Green Economy Forum 2024, dedicated to new opportunities for fostering entrepreneurship in the context of ecological sustainability, was held in Hyatt Regency Dushanbe Hotel on February 15.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan and Public fund “Accelerate Prosperity” with the support of development partners, namely Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Swiss Economic Cooperation Office and the Aga Khan Foundation. It united entrepreneurs, field experts, government representatives and other ecosystem stakeholders, to discuss the potential growth of green economy in the country, as well as effective strategies for its promotion.

The Green Economy Forum 2024 in Tajikistan “New opportunities for business growth” focused on developing ecologically sustainable entrepreneurship and embedding new technology for improving the ecological well-being in the country. The main theme of the event was referred to the importance of switching to green economy to ensure sustainable growth and contribute to ecological security. As a result, Issues of reducing carbon emissions, increasing energy efficiency, developing alternative energy sources and introducing environmentally friendly technologies were discussed.

This event is of utmost importance for the business community of Tajikistan, since the introduction of the principles of a green economy will help improve the environmental situation in the country, attract investment in green projects and generally increase the competitiveness of Tajik business in the world market.

As part of the opening remarks, the First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan, Solehzoda Ashurboy Abdulvohid, emphasized the importance of the transition to a sustainable model of economic development that takes into account the needs of future generations. He also noted that the green economy is becoming increasingly relevant in the face of climate change and depleting natural resources.

In Tajikistan, the development of a green economy is becoming a key factor, especially for the private sector and entrepreneurship. Considering the country's commitment to sustainable development, supporting green economy is becoming a driving force for positive change.

Head of the Main Department of Real Sector Development of the Ministry of Economic

Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan, Ahadzoda Bahodur, presented the “Strategy for the development of the green economy in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2023-2037,” where he emphasized current trends and initiatives in the field of green economy.

This Green Economy Development strategy is aimed at carrying out institutional reforms, effective management of natural resources, attracting investments and strengthening international cooperation in this area.

The Green Economy Development strategy in the Republic of Tajikistan for the period of 2023-2037 covers several key areas, including energy, industrialization, agriculture, transport, architecture and construction, waste management, as well as the protection of natural capital and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

It is important to note that this strategy is aimed not only at improving the environmental situation, but also at creating new opportunities for business development in various sectors of the economy. As part of this strategy, significant investments are planned to be made in energy, agriculture, transport and construction, which will help create a favorable investment climate and stimulate business development.

The total amount of funds required to implement the first stage of the green economy development strategy in the Republic of Tajikistan for the period from 2023 to 2037 is estimated at 21,586.3 million somoni. This financial volume includes: 37.1 million somoni from the state budget, 12,818.4 million somoni from development partners and 8,730.8 million somoni - private sector investments.

According to Ahadzoda Bahodur, joint financing will make it possible to take important steps towards developing an environmentally sustainable economy and achieving the stated strategic goals.

British Ambassador to Tajikistan, Mr. Tim Jones highlights key priorities for the country's development considering the green economy strategy:

“There are three important things that I hope will be achieved today. First, encouraging small business, because small business is the real engine of job creation and especially employment throughout the country where jobs are really needed. Secondly, the green economy, because this is what will become the sustainable business of the future - start a green business now and you will enter a growing market, not a shrinking one. And finally, and I think most importantly in terms of local ownership of development, we are talking about the people who invest their own money and effort into the development of the country, and they are the ones who need our support most.”

Pitch presentations of startup projects

The pitch session, organized as part of the forum, became a platform for presenting promising startup projects. Among them were:

•           «Metan HR -a platform for human resource management» by Khusrav Mamadjonov

•           «Mavsim – green logistics» led by Madina Khayrulloeva

•           Project «Production of thermal insulation materials» by Surush Zikrillobekov

•           «Hunar App – digital program-service master » presented by Farida Imatshoeva

•           «Forecasting AI – analysing data using AI» by Manuchehr Ghafforzoda 

The projects presented cover various areas, from human resources management to green logistics and digital technologies, highlighting the diversity of approaches to green business development.

The startups presented at the forum demonstrate active interest of entrepreneurs in the development of green solutions. This indicates a growing awareness of the need to transition to a green economy and the adoption of innovative approaches to this process.

