On November 28-29, Deputy Head of the APRC Salome Gelashvili attended the annual "Dushanbe Economic Meeting 2019" conference in Tajikistan. The conference was organized in the framework of the "Towards Rural Inclusive Growth and Economic Resilience" project (implemented by) GIZ and was devoted to the topic of developing the competitiveness of the agro-industrial complex in Tajikistan.
Ms. Gelashvili discussed the development of EU-funded agricultural cooperatives in Georgia and shared the country’s experience regarding its cooperation with the European Union. She began by presenting the legislative framework of the country and tax concessions given to cooperatives, as well as other forms of state support, before explaining the results of annual surveys conducted by ISET-PI in order to assess the progress of the cooperatives. She concluded her presentation with the lessons learned and a number of recommendations for the future, including more of a focus on service cooperatives and the application of a bottom-up rather than top-down approach during the development of cooperatives.
The participants of the conference were particularly interested in the tax concessions for cooperatives and asked questions about available state programs. Given that the Tajik agricultural sector suffers in the same way as its Georgian counterpart – principally from outdated infrastructure, a lack of knowledge, and modern technologies – Georgia's experience is very relevant to the agricultural sector of Tajikistan.