• KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01137 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00226 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09283 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Kyrgyz Banks Urged to Unite and Create Single ATM Network

The chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan, Akylbek Zhaparov, has urged the consolidation of the nation's ATMs into one network in a speech at the Bishkek International Financial Forum, stating that the government has been unable to reduce commissions on transfers through banks for two years. 24.kg reports. "This problem has always been there, and it has hindered us. But today, when we are working on the transfer of most payments on a cashless basis, you cannot expect a passive position from us. I have addressed both the National Bank and the Ministry of Economy several times and entrusted the issue to the Ministry of Economy. Therefore, it's probably time for us to study and adopt the experience of other countries on legislative regulation of fee collection for inter-bank transfers," said Zhaparov. The Cabinet of Ministers believes that banks should stop spending a lot of money on installing ATMs as this wastes time and resources, and proposes that banks unite and create a single ATM structure. Zhaparov emphasized the development of digital payment technologies and increasing the share of non-cash payments as essential growth pillars, noting that work is being done in two directions to implement the digital concept: choosing the right technological solution and harmonizing legislative acts to introduce the legal status of the digital system. "The introduction of the digital som contributes to the country's economic development by providing a more efficient payment system and stimulating innovation in financial technology. We are pursuing the goal of increasing innovation capacity in the banking sector. Realizing the possibility of protected and secure information exchange between the banking sector participants will allow the development of new products and services and increase their availability and integration," said Zhaparov.

Turkmen Gas to Europe Mooted Again

Turkmenistan and Pakistan intend to independently finance the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) to transport Turkmen gas to Europe, according to a statement made by Pakistani Minister, Musadiq Malik, who said the decision was driven by the international community's reluctance to recognize the Afghan government, which has stalled foreign funding. "Turkmenistan, rich in gas reserves and currently only selling to China, has considered exporting its gas to Europe via an LNG train," Malik was quoted as saying by the Profit portal. The minister also talked about the idea of exporting Turkmen gas to the EU via Pakistan. According to this plan, the gas would be piped to Pakistan, and then transported to Europe by rail. According to previous agreements, the $10 billion TAPI gas pipeline project was to be 30% financed ($3 billion) by the participants, and 70% ($7 billion) by loans from international financial institutions. Of the 30% to be allocated by the participating countries, 85% ($2.55 billion) was from to Turkmenistan, and the other 5% ($150 million each) from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Kazakh PM Meets With German Rhenus Group to Discuss Middle Corridor

Cooperation in the transport and logistics sectors were discussed at a recent meeting between prime minister of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov and the chairman of Rhenus Group Tobias Bartz. Rhenus Group is one of the 25 largest logistics companies in the world, and has a network of 70 terminals in Europe, as well as 22 container types. At the meeting, the parties considered the current projects and discussed the prospects of the creation of new Kazakh-German enterprises to increase the transit capacity of Kazakhstan through the modernization of warehousing infrastructure and the development of railway transportation. Tobias Bartz noted Kazakhstan's increasing role in global logistics and expressed interest in the creation of new territories with the involvement of Kazakh companies to increase terminal capacity. This will connect the supply chain of Europe with Central Asia. Olzhas Bektenov emphasized the readiness to work openly with investors to fully disclose the transport logistics and transit potential. He added: "The Government of Kazakhstan intends to maximize the transport and logistics potential of the country. We are open to cooperation in the realization of joint investment projects. For our part, we guarantee a stable and predictable investment climate with the creation of favorable conditions for business." Bektenov also noted that major transcontinental transportation corridors -- the shortest routes from Europe to China and Southeast Asia -- pass through the territory of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is actively working with Azerbaijan and Georgia to reduce the time of passage of goods along the Trans-Caspian international transportation route. Over the year, the total transit time along the Middle Corridor has almost halved.

Central Asia’s Combined ‘Army of Turan’: Could a Hypothesis Become a Reality?