Panel discussions

The forum also included panel discussions where key figures from various sectors discussed digital transformation addressing technical challenges to successfully realize the green economy initiative. The following experts participated in the discussions:

•           Merali Bodurshozoda, Head of Planning & Secretariat department of the Agency for Innovations and Digital Technologies under the President the Republic of Tajikistan.

•           Gulanori Atobek, Head of JSC «Alif Bank».

•           Hasan Khorkashev, Head of State Unitary Enterprise «Smart city» of the Executive body of the state of Dushanbe

•           Mahinakhon Suleymanova, Head of LLC «Nesigol Navovar».

•           Alisher Kholiqnazarov, Director of Communication and Brand Department at Tcell.

•           Firdavs Toshpulatov, representative of FAO UN

•           Umarkhon Madvaliev, General Director JSC «Sistemaavtomatika».

•           Sanovbar Ayubova, Head of LLP «Lean Slutions».

•           Muhammadi Muminov, Head of cooperative «Sarob».

•           Shavkat Kalonov, partner of company «Top Consulting».

The panel discussion highlighted the importance of joint efforts to achieve success in implementing the green economy strategy in Tajikistan.

Development and prospects: Accelerate Prosperity presented the results of its work and plans for the future.

Pulod Amirbekov, head of Accelerate Prosperity, during his speech at the conference, shared the impressive results of the company’s work for the period from 2017 to 2023 and announced plans for the coming years.

Work results for 2017-2023:

Over the past seven years, Accelerate Prosperity has incubated and accelerated more than 2,100 projects, of which 290 received investments. The total investment amounted to more than $6 million. A significant share of invested projects are startups (25%), young entrepreneurs (30%) and women entrepreneurs (30%).

Plans for 2024-2028 by Accelerate Prosperity:

There are new challenges and opportunities ahead. Accelerate Prosperity's plans for the next five years:

• Incubation and acceleration of more than 1000 projects.

• Investing in 350 projects with a total investment of more than $10 million.

• Increasing the share of “green” projects in the portfolio to 40%.

• Increasing the share of start-ups, young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs to 40%.

Будущее в зеленом ключе

Particular attention in the future strategy of Accelerate Prosperity will be paid to green projects. This reflects the global trend towards sustainable development and energy conservation. The company is ready to support entrepreneurs whose projects are aimed at solving environmental problems and creating innovative solutions in the field of green energy and sustainable development.

Overall, Accelerate Prosperity’s plans for the coming years foreshadow even more active development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region and the creation of a favorable environment for innovative ideas and projects.

From Pulod Amirbekov’s interview with Accelerate Prosperity, it became clear that in the field of the green economy of Tajikistan, times are coming when initiatives contribute to the direct implementation of the developed concepts: “The green economy is becoming relevant. If earlier they predicted that this would happen in 5-10 years, now they say that it has happened. We need to pay special attention to this topic. Taking into account the fact that the green economy strategy has already been developed and is being implemented in Tajikistan.”

Country Director of Accelerate Prosperity recommends that entrepreneurs familiarize themselves with the green economy development strategy: “Particular attention should be paid to the plan for implementing this strategy in order to accurately determine in which areas it is worth developing entrepreneurship. Knowing the implementation plan will help entrepreneurs identify promising sectors and areas where new ideas, technologies and business models can be introduced. This will not only allow us to use our resources more efficiently, but also make a significant contribution to the development of the green economy, contributing to the creation of sustainable and environmentally friendly business solutions.”

The path to a sustainable future through green economy

The Green Economy Forum 2024 in Tajikistan turned out to be a significant and productive event aimed at drawing attention to important issues of sustainable development and environmental responsibility.

To summarize, it can be noted that the forum has become a platform for the exchange of ideas, experience and, of a kind, expertise in the field of green economy.

It is important to note that the green economy not only helps preserve the environment, but also opens new prospects for entrepreneurs, stimulating innovation and creating new jobs. Participation in such events allows entrepreneurs to expand their knowledge and skills, as well as establish partnerships with other market participants, which contributes to the further development of business in Tajikistan.