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Economic Forum in St. Petersburg: Why Kyrgyzstan is not represented

The annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) is starting its work today in St. Petersburg (Russia). It will be held in in-person format with the participation of the President of Russia.

24.kg news agency tried to find out who of the domestic businessmen, officials and politicians will participate in the forum in St. Petersburg. However, it turned out that our country will practically not be represented there.

According to a journalist Kabai Karabekov, one of the reasons for the absence of the Kyrgyz business elite at this forum is the unstable political situation and the second wave of coronavirus.

«A more important factor for local businessmen today is the need to establish, first of all, mutually beneficial cooperation with the new government and wait for establishment of transparent and understandable rules of the game. The fight against corruption and nationalization of enterprises, including those with participation of foreign capital, somewhat replenished the meager republican budget, and increased the outflow of capital abroad. In these conditions, as many businessmen believe, it is wiser not to travel abroad, but rather to sit in the shadows not to accidentally get blacklisted and not to receive an invitation to interrogation from an investigator,» he said.

According to the journalist, the new administration of the President Sadyr Japarov is trying in these emergency conditions to achieve the level of economic indicators that were before the October events in 2020.

The authorities have to spend most of their time on solving problems that arose after the change of the Constitution and the form of Government, the unresolved border crisis with Tajikistan, and the upcoming international arbitration on Kumtor.

Kabai Karabekov

«Moving forward is out of question in the current conditions. Lack of political stability in the country and an acute shortage of skilled personnel at all levels do not allow the authorities to fully and productively deal with the economic component,» he said.

The journalist added that coronavirus restrictions in relations with external partners also negatively affected the state of the economy. Indicators of trade with China and Turkey are falling, relations with European states have come practically to naught.

«As economists note, local businessmen began to buy all the necessary goods that were previously supplied from neighboring China mainly in Russia. In these conditions, the platform for dialogue, which the St. Petersburg Economic Forum provides for the government, businessmen and politicians, remains the only possible one. The rest of the world is still closed due to the pandemic. Over the past year and a half, the representative economic forum in St. Petersburg will become the largest offline event with the participation of top entrepreneurs and well-known politicians not only from the CIS countries, but also from the whole world in 2021,» Kabai Karabekov stressed.

According to him, one of the largest investor states in Asia — Qatar, with which Kyrgyzstan has long been trying to establish effective bilateral cooperation, will be soloing in St. Petersburg city this year.

«The problem of development of economic ties between Kyrgyzstan and Russia was one of the main topics of the talks between the Presidents Vladimir Putin and Sadyr Japarov at a recent meeting in Sochi. At the meeting, the Russian leader also noted the need to develop a dialogue within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. Participation in SPIEF would provide an opportunity for moving forward not only for domestic businessmen, but would also bring economic dividends for the government,» the journalist concluded.