Tajikistan - Services

Services is the largest sector of the economy in Tajikistan. It constituted more than 60 percent of the country's GDP in 1998 and employs a significant part of the labor force . Much of the service economy is in the form of retail trade through micro-and small-enterprises scattered throughout mostly urban markets or bazaars. According to estimates from the state statistical agency of Tajikistan, the northern province of Leninabad sees more than one-third of retail trade, Dushanbe another third, and the southern province of Khatlon one-fifth. Despite the size of Badakhshan province—nearly half the territory of Tajikistan—its heavily mountainous geography limits its population to around 3 percent and its share of retail trade to even less. The primary products sold by small- and micro-businesses are domestically-produced agricultural goods and imported consumer items. Most of the consumer items sold by businesses are imported from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. Increasingly, however, Tajik entrepreneurs—especially larger businesses—travel to Iran and Dubai to secure consumer items for import and sale. According to a 1998 survey of small- and micro-businesses throughout the country, the top 3 constraints facing them are racketeers demanding illegal fees, political instability, and taxation (the tax police).

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