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Kyrgyzstan Constituents Visits Japan

Recently Kyrgyz companies as follows Akun, CardEx, Tumar Art Group and Studio of Tatyana Vorotnikova arrived in Tokyo to study Japanese experience and meet with potential business partners.

Recently Kyrgyz companies as follows Akun, CardEx, Tumar Art Group and Studio of Tatyana Vorotnikova arrived in Tokyo to study Japanese experience and meet with potential business partners. Representatives of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japanese foreign trade organization (JETRO), Japanese trade association Russia and CIS (ROTOBO), Japanese agency of international cooperation (JICA), Japanese businessmen all met with the Kyrgyz constituents. The visit and meetings comes as Kyrgyzstan and Japan seek to strengthen trade relations and look to create an investment sphere.

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Industrial Output Down 25 Percent

The latest report from the National Statistics Committee shows that the industrial production sector in Kyrgyzstan is crashing.

The latest report from the National Statistics Committee shows that the industrial production sector in Kyrgyzstan is crashing. This is based on statistics for the first two months of 2009. The data released stated that during the months of January-February industrial output contracted by 25 percent compared to the same period in 2008. The gross domestic product also declined at an estimated rate of 1.1 percent. The official inflation rate stands at 0.8 percent for the same period. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) last month forecasted that consumer prices would increase by at least 13 percent.

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Muddied Look to Kyrgyz Power Deal

Russia looks to inject large amounts of money into Kyrgyzstan's power industry to relieve the energy shortages that constantly mars the Central Asian state.

Russia looks to inject large amounts of money into Kyrgyzstan's power industry to relieve the energy shortages that constantly mars the Central Asian state. The Kyrgyz President, Kurmanbek Bakiev, signed a $1.7 billion deal where the Russian state will invest in a hydroelectric scheme called Kambarata-1. The Kambarata will generate 6.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. The scheme is aimed to produce enough energy to give Kyrgyzstan a surplus and turn it into an exporter of electricity. Some of the surplus energy will most likely be exported to Russia.

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Korea to Plan Kyrgyzstan State IT Net

Korea shall assist Kyrgyzstan in setting up an e-government system to increase the country's administrative efficiency and business environment

Korea shall assist Kyrgyzstan in setting up an e-government system to increase the country's administrative efficiency and business environment. The agreement shall be signed in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, on Tuesday. The plan will be implemented by May. E-government refers to the use of IT networks to enhance public services and interaction with citizens and businesses. Korea is believed to shell out $220,700 to help establish the e-government system. Kyrgyzstan continues to establish and advance in its IT sector. Korea's e-government system has been highly regarded by international organizations.

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Kyrgyzstan: to Give, it Seems the Kremlin Must First Take Away

In order to fill a promise to Kyrgyzstan, Russia's Kremlin is looking to take away $2 billion from an anonymous ally.

In order to fill a promise to Kyrgyzstan, Russia's Kremlin is looking to take away $2 billion from an anonymous ally. The aid was agreed upon on February 3, shortly after Kyrgyzstan voted to close Manas, a base currently used by US troops. Russia two legislative champers, the Duma and the Federation Council, adopted the amendments to the state budget to allow Kremlin to fulfill his $2.15 billion promise. President Dmitry Medvedev signed the bill on February 26. The aid is still being provided despite Russia being amongst the countries hit hardest by the global financial crisis. It is believed that in order for Russia to grant aid, many already approved programs shall suffer the consequences of this aid package.

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Japanese, Kyrgyz Business People Meet in Bishkek

During a Kyrgyz-Japanese business forum held in February, participants stated that there is potential for trade and economic relations that has not been fully exploited.

During a Kyrgyz-Japanese business forum held in February, participants stated that there is potential for trade and economic relations that has not been fully exploited. Kyrgyzstan is not one of Japan's trading partners, trading below the amounts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Over the last three years, the tides have turned where trade turnover between the two nations has increased by 13 times from $2.6 million in 2005 to over $35 million in 2008. The deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Kyrgyzstan, Sanjar Mukanbetov, said that Kyrgyzstan offers various sectors in which foreign investors could invest in. One of the notable outcomes from the forum includes more information exchange required to assist businesses from both nations to find potential partners.

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Mailuu-Suu Electric Bulb Plant Declared Bankrupt

The Regional Court of southern Kyrgyzstan has declared the Mailluu-Suu Electric Bulb Plant (MEBP) bankrupt

The Regional Court of southern Kyrgyzstan has declared the Mailuu-Suu Electric Bulb Plant (MEBP) bankrupt. During 2008, the company had amassed more than 100 million Kyrgyz soms in debt. The plant's salary debt exceeded 45 million soms. MEBP's major stake holders are Russian firms, in particular the International Illumination Engineering Holding. In 2006 MEBP produced 197 million bulbs, of which 53 million went to Russia, other recipients included Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Mongolia. MEBP's profits mainly came from exports. The plant's failure is in large part due to the rising cost of energy. The closure of the plant also greatly affects the town of Mailuu-Suu, where it is believed the plant practically supported the entire town.

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"AUB Dastan" Branch has Opened its Doors

Asia Universal Bank (AUB) has opened a new branch in Kyrgyzstan - "AUB Dastan" for retail and corporate customers.

Asia Universal Bank (AUB) has opened a new branch in Kyrgyzstan - "AUB Dastan" for retail and corporate customers. Currently, there are about 80 different Bank branches in the nation. AUB continues to support its branch network program. The new branch shall offer clients the same services as the principal office. Some of the services include the use of a payment terminal to pay bills, make remittances in soms and US dollars, currency exchange services, Internet-banking and make bank deposits.

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5000som Banknotes put into Circulation

Kyrgyzstan's National Bank was started to put 5000 som banknotes into circulation.

Kyrgyzstan's National Bank was started to put 5000 som banknotes into circulation. The banknotes shall be put into circulation starting today. The banknotes are decorated with the famous Kyrgyz actor and painter Suimenkul Chokmorov, whilst the reverse side of the note is of the capital Ala-Too. The bank's deputy chairman Zair Chokoev stated that due to economic reasons the creation of the 5000 som banknotes were a necessity. The banknotes also would increase the revenue of the population. The deputy chairman also believes that the issuance of the banknotes will also assist in strengthening the national currency and reduce the share of foreign currency in the country.

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Kyrgyz Finance Ministry: Consolidated Budget Income Hit 2.8bln soms in January

According to Kyrgyzstan's Central Treasury, the cosolidated budget income hit 2.8 billion soms in January.

According to Kyrgyzstan's Central Treasury, the cosolidated budget income hit 2.8 billion soms in January. This comes after a report from the Kyrgyz Finance Minstry on Friday, February 27. In comparison to the same period last year, the budget gained 8.1 percent. The gain of 8.1 percent is a gain of over 209.6million soms. Kyrgyzstan's budget is mostly comprised of tax revenues, which is the main source of the national treasury's replenishment. Overall, the total sum of the tax revenues comes to 2.4 billion soms.

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Russia Amends Budget to Sanction $2 billion Government Loan to Kyrgyzstan

Russia has recently made amendments to a $2 billion government loan to Kyrgyzstan.

Russia has recently made amendments to a $2 billion government loan to Kyrgyzstan. The law stipulating the changes had been passed by the State Duma on February 13, then approved by the Federation Council. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the bill on February 26th. The laws propose a new version of the program to provide the government's financial and export laws. Originally, the two agreements signed between Russia and Kyrgyzstan on the provision of government loans was not included in the federal budget. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov states that the amendments would make it easier to implement the agreements between the two countries.

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EC Issues €1M for Higher Education Reform in 2009

The European Commission (EC) has sent a delegation to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The European Commission (EC) has sent a delegation to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Kyrgyzstan has benefited from the EC sent delegates, where the European Commission recently announced an issuance of € 1 million. The aid is said to be assigned to higher education reform under the Tempus program. The program plans to award grants through annual contests amongst universities. Since 2000, Tempus has granted €5.6 million to various higher education institutions in the country. In 2008, four projects were granted funding worth €1.75million.

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Energy Crisis Hits Vulnerable Groups Hardest

An energy crisis is prevalent throughout Kyrgyzstan. Disadvantaged children and other vulnerable groups such as elderly pensioners have been affected the most by the energy crisis.

An energy crisis is prevalent throughout Kyrgyzstan. Disadvantaged children and other vulnerable groups such as elderly pensioners have been affected the most by the energy crisis. The UN has tried to respond as efficiently as possible to avoid the same incidences in Tajikistan in 2008 . Unfortunately, the agency has only been able to fund ten of the thirty children's center. UN has asked for $20 million but has currently only been able to raise $2.2 million (11 percent of the requested amount). The continued food shortages, health and lack of economic resources is a concern. The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is currently trying to find solutions to the problem.

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US General Sees More Aid To Kyrgyzstan After Threat To Close Base

A top U.S. general said Monday that Washington wanted to boost aid to Kyrgyzstan, after reports that the central Asian nation would close a U.S. military air base used to support operations in Afghanistan.

A top U.S. general said Monday that Washington wanted to boost aid to Kyrgyzstan, after reports that the central Asian nation would close a U.S. military air base used to support operations in Afghanistan. The official said Russia had urged Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to announce the closure of the base in exchange for financial help to the cash- strapped nation. Russia has sought the closure of the base, which is a symbol of U.S. influence in post-Soviet Central Asia, a region long dominated by Moscow.

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Kyrgyzstan Steels For Slowdown

As the Kyrgyz government takes steps to counter the effects of international financial crisis, analysts say the banking and construction sectors are already feeling the pinch.

As the Kyrgyz government takes steps to counter the effects of international financial crisis, analysts say the banking and construction sectors are already feeling the pinch. Economists note that because the Kyrgyz economy is relatively isolated, it was not immediately exposed to the crisis. Local banks did not borrow from abroad, and the country does not have a well-developed stock market. Expectations of a slowdown are reflected in the IMF's prediction that growth will fall to 3.7% in 2009 compared with an estimated 7.5% last year. Kyrgyzstan's construction industry is already in recession, according to the chairman of the national association of builders, Askarbek Moldobaev, who says 40% fewer buildings were put up in 2008 than the year before.

