the strategy that we pursue,” he said. 

Sirojiddin is on a four-day official visit to Malaysia which took on Wednesday. This is his first official visit to Malaysia since assuming office in 2013.