Narva mayor defies criticism, says Tajikistan visit a success

Jaan Toots, the Center Party politician and mayor of Narva visited Tajikistan.
Jaan Toots, the Center Party politician and mayor of Narva visited Tajikistan. Photo: Narva linnavalitsus

Jaan Toots, the Center Party politician and mayor of Narva who visited Tajikistan despite public criticism concerning the landlocked country's siding with the Kremlin, said on Monday that his visit yielded good results and that the contacts established during the trip will be worked on.

Toots says he had a number of meetings to explore possibilities for cooperation and mutual interest between the parties. One of the most important ones, according to Toots, was a meeting with Nuriddinzoda Akhliddin Nuriddin, deputy minister of economic development and trade of Tajikistan, in which Toots learned about Tajikistan's plans for developing trade in foreign markets.

«The meetings were high-level meetings, the schedule was very tight. It allowed us to gain a fairly detailed overview of the points where the interests of both parties could come together,» Toots said.

One of the most important outcomes was a meeting with Bahriddin Sirojiddinzoda, the head of Tajikistan's Export Agency. During this meeting, the possibility of opening a trade representation of Tajikistan in Estonia, first in Narva, was discussed. More negotiations on this subject are planned.

Toots is altogether optimistic when it comes to the opening of the trade representation.

Another topic that was of great mutual interest was the possible export of cotton fiber to Estonia, its processing in a small industrial area in Narva and the production of finished product with an EU certificate.

«This strategic direction for Tajikistan's exports could be of interest to us. We are looking for opportunities to create new jobs, Tajikistan is looking for export partners to produce goods, and Narva has all opportunities for this. This could be a venture of common interest,» Toots said.

The mayor of Narva also champions the idea that the industrial areas of the city could host the production facilities of a company that processes Tajik marble and granite.

«The production of marble and granite in Tajikistan is quite large-scale. According to preliminary data, the price of these raw materials for further processing is about 3-4 times cheaper than what European exporters, for example, can offer,» Toots said.

The Narva mayor's other meetings in Tajikistan were with Timur Yoribek, head of the international relations department of the Ministry of Industry and Technology of Tajikistan, Abdurakhmonzoda Abdurakhmon Safarali, deputy chairman of the Executive Body of the State Authority of the City of Dushanbe, Sulton Rakhimzoda, head of Tajikistan's State Investment and State Property Management Committee, and Jumakhonzoda Jamshed Jurakhon, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tajikistan.