July 17, 2020 / 11:22 AM / 21 days ago

Tajikistan's GDP growth slows sharply due to pandemic

DUSHANBE, July 17 (Reuters) - Tajikistan’s gross domestic product growth slowed to 3.5% in January-June compared with 7.5% in first half of 2019, the Central Asian nation’s central bank said on Friday, citing the influence of the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Soviet republic depends heavily on remittances from migrant labourers working in Russia whose energy exports took a hit from the oil price drop.

China is a major investor in Tajikistan and a number of industrial projects involving Chinese companies have been delayed as Chinese personnel could not get into Tajikistan due to COVID-19 border closures.

The Dushanbe government last month slashed its 2020 budget revenue target by 9.4% and reduced the GDP growth outlook to 4.7% from 7.8%. It has been in talks with global lenders about debt relief and emergency funding. (Reporting by Nazarali Pirnazarov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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