Dushanbe, February 27, 2007 – Earlier
this month, the Central Directorate of the State Fire Fighting Service
of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan and IFC hosted a National
Conference on Fire Inspection Procedures for SMEs. The goal of the conference
was to educate entrepreneurs about effective fire prevention measures and
changes to fire inspection procedures resulting from the Inspections Law
adopted by the government of Tajikistan in summer 2006.
Following the adoption of the Inspections Law, the State Fire Fighting
Service and IFC’s Business Enabling Environment/Small and Medium Enterprises
Policy Project in Tajikistan, financed by Switzerland’s State Secretariat
for Economic Affairs (SECO), began a nationwide public awareness campaign
to educate entrepreneurs in Tajikistan’s retail trade sector on fire prevention
measures and inspection rules. The campaign included distribution of fire
prevention posters throughout major cities in Tajikistan. In addition,
educational sessions on fire prevention measures and inspection rules were
organized in hospitals, boarding schools and other social services facilities.
The National Conference on Fire Inspection Procedures was the next
important step in this campaign, according to Andrea Dall’Olio, IFC Project
Manager. “This conference furthers the goal of the State Fire Fighting
Service to streamline fire inspections procedures and reduce administrative
burden for SMEs. As a result of our collaboration, a year from now
we hope to have fewer fire inspections, but safer working conditions for
SMEs,” Dall’Olio said.
According to General N. Djangiev, Head of the Central Directorate of the
State Fire Fighting Service, 65 fires occurred in Tajikistan’s retail
trade sector in 2006. Nearly 2,000 entrepreneurs suffered as a result.
Among the reasons for the fires are short circuits in hand-made heating
devices that are widely used in retail settings. “People use these
dangerous non-certified devices because of insufficient legal awareness
on fire inspection procedures,” Djangiev explained.
Dall’Olio anticipates that the public awareness campaign, the conference,
and informational literature distributed to entrepreneurs, including procedural
checklists specific to the retail sector will result in a better understanding
of inspection rules among entrepreneurs, and will ultimately increase the
transparency of the regulations. “Entrepreneurs will be more likely
to comply with regulations that are easily understood, transparent, and
sector specific. We are happy to see that the State Fire Fighting Service
will be the first agency in Tajikistan to introduce these changes,"
Among the speakers were the Heads of departments of Fire Fighting Service
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Head of TojikGaz, the Head
of Energy Supervision Department of the Ministry of Energy, and the Head
of the State Security Council.
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private
enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments,
mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade,
helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides
technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its
founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion
of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world
and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies
in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it
has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory
services. For more information, visit
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is the Swiss Confederation's
competence center for all the core issues related to economic policy. It
aims to create the basic regulatory and economic policy conditions to enable
business to flourish for the benefit of all. SECO also represents Switzerland
in the large multilateral trade organizations and international negotiations
and is involved in efforts to reduce poverty and help developing countries
with transition economies build sustainable democratic societies and viable
market economies. Each year, Switzerland spends about 1.9 billion Swiss
francs on development cooperation and transition assistance to countries.