Pakistan's investors, who set up textile manufacturing units in free trade zones of Tajikistan, can hire 40 per cent of the workforce from their home country. There are five free trade zones in Tajikistan with lucrative incentives, Pakistani investors can import textile machinery without any taxes or duties. Tajikistan, where 93 per cent of the land constitutes hilly areas with a population equal to that of Faisalabad, is a gateway to other Central Asian states. Tajikistan is rich in gas and electricity and will provide electricity to Pakistan.
Until 2007, trade between Pakistan and Tajikistan was restricted but now it is growing satisfactorily with room for a quantum jump in future. Tajikistan imports 60 to 70 per cent of its medicines from Pakistan. During the Soviet era, a big textile unit was set up in Tajikistan to cater to the huge demand from the Soviet Union. This unit has now become redundant, but new and small units are being established to meet the needs of the domestic market. Businessmen and industrialists from Pakistan have been invited to set up textile units in Tajikistan. Pakistan and Tajikistan aim to establish direct contacts in order to encourage trade and tap the potential between the two countries.