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KYRGYZSTAN


 

 

In-depth Business Intelligence

Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 1,737 1,632 1,500 145
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 330 290 280 178
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Kyrgyzstan

REPUBLICAN REFERENCE

Area (sq.km) 
198,500 

Population 
5,081,429

Principal 
ethnic groups
Kyrgyz 52.4%
Russians 21.5%
Uzbeks 12.9%

Capital
Bishkek 

Currency 
Kyrgyz Som 

President 
Askar Akayev


  

Update No: 289 - (27/01/05)

Kyrgyzstan, like Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, has experienced varieties of the post-Soviet doldrums, with pervasive corruption, lingering socialist-era inefficiencies, and lagging foreign investment hampering growth and allowing poverty to keep a vice-grip on swathes of the population. It is not a legacy to take to the hustings with any equanimity.
Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev has stressed his resolve to become the first regional leader to leave power voluntarily, but spoke darkly of election-related storm clouds gathering on the horizon in 2005. Akayev may just mean what he says. His regime has become more and more authoritarian with time. But he has his Western admirers, notably Aslund Anders, the author of Building Capitalism, a treatise on the transition from socialism to capitalism, that singles out Kyrgyzstan for high praise for its reform effort. Aslund Anders is a long-standing consultant to Bishkek, as he was to Yeltsin's Russia.

Opponents hold four days of protests; Supreme Court upholds ban on former diplomat
It may not be a Rose or Orange Revolution, but Kyrgyzstan's opposition activists say their four-day protest in defence of former diplomats' right to run for parliament is a sign that voters will hold the government to its promise of a free and fair vote in February 27th's parliamentary poll. 
Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court on 14 January upheld a regional court's verdict preventing a former Kyrgyz ambassador from competing for a seat in the country's parliament in February. A Sokuluk regional court had ruled that former Ambassador to Turkey Medetkan Sherimkulov is ineligible for the legislative elections because he has not resided in Kyrgyzstan for each of the last five years. 
Sherimkulov, who is also a former speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament, is one of three prominent opposition leaders challenging rulings that would keep them out of the running for parliamentary seats due to the residency requirement. Sherimkulov argued that he was not in Kyrgyzstan because he was serving the state in his capacity as ambassador to Ankara. 
Former Kyrgyz ambassador to Malaysia Mambetzhunus Abylov appealed on January 14th as well to a Karakul city court against a similar decision barring him from running in February's elections. 
Former Foreign Minister and Kyrgyz Ambassador to the United States, Canada, and Britain Roza Otunbaeva, also barred from participation in the elections, is also seeking to have such a decision overturned.

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AGRICULTURE

Kyrgyzstan readies for organic agricultural system

Organic agriculture in Kyrgyzstan is predicted to start by 2006, allowing local farmers the opportunity to increase their standard of living while at the same time protect the environment, IRIN reported recently.
Organic agriculture is not yet popular in the largely mountainous former Soviet republic but farmers are beginning to understand its advantages. Economically, organic cotton commands 20 per cent more on average in its selling price than regularly grown cotton.
Farmers in the south of Kyrgyzstan have organically produced their first 24 metres of cotton fibre. "I think I have chosen the right way to farm," said Reimov Makambai, a farmer from the Jalalabat region who recently switched to organic farming.
To date, some 40 farmers in the Jalalabat region have converted from conventional to organic agriculture, with another 160 ready to do so in 2005. By 2006, local farmers are expected to produce 110 metres of cotton fibre, which will be certified as organic. It was decided that in the future not only cotton but other organic products will be grown and sold both locally and abroad.
The organic agriculture initiative belongs to the Organic Cotton Production and Trade Promotion Project, financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the Dutch-based Hivos fund and the Swiss Association for International Cooperation Helvetas. Helvetas, which implements the project, brings to Kyrgyzstan its experience in organic cotton production from Mali, India and Tanzania. In these countries, conversion from traditional to organic agriculture has helped to stabilise the economic situation and even improve the health of the local population and the environment. Soil in the project area was once considered one of the most fertile in the world but due to decades of bad agricultural management its quality has been degraded.
"Cotton is one of those difficult crops which requires the use of many inorganic fertilisers, pesticides and defoliants. Intensive cotton growing leads not only to the degradation of the soil but dramatically harms people's health," Ilya Domashov, coordinator of programmes on sustainable development in the ecological movement, Biom, said.
Extensive cotton growing in the Central Asian region and the use of chemicals has resulted in an ecological crisis throughout much of the Aral Sea region. "In this regard, organic agriculture could help to decrease the threat of dangerous chemicals to nature and people's health," Domashov explained.

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