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DUSHANBE -- The Tajik government has announced two regions of the country as free economic zones, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Tajik Deputy Minister of Economic Development Larissa Kislyakova said the two economic zones are the Suhd region near Khujand city in Tajikistan's north and the Panj region in the southern Tajik province of Khatlon.

She said the two regions would enjoy the status of free economic zones for 25 years. For the first seven years, companies operating in the regions will be exempted from taxes.

The governor of the Suhd free economic zone, Anvar Yaqubov, told RFE/RL that the Tajik government is trying to expedite the nation's economic development through the establishment of the zones.

According to Yaqubov, two more regions in Tajikistan will be announced as free economic zones soon.