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Expert about strategic partnership of Russia and Kyrgyzstan

Obviously, the first steps of Sooronbai Jeenbekov as head of Kyrgyzstan will be under the close attention of the expert community.

Candidate of Economic Sciences, Associate Professor at the Department of Economic Theory of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics Ekaterina Novikova commented to 24.kg news agency on the results of the first working visit of the new president of Kyrgyzstan.

In her opinion, the two countries have new opportunities to strengthen trade and economic relations.

Why Moscow became the first

During the working trip to Moscow, Sooronbai Jeenbekov yesterday met with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

We should pay attention to the fact that this is the first foreign visit of Jeenbekov. This indicates the outlined priorities of the republic in favor of further cooperation with Russia as the main political and economic partner on many strategic issues.

Ekaterina Novikova

«Sooronbai Jeenbekov officially took up the post on November 24 and five days later he left for Moscow. Undoubtedly, this arrangement of priorities is also connected with the biography of the president: he was born in ordinary family of workers in Kara-Kuldzha village, Osh region. He started his career as a teacher of Russian language and literature, he worked at various posts in the agro-industrial sector of the economy, including leading posts, was a member of the Parliament of several convocations, the Minister of Agriculture, the governor of Osh region, and also a private entrepreneur. At the age of 59, he has passed a long career path, full of irreplaceable experience for his responsible position,» Ekaterina Novikova said.

As it always happens, there are high hopes for the new president of Kyrgyzstan from the point of view of the country’s further development, from both the people and the main partner countries, who count on the continuation of ongoing reforms in multilateral cooperation, including within EEU. That is why Belarus — another important strategic player on a par with Russia and Kazakhstan in the Eurasian space — will be the next destination for the Kyrgyz president.

Speaking about trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan, it can not but pleases by the increased number of joint investment projects, bilateral agreements in various sectors of the economy, increased volume of trade turnover, and various types of products supplied to each other.

Ekaterina Novikova

All this became possible thanks to the great and patient work of the leadership of the two countries. Here it is worth mentioning the significant role that Russia played in attracting Kyrgyzstan into the EEU: special tools have been created to mitigate the integration of the country into the union. Exactly with this goal in mind Russia created the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund with an authorized capital of $ 500 million and allocated $ 200 million as technical assistance for the integration of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Thus, Russia is the main strategic economic partner of Kyrgyzstan. This is a status to which both sides have been going for 25 long years, a kind of Rubicon, requiring an intermediate summarizing of the results for further development.

Over 25 years, more than 300 agreements and treaties between Russia and Kyrgyzstan were signed at 19 meetings of intergovernmental commissions.

Kyrgyzstan — Russia. What has been traded

According to the Federal Customs Service of Russia, in 2016 the bilateral turnover of countries amounted to $ 1,196 billion (12.9 percent less compared to 2015), while Russian exports — $1,026 billion (a decrease of 21.6 percent).

The reason for the decline was the general unfavorable financial and economic situation on world markets, which was the reason for the slowdown in economic growth rates in many countries.

At the same time, in 2016, the growth in the supply of goods from Kyrgyzstan to Russia increased by 138 percent compared to 2015 — up to $ 170.5 million.

If we consider the structure of Russia’s exports to Kyrgyzstan in 2016, the main supplies included:

  • Mineral products (38.09 percent of the total volume of Russia’s exports to the country);
  • Food products and agricultural raw materials (17.62 percent);
  • Metals and articles made therefrom (12.91 percent);
  • Products of the chemical industry (12.63 percent);
  • Machinery, equipment and vehicles (8.96 percent);
  • Wood, pulp and paper products (5.07 percent);
  • Textiles and footwear (1.02 percent).

At the end of 2016, the structure of Russian imports included cars, equipment and vehicles (31.62 percent of Russia’s total imports); metals and articles made therefrom (22.64 percent); textiles and footwear (16.17 percent); food products and agricultural raw materials (12.64 percent); products of the chemical industry (8.35 percent).

According to the results of the first half of 2017, the foreign trade turnover between Russia and Kyrgyzstan amounted to $ 703.7 million, including Russian exports — $ 633.8 million, and imports — $ 69.9 million.

Russian investments in Kyrgyzstan

It should be noted that Kyrgyzstan’s accession to EEU gave the republic the opportunity to attract more foreign investments for the development of domestic projects not only from the CIS countries, but also from China, India and Europe.

If we talk about the volume of foreign direct investment from Russia to Kyrgyzstan in 2016, this amount was $ 236.3 million, which is twice as much as in the previous year. More than 200 enterprises with Russian capital work in the republic, including Gazprom Neft OJSC, Kara-Balta Mining Complex, Orel Chemical-Metallurgical Plant, and negotiations are under way on cooperation in the field of hydropower sector.

How do Kyrgyzstanis boost the Russian economy

The involvement of the labor force from Kyrgyzstan in various projects in Russia, including the construction sector, agro-industrial, retail, and others, can not be left without attention.

The labor of Kyrgyz people provides 1 percent of Russia’s GDP, which is a significant figure for a country with population of about 6 million people.

Thus, there is a great potential in the search and development of new joint projects between our countries to achieve sustainable bilateral economic development in the near future. The main thing — do not stop. It was the purpose of the meeting of the two presidents that took place in Moscow.

  • Plekhanov Russian University of Economics is the first economic university of Russia, which for 110 years has been training specialists in business and economics. It has four stars out of five possible in QS Stars University Rating, it is the 86th in the QS rating in the BRICS countries, and it is among the top 150 best universities in the world for graduate employment and is in the list of 22 Russian universities recognized as the best for foreign students to get education.