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Key Economic Data 
  2002 2001 2000 Ranking(2002)
Millions of US $ 1,632 1,500 1,400 143
GNI per capita
 US $ 290 280 280 179
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)


Area ( 


ethnic groups
Kyrgyz 52.4%
Russians 21.5%
Uzbeks 12.9%


Kyrgyz Som 

Askar Akayev


A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, Kyrgyzstan was annexed by Russia in 1864; it achieved independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Current concerns include: privatization of state-owned enterprises, expansion of democracy and political freedoms, inter-ethnic relations, and terrorism. 

Update No: 272 - (29/08/03)

President announces retirement
The president of Kyrgyzstan has announced his retirement. He must feel he has done what he could do. 
He is the most sympathetic of the Central Asian leaders; perhaps the least unsympathetic would be a better way of putting it. He made a pretence of being a democratic leader. He had one advantage, he had not been the communist boss of the place beforehand and, as a technocrat, when the apparatchiks were deadlocked on who should govern became president by something of a fluke.

New security situation
The Kyrgyz took a fateful step in the aftermath of 9:11; they let the Americans in in a big way. They gave them a huge three-mile radius military base at Manas, 150km from the Chinese border. It has an immense airfield and now combat aircraft stationed there.
It is becoming the main US surveillance centre and listening post for Central Asia. It forms part of the series of US bases encircling China from Okinawa, to South Korea, to Pakistan. Ostensibly to contain the terrorist threat from Afghanistan, it is really all about global reach and checking up on the Chinese, which all the players know full well. The US Administration says publicly that it will leave Central Asia as soon as the war against terrorism is over. In private officials admit that they are there to stay.
The long-term implications are hard to foresee. Letting in the Americans can decidedly change a society in the end.
The Chinese are well aware why the Kyrgyz are trying to ingratiate themselves with the Americans. For such a small country it is the logical thing to do. There are Kyrgyz living in China. Indeed they have their own separate region, Kyzyl-Sui. Businessmen living there and those in Kyrgyzstan proper are joining forces and forging ties. The Chinese Kyrgyz are intending to buy electricity and coal. They are selling the Kyrgyz in their homeland consumer goods. But the trade is not very developed yet between people who for decades hardly exchanged words, let alone goods.

Economy booms
Domestically the economy is doing well from a low base; GDP is rising by five per cent or more per year. It is from a very low base; but it is happening. 

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Kyrgyzstan looks to develop work with russia's UES

Kyrgyzstan and Unified Energy System of Russia (UES) have as a result of a Commonwealth of Independent States Electric Energy Council meeting, defined specific avenues for bilateral cooperation in the energy industry, Interfax News Agency quoted Electric Stations Director General, Sagyndyk Dordoyev, as saying.
The 23rd session of the CIS Electric Energy Council was held at the end of June in the city of Cholpon-Ata under the chairmanship of UES CEO, Anatoly Chubais. Dordoyev said that cooperation could develop in two directions: the prospective participation of UES in building the Kambaratinsky hydroelectric power station (GES) on the river Naryn and the possible export of Kyrgyz electricity to Russia.
Export volume currently depends on water levels in Kyrgyzstan, as well as in neighbouring Kazakstan and Uzbekistan. In a wet summer like this year's, these other countries reject water for irrigating their crops and resultant electric production from discharging it. In such instances, Kyrgyzstan finds it difficult to supply fuel for its thermal electric stations. Dordoyev noted that it has been decided to work out procedures for schemes for supply Kyrgyz electricity to Russia and calculate the economic feasibility of the project. "It is important for us that the understanding has come about that a scheme for selling Kyrgyz electricity to Russia via Kazakstan is realistic. Now we are working on these issues specifically," Dordoyev said. In his view, it would be a great achievement for Kyrgyzstan if it could "get onto Russia's energy market this year."
The building of the Kambaratinsky complex was begun in 1990. Two years ago, Kyrgyzstan announced that the republic was hoping to wrap up the construction and start operating the facilities with Russia's help. This past April, Kyrgyzstan resumed the construction of the second power plant there using its own money. Dordoyev said that 43.8 million som was spent in the first half, and plans call for bringing that figure to around 50m by the end of the year. However, he noted, these funds are not enough to complete the plant's outfitting, the cost of which is estimated at US$230m. This construction has regional significance, and its completion will to a large degree make it possible to resolve water-energy problems for the whole Central Asian region, Dordoyev said. In the first half of this year, Kyrgyzstan increased electric power exports by 73 per cent over the same period of last year to 260.8m kilowatt-hours.

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Foreign investment in corporate securities reaches US$80m

Total foreign investment in corporate securities from Kyrgyz issuers in the period from 1992 to July 1st 2003 amounted to 2.296 billion som (US$79.7m) including 83 million som from the CIS and 3.233 billion from outside the Commonwealth of Independent States, Uran Abdynasyrov, chairman of the State Securities Commission, said, New Europe reported.
He noted that the main share of foreign investment in securities issues by the republic's companies was in industry (54.82 percent of the total). Investment in financial institutions accounted for 20.17 per cent of the total, in construction 8.8 per cent and in transport and communications 3.25 per cent.

OSCE invest over 3m Euro in Interior Ministry reforms

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has allocated 3.6m Euro for a programme aimed at reorganising the Kyrgyz Interior Minister, OSCE representative, Richard Monk told a briefing in Bishkek. 
He said that this programme would help bring the nation's Interior Ministry into line with international legal standards. Monk noted that the overhaul is expected to start in the near future and will continue for 18 months. It can be extended it if proves to be successful. The Interior Ministry said that this effort is designed to accelerate investigations into criminal cases, create a municipal police service in Bishkek, provide equipment for the country's anti-drug agencies and set up an Interior Ministry service to prevent public conflicts and riots.

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World Bank to fund Kyrgyz uranium storage facilities

Kyrgyzstan will receive US$5m from the World Bank according to Interfax News Agency.
The money will be used to restructure the country's uranium storage facilities, a Kyrgyz official was quoted as saying. "It is planned that the greater part of the funds will go to developing a feasibility study for the rehabilitation of uranium waste in the town of Mailuu-Suu," Anarkul Aitaliyev, director of the Emergency Situation Ministry monitoring department, was quoted as saying.
According to him, permanent erosion caused by mudslides, subsoil water and rain make the facilities near Mailuu-Suu particularly unsafe. Over US$30m would help Kyrgyzstan revamp its uranium storage facilities, he added. Problems concerning the facilities' revamp were examined at a global expert meeting in Bishkek recently. The meeting followed a global symposium in the Kyrgyz capital earlier this year under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

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