Kazakhstan will host the military exercise, "Birlestik-2024" in July of this year. Notably, this became known from the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan. The exercises will be jointly held by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It is a convenient occasion to refresh the topic of the 'Army of Turan', which is periodically raised by experts both in Central Asia and neighboring countries. The Army of Turan is a hypothetical military bloc of Turkic-speaking countries. Its ideas have become relevant in the context of global geopolitical turbulence.   I hear the thunder of cannons... Most military analysts consider Azerbaijan to be Turkey's proxy in the South Caucasus. In general, Baku's rapprochement with the capitals of Turkic states (plus Dushanbe) meets Ankara's interests in creating a unified cultural and economic space: Turan. However, does the integration of Turkic states mean that they will eventually be able to create a NATO-style security pact in Central Asia? Such initiatives have resumed with renewed vigor after the end of the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict, during which Turkey has shown the capability of its weapons. Indeed, in 2022, against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kazakhstan - the only country of the participants to share a land border with the Russian Federation - pondered how to protect itself from further expansion of the northern empire's borders. But in the run-up to the summer of 2024, fears have mostly subsided. Many were sobered by the obvious fact that loud declarations of assistance from strong states at best mean the delivery of obsolete weapons, but no more. At worst, your offender will be censured from high podiums, and you will be sympathized with. For example, Turkey, the most likely to defend Central Asia from outsider aggression, did not risk helping the Palestinians, its brothers in faith, and got away with accusing Israel of fascism. So, the 'Army of Turan' exists in the heads of fantasists and pan-Turkics, but in reality, something ordinary is going on — the arms trade. Let's see what the armies of the Central Asian republics are armed with, excluding Turkmenistan, which has declared neutrality.   Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan The most troublesome neighbors in the region have not been able to complete their border delimitation process. As a result, quarrels periodically erupt, in which border guards from both sides intervene, staging mini-warfare. The cause of discord is usually the same: water. The Tajik and Kyrgyz militaries gain some combat experience in these micro-quarrels. Despite or based on this experience, Dushanbe relies on agreements with other countries -- Russia, China, India, Iran, and CSTO partners -- for its defense capability. Tajikistan's armed forces number only 9,000 men. They have 38 tanks (T-62 and T-72 modifications), 114 armored vehicles (APCs, BMPs, BRDMs), 40 artillery systems, and several short- and medium-range air defense units. The Air Force has four Czechoslovakian L-39 Albatross, combat trainers. Kyrgyzstan does not have much more power in the number of its troops, at around...

Kyrgyz Pharmacists Speak Against Abolition of Tax Exemptions

Kyrgyzstan's Ministry of Economy and Commerce has submitted for public discussion a draft law abolishing tax exemptions for importers and manufacturers of some medicines. The ministry believes that by abolishing preferences, the government will increase aid to citizens in need. "We will start to collect taxes on medicines. Help those who need it. There are lists of patients who need surgery, who have severe diagnoses," Kubanychbek Isabekov, head of the ministry's tax policy department, said during the debate. However, representatives of Kyrgyzstan's pharmaceutical union believe that abolishing the benefits will lead to higher drug prices. This could increase social tension in the country, as well as lead to a rise in the number of counterfeit medicines. The bill to abolish drug benefits is crude and unfinished, politician Venera Raimbachayeva commented. She said that the government wants the rich to pay taxes on drugs, but feels the measure won't work. "We should not forget that rich people are not treated in Kyrgyzstan, they are treated abroad. And only ordinary people will suffer from this. You are prying into the pockets of the population with this law," the deputy said. The bill will soon be considered at a sitting of the Kyrgyz parliament.  

Construction of First IT Town in Uzbekistan Begins

The construction of the first IT town in Uzbekistan is underway in the Parkent district of the Tashkent region, the press service of the Ministry of Digital Development has reported. The launch ceremony was held last week, on May 18, with the “Villayat Samsarak: Creative Eco-IT Village” project being presented. The IT town will serve the development of “green” and creative sectors in the Tashkent region, it was stated. On May 15, President Miziyoyev's decree “On the organization of the activities of IT-towns aimed at creating additional conditions for digitization and learning foreign languages for young people in the regions” was accepted. The construction and modernization of such educational centers are to be financed by public-private partnerships, sponsors, and other sources. The Foundation for the Development of Digital Technologies is responsible for the provision of educational materials. The construction of IT- towns in some regions of Uzbekistan is also to be carried out at the expense of the State Fund for Youth Policy Support.

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