Establishing a Company
- Individual Entrepreneur
- Legal Entity: Corporation
- Branch or Representative Office of a foreign company
- Formation Procedure: Registering the Business
Foreign investors can choose between different types of legal forms for conducting business in Tajikistan. Existing foreign companies can also carry out business activities through a Tajik branch office. The various business options in Tajikistan can be summarized as follows:
Individual EntrepreneurIn Tajikistan an ‘Individual Entrepreneur’ is an individual (sole proprietor) who is involved in business activities without forming a legal entity and operating at his/her own risk. Individual entrepreneurs can work under a business license (known in Russian as a ‘patent’) or a certificate. To be eligible to work under a business license (‘patent’), an individual entrepreneur shall not exceed a turnover of 200,000 Somoni (@ 42,000 USD) annually, may not import or export goods, and may not hire employees. Individual entrepreneurship under a patent uses a simplified taxation process. The cost of a patent is fixed, based on the type of activity engaged by the entrepreneur. The business license must be renewed annually.
The certificateis a more structured legal form, with stricter fiscal and accounting requirements.
There are two types of certificate holders:
- Those whose tax obligations are calculated based on the profit (standard regime). There is no ceiling on turnover for certificate holders in the standard regime. They are able to engage in international trade and may hire staff.
- Those whose tax obligations are calculated on a turnover basis (simplified regime). They are also able to engage in international trade and may hire staff.
Legal Entity: CorporationThe legal status of a ‘Corporation’ in Tajikistan encompasses different types of entities. With reference to the‘Civil Code of the Republic of Tajikistan’, the most common forms of corporations are:
- Limited Liability Company
- Company with Supplementary Liability
- Joint Stock Company
A corporation is a legal entity, meaning that the holder of rights and obligations is not the individual shareholder, but the company itself. The company itself concludes contracts, possesses assets and has to pay taxes. Liability is limited to the corporation’s business assets, including the share capital. A minimum share capital is required, and the accounting obligations are more extensive than those for other business legal forms (such as partnerships).
— Limited Liability Company (‘Ltd’, or ‘OOO’ in Russian)
The‘Limited Liability Company’ is the most widely used legal formfor corporations in Tajikistan. The legal foundation for the establishment of a Limited Liability Company is Article 94 of the ‘Civil Code of the Republic of Tajikistan’. To set up a Limited Liability Company, the number of shareholders is at least one person, but cannot exceed 30 persons.
The minimum share capital required, to establish a limited liability company is 500 Somoni ($105USD) , as expressed in the founding document of the Ltd. At least half of the charter capital must be investedat time of registration, the remaining amount within the first year after registration.The founding document must be accompanied by a charter, if the number of shareholders amounts to more than one person. To be valid, the Limited Liability Company must be entered into the Unified State Registry for legal entities. The application has to be accompanied by the founding documents whichmust be notarizedin Tajikistan. Details on how to register a company are summarized in chapter 7.5. Once registered in the Unified State Registry for legal entities, the Limited Liability Company becomes a legal entity.
— Company with supplementary Liability (‘ODO’ in Russian)
The ‘Civil Code of the Republic of Tajikistan’ (Article 105)foresees the establishment of a ‘Company with Supplementary Liability’. The main difference between a ‘Limited Liability Company’ and a ‘Company with Supplementary Liability’ lies in the scope of liability. The additional liability of each partner may not exceed the amount of his/her investment into the capital stock of the company.
Apart from the specification in terms of liability, the current regulations of a Limited Liability Company (Ltd) are applied in equal manner to a Company with Supplementary Liability. The Company with Supplementary Liability is not a frequently used legal mechanism in Tajikistan.
— Joint Stock Company(‘AO’ in Russian)
A‘Joint Stock Company’ in Tajikistan can be established by one person irrespective of national or foreign origin. In general, a Joint Stock Company enjoys a valuable market reputation among business partners. This is due to the more formal procedures and organizational obligations of the company’s day-to-day business operations. The founding document of a Joint Stock Company is its charter, approved by its founders.
