Germany opened an embassy in Dushanbe in 1993 during the Tajik civil war, making it the first EU member state with an embassy in the country. Germany has supported the inner-Tajik peace and democratisation process from the start and remains actively committed to promoting the rule of law and respect for human rights. Official consultations between the two Foreign Ministries were agreed in May 2016; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the most recent round of talks took place by video teleconference on 8 December 2020.
Tajikistan is the smallest and poorest state in Central Asia. There is little trade between Germany and Tajikistan. In 2020 Tajikistan ranked 162nd among Germany’s trading partners, with trade worth 39.5 million euro (source: Federal Statistical Office). Structural defects in the banking sector, gaps in infrastructure, energy scarcity (e.g. electricity supply in winter) and legal uncertainty adversely affect the investment climate. Tajikistan’s main export is aluminium, and agriculture is the major domestic economic sector.
For years, Germany was Tajikistan’s most important bilateral donor within the EU. Bilateral engagement focused on sustainable economic development and on health, particularly tuberculosis control and mother and child health. Further commitments included construction of local schools and the rehabilitation and/or construction of hydropower plants.
From 2021, in line with the BMZ 2030 reform strategy developed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany is phasing out its bilateral state development cooperation with Tajikistan; all current projects will be completed.
The PATRIP Foundation, run by Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, carries out cross-border development and infrastructure projects with Afghanistan.
Germany is also supporting a project for the prevention of violent extremism in Central Asia, including Tajikistan. This project provides support to Tajik authorities and civil society organisations working on reforms to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism.
The high-level conference “Green Central Asia – Enhancing environment, climate and water resilience” held in Berlin on 28 January 2020 launched a new German initiative focusing on the impact of climate change on regional security in Central Asia. The aim is to foster stronger regional cooperation (among the five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan), improve the exchange of information, and form connections with academia and civil society. The initiative is scheduled to run until 2024.