Qatar has expressed its willingness to set up an Islamic bank in Tajikistan, which would be the first Shariah-based financial institution in the Central Asian country, said Gulf Times. The establishment of a full-fledged Islamic bank under Qatari-Tajikistan partnership was discussed when Ezdan Holding chairman Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah al-Thani called on Tajikistan President Emomalii Rahmon in the country's capital Dushanbe on Thursday.
Welcoming Sheikh Dr Khalid and the accompanying high-level Qatari delegation, Rahmon highlighted the strong and cordial relationship that exist between the two countries. He said Tajikistan has a "very attractive" investment climate, thanks to the facilities and incentives provided by the republic to foreign investors. Supporting these are modern investment laws, which have boosted the confidence of foreign investors.
Rahmon emphasised that Tajikistan is now one of the "ideal destinations" for commercial businesses with diverse opportunities, which are facilitated by the country's geographical location. Sheikh Dr Khalid expressed his happiness to visit Dushanbe and thanked Rahmon for the cordial reception accorded to the Qatari delegation. He said his visit was within the framework of the solid Qatari-Tajikistan economic ties, which have flourished under the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Sheikh Dr Khalid said the Qatari business community was viewing the Tajikistan market with great interest and willing to invest in the country, besides sharing its knowledge and expertise with local businessmen in different sectors, particularly Islamic banking. Sheikh Dr Khalid said Tajikistan's first Islamic bank would be another major venture within the framework of the strong relationship between the two countries. He also expressed his willingness to provide the necessary consultancy services in this field.
He termed as "extremely positive", the Tajikistan government's decision to enact necessary legislation required for Islamic banking. President Rahmon confirmed his total support for the project and assigned Tajikistan's second deputy prime minister to co-ordinate with the Qatari side. Rahmon urged his officials to seek Qatar's knowledge and expertise in Islamic banking to develop a Shariah-based financial architecture in the country.
A vast majority of Tajikistan's 7mn population are Muslims. Islamic banking and Shariah-based financial architecture are expected to grow rapidly in the Central Asian country. However, the country is in need of foreign investments to grow its economy.