TAJIKISTAN: China’s Xi Jinping at a regional summit signed a deal to build a gas pipeline through the impoverished ex-Soviet republic of Tajikistan. The pipeline will be used to transport gas from Turkmenistan to China as part of a huge supply deal. Tajik President, Emomali Rakhmon said that carrying out this project will allow more than $3 billion of direct investments from China into the economy of Tajikistan and will supply China with 25-30 billion cubic metres of oil per year. China is eyeing the vast oil and gas resources of ex-Soviet Central Asia for its fast-growing domestic economy. The new pipeline is due for completion in 2016 and will run for more than 400 kilometres within Tajikistan. The mountainous country is the poorest ex-soviet republic and dependent on remittances from its nationals doing manual labour in Russia.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2013.
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