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Kyrgyz Energy Minister Fired Amid Crisis

Kyrgyzstan's Minister of Energy and Industry, Saparbek Balkibekov was fired yesterday amid rising public criticism over his handling of the country's electricity shortages.

Kyrgyzstan's Minister of Energy and Industry, Saparbek Balkibekov was fired yesterday amid rising public criticism over his handling of the country's electricity shortages. Mr. Balkibekov presided during a worsening energy crisis that might lead to a full blown energy crisis in February. The problem sprung from the over use of electricity during last year's unusually cold winter, which resulted in severe energy shortage for this winter. Water rationing was implemented during the summer but it now seems that it will not be enough to guarantee future supplies.

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China Grants Kyrgyzstan 50 Million for Economy Development

Kyrgyzstan's ministry of foreign affairs, Ednan Karabaev, and the Chinese Vice-President, Xi Jinping, held meetings in China in order to increase bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Kyrgyzstan's ministry of foreign affairs, Ednan Karabaev, and the Chinese Vice-President, Xi Jinping, held meetings in China in order to increase bilateral cooperation between the two countries. China announced that it would grant 50 million in order to assist with the further development of Kyrgyzstan's economy.

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Kyrgyzstan, Russian Government to Ink Energy Cooperation Decree

At the end of this week, Kyrgyzstan and Russia plan to sign an energy cooperation decree.

At the end of this week, Kyrgyzstan and Russia plan to sign an energy cooperation decree.

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Uzbekistan Will Probably Sell Gas to Kyrgyzstan at the European Price

According to the minister of economic development and trade of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan will most likely sell gas to Kyrgyzstan at the European price, $305 per 1,000 cubic meters.

According to the minister of economic development and trade of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan will most likely sell gas to Kyrgyzstan at the European price, $305 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gas prices are expected to continue to increase through 2009 in Kyrgyzstan.

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Government, National Bank to Secure 8% GPD Growth and 12-15% Inflation Level

The Kyrgyz government and the National Bank are working to secure 8% GDP growth and keep their 12-15% inflation level.

The Kyrgyz government and the National Bank are working to secure 8% GDP growth and keep their 12-15% inflation level. In achieving this, they will reduce the general government budget deficit, raise the average salary, and increase gross agricultural output and industry.

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World Bank offers Kyrgyzstan USD 24 Million in Grants

The World Bank has offered Kyrgyzstan USD 24.1 million in grants under the Agricultural Investments and Services project.

The World Bank has offered Kyrgyzstan USD 24.1 million in grants under the Agricultural Investments and Services project. The project is aimed at improving pasture management, information systems, and the development of veterinary and counseling services. The project is to last 5 years and the first installment will be transferred to Kyrgyzstan in the summer of 2008.

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Kyrgyzstan to Import 400 Thousand Tones of Wheat in 2008

Kyrgyzstan will be forced to import 400 thousand tones of wheat in 2008 according to the head of the State and Material Reserves Foundation Analytical Department.

Kyrgyzstan will be forced to import 400 thousand tones of wheat in 2008 according to the head of the State and Material Reserves Foundation Analytical Department. Annual wheat consumption in Kyrgyzstan equals nearly 1.2 million tones. The reason for the massive import is related to the sowing area of wheat in Kyrgyzstan is drastically dropping in area. The government is expected to hold negotiations about additional wheat supplies with Kazakhstan.

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Kyrgyzstan: Huge Electricity Losses

The Kyrgyz Prime Minister has dismissed the heads of four electricity distribution companies and has already replaced them.

The Kyrgyz Prime Minister has dismissed the heads of four electricity distribution companies and has already replaced them. The countries electricity system has faced losses up to 39 percent of the overall output through technical hitches within the first six months of this year. The successors of the dismissed heads have been instructed by the Prime Minister to cut the losses by 32 percent, which according to a public activist are mainly due to mismanagement, corruption and theft.

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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Keen on Turkmenistan Membership

According to a deputy Russian foreign minister, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is interested in involving energy-rich Turkmenistan in its activities. The SCO has offered Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov an invitation to attend Thursday's meeting in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek. The possibility of establishing an energy club will be touched upon by the heads of state from Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Pakistan, India, Mongolia, and Iran will be in attendance as well, considering the four nations role in the SCO, which is observer status.

According to a deputy Russian foreign minister, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is interested in involving energy-rich Turkmenistan in its activities. The SCO has offered Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov an invitation to attend Thursday's meeting in the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek. The possibility of establishing an energy club will be touched upon by the heads of state from Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Pakistan, India, Mongolia, and Iran will be in attendance as well, considering the four nations role in the SCO, which is observer status.

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Kyrgyzstan May Suspend Electricity Exports in 2008 to Neighboring Kazakhs, Uzbeks

Utility analysts in Kyrgyzstan are anticipating the possibility of suspending electricity exports to neighboring Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan due to a drop in flow through hydroelectric plants at the republic's largest artificial water reservoir. In 2006, the reservoir maintained 16.7 billion cubic meters of water whereas currently it is at a level of 13.6 billion cubic meters. Analysts predict the 2008 water level to hover around only 7.5 billion cubic meters. This possibility will affect how Kyrgyzstan consumes energy and relying more upon natural gas and other fossil fuels.

Utility analysts in Kyrgyzstan are anticipating the possibility of suspending electricity exports to neighboring Central Asian nations of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan due to a drop in flow through hydroelectric plants at the republic's largest artificial water reservoir. In 2006, the reservoir maintained 16.7 billion cubic meters of water whereas currently it is at a level of 13.6 billion cubic meters. Analysts predict the 2008 water level to hover around only 7.5 billion cubic meters. This possibility will affect how Kyrgyzstan consumes energy and relying more upon natural gas and other fossil fuels.

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Kyrgyz Bread Prices Likely to Increase Again

Central Asian experts are warning that although Kyrgyz bread prices have stabilized recently, prices may start to increase again. The price of bread is increasing because the costs of domestic wheat production as well as grain import costs have risen simultaneously. In response to the large increase in bread prices, the Kyrgyz government has announced that it will open grain reserves and sell it to local bakeries for a low price.

Central Asian experts are warning that although Kyrgyz bread prices have stabilized recently, prices may start to increase again. The price of bread is increasing because the costs of domestic wheat production as well as grain import costs have risen simultaneously. In response to the large increase in bread prices, the Kyrgyz government has announced that it will open grain reserves and sell it to local bakeries for a low price.

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Hard Times for Kyrgyz Farmers

Development is necessary in rural Kyrgyzstan, but without the help of the government, farmers may not be able to access the banking services and loans that they need. There is a high risk attached to loans to farmers because the Kyrgyz government does not provide insurance for the agricultural industry which results. Unfortunately for farmers, the chairman of parliament's tax committee states that insurance for farmers is not currently within the state's budget.

Development is necessary in rural Kyrgyzstan, but without the help of the government, farmers may not be able to access the banking services and loans that they need. There is a high risk attached to loans to farmers because the Kyrgyz government does not provide insurance for the agricultural industry which results. Unfortunately for farmers, the chairman of parliament's tax committee states that insurance for farmers is not currently within the state's budget.

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Legal Alcohol Production in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan's government has lifted the state monopoly on the production of alcoholic drinks but not on the sale of pure ethyl alcohol. Currently, the alcohol industry is not profitable for the government due to illegal imports and homemade alcohol. The new law is aimed to increase government revenue raised through taxes on legal alcohol sales.

Kyrgyzstan's government has lifted the state monopoly on the production of alcoholic drinks but not on the sale of pure ethyl alcohol. Currently, the alcohol industry is not profitable for the government due to illegal imports and homemade alcohol. The new law is aimed to increase government revenue raised through taxes on legal alcohol sales.

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Analysts Call Kyrgyz Economic Growth Report Too Good to be True

Economic experts with News Briefing Central Asia (NBCentralAsia) are saying that official statistics showing that the Kyrgyz economy grew rapidly in the first half of 2007 are inflated. These experts believe that, in reality, the country is barely beginning to recover from a 2-year plunge. Kazakh investment has indeed spurred boom figures in some sectors, but estimates of a gray economy accounting for 40 to 60 percent of the entire economy show why these boom figures have not translated into higher budget revenues.

Economic experts with News Briefing Central Asia (NBCentralAsia) are saying that official statistics showing that the Kyrgyz economy grew rapidly in the first half of 2007 are inflated. These experts believe that, in reality, the country is barely beginning to recover from a 2-year plunge. Kazakh investment has indeed spurred boom figures in some sectors, but estimates of a gray economy accounting for 40 to 60 percent of the entire economy show why these boom figures have not translated into higher budget revenues.

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6-month Kyrgyz Foreign Trade Increases by 58.7 Percent

Officials in the capital city of Bishkek are reporting that Kyrgyzstan's 6-month foreign trade turnover has increased by 58.7 percent from the same period in 2006. The USD 328.2 million increase, putting turnover at USD 887.1, is mostly attributed to strong exports in oil and oil products and non-monetary gold. 40.1 percent of commodity turnover falls to European states.

Officials in the capital city of Bishkek are reporting that Kyrgyzstan's 6-month foreign trade turnover has increased by 58.7 percent from the same period in 2006. The USD 328.2 million increase, putting turnover at USD 887.1, is mostly attributed to strong exports in oil and oil products and non-monetary gold. 40.1 percent of commodity turnover falls to European states.

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Corruption, Grey Economy Hindering Kyrgyz Banking Sector Growth

Economic observers in Central Asia believe the Kyrgyz banking sector has great potential, but the existence of a substantial grey economy and widespread corruption are significantly holding it back. Grey market goods in Kyrgyzstan make up around 40 percent of GDP, casting a shadow over a banking sector that is second in attractiveness in Central Asia to only Kazakhstan. Banking officials also believe that reformation of the country's tax base is necessary to boost the sector.