The ‘Civil Code of the Republic of Tajikistan’ distinguishes between an open and a closed Joint Stock Company. An open Joint Stock Company has the right to openly conduct the subscription of shares whereas a closed Joint Stock Company distributes its shares usually among the founders. The minimum share capital to startan open Joint Stock Companyis 5.000 Somoni (@1050USD) and for a closed Joint Stock Companyto 1.000 Somoni (@210 USD) ,both must be deposited by the founding shareholder by the end of the financial year.
A Joint Stock Company comes into existence upon registration in the Unified State Registry for legal entities. The application has to be signed by the founding shareholders, accompanied by a notarial record on the authenticity of the signatures in the founding document. Joint Stock Companies are subject to several disclosure regulations, including annual audit reports. The companies are managed by an executive board or an appointed Director/General Director. A Joint Stock Company with more than 50 shareholders also requires the establishment of a supervisory board (board of directors).
PartnershipsThe main feature of a ‘Partnership’ is the personal commitment of an interested party towards the partnership. Any partnership requires at least two partners.
The liability of the partners for the partnership’s debt is generally unlimited and personal. No minimum share capital is required and accounting requirements are less involved than those for corporations.
In Tajikistan, there are three major partnership mechanisms relevant for foreign investors:
- Full Partnership
- Limited Partnership
- Production Cooperatives
A ‘Full Partnership’ is defined as an association of individuals united forthe achievement of a joint contractual purpose. Forming a ‘Full Partnership’ is not complicated. At least two partners must agree on the establishment of the intended type of partnership and conclude a founding contract in writing, which serves at the same time as the charter of the partnership. The founding contract must be signed by all partners. Unless additional regulationsare stated in the founding contract, each partner has the right to act independently in the name of the partnership. All partners are jointly liable with their private assets for any debts incurred by the company.
Registration of a ‘Full Partnership’ into the Unified State Registry of legal entities is necessary. The application must be accompanied by a notarial record on the authenticity of the signatures in the partnership agreement.
— Limited Partnership
A ‘Limited Partnership’ is a partnership agreement with the option of limiting the liability of some of the partners. At least one partner is personally liable without limitation, usually the general partner, whereas the liability of the limited partners is limited to their respective share of the partnership capital.
The establishment of a ‘Limited Partnership’ requires an agreement between at least one limited and one unlimited partner. The founding document of a ‘Limited Partnership’ has to be signed by all general partners. The ‘Civil Code of the Republic of Tajikistan’ does not foresee a minimum share ofcapital.
The liability of the limited partner will become limited only after the registration of the ‘Limited Partnership’withthe Unified State Registry of legal entities.
A ‘Limited Partnership’ offers a greater flexibility compared to a ‘Full Partnership’ as the capital base can be increased by including additional limited partners.
— Production Cooperative (‘Artel’ in Russian)
A ‘Production Cooperative’ is a voluntary association of at least five people to conduct joint commercial activities mainly in the fields of production, processing, sales and trade. The legal foundation for the establishment of a production cooperative is the ‘Civil Code of the Republic of Tajikistan’ (Article 118).
To establish a ‘Production Cooperative’, no minimum share capital from its members is required. Nevertheless, regulations on each member’s share must be defined in the charter of the ‘Production Cooperative’.
The liability of the members of a ‘Production Cooperative’ is limited to the amount defined in the bylaws. The bylaws may define a generally unlimited and personal liability but mayalso limit the liability to the amount of cooperative shares each member holds.
Due to its commercial status, a ‘Production Cooperative’ has to be registered in the Unified State Registryfor legal entities. At time of registration, each member is obliged to contributeat least ten percent (10%) of the agreed capital share, whereas the remaining amount can be carried forward within the first year after registration.
A ‘Production Cooperative’is generally managed by an executive board or an appointed Executive Director. A ‘Production Cooperative’ with more than 50 members requires additionally the establishment of a supervisory board.
At any time and upon unanimous decision of its members, a production cooperative can be transformed into another legal entity such as Full or Limited Partnership.
