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Robin Ord-Smith: Political instability has hit the economy hard

«The pandemic and political instability have hit the country’s economy hard,» Business Ombudsman of Kyrgyzstan Robin Ord-Smith said.

According to him, everyone is going through a critical time for Kyrgyzstan now. This is an extremely difficult year for business, economy, citizens and country. Therefore, the stabilization and growth of the economy requires a focus on four key areas: the rule of law; reforms, including the accelerated introduction of digitalization for the provision of public services, simplification of tax administration; creation of conditions for business development to maintain and increase the number of jobs; full protection of business and entrepreneurs.

«The dented trust of business and investors can be restored when there is confidence in the rule of law, and not in its selectivity, when business rights are protected, and not violated, when everyone will bear the same responsibility before the law, when all actions are transparent, including actions aimed at eradicating corruption,» Robin Ord-Smith stressed.

The Business Ombudsman noted that any statements by the authorities must be supported by real steps and actions.

Unfortunately, in the past, government commitments were often not accompanied by consistent and appropriate action.

«In the course of considering complaints from entrepreneurs, I discovered an alarming trend of illegal actions and practices of certain state bodies. Government agencies themselves interpret the legislation without having the authority to do it. There is a systemic tendency to interpret legislative norms in favor of the state, and not in favor of entrepreneurs. There is inconsistency in decision-making with a tendency to cancel previously made decisions of their own,» the Business Ombudsman said.

At the same time, Robin Ord-Smith warned the country’s leadership and government agencies against excessive attempts to replenish the state budget by further pressure on business and investors. He considers improvement of the business environment and investment climate through reforms aimed at making it easier to do business, which will increase tax revenues by moving businesses out of the shadows, as more effective efforts.