Economic observers in Central Asia believe the Kyrgyz banking sector has great potential, but the existence of a substantial grey economy and widespread corruption are significantly holding it back. Grey market goods in Kyrgyzstan make up around 40 percent of GDP, casting a shadow over a banking sector that is second in attractiveness in Central Asia to only Kazakhstan. Banking officials also believe that reformation of the country's tax base is necessary to boost the sector.

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Kyrgyzstan Unlikely to Win Back Majority Share of KOC

Observers in Central Asia have reported that the Kyrgyz government is fighting a losing battle as it attempts to regain a majority share of the Kumtor Operating Company (KOC), which operates the highly profitable yet continually controversial Kumtor gold mine. The government originally held a 2/3 share of the joint venture, but saw that figure drop to 16 percent when it liquidated around USD 90 million worth of shares when the joint arrangement ended in 2004. Though it is working to boost its stake to 61 percent, observers say it does not have the means nor the influence to recover the shares from Canadian-based Centerra Gold.

Observers in Central Asia have reported that the Kyrgyz government is fighting a losing battle as it attempts to regain a majority share of the Kumtor Operating Company (KOC), which operates the highly profitable yet continually controversial Kumtor gold mine. The government originally held a 2/3 share of the joint venture, but saw that figure drop to 16 percent when it liquidated around USD 90 million worth of shares when the joint arrangement ended in 2004. Though it is working to boost its stake to 61 percent, observers say it does not have the means nor the influence to recover the shares from Canadian-based Centerra Gold.

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Next Ferghana Valley Gubernatorial Meeting Highly Anticipated

In what was envisaged as a diplomatic endeavor to expand cooperation between the Central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, specifically in their shared inhabitance of the Ferghana Valley, hit a roadblock with the notable absence of a Tajik presence. Nevertheless, representatives and diplomats of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan focused on aligning their interests for the good of the region. The upcoming summit is scheduled for late July in Jalalabad, Krygyzstan where all parties are scheduled to be in attendence.

In what was envisaged as a diplomatic endeavor to expand cooperation between the Central Asian nations of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, specifically in their shared inhabitance of the Ferghana Valley, hit a roadblock with the notable absence of a Tajik presence. Nevertheless, representatives and diplomats of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan focused on aligning their interests for the good of the region. The upcoming summit is scheduled for late July in Jalalabad, Krygyzstan where all parties are scheduled to be in attendence.

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Kyrgyz Government Demands Controlling Stake in Centerra

A special group set up by the Kyrgyz government has demanded that the Canadian government turn over 20 percent of its shares in Centerra Gold, which operates the controversial Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, to Kyrgyzstan, or pay USD 480 million in recompense. Kyrgyzstan has alleged that a 2003 agreement concerning the mine is unfair and the ensuing stock sale that left Kyrgyzstan with just over 15 percent of Centerra Gold was illegitimate. Recovering 20 percent of Centerra Gold would leave the Kyrgyz government with about 35 percent of shares (controlling interest), the Canadians with 33 percent, and minority shareholders about 32 percent.

A special group set up by the Kyrgyz government has demanded that the Canadian government turn over 20 percent of its shares in Centerra Gold, which operates the controversial Kumtor gold mine in Kyrgyzstan, to Kyrgyzstan, or pay USD 480 million in recompense. Kyrgyzstan has alleged that a 2003 agreement concerning the mine is unfair and the ensuing stock sale that left Kyrgyzstan with just over 15 percent of Centerra Gold was illegitimate. Recovering 20 percent of Centerra Gold would leave the Kyrgyz government with about 35 percent of shares (controlling interest), the Canadians with 33 percent, and minority shareholders about 32 percent.

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ADB to Fund Special Needs Learning in Kyrgyzstan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will move a USD 1 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, funded by the government of Japan, to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan for purposes of providing educational opportunities for students with special needs. Very few such children receive any kind of education or training in Kyrgyzstan and are thus extremely vulnerable to poverty. The ADB's Kyrgyz country strategy continues to highlight the importance of basic human development.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will move a USD 1 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, funded by the government of Japan, to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan for purposes of providing educational opportunities for students with special needs. Very few such children receive any kind of education or training in Kyrgyzstan and are thus extremely vulnerable to poverty. The ADB's Kyrgyz country strategy continues to highlight the importance of basic human development.

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Kyrgyzstan Proposes Single Central Asian Energy Exchange

Kyrgyzstan has proposed the development of a single energy exchange market for all of Central Asia, but observers have noted that the idea may be unrealistic if regional powers Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, as well as other major international powers, do not back the plan. The exchange would be based in Bishkek and would feature heavyweight international players such as the US, Russia, European Union and China.

Kyrgyzstan has proposed the development of a single energy exchange market for all of Central Asia, but observers have noted that the idea may be unrealistic if regional powers Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, as well as other major international powers, do not back the plan. The exchange would be based in Bishkek and would feature heavyweight international players such as the US, Russia, European Union and China.

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Kyrgyzstan Bidding for Inclusion in Chinese-Central Asian Pipeline

Kyrgyzstan is showing its interest in being the transit country for a proposed pipeline that would transport Turkmen and Uzbek energy to China. Though the mountainous terrain of Kyrgyzstan makes them an expensive option, the project would be granted financial backing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the basic infrastructure is already in place. Confidence that Kyrgyz authorities will not use their advantageous position as a political bargaining chip may is expected to help move the project forward.

Kyrgyzstan is showing its interest in being the transit country for a proposed pipeline that would transport Turkmen and Uzbek energy to China. Though the mountainous terrain of Kyrgyzstan makes them an expensive option, the project would be granted financial backing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the basic infrastructure is already in place. Confidence that Kyrgyz authorities will not use their advantageous position as a political bargaining chip may is expected to help move the project forward.

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IDB and Kyrgyz Government Launch Pilot Project

In an attempt to introduce Islamic financing in Kyrgyzstan, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Kyrgyz government have launched a pilot project to offer financial products based on Islamic law in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev hopes the project will encourage the Saudi-based IDB's other 55 member countries to invest in the Kyrgyz economy.

In an attempt to introduce Islamic financing in Kyrgyzstan, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Kyrgyz government have launched a pilot project to offer financial products based on Islamic law in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev hopes the project will encourage the Saudi-based IDB's other 55 member countries to invest in the Kyrgyz economy.

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Alcoa Considering Expansion into Kyrgyz Aluminum, Hydroelectricity

A delegation of Alcoa officials arrived in Kyrgyzstan on Monday to study the possibilities of constructing an aluminum production base and participating in the development of the Kambarata hydroelectric stations. Kyrgyzstan stands to benefit substantially if the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities decides to set up shop within its borders.

A delegation of Alcoa officials arrived in Kyrgyzstan on Monday to study the possibilities of constructing an aluminum production base and participating in the development of the Kambarata hydroelectric stations. Kyrgyzstan stands to benefit substantially if the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities decides to set up shop within its borders.

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Principal Donors Draft Kyrgyz Support Strategy

Five major donors, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank, have drafted a coordinated country support strategy for Kyrgyzstan, which is expected to be a major boost to the Kyrgyz government's 2007-2010 development targets. The main emphasis of the strategy is on achieving economic growth, controlling corruption, fueling social development, and protecting the environment.

Five major donors, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and World Bank, have drafted a coordinated country support strategy for Kyrgyzstan, which is expected to be a major boost to the Kyrgyz government's 2007-2010 development targets. The main emphasis of the strategy is on achieving economic growth, controlling corruption, fueling social development, and protecting the environment.

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Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan Organize Meeting

The governors of three regions in Kyrgyzstan and three in Uzbekistan have organized an informal Ferghana Summit meeting to take place in Jalalabad. The governors are gathering to facilitate friendship and stability in the region. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan hope to improve their economic and agrarian interaction to develop relations between the two countries.

The governors of three regions in Kyrgyzstan and three in Uzbekistan have organized an informal Ferghana Summit meeting to take place in Jalalabad. The governors are gathering to facilitate friendship and stability in the region. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan hope to improve their economic and agrarian interaction to develop relations between the two countries.

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Agreement on Kyrgyz-Kazakh Investment Fund signed

With the purpose to support Kyrgyz economy and deepen the relations between the two countries, Kazakh and Kyrgyz representatives have signed an agreement on the establishment of an Kyrgyz-Kazakh investment fund. The Kazakh Prime Minister, Karim Massimov has stated that Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will place USD 100 million and USD 20 million into the fund correspondingly. For more information see as well http://www.inform.kz/showarticle.php?lang=eng&id=153495.

With the purpose to support Kyrgyz economy and deepen the relations between the two countries, Kazakh and Kyrgyz representatives have signed an agreement on the establishment of an Kyrgyz-Kazakh investment fund. The Kazakh Prime Minister, Karim Massimov has stated that Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will place USD 100 million and USD 20 million into the fund correspondingly. For more information see as well http://www.inform.kz/showarticle.php?lang=eng&id=153495.

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Kyrgyz Regional Seminar Focuses on Fraud, Corruption Prevention

Kyrgyzstan kicked off a regional seminar on financial auditing and fraud and corruption prevention today in Bishkek, reflecting Kyrgyzstan's continued commitment towards cleaning up its financial sector. Kyrgyzstan extended invitations to the conference to representatives of financial control bodies in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Azerbaijan.

Kyrgyzstan kicked off a regional seminar on financial auditing and fraud and corruption prevention today in Bishkek, reflecting Kyrgyzstan's continued commitment towards cleaning up its financial sector. Kyrgyzstan extended invitations to the conference to representatives of financial control bodies in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Azerbaijan.

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Kyrgyzstan Launches Expenditure-reducing Government Reforms

President Kurmanbek Bakiev is moving forward with his plan to eliminate an entire tier of the Kyrgyz government, a move that he hopes will streamline government affairs and slash expenditures. The reorganization process will be carried out in 3 stages through 2011, but critics say the regional administrative aspect of the strategy has not been properly prepared.

President Kurmanbek Bakiev is moving forward with his plan to eliminate an entire tier of the Kyrgyz government, a move that he hopes will streamline government affairs and slash expenditures. The reorganization process will be carried out in 3 stages through 2011, but critics say the regional administrative aspect of the strategy has not been properly prepared.