Branch or Representative Office of a foreign companyИA foreign company with its headquarters and business operations outside of Tajikistan may establish a ‘Branch Office’or a ‘Representative Office’in Tajikistan.The main difference between both offices lies in the status of its business activities and accounting regulations.
— Branch office
A ‘Branch office’ is a suitable business form for a foreign company interested in establishing a physical presence in Tajikistan for the purpose of initiating business and fostering contacts with business partners.
A ‘Branch Office’ has no independent or separate legal personality distinct from the head office itself. In legal and organizational terms, it is part of the head office business and is thus subject to the laws governing the head office. A business branch forms part of the foreign company’s organization. The legal liability of the branch office depends on the liability of the legal entity of the head office.
A ‘Branch Office’ has to display some degree of autonomy vis-à-vis the head office by having its own management with its own executive power structure, separate local bank accounts, and separate accounting standards, including the preparation of a balance sheet.
The ‘Branch Office’must be registered withthe Unified State Registry for branches and representative offices. The application for registration requires detailed information on the foreign company, in particular its legal status. All documents must be prepared in Tajik language and must be legalized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
— Representative Office
Offices that serve simply to monitor the market and pave the way for initial customer contacts are often described as ‘Representative Offices’. Those types of offices usually do not perform independent business activities on behalf of the foreign company. Representative offices are often managed by an external business person authorized by the foreign company.
A ‘Representative office’must register at the Unified State Registry for branches and representative office. The application requires the same formalities as for ‘Branch Offices’.
Formation Procedure: Registering the BusinessTo start a business in Tajikistan requires different administrative procedures. In compliance with the ‘Law on State Registration of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs’, dated 19 May 2009, the Tax Authority Office is responsible for the registration of legal entities. To ease the registration process of business, the government of the Republic of Tajikistan has established ‘one-stop shops’ at all Tax Authority offices at national, regional and district levels which streamline procedures and facilitate the process for starting a business. However, legal status is not officially obtained until the final registration is recorded in the Unified State Registry,as outlined above.
The following documents should be submitted for registration of a legal entity:
- Application form for state registration of legal entity (This includes: legal form of entity; company name in Tajiklanguage; location of entity; origin of legal entity (creation or reorganization); information on founder and head of legal entity; all possible business activities – actual and envisioned)
- Resolution of founders on establishment of legal entity (with signatures of founders)
- Passport copy of Chief Executive Officer of legal entity.
- Receipt proving payment of registration fees.
The official registration of a business will result in a state registration certificate and a Tax Identification Number(TIN). Furthermore, a statistic code and a Social Protection and Pension number (SIN) will be issued automatically for the new business (but additional application is needed!). To obtain a statistic code, the applicant has to visit the office of the Statistics Committee. The statistic code along with the state registration certificate, are both prerequisites for opening bank accounts and other administrativeprocedures.
A Social Protection and Pension number (SIN) can be obtained through application at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. Legal entities must register with the Social Fund within 30 days of state registration. More detailed information on the SIN can be found at the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan (www.labour.tj).
To sum up: to establish a Company in Tajikistan, approximately 20 days have to be counted to complete the preliminary administrative requirements.
Taxable periodThe Tax Code prescribes a calendar year as the tax year.
Tax returnsAnnual CIT declarations are due by 1 April in the year following the tax year-end.
Taxpayers are required to submit their estimated calculation of monthly advance payments of CIT.
Payment of taxWith respect to CIT, advance payments are due every 15th day of the month. Payment of any outstanding CIT liabilities is required not later than 10 April following the reporting tax period.
The settlement of minimum income tax should be made by 10 April following the reporting tax period in cases where it exceeds CIT liability.
Fines and interest penaltiesThe fine for failure to file a tax return ranges from a minimum amount of 1 calculation index (CI), which is currently TJS 40, to a maximum fine of 100 CI, or TJS 4,000. The amount of the fine depends on the taxpayer’s category and should be assessed based on each ten days of delay. In the absence of tax returns, the tax authorities are entitled to assess taxes based on any information available.
Fines may be assessed in the amount of 10% to 20% of the understated tax liabilities. In severe cases, a violation may be considered a criminal offence.
