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Kyrgyzstan is a country of great opportunities; it is open to all who want to work and earn honestly, Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Zamirbek Askarov told at the VIII inter-regional Kyrgyz-Russian conference. He said that the government of Kyrgyzstan has clearly defined the main priorities of the economy. They will become the driver of socio-economic development. “The first is the development of the business environment. We will develop small and medium businesses. To this end, we have ensured maximum transparency and predictability of government activities in support of entrepreneurship. The government of Kyrgyzstan is ready to support every entrepreneur who will work legally, within the framework of the legislation, but at the same time will be subject to inspections from our various bodies. I appeal to Russian businessmen to invest in Kyrgyzstan, the government of the country will provide support for your business,” he said.

The second direction, according to Askarov, is the sphere of tourism. “In 2018, 7 million tourists visited Kyrgyzstan. This is almost twice as higher as the level of 2017, and the GDP of tourism reached 25 billion soms or 5%, while the population of Kyrgyzstan is only 6.2 million people. By 2023, we intend to increase the GDP of tourism to 7% or 40 billion soms. Kyrgyzstan is included in the list of the 5 most attractive tourist countries of the world in 2019. This suggests that Kyrgyzstan is becoming an attractive tourist center in the region. We would like to receive tourists, first of all, from Russia, especially from the Siberian, Ural and Far Eastern regions. Many of you remember the times of the USSR when Issyk-Kul was an all-union health resort. Today we are returning this status to our resorts and sanatoriums. We have a large number of nature reserves, biosphere zones and health and recreation facilities. There is great potential for ecotourism,” he added.

The Vice Prime Minister called the energy sector another area for development. “The government of Kyrgyzstan is interested in cooperation in realization of hydropower resources. Kyrgyzstan has great water energy potential, which has prospects. The hydropower potential is 142 billion kWh, of which only about 10% has been employed. Only on the Naryn River, it is possible to build 33 plants with an installed capacity of 6,450 megawatts, with an annual output of more than 22 billion kWh of electricity. The following is the field of subsoil use. This area is a priority sector in the economy of Kyrgyzstan and is attractive for foreign investors. You know that an agreement is being prepared with Russia on cooperation in this area. We are waiting for other Russian companies and we guarantee protection of business,” he added to his presentation.

The fifth area for development is creation of joint enterprises. “In 2018, exports grew by 5%, while imports decreased by 4.5%. We are engaged in trade with 143 countries of the world. We have a GSP+ status. Kyrgyzstan is the only country in the region that has such preferences,” Askarov said, adding that there are 688 joint enterprises with Russian companies in Kyrgyzstan.

© 2019 Embassy of Kyrgyz Republic in New Delhi, India