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Kyrgyzstan Reports Huge Leap in Foreign Direct Investment

The Kyrgyz National Statistics Committee has reported a 59.6 percent increase in the flow of foreign direct investments into the country's economy in 2006. 40.7 percent of the USD 335.6 million invested came from Kazakhstan, with another 5.9 percent coming from Russia. Uzbekistan's direct investment into Kyrgyzstan grew 8.4 times.

The Kyrgyz National Statistics Committee has reported a 59.6 percent increase in the flow of foreign direct investments into the country's economy in 2006. 40.7 percent of the USD 335.6 million invested came from Kazakhstan, with another 5.9 percent coming from Russia. Uzbekistan's direct investment into Kyrgyzstan grew 8.4 times.

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Kyrgyzstan to Host International Business Forums

Addressing its dire need to attract foreign investment, Kyrgyzstan will host three major international business forums in the second half of 2007. Officials hope the events will help the nation stimulate economic development by expanding economic contacts and helping Kyrgyzstan further integrate with the global community.

Addressing its dire need to attract foreign investment, Kyrgyzstan will host three major international business forums in the second half of 2007. Officials hope the events will help the nation stimulate economic development by expanding economic contacts and helping Kyrgyzstan further integrate with the global community.

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Proposed Kyrgyz Pension Reform Will Burden Social Fund

According to World Bank's Central Asian coordinator Proland Clark, proposed reforms in Kyrgyzstan's pension program may create an unsustainable burden on the country's Social Fund budget. Among the amendments to the current pension program are reductions in the age requirement by three years for both women and men.

According to World Bank's Central Asian coordinator Proland Clark, proposed reforms in Kyrgyzstan's pension program may create an unsustainable burden on the country's Social Fund budget. Among the amendments to the current pension program are reductions in the age requirement by three years for both women and men.

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Water: Central Asia's Newest Form of Currency

The need for a long-term strategy concerning water and energy in Central Asia has never been as dire as it is now. Each year, officials from four of the littoral states meet to negotiate an agreement on the release of water reserves from the region's hydroelectric dams. In exchange for vital irrigational water in the summer, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan pledge conventional energy aid and other agricultural goods to their mountainous neighbors, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. On June 15, the annual four-party negotiations began anew, but no such agreement was reached. On June 19, Kyrgyz power station company Elektricheskie Stantsii announced that it cannot guarantee its neighbors the water volumes they have requested for the summer of 2008 . With drought conditions expected to last until then, a crisis is brewing over Central Asia's newest form of currency.

Central Asia's water shortage has been a smoldering situation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Once a domestic issue governed by a central body, water usage among the littoral states became a matter of "international mediation" as the regional watershed was divided into separate upstream and downstream areas. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were granted a clear advantage when they inherited a network of reservoirs, dams and headwaters, which they have not hesitated to exploit for energy purposes. The Syr Darya River, fed primarily by its main tributary, Kyrzgystan's Naryn River, has been the focal point of the crisis, as it flows downstream through Uzbekistan, into the reservoirs of Tajikistan, and on to Kazakhstan, where it dries up before reaching the Aral Sea.

The situation is exacerbated by a number of factors. Kyrgyzstan has no oil and gas reserves to speak of, and thus relies heavily on the power generated at its 16 hydroelectric facilities. The brutal Kyrgyz winters call for an ample supply of power, which is provided by storing the Syr Darya's waters throughout the year and releasing it into the dam's turbines in the winter months. On the other hand, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have all the oil and gas they need, but rely on the flow of the Syr Darya to irrigate their fields. In Uzbekistan alone, agriculture accounts for over 37 percent of GDP and 44 percent of the labor force. A shortage of water combined with drought conditions in 2008 would be disastrous for the Uzbek agricultural sector, which has become the world's second-largest exporter of cotton. Tajikistan also counts on the flow of the Syr Darya to power a significant percentage of its hydroelectric dams. The delicate balance that is struck each year between the four states has so far been successful in averting crises, but with no agreement in place for 2008 and drastically low levels being recorded at the Kyrgyz Toktogul Resevoir, the coming year will be a true test. Summer's average water level is usually expected to linger around 19 billion cubic meters in order to meet both Kyrgyz winter energy needs and neighboring irrigational needs; Toktogul currently holds just over 10 billion cubic meters.

Steps have been taken for well over a decade to develop a sustainable, long-term strategy governing the multi-national use of Central Asia's rivers, but the current situation reflects the overall failure of such initiatives. The annual, multi-party swap agreement has been a successful short-term fix, but the absence of such an agreement for the coming year highlights the consequences of short-sighted solutions. Bilateral treaties have fared no better. In May, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan announced that they had reached agreement on the development of a Water and Energy Consortium, which they had hoped would permanently alleviate water supply tensions. In reality, the bilateral nature of the agreement only served to upset Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, who, along with international observers, slammed the proposal as a "meaningless institution." Even the implementation of regional bodies to govern each specific water basin has failed, as the littoral states have displayed a staunch unwillingness to submit to a supranational authority when it comes to water usage.

While violent conflict appears not to be an immediate threat, water's emergence as a form of currency in the region has pushed tensions to an alarming level. Kyrgyzstan stands by its "right to profit" on its own territorial water resources, and has shown its willingness to tax its neighbors for water usage and delivery in the absence of swap deals. The Kyrgyz have gone as far as to threaten the sale of their precious water to neighboring China should their Central Asian neighbors be unwilling to pay. Uzbekistan has not hesitated to act unilaterally itself, shown most prominently by its move to cut off 70 percent of downstream flow to Kazakhstan, which prompted mass riots among Kazakh farmers. Uzbekistan now charges over 130,000 troops with guarding the reservoirs that straddle its neighbors' boundaries, and has raised the price of gas it sells to Kyrgyzstan from USD 55 to USD 100 as of Jan. 1, 2007.

As long as these nations continue to use water as a political and financial bargaining chip to serve their own sovereign interests, it is doubtful that a long-term or permanent multi-party agreement can be reached. Energy experts have attempted on multiple occasions to apply Game Theory to the crisis in hopes of creating a sustainable payoff model for all sides, but the unique variables in the Central Asian situation have made this impossible. It appears the only immediate measure that can lead to a long-term solution is the responsible use of water resources by farmers themselves. Agricultural projects in the region have been criticized for requiring twice the water that similar American and European projects need. Aside from its potential to alleviate what is being referred to as an "under-recognized crisis-in-the-making," responsible water usage would slow the trend of environmental devastation and desertification being wrought on the region by the drying of the Aral Sea. Until such a strategy is developed or another alternative is presented, the tensions of retaining a delicate balance between energy and agriculture will live on, with a potentially explosive crisis hanging over the heads of all parties involved.

The need for a long-term strategy concerning water and energy in Central Asia has never been as dire as it is now. Each year, officials from four of the littoral states meet to negotiate an agreement on the release of water reserves from the region's hydroelectric dams. In exchange for vital irrigational water in the summer, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan pledge conventional energy aid and other agricultural goods to their mountainous neighbors, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. On June 15, the annual four-party negotiations began anew, but no such agreement was reached. On June 19, Kyrgyz power station company Elektricheskie Stantsii announced that it cannot guarantee its neighbors the water volumes they have requested for the summer of 2008 . With drought conditions expected to last until then, a crisis is brewing over Central Asia's newest form of currency.

Central Asia's water shortage has been a smoldering situation since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Once a domestic issue governed by a central body, water usage among the littoral states became a matter of "international mediation" as the regional watershed was divided into separate upstream and downstream areas. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were granted a clear advantage when they inherited a network of reservoirs, dams and headwaters, which they have not hesitated to exploit for energy purposes. The Syr Darya River, fed primarily by its main tributary, Kyrzgystan's Naryn River, has been the focal point of the crisis, as it flows downstream through Uzbekistan, into the reservoirs of Tajikistan, and on to Kazakhstan, where it dries up before reaching the Aral Sea.

The situation is exacerbated by a number of factors. Kyrgyzstan has no oil and gas reserves to speak of, and thus relies heavily on the power generated at its 16 hydroelectric facilities. The brutal Kyrgyz winters call for an ample supply of power, which is provided by storing the Syr Darya's waters throughout the year and releasing it into the dam's turbines in the winter months. On the other hand, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have all the oil and gas they need, but rely on the flow of the Syr Darya to irrigate their fields. In Uzbekistan alone, agriculture accounts for over 37 percent of GDP and 44 percent of the labor force. A shortage of water combined with drought conditions in 2008 would be disastrous for the Uzbek agricultural sector, which has become the world's second-largest exporter of cotton. Tajikistan also counts on the flow of the Syr Darya to power a significant percentage of its hydroelectric dams. The delicate balance that is struck each year between the four states has so far been successful in averting crises, but with no agreement in place for 2008 and drastically low levels being recorded at the Kyrgyz Toktogul Resevoir, the coming year will be a true test. Summer's average water level is usually expected to linger around 19 billion cubic meters in order to meet both Kyrgyz winter energy needs and neighboring irrigational needs; Toktogul currently holds just over 10 billion cubic meters.

Steps have been taken for well over a decade to develop a sustainable, long-term strategy governing the multi-national use of Central Asia's rivers, but the current situation reflects the overall failure of such initiatives. The annual, multi-party swap agreement has been a successful short-term fix, but the absence of such an agreement for the coming year highlights the consequences of short-sighted solutions. Bilateral treaties have fared no better. In May, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan announced that they had reached agreement on the development of a Water and Energy Consortium, which they had hoped would permanently alleviate water supply tensions. In reality, the bilateral nature of the agreement only served to upset Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, who, along with international observers, slammed the proposal as a "meaningless institution." Even the implementation of regional bodies to govern each specific water basin has failed, as the littoral states have displayed a staunch unwillingness to submit to a supranational authority when it comes to water usage.