A fine for failure to withhold and remit tax may be assessed in the amount of 3 to 200 CI (approximately TJS 120 to TJS 8,000) of the tax not withheld.
Interest penalties may apply to late tax payments in the amount of 0.08% of the underpaid tax amount for each day of tax underpayment.
Tax audit processTajikistan tax authorities have the right to conduct regular tax audits (once per year for planned tax audits). Generally, there are two types of audits:
- Planned tax audits. Planned tax audits are conducted according to the list of entities that fall under tax audit, published by the competent authority.
- Unplanned tax audits. Reorganisation or liquidation of a legal entity, the expiration of the contract on subsoil use, validation of the VAT amount that is charged for a return, etc., may trigger an unplanned tax audit.
The first planned documentary tax audit of a small business, implementing the simplified tax system, can be carried out only after 24 full calendar months from the date of its registration.
The tax authority sends or presents a notice of a tax audit to a taxpayer no later than ten working days before the start of the documentary tax audit unless otherwise provided in the Tax Code.
The period of tax audits, specified in issued orders, shall not exceed 30 working days from the date of receipt of the order, unless otherwise provided in the Tax Code.
Statute of limitationsTaxpayers are allowed to make changes to prior period tax returns within the statute of limitations (three years). No fines should apply to corrections in this case.
Topics of focus for tax authoritiesThe tax authorities are currently paying particular attention to deals involving sale of shares and participation interests.
However, there are certain exceptional circumstances where work permit exemptions are available to foreign firms. These can include those who participate in economic investment, as well as representatives of large foreign companies who are contributing to development projects. In these circumstances, an investment visa is all that’s necessary, and there is no additional need for a permit.
Legal system: civil law system
Definition:This entry provides the description of a country's legal system. A statement on judicial review of legislative acts is also included for a number of countries. The legal systems of nearly all countries are generally modeled upon elements of five main types: civil law (including French law, the Napoleonic Code, Roman law, Roman-Dutch law, and Spanish law); common law (including United State law); customary law; mixed or pluralistic law; and religious law (including Islamic law). An additional type of legal system - international law, which governs the conduct of independent nations in their relationships with one another - is also addressed below. The following list describes these legal systems, the countries or world regions where these systems are enforced, and a brief statement on the origins and major features of each.
Civil Law -The most widespread type of legal system in the world, applied in various forms in approximately 150 countries. Also referred to as European continental law, the civil law system is derived mainly from the Roman Corpus Juris Civilus, (Body of Civil Law), a collection of laws and legal interpretations compiled under the East Roman (Byzantine) Emperor Justinian I between A.D. 528 and 565. The major feature of civil law systems is that the laws are organized into systematic written codes. In civil law the sources recognized as authoritative are principally legislation - especially codifications in constitutions or statutes enacted by governments - and secondarily, custom. The civil law systems in some countries are based on more than one code.
Common Law -A type of legal system, often synonymous with "English common law," which is the system of England and Wales in the UK, and is also in force in approximately 80 countries formerly part of or influenced by the former British Empire. English common law reflects Biblical influences as well as remnants of law systems imposed by early conquerors including the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans. Some legal scholars attribute the formation of the English common law system to King Henry II (r.1154-1189). Until the time of his reign, laws customary among England's various manorial and ecclesiastical (church) jurisdictions were administered locally. Henry II established the king's court and designated that laws were "common" to the entire English realm. The foundation of English common law is "legal precedent" - referred to as stare decisis, meaning "to stand by things decided." In the English common law system, court judges are bound in their decisions in large part by the rules and other doctrines developed - and supplemented over time - by the judges of earlier English courts.
Customary Law -A type of legal system that serves as the basis of, or has influenced, the present-day laws in approximately 40 countries - mostly in Africa, but some in the Pacific islands, Europe, and the Near East. Customary law is also referred to as "primitive law," "unwritten law," "indigenous law," and "folk law." There is no single history of customary law such as that found in Roman civil law, English common law, Islamic law, or the Napoleonic Civil Code. The earliest systems of law in human society were customary, and usually developed in small agrarian and hunter-gatherer communities. As the term implies, customary law is based upon the customs of a community. Common attributes of customary legal systems are that they are seldom written down, they embody an organized set of rules regulating social relations, and they are agreed upon by members of the community. Although such law systems include sanctions for law infractions, resolution tends to be reconciliatory rather than punitive. A number of African states practiced customary law many centuries prior to colonial influences. Following colonization, such laws were written down and incorporated to varying extents into the legal systems imposed by their colonial powers.
