Tajikistan’s High Economic Court does not agree with an article published in a Chinese newspaper in October this year.

Recall, an article titled “Why Chinese Investors Are Struggling to Gain a Foothold in Tajikistan” that was published in a Hong Kong English-language newspaper South China Morning Post on October 7 sharply criticized the investment policy of official Beijing in in Central Asia’s nations, particularly in Tajikistan.

The article, in particular, notes that notes that Tajikistan is one of first stops on ‘Belt and Road’, but legal difficulties, murky politics and security concerns pose obstacles to business.  

Chinese investors reportedly face a host of challenges, including a difficult legal environment, murky local politics and Beijing placing a greater emphasis on antiterrorism cooperation in Central Asia than business interests.

According to the article, Chinese businessman, Joseph Chan Nap-kee, the chairman of Hong Kong-listed Kaisun Energy, was quoted as saying it is difficult to challenge rulings by the Tajik authorities in the country’s courts.

According to him, Kaisun was charged more than twice the profits tax it expected after agreeing in 2012 to sell a 52 per cent stake in a Tajik prospecting and mining company to a company from China’s Xinjiang region for US$50.53 million.

“The US$20 million profit tax was ridiculous, but it was difficult for us to find a lawyer in Tajikistan that could defend the company in court,” said Chan said.  “From the Tajik local court to the highest court, we lost all the way. They all supported their national government.”

The paper notes that even companies that have teamed up with the Tajik government on successful projects have run into problems.

After Asia-Plus reproduced some parts of the article, Tajikistan’s High Economic Court has released a statement, noting that Tajikistan legislation provides for applying to a court for appealing decisions of executive bodies, debating actions (inactions) of executive bodies, officials and public servants.  

Tajik economic courts have reportedly considered  hundreds of such cases.  Over the first six months of this year, Tajik economic courts have considered 195 such cases.  80 appeals have been allowed, 29 appeals have been allowed partially and 37 appeals have reportedly been turned down.