USD 76.90
EUR 91.06
RUB 1.05

Kyrgyzstan owes 30 percent of its GDP to China

Kyrgyzstan owes about 30 percent of its GDP to China, only Djibouti, Maldives, Congo and Tonga have a larger share. Russian media report, citing data of a study by the Institute of World Economy.

It is reported that the country owes China $ 1.7 billion, although the debt did not exceed $ 10 million back in 2008.

 Beijing lends to Bishkek in exchange for participation in large projects, mainly in the energy sector, including: modernization of Bishkek Heating and Power Plant (carried out by the Chinese company TBEA for $ 386 million, allocated by the Export-Import Bank of China), construction of substations Datka and Kemin and power lines between them for $ 400 million, an oil refinery in Kara-Balta with a capacity of 800,000 tons of oil per year (estimated at $ 250 million). A number of Chinese companies are also involved in the development of gold deposits, which is opposed by local residents.

The annual turnover between the countries is about $ 2 billion, $ 1.9 billion of which is Chinese exports to the Kyrgyz Republic. China also provides various grants, in particular for road repairs, archaeological excavations, and even for the development of the army ($ 14 million in 2017). A number of educational institutions were opened at the expense of Chinese funds.

So, a school with in-depth study of the Chinese language began to work in Bishkek in 2017, the Kyrgyz-Chinese New Silk Road University is working, and a branch of the Chinese North-West University was opened in Kara-Balta. According to official data, 35,000 citizens of the PRC arrived in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2018, according to unofficial figures — several times more. At the beginning of 2019, a number of anti-Chinese rallies took place in Bishkek, several dozen people were detained.

For comparison, Tajikistan is the second largest debtor in Central Asia. It owes China about $ 1.2 billion — almost a half of its external debt.

The priorities of China in the country are energy and mining sectors. In 2018, Chinese TBEA received a license from Tajikistan for development of the Upper Kumarg gold mine.