While violent conflict appears not to be an immediate threat, water's emergence as a form of currency in the region has pushed tensions to an alarming level. Kyrgyzstan stands by its "right to profit" on its own territorial water resources, and has shown its willingness to tax its neighbors for water usage and delivery in the absence of swap deals. The Kyrgyz have gone as far as to threaten the sale of their precious water to neighboring China should their Central Asian neighbors be unwilling to pay. Uzbekistan has not hesitated to act unilaterally itself, shown most prominently by its move to cut off 70 percent of downstream flow to Kazakhstan, which prompted mass riots among Kazakh farmers. Uzbekistan now charges over 130,000 troops with guarding the reservoirs that straddle its neighbors' boundaries, and has raised the price of gas it sells to Kyrgyzstan from USD 55 to USD 100 as of Jan. 1, 2007.

As long as these nations continue to use water as a political and financial bargaining chip to serve their own sovereign interests, it is doubtful that a long-term or permanent multi-party agreement can be reached. Energy experts have attempted on multiple occasions to apply Game Theory to the crisis in hopes of creating a sustainable payoff model for all sides, but the unique variables in the Central Asian situation have made this impossible. It appears the only immediate measure that can lead to a long-term solution is the responsible use of water resources by farmers themselves. Agricultural projects in the region have been criticized for requiring twice the water that similar American and European projects need. Aside from its potential to alleviate what is being referred to as an "under-recognized crisis-in-the-making," responsible water usage would slow the trend of environmental devastation and desertification being wrought on the region by the drying of the Aral Sea. Until such a strategy is developed or another alternative is presented, the tensions of retaining a delicate balance between energy and agriculture will live on, with a potentially explosive crisis hanging over the heads of all parties involved.

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Need for Central Asian Water and Energy Strategy Grows

With drought conditions expected to carry through to 2008, Kyrgyzstan has warned that it may not be able to supply its neighbors downriver on the Syr Darya with the water they need for irrigation. Kyrgyzstan's Elektricheskie Stantsii controls the hydroelectric dams on the Syr Darya, and says that the amount of water they will have to release from the dams into power-producing turbines may mean that it will not have enough water in the summer of 2008 to release for its neighbors. A long-term strategy on the issue is clearly a necessity, but Kyrgyz parliamentary members feel that Kyrgyzstan should act in its own interest and conduct negotiations itself, rather than allowing Stantsii to do so.

With drought conditions expected to carry through to 2008, Kyrgyzstan has warned that it may not be able to supply its neighbors downriver on the Syr Darya with the water they need for irrigation. Kyrgyzstan's Elektricheskie Stantsii controls the hydroelectric dams on the Syr Darya, and says that the amount of water they will have to release from the dams into power-producing turbines may mean that it will not have enough water in the summer of 2008 to release for its neighbors. A long-term strategy on the issue is clearly a necessity, but Kyrgyz parliamentary members feel that Kyrgyzstan should act in its own interest and conduct negotiations itself, rather than allowing Stantsii to do so.

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Energy, Trade Discussed at EU's Central Asia Strategy Talks

The EU's first ever strategic talks concerning a cooperative strategy with Central Asia garnered approval from the bloc's foreign ministers following a meeting in Luxembourg. The strategy addresses a number of areas, including Central Asia's immense reserves of oil and gas as well as trade, drug-trafficking prevention, and democracy.

The EU's first ever strategic talks concerning a cooperative strategy with Central Asia garnered approval from the bloc's foreign ministers following a meeting in Luxembourg. The strategy addresses a number of areas, including Central Asia's immense reserves of oil and gas as well as trade, drug-trafficking prevention, and democracy.

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Consolidation of Pasture Management Critical in Kyrgyzstan

NBCentral Asia observers say that Kyrgzstan must consolidate its pasture management system into a single authority or risk a grazing land crisis. Mountainous pasture in Kyrgyzstan measures nine million hectares, or roughly half the country's total land, and over 90 percent of this land is farmland. Poor management is causing problems such as excessive soil salination, water-logging, and erosion.

NBCentral Asia observers say that Kyrgzstan must consolidate its pasture management system into a single authority or risk a grazing land crisis. Mountainous pasture in Kyrgyzstan measures nine million hectares, or roughly half the country's total land, and over 90 percent of this land is farmland. Poor management is causing problems such as excessive soil salination, water-logging, and erosion.

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Privatized Kyrgyz Power Projects Turn Focus to Export Viability

Though Parliament's approval of privatizing the incomplete Kambarata 1 and 2 hydropower plants is a major breakthrough, Kyrgyzstan still must make contractual and technical arrangements to ensure the export potential of the plants. Completion of the USD 3 billion projects is expected to yield an additional 3.6 billion kilowatt/hours of power purely for export.

Though Parliament's approval of privatizing the incomplete Kambarata 1 and 2 hydropower plants is a major breakthrough, Kyrgyzstan still must make contractual and technical arrangements to ensure the export potential of the plants. Completion of the USD 3 billion projects is expected to yield an additional 3.6 billion kilowatt/hours of power purely for export.

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Mixed Reactions to Kyrgyzstan's Proposed Aluminum Plant

Keen to develop the country's heavy industry, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources has developed a plan in conjunction with Russia's Rinko Holding to build an aluminum plant at a cost of USD 3.2 billion. Critics, however, question the economic viability and the environmental impact of powering the massive plant, which would have an annual output capacity of 500,000 tons. Experts say hydroelectric power from the Kambarata 1 and 2 stations would be too expensive for the plant, while a proposed 1,200 megawatt coal-fired plant would have unacceptable impacts on air quality, water supply, and the country's fledgling tourism industry.

Keen to develop the country's heavy industry, the Kyrgyz Ministry of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources has developed a plan in conjunction with Russia's Rinko Holding to build an aluminum plant at a cost of USD 3.2 billion. Critics, however, question the economic viability and the environmental impact of powering the massive plant, which would have an annual output capacity of 500,000 tons. Experts say hydroelectric power from the Kambarata 1 and 2 stations would be too expensive for the plant, while a proposed 1,200 megawatt coal-fired plant would have unacceptable impacts on air quality, water supply, and the country's fledgling tourism industry.

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Kumtor Negotiations Prompt Call for Kyrgyz Gold Export Moratorium

The Kyrgyz government and Centerra Gold Inc. have agreed on July 16 as a date to begin negotiations regarding the Kumtor mine. A number of new parliament members have joined the gold mine commission, and there has been growing support among them for a moratorium on Kyrgyz gold exports, which would avoid the need for future recalculation with foreign investors.

The Kyrgyz government and Centerra Gold Inc. have agreed on July 16 as a date to begin negotiations regarding the Kumtor mine. A number of new parliament members have joined the gold mine commission, and there has been growing support among them for a moratorium on Kyrgyz gold exports, which would avoid the need for future recalculation with foreign investors.

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Kazakhstan Presents Plan for Asian Energy Club

Kazakhstan has proposed a plan to create an Asian energy club to the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at its "forum of experts" meeting. The SCO is formed by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The goal of the plan is to coordinate prices, infrastructure development and the contracts between producers and consumers among the club and externally. There are some worries that this plan will be hampered by the incentive to defect due to the huge demand from China, or that some countries will wish to have ascendancy as is postulated could be the case with Russia and Kazakhstan, which may not sit well with potential partners.

Kazakhstan has proposed a plan to create an Asian energy club to the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at its "forum of experts" meeting. The SCO is formed by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The goal of the plan is to coordinate prices, infrastructure development and the contracts between producers and consumers among the club and externally. There are some worries that this plan will be hampered by the incentive to defect due to the huge demand from China, or that some countries will wish to have ascendancy as is postulated could be the case with Russia and Kazakhstan, which may not sit well with potential partners.

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Kyrgyz President Denounces Independent Hydropower Construction

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev slammed the idea of constructing the Kambarata hydropower plants independently before a cabinet meeting today. Bakiev went as far as to label the proposals as populist, saying that rushing the development process instead of adopting real bills could jeopardize the future of the plants altogether.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev slammed the idea of constructing the Kambarata hydropower plants independently before a cabinet meeting today. Bakiev went as far as to label the proposals as populist, saying that rushing the development process instead of adopting real bills could jeopardize the future of the plants altogether.

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Central Asia Plan Seeks to Diversify Energy, Despite Human Rights

Many feel the European Union's Central Asia Plan, a move to diversify energy supplies by establishing closer ties with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, will receive a stamp of approval at the EU meeting in Brussels later this week. The plan will likely boost the economies of the aforementioned nations, but the measure must first get past Human Rights groups who decry support for the nations because of their histories of human rights abuses.

Many feel the European Union's Central Asia Plan, a move to diversify energy supplies by establishing closer ties with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, will receive a stamp of approval at the EU meeting in Brussels later this week. The plan will likely boost the economies of the aforementioned nations, but the measure must first get past Human Rights groups who decry support for the nations because of their histories of human rights abuses.

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Feasibility Report Released for Kyrgyzstan's Jerooy Gold Mine

Managers of the Jerooy gold mine released a long-awaited feasibility report to officials in Bishkek on Friday. While the report detailed costs related to construction, underground works, plant development and tailing pits, much attention was paid to the ecological safety aspects of the report, which stated that the mine's two tailing pits will be constructed at a safe distance from water sources and village dwellings. The mine is expected to provide 71 tons of gold, which should fetch an average price of USD 9.62 per gram.

Managers of the Jerooy gold mine released a long-awaited feasibility report to officials in Bishkek on Friday. While the report detailed costs related to construction, underground works, plant development and tailing pits, much attention was paid to the ecological safety aspects of the report, which stated that the mine's two tailing pits will be constructed at a safe distance from water sources and village dwellings. The mine is expected to provide 71 tons of gold, which should fetch an average price of USD 9.62 per gram.

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Kyrgyz Power Sector Privatization Shot Down in Parliament

A bill approving privatization of major hydropower and thermal power plants in Kyrgyzstan was rejected by Parliament after several weeks of deliberation. Supporters of the bill hoped to keep it alive by creating a conciliatory commission, but Kyrgyz legislation prohibits bills rejected by Parliament from being returned to review for six months. Private investors from Kazakhstan and Russia, most notably Russia's RAO UES Russia, had shown interest in the stations, but Parliament officials could not agree on the economic benefit such privatization measures would bring.

