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Expert: Anti-crisis measures will take time, but assistance is needed now

«Implementation of a package of anti-crisis measures will take time, and assistance is needed now,» Bolotbek Isakhunov, expert of the working group on promoting domestic goods at the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan, commented to 24.kg news agency.

According to him, Kyrgyz businessmen are resistant to the crisis. But the pandemic situation exposed vulnerabilities in issues of interaction between the state and business, especially for Kyrgyz exporters, who are already fighting either for the market or for open borders.

«No one can predict so far how severe the damage from the pandemic will be. Perhaps, the situation will worsen for all businessmen. It should be noted that nobody was able to resist this crisis. Even countries with strong economies have been hit hard. However, this situation showed how ineffective the EurAsEC structure is for us,» Bolotbek Isakhunov said.

The Union implies a single economic space where all goods and products between the participating states are transported without restrictions. However, businessmen are faced with a different situation.

«In reality, it happens that Kazakhstan closes our borders for import and export of products when it wishes. Russia does the same, prohibiting Kazakh exporters from pumping oil to Belarus. This is the standard behavior of countries that wage economic wars and are not partners. The most affected states are like ours, which are located on the periphery,» the expert explained.

The wayward attitude of our neighbors to letting or not letting a cargo through greatly affects the business.

Bolotbek Isakhunov

According to him, direct rail links from Turkey will greatly facilitate the life of Kyrgyz exporters, one of the main problems of whom is the transportation of goods through the territory of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.

Commenting on the packages of anti-crisis measures adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers, the expert said that this might help entrepreneurs, but would not cover all the damage. «Businesses were made aware that there would be no tax holidays. This decision can be understood, because we already have an empty treasury,» he explained.

Even if a package of anti-crisis measures for business is adopted in the near future, it will take more than one month to implement it, but the assistance is needed now.

«Our entrepreneurs are pressure resistant. The nature of our business is that we survive all the time: we have survived the crisis and two revolutions, we have to compete not only with our colleagues, but also under pressure from government agencies, officials, as well as the politics of neighboring countries. Nonetheless, the business is adapting. We have hardened entrepreneurs. I think that they don’t need to rely heavily on the help of the state, but to adapt again and remember the constant principle of business in Kyrgyzstan: «The main thing is not to be hindered,» Bolotbek Isakhunov said.