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Kyrgyzstan Presents a $7 bln Investment Plan to Stimulate Economy

Saturday 8 December 2012

BISHKEK (Reuters) – The government of Kyrgyzstan has unveiled a US $7 bln plan to revitalise its struggling economy in the next five years with help from Russian, Chinese and Western investment and aid.

In a meeting with donors on Friday, President Almazbek Atambayev said Kyrgyzstan’s economy had yet to become self-sufficient in two decades of independence, having wasted much of the industrial legacy left by the Soviet Union.

The current coalition government claims that foreign investment is needed to develop unexploited mineral riches and the country’s important hydroelectric power potential. The $7 bln proposal includes 15 energy projects with a cumulative investment need of $5.5 bln, as well as transport and communication projects worth nearly $900 mln and agriculture developments requiring more than $400 mln.

The government plan envisages Russia as the major contributor, with estimated investment in excess of $4.2 bln. Russian power companies InterRAO and RusHydro have already agreed to support large hydroelectric power projects. China has pledged loans totalling over $1 bln. The U.S. and Turkish governments, as well as several international lending institutions, including the World Bank, have also been invited to participate, the Kyrgyz government said in its plan.

Alexander Avanesov, the United Nations’ permanent representative in Kyrgyzstan, said he supported the growth plan in principle and that the U.N. would study the proposal.

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