European Union Law -A sub-discipline of international law known as "supranational law" in which the rights of sovereign nations are limited in relation to one another. Also referred to as the Law of the European Union or Community Law, it is the unique and complex legal system that operates in tandem with the laws of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU). Similar to federal states, the EU legal system ensures compliance from the member states because of the Union's decentralized political nature. The European Court of Justice (ECJ), established in 1952 by the Treaty of Paris, has been largely responsible for the development of EU law. Fundamental principles of European Union law include: subsidiarity - the notion that issues be handled by the smallest, lowest, or least centralized competent authority; proportionality - the EU may only act to the extent needed to achieve its objectives; conferral - the EU is a union of member states, and all its authorities are voluntarily granted by its members; legal certainty - requires that legal rules be clear and precise; and precautionary principle - a moral and political principle stating that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.
French Law -A type of civil law that is the legal system of France. The French system also serves as the basis for, or is mixed with, other legal systems in approximately 50 countries, notably in North Africa, the Near East, and the French territories and dependencies. French law is primarily codified or systematic written civil law. Prior to the French Revolution (1789-1799), France had no single national legal system. Laws in the northern areas of present-day France were mostly local customs based on privileges and exemptions granted by kings and feudal lords, while in the southern areas Roman law predominated. The introduction of the Napoleonic Civil Code during the reign of Napoleon I in the first decade of the 19th century brought major reforms to the French legal system, many of which remain part of France's current legal structure, though all have been extensively amended or redrafted to address a modern nation. French law distinguishes between "public law" and "private law." Public law relates to government, the French Constitution, public administration, and criminal law. Private law covers issues between private citizens or corporations. The most recent changes to the French legal system - introduced in the 1980s - were the decentralization laws, which transferred authority from centrally appointed government representatives to locally elected representatives of the people.
International Law -The law of the international community, or the body of customary rules and treaty rules accepted as legally binding by states in their relations with each other. International law differs from other legal systems in that it primarily concerns sovereign political entities. There are three separate disciplines of international law: public international law, which governs the relationship between provinces and international entities and includes treaty law, law of the sea, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law; private international law, which addresses legal jurisdiction; and supranational law - a legal framework wherein countries are bound by regional agreements in which the laws of the member countries are held inapplicable when in conflict with supranational laws. At present the European Union is the only entity under a supranational legal system. The term "international law" was coined by Jeremy Bentham in 1780 in his Principles of Morals and Legislation, though laws governing relations between states have been recognized from very early times (many centuries B.C.). Modern international law developed alongside the emergence and growth of the European nation-states beginning in the early 16th century. Other factors that influenced the development of international law included the revival of legal studies, the growth of international trade, and the practice of exchanging emissaries and establishing legations. The sources of International law are set out in Article 38-1 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice within the UN Charter.
Islamic Law -The most widespread type of religious law, it is the legal system enforced in over 30 countries, particularly in the Near East, but also in Central and South Asia, Africa, and Indonesia. In many countries Islamic law operates in tandem with a civil law system. Islamic law is embodied in the sharia, an Arabic word meaning "the right path." Sharia covers all aspects of public and private life and organizes them into five categories: obligatory, recommended, permitted, disliked, and forbidden. The primary sources of sharia law are the Qur'an, believed by Muslims to be the word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel, and the Sunnah, the teachings of the Prophet and his works. In addition to these two primary sources, traditional Sunni Muslims recognize the consensus of Muhammad's companions and Islamic jurists on certain issues, called ijmas, and various forms of reasoning, including analogy by legal scholars, referred to as qiyas. Shia Muslims reject ijmas and qiyas as sources of sharia law.