A bill approving privatization of major hydropower and thermal power plants in Kyrgyzstan was rejected by Parliament after several weeks of deliberation. Supporters of the bill hoped to keep it alive by creating a conciliatory commission, but Kyrgyz legislation prohibits bills rejected by Parliament from being returned to review for six months. Private investors from Kazakhstan and Russia, most notably Russia's RAO UES Russia, had shown interest in the stations, but Parliament officials could not agree on the economic benefit such privatization measures would bring.

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Kazakhstan Agrees to Set Up Joint Kyrgyz Finance Fund

Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker Marat Sultanov announced that Kazakhstan is ready to set up a joint fund to finance projects in Kyrgyzstan. The fund calls for USD 100 million in investment from Kazakhstan, which will be drawn from the nation's Kazyna fund. Kyrgyzstan's contribution to the fund will amount to between USD 10-20 million.

Kyrgyz Parliament Speaker Marat Sultanov announced that Kazakhstan is ready to set up a joint fund to finance projects in Kyrgyzstan. The fund calls for USD 100 million in investment from Kazakhstan, which will be drawn from the nation's Kazyna fund. Kyrgyzstan's contribution to the fund will amount to between USD 10-20 million.

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Commonwealth of Independent States Still Healthy

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an organization consisting of eleven former Soviet republics created after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, recently met at a gathering held June 9-10 in St. Petersburg to discuss issues of common economic, defensive, and foreign policy collaboration. The summit dispelled rumors that the organization was near stages of collapse, as a full attendance was reported by member nations. Further conceptual review has been prepared for the next CIS Summit in Dushanbe in October of this year.

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an organization consisting of eleven former Soviet republics created after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, recently met at a gathering held June 9-10 in St. Petersburg to discuss issues of common economic, defensive, and foreign policy collaboration. The summit dispelled rumors that the organization was near stages of collapse, as a full attendance was reported by member nations. Further conceptual review has been prepared for the next CIS Summit in Dushanbe in October of this year.

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Russia Meets Kyrgyz Confederation Proposal with Skepticism

Kyrgyz opposition leader Feliks Kulov's proposed confederation with Russia has been met with skepticism in Moscow, as Russian officials feel the alliance would be more of a burden than a benefit for Russia's foreign policy. Kulov has pushed for a confederation in hopes of easing civil friction and economic frailty in Kyrgyzstan, but Russian experts say that the Kremlin seeks strong allies in Central Asia, and Kyrgyzstan is far too plagued by internal political dispute and economic stagnation to be of any real benefit.

Kyrgyz opposition leader Feliks Kulov's proposed confederation with Russia has been met with skepticism in Moscow, as Russian officials feel the alliance would be more of a burden than a benefit for Russia's foreign policy. Kulov has pushed for a confederation in hopes of easing civil friction and economic frailty in Kyrgyzstan, but Russian experts say that the Kremlin seeks strong allies in Central Asia, and Kyrgyzstan is far too plagued by internal political dispute and economic stagnation to be of any real benefit.

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State Treasury Bills Become Available on Kyrgyz Stock Exchange

For the first time in the nation's history, state treasury bills were traded on the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange, marking the realization of a plan that has been in the works since 1996. Experts say that this achievement will prompt a greater number of state treasury bill owners, which will increase the volume of state borrowing and allow the government to address more of Kyrgyzstan's pressing social-economical development issues.

For the first time in the nation's history, state treasury bills were traded on the Kyrgyz Stock Exchange, marking the realization of a plan that has been in the works since 1996. Experts say that this achievement will prompt a greater number of state treasury bill owners, which will increase the volume of state borrowing and allow the government to address more of Kyrgyzstan's pressing social-economical development issues.

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Denationalization of Kyrgyz Power Stalls

Privatization of the Kambarata hydroelectric scheme and the Bishkek coal-fired power station has been stalled, with critics saying that the process lacks transparency and has provided no clear-cut strategy or profitability analysis. Members of parliament say delays could place construction at risk and make it difficult to find private investors. Upon completion, the two plants are expected to be able to provide power to multiple Central Asian nations at once.

Privatization of the Kambarata hydroelectric scheme and the Bishkek coal-fired power station has been stalled, with critics saying that the process lacks transparency and has provided no clear-cut strategy or profitability analysis. Members of parliament say delays could place construction at risk and make it difficult to find private investors. Upon completion, the two plants are expected to be able to provide power to multiple Central Asian nations at once.

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Kyrgyz Debate Over American Military Base Rages On

A growing number of political scientists in Kyrgyzstan have expressed their support of American military presence at the Ganci base in Manas, highlighting the obvious economic benefits of such an agreement. The US currently pays Kyrgyzstan fees of USD 17.4 million a year for use of the base, though it contributed an additional USD 150 million this year for 'assistance programmes'. Widespread local and regional opposition has called for US withdrawal, but political scientists say that Kyrgyzstan should do what is best for its own economic interests.

A growing number of political scientists in Kyrgyzstan have expressed their support of American military presence at the Ganci base in Manas, highlighting the obvious economic benefits of such an agreement. The US currently pays Kyrgyzstan fees of USD 17.4 million a year for use of the base, though it contributed an additional USD 150 million this year for 'assistance programmes'. Widespread local and regional opposition has called for US withdrawal, but political scientists say that Kyrgyzstan should do what is best for its own economic interests.

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28 Kyrgyz Investment Projects Offered to Korean Entrepreneurs

A delegation of South Korean entrepreneurs recently met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, at which time they were offered investment opportunities in a number of hydro-power engineering, mining, construction, and civil aviation projects, among others. Kyrgyzstan is confident that their favorable tax structure will attract these and more foreign investors.

A delegation of South Korean entrepreneurs recently met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, at which time they were offered investment opportunities in a number of hydro-power engineering, mining, construction, and civil aviation projects, among others. Kyrgyzstan is confident that their favorable tax structure will attract these and more foreign investors.

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Kyrgyz Mine Controversy Prompts Licensing Reform

Controversy surrounding the issuance of management licenses for mines in Kyrgyzstan, evident most recently at the Jerooy gold mine, has prompted the Kyrgyz government to enact a new system regarding the requirements for holding such licenses. As mining is widely considered the driver of Kyrgyzstan's developing economy, the government will now make sure that license holders carry out proper feasibility and cost analysis studies in order to guarantee the financial success of such operations.

Controversy surrounding the issuance of management licenses for mines in Kyrgyzstan, evident most recently at the Jerooy gold mine, has prompted the Kyrgyz government to enact a new system regarding the requirements for holding such licenses. As mining is widely considered the driver of Kyrgyzstan's developing economy, the government will now make sure that license holders carry out proper feasibility and cost analysis studies in order to guarantee the financial success of such operations.

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SCO Summit Makes Kyrgyzstan's Boldest Economic Projects Possible

Kyrgyz government officials are confident that their participation in the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit will allow them to pursue considerably bolder economic projects in the near future. Kyrgyz Secretary of State Adahan Madumarov expects the summit to strengthen geopolitical, economic, and cultural ties with important neighbors, particularly the SCO's largest members, Russia and China.

Kyrgyz government officials are confident that their participation in the upcoming Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit will allow them to pursue considerably bolder economic projects in the near future. Kyrgyz Secretary of State Adahan Madumarov expects the summit to strengthen geopolitical, economic, and cultural ties with important neighbors, particularly the SCO's largest members, Russia and China.

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Kyrgyzstan Will Service Foreign Debt Without Assistance

The Kyrgyz Finance Ministry has announced that it will be able to fund its debt to international finance institutions without acquiring additional external assistance. Last year, public pressure saw Kyrgyzstan forgo membership in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC), which would have allowed them debt relief through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Instead, Kyrgyz economists are pushing for debt service through proper planning and growth in the power, tourism, and mining sectors. Kyrgyzstan has until 2045 to pay off its USD 2 billion foreign debt.

The Kyrgyz Finance Ministry has announced that it will be able to fund its debt to international finance institutions without acquiring additional external assistance. Last year, public pressure saw Kyrgyzstan forgo membership in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC), which would have allowed them debt relief through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Instead, Kyrgyz economists are pushing for debt service through proper planning and growth in the power, tourism, and mining sectors. Kyrgyzstan has until 2045 to pay off its USD 2 billion foreign debt.

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ADB to Address Kyrgyz Rural Productivity Concerns

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Kyrgyz Republic have reached an agreement on a USD 20 million assistance package, which will be used to address productivity concerns in rural Kyrgyzstan. The transition to a market-oriented economy has been an ongoing struggle for the Kyrgyz agriculture industry, and economists have pointed out under-performance on farms, inefficient processing facilities, and poor pasture-land administration as key areas of concern.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Kyrgyz Republic have reached an agreement on a USD 20 million assistance package, which will be used to address productivity concerns in rural Kyrgyzstan. The transition to a market-oriented economy has been an ongoing struggle for the Kyrgyz agriculture industry, and economists have pointed out under-performance on farms, inefficient processing facilities, and poor pasture-land administration as key areas of concern.

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Kyrgyz Parliament Rips Management of Jerooy Gold Mine

With Global Gold Co.'s license to manage the Jerooy gold mine set to expire on July 19, members of Kyrgyzstan's parliament are blasting the company for failing to accomplish anything of value. Parliament member Bolot Sherniyazov reports that Global Gold failed to prepare the technical and economical basis required to move forward with ecological testing, and that Global Gold's license was obtained through illegal measures in the first place.

With Global Gold Co.'s license to manage the Jerooy gold mine set to expire on July 19, members of Kyrgyzstan's parliament are blasting the company for failing to accomplish anything of value. Parliament member Bolot Sherniyazov reports that Global Gold failed to prepare the technical and economical basis required to move forward with ecological testing, and that Global Gold's license was obtained through illegal measures in the first place.

