ADB vice president deepens partnership with Kyrgyzstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Wenchai Zhang on September 20 in Bishkek met with Sooronbai Jeenbekov, Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, and Adylbek Kasymaliev, Minister of Finance and ADB Governor, to discuss support for the government’s development priorities, ADB’s country office in Kyrgyzstan said.

“Tremendous achievements have been made in the Kyrgyz Republic since 1994. However, challenges including poverty, access to electricity, and basic infrastructure remain,” said Mr. Zhang. “ADB is committed to continue listening and collaborating with the government, civil society, and the private sector to ensure ADB remains a relevant, responsive, and results-oriented development partner for the Kyrgyz Republic.”

The Kyrgyz economy remains vulnerable due to external factors, with growth expected to slow to 1% in 2016 before improving slightly to 2% in 2017 with anticipated improvements in the external environment.

Kyrgyzstan also marked one year since it became a full member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in August 2015. In the longer term, the country may potentially benefit from an increased trade in goods and services, more efficient flows of labor and capital, and a decline in non-tariff trade barriers. Currently, ADB-financed technical assistance is helping the government to monitor the impact of the accession in order to utilize benefits and minimize the associated risks.

The ADB country partnership strategy (CPS) 2013-2017 supports the government’s efforts to remove key constraints to growth and expand access to economic opportunities. To date, ADB has provided support for legal and regulatory reforms, improvement of the business environment, make affordable finance available to all, strengthen road connectivity, boost the reliability of electricity services, and enhance the vocational education system to allow graduates to become more employable.

The Kyrgyz Republic joined ADB in 1994 and has received more than $1.5 billion in loans, grants, and technical assistance.

During his visit, Mr. Zhang also led a celebration of ADB’s 50th year anniversary and more than 20 years of partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic. As part of the celebration, ADB is organizing a photo exhibit on 18-25 September at Urkuya Salieva Square that showcases ADB work in the region.

Sergey Kwan

TCA