Mixed Law -Also referred to as pluralistic law, mixed law consists of elements of some or all of the other main types of legal systems - civil, common, customary, and religious. The mixed legal systems of a number of countries came about when colonial powers overlaid their own legal systems upon colonized regions but retained elements of the colonies' existing legal systems.
Napoleonic Civil Code -A type of civil law, referred to as the Civil Code or Code Civil des Francais, forms part of the legal system of France, and underpins the legal systems of Bolivia, Egypt, Lebanon, Poland, and the US state of Louisiana. The Civil Code was established under Napoleon I, enacted in 1804, and officially designated the Code Napoleon in 1807. This legal system combined the Teutonic civil law tradition of the northern provinces of France with the Roman law tradition of the southern and eastern regions of the country. The Civil Code bears similarities in its arrangement to the Roman Body of Civil Law (see Civil Law above). As enacted in 1804, the Code addressed personal status, property, and the acquisition of property. Codes added over the following six years included civil procedures, commercial law, criminal law and procedures, and a penal code.
Religious Law -A legal system which stems from the sacred texts of religious traditions and in most cases professes to cover all aspects of life as a seamless part of devotional obligations to a transcendent, imminent, or deep philosophical reality. Implied as the basis of religious law is the concept of unalterability, because the word of God cannot be amended or legislated against by judges or governments. However, a detailed legal system generally requires human elaboration. The main types of religious law are sharia in Islam, halakha in Judaism, and canon law in some Christian groups. Sharia is the most widespread religious legal system (see Islamic Law), and is the sole system of law for countries including Iran, the Maldives, and Saudi Arabia. No country is fully governed by halakha, but Jewish people may decide to settle disputes through Jewish courts and be bound by their rulings. Canon law is not a divine law as such because it is not found in revelation. It is viewed instead as human law inspired by the word of God and applying the demands of that revelation to the actual situation of the church. Canon law regulates the internal ordering of the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.
Roman Law -A type of civil law developed in ancient Rome and practiced from the time of the city's founding (traditionally 753 B.C.) until the fall of the Western Empire in the 5th century A.D. Roman law remained the legal system of the Byzantine (Eastern Empire) until the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Preserved fragments of the first legal text, known as the Law of the Twelve Tables, dating from the 5th century B.C., contained specific provisions designed to change the prevailing customary law. Early Roman law was drawn from custom and statutes; later, during the time of the empire, emperors asserted their authority as the ultimate source of law. The basis for Roman laws was the idea that the exact form - not the intention - of words or of actions produced legal consequences. It was only in the late 6th century A.D. that a comprehensive Roman code of laws was published (see Civil Law above). Roman law served as the basis of law systems developed in a number of continental European countries.
Roman-Dutch Law -A type of civil law based on Roman law as applied in the Netherlands. Roman-Dutch law serves as the basis for legal systems in seven African countries, as well as Guyana, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. This law system, which originated in the province of Holland and expanded throughout the Netherlands (to be replaced by the French Civil Code in 1809), was instituted in a number of sub-Saharan African countries during the Dutch colonial period. The Dutch jurist/philosopher Hugo Grotius was the first to attempt to reduce Roman-Dutch civil law into a system in his Jurisprudence of Holland (written 1619-20, commentary published 1621). The Dutch historian/lawyer Simon van Leeuwen coined the term "Roman-Dutch law" in 1652.
Spanish Law -A type of civil law, often referred to as the Spanish Civil Code, it is the present legal system of Spain and is the basis of legal systems in 12 countries mostly in Central and South America, but also in southwestern Europe, northern and western Africa, and southeastern Asia. The Spanish Civil Code reflects a complex mixture of customary, Roman, Napoleonic, local, and modern codified law. The laws of the Visigoth invaders of Spain in the 5th to 7th centuries had the earliest major influence on Spanish legal system development. The Christian Reconquest of Spain in the 11th through 15th centuries witnessed the development of customary law, which combined canon (religious) and Roman law. During several centuries of Hapsburg and Bourbon rule, systematic recompilations of the existing national legal system were attempted, but these often conflicted with local and regional customary civil laws. Legal system development for most of the 19th century concentrated on formulating a national civil law system, which was finally enacted in 1889 as the Spanish Civil Code. Several sections of the code have been revised, the most recent of which are the penal code in 1989 and the judiciary code in 2001. The Spanish Civil Code separates public and private law. Public law includes constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, process law, financial and tax law, and international public law. Private law includes civil law, commercial law, labor law, and international private law.
