Legal Market Overview
Tajikistan remains one of the poorest post-Soviet nations, and although the economic crisis which has gripped the country for the last few years shows signs of easing, the government continues to be restrained by huge debt. However, economic growth in nearby countries, including China, has had positive spillover effects in Tajikistan, and foreign investment appears to be on the rise. The country’s wealth of natural resources has become a centrepiece of this investment: in a notable example, Chinese investors were granted a gold mining licence in exchange for building a power plant in Dushanbe free of charge. This ‘resource-for-infrastructure’ deal underlines a desire to decrease reliance on foreign energy imports, and address the huge debts the country owes to China.
Indeed, project investment has formed a significant portion of legal work in 2018, with forecasts expecting this to continue. An increase in IP work suggests that Tajikistan may be catching up with its post-Soviet neighbours in this area. The market is made up of a number of local and regional firms, including Centil Law and GRATA International, which act independently as well as alongside international heavyweights. Firms tend to have a generalised practice, although there continues to be a noticeable absence of corporate and M&A work in the market.