Hima Textile, established in 2010, plays a major role in driving Tajikistan’s textiles-sector development. The 100% privately-owned company partners with local cotton farmers and operates a cotton-gin plant and spinning mill equipped with the highest-quality European equipment and technologies, including from Italy (Marzoli) and Germany (Schlafhorst). ‘Corporation Hima’ was established in 1994 and together with Hima Textile it grew around 40% between 2007 and 2011, with a further 8% to 10% growth anticipated this year. Its guiding principle is to produce high-quality products which meet international standards and to deliver them on time to its customers.
Second plant opening in spring 2013
The company continues to set ambitious new goals for itself and is currently broadening its production portfolio. General Director Ismatullo Hayoev points out, “Ever since we started Hima Textile in 2010, we have steadily expanded and reinvested in technology. Our second plant opening in spring next year will process the cotton into finished products. In the future, we want to further expand into the production of all kinds of textiles and clothing products. There is growing demand here in Tajikistan for finished clothing, most of which is now imported from Turkey or China.”
Originally exporting only raw materials, Hima Textile changed its focus thanks to two government programmes which benefit the cotton industry: the Cotton-Fibre Processing Programme (2007-2015) and the Tajikistan Light-Industry Development Programme (2006-2015). Ismatullo Hayoev explains, “The first programme seeks to increase the production and complete processing of cotton fibre within Tajikistan with the goal of providing sources for light industry. The government has also adopted new legislation which benefits the textiles industry, including a 12-year VAT holiday and duty-free imports of equipment.”
Tajikistan ideal base for textiles production
In fact, Tajikistan is an ideal base for textiles companies, Ismatullo Hayoev believes. He explains, “Tajikistan offers low production costs thanks to low electricity charges and cheap labour. Tajikistan only has a few huge textile companies but there are many smallscale companies. The global demand for cotton is 22 million tonnes per year, and Tajikistan produces 130,000 tonnes of cotton fibre annually, all for export. So, there is demand and room for growth.” He adds that the main challenges for textile companies in Tajikistan are the difficulty of obtaining loans and the high interest rates. Transport accounts for around 20% of Hima Textile’s production costs. The country’s on-going infrastructure development is set to significantly reduce transport costs in the future, however.
In any case, these challenges have not slowed down Hima Textile’s ambitious development. The company’s spinning facility, which began operating in 2010, uses 4,000 tonnes of cotton fibre and produces from 2,000 to 2,300 tonnes of combed cotton yarn (from NE 12 to NE 40) each year, all of which the company exports, mainly to Italy but also to Turkey. The company’s second plant, set to open in March 2013, will dye yarn as well as produce finished textiles products, including socks and loop towels, employing equipment imported from Italy.
Hima Textile is also very involved in local cotton-farming, operating more than 100 tractors used on farms throughout the area. Ismatullo Hayoev says, “We support local cotton-farmers for our mutual benefit, and we have our own greenhouse on one hectare of land which we use to cultivate vegetables for the local market. In the future we are planning to expand this part of our business as well. Currently we have around 1,200 employees.”
Seeking partners for highpotential project
Once Hima Textile’s second plant goes into operation next year, the company will focus on its next goal, to move into clothing production. Ismatullo Hayoev has budgeted this project at around €8.25 million to €12.3 million (US$ 10 million to US$ 12 million), and he is currently looking for international investors and partners. He says, “We aim to produce finished textiles products which can compete in international markets. We are already in touch with European companies in Italy, France, Belgium, Turkey and Germany. They know our name and products, which will certainly help us in the future when we expand into the clothing industry. We expect a significant return on investment for this project.”
Advantages for investors
Ismatullo Hayoev praises the President of Tajikistan and his government for creating incentives to attract international investment, including tax exemptions, duty-free imports of equipment and technologies, and other measures. He adds, “Hima Textile is ready to form any kind of partnership with European investors and companies, for example credits or joint ventures. The Tajikistan market is still young and offers many opportunities for future growth. We can promise that investors will not regret coming to Tajikistan and investing in different activities and projects here. The profit margin is promising and here at Hima Textile, we are ready for cooperation. Tajikistan’s president is standing behind the private sector as well and is supporting investment of any kind.”