United States Law -A type of common law, which is the basis of the legal system of the United States and that of its island possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific. This legal system has several layers, more possibly than in most other countries, and is due in part to the division between federal and state law. The United States was founded not as one nation but as a union of 13 colonies, each claiming independence from the British Crown. The US Constitution, implemented in 1789, began shifting power away from the states and toward the federal government, though the states today retain substantial legal authority. US law draws its authority from four sources: constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, and case law. Constitutional law is based on the US Constitution and serves as the supreme federal law. Taken together with those of the state constitutions, these documents outline the general structure of the federal and state governments and provide the rules and limits of power. US statutory law is legislation enacted by the US Congress and is codified in the United States Code. The 50 state legislatures have similar authority to enact state statutes. Administrative law is the authority delegated to federal and state executive agencies. Case law, also referred to as common law, covers areas where constitutional or statutory law is lacking. Case law is a collection of judicial decisions, customs, and general principles that began in England centuries ago, that were adopted in America at the time of the Revolution, and that continue to develop today.
Demographic trendsTajikistan's main ethnic group are the Tajiks Persians, with minorities such as the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, and a small Russian minority. Because not everyone in Tajikistan is an ethnic Tajik, the non-Tajik citizens of the country are referred to as Tajikistani. The official nationality of any person from Tajikistan is a Tajikistani, while the ethnic Tajik majority simply call themselves Tajik.
Contemporary Tajiks are an Iranian people and ethnic Persians. In particular, they are descended from ancient Eastern Iranian peoples of Central Asia, such as the Soghdians and the Bactrians, with an admixture of Western Iranian Persians as well as non-Iranian peoples.
Until the 20th century, people in the region used two types of distinction to identify themselves: way of life - either nomadic or sedentary - and place of residence. By the late nineteenth century, the Tajik and Uzbek peoples, who had lived in proximity for centuries and often used each other's languages, did not perceive themselves as two distinct nationalities. The modern labels were imposed artificially when Central Asia was divided into five Soviet republics in the 1920s.
Historically, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were also home to Bukharan Jews, who trace their ancestry to the Lost Tribes of Israel taken captive by the Babylonians in the 7th century BC, but almost no Bukharian Jews are left in Tajikistan.
The residents of Central Asia and the South Caucasus reportedly pay some of the highest prices in the world for internet connections that are slow and unreliable.
Reaping Digital Dividends investigates the barriers that are holding back the broader adoption of the internet in ECA.
The report identifies the main bottlenecks and provides policy recommendations tailored to economies at varying levels of digital development. It concludes that policies to increase internet access are necessary but not sufficient. Policies to foster competition, international trade and skills supply, as well as adapting regulations to the changing business environment and labor markets, will also be necessary. In other words, Reaping Digital Dividends not only requires better connectivity, but also complementary factors that allow governments, firms and individuals to make the most out of it.
The absence of a close relationship between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan hampers schemes to improve regional connectivity in Central Asia, resulting in prohibitive prices to access the Internet, according to the report.
Reaping Digital Dividends notes that the proportion of individuals using the Internet (on any device) ranges from a high of 55 percent in Kazakhstan and 44 percent in Uzbekistan to 28 percent in Kyrgyzstan, 17 percent in Tajikistan, and just 12 percent in Turkmenistan.
Many of these disparities may be explained by differences in economic development.
Central Asia and South Caucasus have the lowest rates of fixed broadband penetration in the region, while Western Europe and the Baltic States have the highest.
However, there is significant variation within each subregion. In Central Asia, penetration ranges from less than 1 percent in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to more than 30 percent in Kazakhstan.