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Unification with Russia Proposed by Kyrgyz Opposition Party

The United Front for a Worthy Future for Kyrgyzstan is prepared to call for a referendum regarding the formation of a confederation with Russia, which the opposition movement claims would allow Kyrgyzstan greater economic integration. A number of analysts are predicting Kyrgyzstan's desperate economic condition will see it split into two regions and cease to be a state. However, many observers argue that unification is unobtainable, and that economic integration will be better achieved through bilateral relations, as well as within regional associations such as the Eurasian Economic Community.

The United Front for a Worthy Future for Kyrgyzstan is prepared to call for a referendum regarding the formation of a confederation with Russia, which the opposition movement claims would allow Kyrgyzstan greater economic integration. A number of analysts are predicting Kyrgyzstan's desperate economic condition will see it split into two regions and cease to be a state. However, many observers argue that unification is unobtainable, and that economic integration will be better achieved through bilateral relations, as well as within regional associations such as the Eurasian Economic Community.

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SCO Summit Forces Kyrgyzstan to Weigh US, Regional Relations

As Kyrgyzstan prepares to host the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on August 16, it has been forced to weigh the value of its US relations with that of its relations with regional neighbors, most notably China and Russia. A number of experts expect the SCO summit to push the issues of economic investment and joint production between Kyrgyzstan and both Russia and China, the two largest members of the SCO. However, the success of such talks may hinge on how Kyrgyzstan handles growing regional criticism of US military presence near Bishkek.

As Kyrgyzstan prepares to host the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on August 16, it has been forced to weigh the value of its US relations with that of its relations with regional neighbors, most notably China and Russia. A number of experts expect the SCO summit to push the issues of economic investment and joint production between Kyrgyzstan and both Russia and China, the two largest members of the SCO. However, the success of such talks may hinge on how Kyrgyzstan handles growing regional criticism of US military presence near Bishkek.

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Kyrgyzstan to Ask Russia to Forgive 90 Percent of Debt

Kyrgyz Finance Minister Akylbek Japarov is expected to ask Russia to forgive 90 percent of the USD 190 million Kyrgyzstan owes, though he has effectively rejected a Russian proposal to re-credit Kyrgyzstan with USD 1 billion over the next 10 years. Kyrgyzstan's external debt is approximately USD 2 billion, and it insists that if it is to accept a new line of credit, it would prefer the long-term packages available through financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank.

Kyrgyz Finance Minister Akylbek Japarov is expected to ask Russia to forgive 90 percent of the USD 190 million Kyrgyzstan owes, though he has effectively rejected a Russian proposal to re-credit Kyrgyzstan with USD 1 billion over the next 10 years. Kyrgyzstan's external debt is approximately USD 2 billion, and it insists that if it is to accept a new line of credit, it would prefer the long-term packages available through financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank.

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ADB to Provide Over USD20 Million for Kyrgyz Development

Kyrgyzstan is to receive USD15 million in credit and USD5 million as a grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund a five-year agricultural development project. The ADB and the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will give Kyrgyzstan an additional USD2 million, which will fund the development of productivity, quality, and market structure in the handicraft sector.

Kyrgyzstan is to receive USD15 million in credit and USD5 million as a grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to fund a five-year agricultural development project. The ADB and the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction will give Kyrgyzstan an additional USD2 million, which will fund the development of productivity, quality, and market structure in the handicraft sector.

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Kyrgyz President Announces Development Strategy's Aim

According to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, the major goals of Kyrgyzstan's 2007-2010 developement strategy are to capitalize on the nation's economic potential, promote social development, continue the battle against corruption, and guarantee environmental sustainability. The President added that realizing the nation's economic potential has been slowed by past corruption, difficulties with large Kyrgyz social groups, and failure to encourage ties with international partners.

According to Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev, the major goals of Kyrgyzstan's 2007-2010 developement strategy are to capitalize on the nation's economic potential, promote social development, continue the battle against corruption, and guarantee environmental sustainability. The President added that realizing the nation's economic potential has been slowed by past corruption, difficulties with large Kyrgyz social groups, and failure to encourage ties with international partners.

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Kyrgyz Gold Mine Demonstrations Expected to Escalate

Legal experts and NBCentral observers expect there will be backlash from villagers in the Talas region in response to Kyrgyz police measures taken against them during their May 26 protest near the Jeruy gold mine. The villagers are demanding to be compensated for the potential damage to their health and livelihood in case of pasture damage or a chemical spill at or near the mining site. Protests have burdened development at both the Jeruy and Andash mines for the past six months.

Legal experts and NBCentral observers expect there will be backlash from villagers in the Talas region in response to Kyrgyz police measures taken against them during their May 26 protest near the Jeruy gold mine. The villagers are demanding to be compensated for the potential damage to their health and livelihood in case of pasture damage or a chemical spill at or near the mining site. Protests have burdened development at both the Jeruy and Andash mines for the past six months.

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Semiconductor Plant Connection Suspected in Kyrgyz Poisoning

Kyrgyz medical officials have confirmed that Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev suffered an acute toxic hepatitis poisoning, though they are yet to rule the poisoning as accidental or intentional. Atambayev suspects he was poisoned by a government official, and a possible connection to death threats he received concerning the nationalization of the Soviet-built Krystall semiconductor plant will be investigated. Atambayev is a strong supporter of nationalizing the plant, vowing to turn it into the "Kyrgyz Silicon Valley".

Kyrgyz medical officials have confirmed that Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev suffered an acute toxic hepatitis poisoning, though they are yet to rule the poisoning as accidental or intentional. Atambayev suspects he was poisoned by a government official, and a possible connection to death threats he received concerning the nationalization of the Soviet-built Krystall semiconductor plant will be investigated. Atambayev is a strong supporter of nationalizing the plant, vowing to turn it into the "Kyrgyz Silicon Valley".

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Kyrgyz President Discusses Debt Management with World Bank

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev met with Switzerland's executive director at the World Bank Group on Wednesday to discuss cooperation on foreign debt management practices in Kyrgyzstan. Bakiev expressed his interest in working out future strategic cooperation with the World Bank as outlined in the Kyrgyz State Development Strategy, adding that the nation's target GDP growth rate of 7 to 8 percent annually is only obtainable through effective distribution of investments.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev met with Switzerland's executive director at the World Bank Group on Wednesday to discuss cooperation on foreign debt management practices in Kyrgyzstan. Bakiev expressed his interest in working out future strategic cooperation with the World Bank as outlined in the Kyrgyz State Development Strategy, adding that the nation's target GDP growth rate of 7 to 8 percent annually is only obtainable through effective distribution of investments.

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CIS Interstate Antimonopoly Council Held in Moscow

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interstate Antimonopoly Council adjourned their 25th meeting in Moscow. This session brought discussion regarding a system of control over compliance with competitive conditions when providing state support in the CIS member states. Also, competitive policies in developing common markets within the CIS area were assessed. Some member nations, including Tajikistan, Russia, and Azerbaijan, were praised for their considerable changes to the legal foundations of activity of their antimonopoly agencies.

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interstate Antimonopoly Council adjourned their 25th meeting in Moscow. This session brought discussion regarding a system of control over compliance with competitive conditions when providing state support in the CIS member states. Also, competitive policies in developing common markets within the CIS area were assessed. Some member nations, including Tajikistan, Russia, and Azerbaijan, were praised for their considerable changes to the legal foundations of activity of their antimonopoly agencies.

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Kyrgyzstan Prepares to Tackle Mounting External Debt

Kyrgyz Finance Minister Akylbek Japarov reports that Kyrgyzstan is in a position to successfully cope with its external debt obligations, though he admits that the process will be arduous over the next three years. Japarov noted that he is hesitant to begin payment through a national account at the National Bank, while adding that he does not want to pass the burden on to Kyrgyz citizens who have watched international debt relief aid squandered over the years.

Kyrgyz Finance Minister Akylbek Japarov reports that Kyrgyzstan is in a position to successfully cope with its external debt obligations, though he admits that the process will be arduous over the next three years. Japarov noted that he is hesitant to begin payment through a national account at the National Bank, while adding that he does not want to pass the burden on to Kyrgyz citizens who have watched international debt relief aid squandered over the years.

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Kyrgyz Energy Privatization Opponents Raise Investment Concerns

Those opposed to the denationalization and privatization of Kyrgyzstan's state-run electric company, Kyrgyzenergo, have blasted the proposed strategy as unattractive to investors and have managed to stall the plan for at least a month. Members of parliament on Tuesday voted in favor of a 31-day delay in proceedings, concerned that the restructuring process has turned the company into a poor economic performer.

Those opposed to the denationalization and privatization of Kyrgyzstan's state-run electric company, Kyrgyzenergo, have blasted the proposed strategy as unattractive to investors and have managed to stall the plan for at least a month. Members of parliament on Tuesday voted in favor of a 31-day delay in proceedings, concerned that the restructuring process has turned the company into a poor economic performer.

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Kyrgyzstan's Jerooy Mine to Resume Operations

Following his trip to the Jerooy gold mine, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev reported that the mine will resume full operations this week, and that any illegal activity aimed at hindering the mines' productivity will be met with swift and harsh police measures. Atambaev regards mining as the future of Kyrgyzstan's economy and expects the Jerooy Company to contribute profits of over USD 500 million to the state when work is resumed.

Following his trip to the Jerooy gold mine, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev reported that the mine will resume full operations this week, and that any illegal activity aimed at hindering the mines' productivity will be met with swift and harsh police measures. Atambaev regards mining as the future of Kyrgyzstan's economy and expects the Jerooy Company to contribute profits of over USD 500 million to the state when work is resumed.

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World Bank to Aid in Kyrgyz Microdistrict Development

Eight new microdistricts in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek will receive infrastructure development aid from the World Bank. Aid will be provided for the setting of power lines, construction of water and sewage systems, and the building of roads, as well as development of cultural and public centers. Total aid from the World Bank is estimated at USD15 million.

Eight new microdistricts in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek will receive infrastructure development aid from the World Bank. Aid will be provided for the setting of power lines, construction of water and sewage systems, and the building of roads, as well as development of cultural and public centers. Total aid from the World Bank is estimated at USD15 million.

