DUSHANBE, September 7 (RIA Novosti) — India is one of Tajikistan's strategic partners in the region, the Tajik president said Monday.
"We are ready for the participation of businessmen, investors and the Indian government in the implementation of projects in the energy sphere, which is a priority one both for Tajikistan and for the region," Emomali Rakhmon told a forum of Tajik and Indian businessmen at the countryside retreat of Pugus.
Rakhmon said Tajikistan had over 400 projects that needed investment, and added that he hoped for the particpation of Indian investors.
Indian President Pratibha Patil said: "India's stable economic growth in combination with a very diverse agriculture, an industrial basis and state of the art technology, makes us an ideal partner for Tajikistan."
The three-day forum has gathered representatives of over 40 leading Indian companies specializing in energy, tourism, medicine, pharmaceutical and light industries.
The countries' commerce and industry chambers are expected to sign a cooperation agreement on September 9.
According to Tajikistan's statistics service, bilateral trade in January-August 2009 totaled about $26 million.