In Tajikistan, fixed-line Internet access remains limited to major urban areas, and the primary method of access is via dial-up or leased-line connections, while a handful of Internet service providers (ISPs) also provide satellite and fiber broadband services.
The report says Europe and Central Asia is a very heterogeneous region with regard to levels of Internet penetration. For instance, people living in Austria, Luxembourg, and Switzerland have almost universal Internet access. At the other extreme, the majority of residents of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan have not used the Internet. These two groups of countries are completely different in their historical pathway and level of development today. However, they do share a similarity. All of them are landlocked, which is one of the most important barriers to good and affordable Internet access.
According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the average global price of a fixed broadband plan fell two-thirds between 2008 and 2013. In Europe, broadband prices had declined earlier, but still fell more than 20 percent between 2009 and 2014. The highest prices for fixed Internet are found in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Turkey (more than US$110 per Mbit per month, in purchasing power parity [PPP]) and in Albania, Kazakhstan, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia (more than US$25, PPP).
The countries of Central Asia are reportedly experiencing significant challenges in the supply of Internet services, which explains why they have some of the lowest rates of Internet take-up in the ECA region. The region is held back by constraints regarding both capacity and prices. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan all charge high Internet Protocol (IP) transit prices of more than US$100 per Mbit/s per month. As a result, end users pay some of the highest prices in the world for low-quality services.
Geographic issues partially explain why these Central Asian countries experience connectivity challenges. Being landlocked, they cannot access international bandwidth directly through a submarine cable, but only through cross-border terrestrial connections or satellite. Besides mountain and desert terrain, the low population densities and large rural areas of this region raise per capita investment requirements. Thus, Central Asian countries are highly dependent for connectivity on two of their large neighbors—China and Russia.
The report says that the Tajik government’s concerns over security issues on the southern route through Afghanistan are examples of political caution regarding development of the Internet. Geopolitical issues, such as the difficult relationship between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, also hamper schemes to improve regional connectivity, as is the case elsewhere in ECA. This has resulted in dependence on a limited number of international linkages and higher transit prices. A shortage of investment financing and a lack of technical skills compound the issue of Internet access.
Economy - overview:Tajikistan is a poor, mountainous country with an economy dominated by minerals extraction, metals processing, agriculture, and reliance on remittances from citizens working abroad. The 1992-97 civil war severely damaged an already weak economic infrastructure and caused a sharp decline in industrial and agricultural production. Today, Tajikistan has one of the lowest per capita GDPs among the 15 former Soviet republics. Less than 7% of the land area is arable and cotton is the most important crop. Tajikistan imports approximately 70% of its food. Mineral resources include silver, gold, uranium, antimony, and tungsten. Industry consists mainly of small obsolete factories in food processing and light industry, substantial hydropower facilities, and a large aluminum plant - currently operating well below its capacity.
Because of a lack of employment opportunities in Tajikistan, more than one million Tajik citizens work abroad - roughly 90% in Russia - supporting families back home through remittances that in 2014 were equivalent to nearly 50% of GDP. Some experts estimate the value of narcotics transiting Tajikistan is equivalent to 30%-50% of GDP.
Since the end of the civil war, the country has pursued half-hearted reforms and privatizations in the economic sphere, but the poor business climate remains a hurdle to attracting foreign investment. Tajikistan has sought to develop its substantial hydroelectricity potential through partnership with Russian and Iranian investors, and is pursuing completion of the Roghun dam - which, if built according to plan, would be the tallest dam in the world. However, the project is a sensitive issue for downstream neighbors and faces large financing shortfalls. In 2016, Tajikistan officially contracted with Italian firm Salini Impregilo to construct the dam over a 13-year period for $3.9 billion.
Recent slowdowns in the Russian and Chinese economies, low commodity prices, and currency fluctuations are hampering economic growth in Tajikistan. By some estimates, the dollar value of remittances from Russia to Tajikistan dropped by more than 65% in 2015. The government faces challenges financing the public debt, which is equivalent to 35% of GDP, and the National Bank of Tajikistan has aggressively spent its reserves to bolster the weakening somoni, leaving little space for fiscal or monetary measures to counter any additional economic shocks.