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Kyrgyz Economic Strategy Criticized as Unrealistic

Observers in Central Asia have blasted Kyrgystan's ambitious economic strategy for the next four years as unrealistic, arguing that major constitutional and administrative reforms would be required to meet such goals. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev's principal target is to boost the nation's annual gross domestic product growth rate to between 8 and 9 percent, but analysts say that, without a more efficient state management system, Kyrgyzstan can expect a rate closer to the 2.5 percent figure realized in 2006.

Observers in Central Asia have blasted Kyrgystan's ambitious economic strategy for the next four years as unrealistic, arguing that major constitutional and administrative reforms would be required to meet such goals. Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev's principal target is to boost the nation's annual gross domestic product growth rate to between 8 and 9 percent, but analysts say that, without a more efficient state management system, Kyrgyzstan can expect a rate closer to the 2.5 percent figure realized in 2006.

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Tajik-Kyrgyz Consortium May Draw Regional Criticism

Officials in Central Asia are hesitant to applaud a joint water and energy consortium established by Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, saying that the ongoing regional dispute concerning access to water and hydroelectricity will lead other Central Asian nations to reject the initiative. A water consortium involving all of Central Asia has been considered for over a decade, but the delicate balance of upstream and downstream water access in the region has prevented the idea from becoming a reality.

Officials in Central Asia are hesitant to applaud a joint water and energy consortium established by Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, saying that the ongoing regional dispute concerning access to water and hydroelectricity will lead other Central Asian nations to reject the initiative. A water consortium involving all of Central Asia has been considered for over a decade, but the delicate balance of upstream and downstream water access in the region has prevented the idea from becoming a reality.

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Gold, Debt-Relief Issues Reflect Anti-Western Mood in Kyrgyzstan

Local analysts in Kyrgyzstan have reported that an increasingly anti-Western sentiment is growing in the small nation, reflected in the sensitivity of relations between Western investors and Kyrgyz citizens. Roadblocks and protests at the Canadian-owned Kumtor gold mine as well as the government's rejection of debt-relief aid from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are the most recent manifestations of a subtle Kyrgyz shift in public opinion towards Western presence and policies.

Local analysts in Kyrgyzstan have reported that an increasingly anti-Western sentiment is growing in the small nation, reflected in the sensitivity of relations between Western investors and Kyrgyz citizens. Roadblocks and protests at the Canadian-owned Kumtor gold mine as well as the government's rejection of debt-relief aid from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund are the most recent manifestations of a subtle Kyrgyz shift in public opinion towards Western presence and policies.

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Funding for Kyrgyz Internal Affairs "Watchdog" Raises Dispute

Kyrgyzstan's plan to implement a special "watchdog" to monitor the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the body in control of the nation's police, has come under fire concerning the source of its funding. Officials concerned with human rights violations and corruption issues worry that it will be funded by the government's budget, meaning the position will have no real power. A number of Kyrgyz officials have moved to have the funding directed to fundamental constitutional and judicial reforms instead.

Kyrgyzstan's plan to implement a special "watchdog" to monitor the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the body in control of the nation's police, has come under fire concerning the source of its funding. Officials concerned with human rights violations and corruption issues worry that it will be funded by the government's budget, meaning the position will have no real power. A number of Kyrgyz officials have moved to have the funding directed to fundamental constitutional and judicial reforms instead.

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Other Important News In Kyrgyzstan


Industrial Output Down 25 Percent

The latest report from the National Statistics Committee shows that the industrial production sector in Kyrgyzstan is crashing.

The latest report from the National Statistics Committee shows that the industrial production sector in Kyrgyzstan is crashing. This is based on statistics for the first two months of 2009. The data released stated that during the months of January-February industrial output contracted by 25 percent compared to the same period in 2008. The gross domestic product also declined at an estimated rate of 1.1 percent. The official inflation rate stands at 0.8 percent for the same period. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) last month forecasted that consumer prices would increase by at least 13 percent.

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Muddied Look to Kyrgyz Power Deal

Russia looks to inject large amounts of money into Kyrgyzstan's power industry to relieve the energy shortages that constantly mars the Central Asian state.

Russia looks to inject large amounts of money into Kyrgyzstan's power industry to relieve the energy shortages that constantly mars the Central Asian state. The Kyrgyz President, Kurmanbek Bakiev, signed a $1.7 billion deal where the Russian state will invest in a hydroelectric scheme called Kambarata-1. The Kambarata will generate 6.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. The scheme is aimed to produce enough energy to give Kyrgyzstan a surplus and turn it into an exporter of electricity. Some of the surplus energy will most likely be exported to Russia.

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Korea to Plan Kyrgyzstan State IT Net

Korea shall assist Kyrgyzstan in setting up an e-government system to increase the country's administrative efficiency and business environment

Korea shall assist Kyrgyzstan in setting up an e-government system to increase the country's administrative efficiency and business environment. The agreement shall be signed in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, on Tuesday. The plan will be implemented by May. E-government refers to the use of IT networks to enhance public services and interaction with citizens and businesses. Korea is believed to shell out $220,700 to help establish the e-government system. Kyrgyzstan continues to establish and advance in its IT sector. Korea's e-government system has been highly regarded by international organizations.

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Kyrgyzstan: to Give, it Seems the Kremlin Must First Take Away

In order to fill a promise to Kyrgyzstan, Russia's Kremlin is looking to take away $2 billion from an anonymous ally.

In order to fill a promise to Kyrgyzstan, Russia's Kremlin is looking to take away $2 billion from an anonymous ally. The aid was agreed upon on February 3, shortly after Kyrgyzstan voted to close Manas, a base currently used by US troops. Russia two legislative champers, the Duma and the Federation Council, adopted the amendments to the state budget to allow Kremlin to fulfill his $2.15 billion promise. President Dmitry Medvedev signed the bill on February 26. The aid is still being provided despite Russia being amongst the countries hit hardest by the global financial crisis. It is believed that in order for Russia to grant aid, many already approved programs shall suffer the consequences of this aid package.

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Japanese, Kyrgyz Business People Meet in Bishkek

During a Kyrgyz-Japanese business forum held in February, participants stated that there is potential for trade and economic relations that has not been fully exploited.

During a Kyrgyz-Japanese business forum held in February, participants stated that there is potential for trade and economic relations that has not been fully exploited. Kyrgyzstan is not one of Japan's trading partners, trading below the amounts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Over the last three years, the tides have turned where trade turnover between the two nations has increased by 13 times from $2.6 million in 2005 to over $35 million in 2008. The deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Kyrgyzstan, Sanjar Mukanbetov, said that Kyrgyzstan offers various sectors in which foreign investors could invest in. One of the notable outcomes from the forum includes more information exchange required to assist businesses from both nations to find potential partners.

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Mailuu-Suu Electric Bulb Plant Declared Bankrupt

The Regional Court of southern Kyrgyzstan has declared the Mailluu-Suu Electric Bulb Plant (MEBP) bankrupt

The Regional Court of southern Kyrgyzstan has declared the Mailuu-Suu Electric Bulb Plant (MEBP) bankrupt. During 2008, the company had amassed more than 100 million Kyrgyz soms in debt. The plant's salary debt exceeded 45 million soms. MEBP's major stake holders are Russian firms, in particular the International Illumination Engineering Holding. In 2006 MEBP produced 197 million bulbs, of which 53 million went to Russia, other recipients included Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Mongolia. MEBP's profits mainly came from exports. The plant's failure is in large part due to the rising cost of energy. The closure of the plant also greatly affects the town of Mailuu-Suu, where it is believed the plant practically supported the entire town.

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"AUB Dastan" Branch has Opened its Doors

Asia Universal Bank (AUB) has opened a new branch in Kyrgyzstan - “AUB Dastan” for retail and corporate customers.

Asia Universal Bank (AUB) has opened a new branch in Kyrgyzstan - "AUB Dastan" for retail and corporate customers. Currently, there are about 80 different Bank branches in the nation. AUB continues to support its branch network program. The new branch shall offer clients the same services as the principal office. Some of the services include the use of a payment terminal to pay bills, make remittances in soms and US dollars, currency exchange services, Internet-banking and make bank deposits.

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5000som Banknotes put into Circulation

Kyrgyzstan's National Bank was started to put 5000 som banknotes into circulation.

Kyrgyzstan's National Bank was started to put 5000 som banknotes into circulation. The banknotes shall be put into circulation starting today. The banknotes are decorated with the famous Kyrgyz actor and painter Suimenkul Chokmorov, whilst the reverse side of the note is of the capital Ala-Too. The bank's deputy chairman Zair Chokoev stated that due to economic reasons the creation of the 5000 som banknotes were a necessity. The banknotes also would increase the revenue of the population. The deputy chairman also believes that the issuance of the banknotes will also assist in strengthening the national currency and reduce the share of foreign currency in the country.

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Kyrgyz Finance Ministry: Consolidated Budget Income Hit 2.8bln soms in January

According to Kyrgyzstan's Central Treasury, the cosolidated budget income hit 2.8 billion soms in January.

According to Kyrgyzstan's Central Treasury, the cosolidated budget income hit 2.8 billion soms in January. This comes after a report from the Kyrgyz Finance Minstry on Friday, February 27. In comparison to the same period last year, the budget gained 8.1 percent. The gain of 8.1 percent is a gain of over 209.6million soms. Kyrgyzstan's budget is mostly comprised of tax revenues, which is the main source of the national treasury's replenishment. Overall, the total sum of the tax revenues comes to 2.4 billion soms.

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Russia Amends Budget to Sanction $2 billion Government Loan to Kyrgyzstan

Russia has recently made amendments to a $2 billion government loan to Kyrgyzstan.

Russia has recently made amendments to a $2 billion government loan to Kyrgyzstan. The law stipulating the changes had been passed by the State Duma on February 13, then approved by the Federation Council. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the bill on February 26th. The laws propose a new version of the program to provide the government's financial and export laws. Originally, the two agreements signed between Russia and Kyrgyzstan on the provision of government loans was not included in the federal budget. Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Shatalov states that the amendments would make it easier to implement the agreements between the two countries.

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