• KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09392 -0.63%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09392 -0.63%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09392 -0.63%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09392 -0.63%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09392 -0.63%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09392 -0.63%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09392 -0.63%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01151 0.87%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09392 -0.63%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 83

Eurasian Connectivity Comes One Step Closer at the 2024 CAMCA Forum in Bishkek

The wider Eurasia region took another step towards cooperation and connectivity last week, as the 10th annual CAMCA Regional Forum was held in Bishkek. CAMCA – standing for Central Asia, Mongolia, the Caucasus and Afghanistan – is an initiative to accelerate dialogue between governments, private enterprises and media figures from these ten nations. Organized by the Washington, D.C.-based Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and the Rumsfeld Foundation, this year’s Forum – the first such event to take place in Kyrgyzstan – featured over 300 delegates across its two days, and presented insights from over 70 speakers. Attendees came from 25 countries in total. Professor Frederick Starr, the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute’s chairman, used his opening address to call on the countries of the region to start preparing for a future within a cohesive international bloc. Dr Starr reasoned that Russia and China, imperial powers that have traditionally had a controlling presence in Central Asia, may see their global influence wane in the coming decade. This would give the countries of Central Asia, and their neighbors, more space to create projects that serve their economies directly. A leading CAMCA regional project is the ‘Middle Corridor’ trade route, which bypasses Russia to transport goods more efficiently between Europe and China. Discussions are also taking place concerning the creation of single business and tourist visas for the whole Central Asia region. The importance of collaboration between countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia to mitigate the impact of climate change has never been so great. Addresses by senior members of the Kyrgyz government highlighted the progress that Kyrgyzstan has made since the administration of president Sadyr Japarov began its work in 2021. The country’s deputy prime minister Edil Baisalov reported that Kyrgyzstan is on track to double its GDP to $30 billion by 2030, while the minister for digital development, Nuria Kutnaeva, spoke about the rapid digitalization of the country’s government services.  In a noticeably warm and collaborative atmosphere, the event nonetheless highlighted the barriers that prevent the ten countries from forming a tangible ‘CAMCA’ space in the present. A key goal is the harmonization of their legislation and policy directions; however, no delegates from Tajikistan could travel to Bishkek for the Forum, as otherwise solid relations between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are still strained by a dispute over their common border. Likewise, Armenian voices were also absent this time, in light of several of the sessions featuring Azerbaijani speakers and talking points. The event featured only one guest from Turkmenistan.  Even in these conflicts, however, Central Asian diplomacy is at work. The conflict on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, mainly in Tajikistan’s Vorukh district, is being resolved through negotiations between the two countries’ governments, which would have been unthinkable even five years ago. Meanwhile, Kazakhstan is acting as a mediator between Baku and Yerevan in the aftermath of the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Other topics on the agenda included security priorities for Central Asia, digital innovation in business, cooperation with Afghanistan, transitions in global energy markets, and infrastructure projects...

USAID Supports Central Asian Women Working in Hospitality

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Association of Businesswomen “Tadbirkor Ayol” last week hosted a Central Asian Conference on “Women of Central Asia in the Hospitality Business: Current Challenges and Opportunities”. The event in Tashkent attracted some 200 women entrepreneurs, professionals, and industry experts from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan to discuss achievements, trends, and challenges in the region’s hospitality sector. As reported by the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan, the conference focused on service quality, digitalization, and modern standards in tourism, culminating in recommendations to enhance regional cooperation in tourism and hospitality. Praising the resilience and creativity of women in the hospitality industry and emphasizing their role in the sector’s future, Edward Michalski, USAID Deputy Mission Director in Uzbekistan, commented: “Investing in women and girls is essential to transforming communities. When women do better, families do better, communities do better, and countries do better.” Gulnora Makhmudova, Chairwoman of “Tadbirkor Ayol,” noted that the growing importance of the region’s hotel business and the increasing involvement of women, had spurred the association into launching “Women in the Hotel Business: Hospitality from the Future;” a project aimed to introduce innovation and digitalization in the hospitality sector. Since its launch in April 2024, with support from USAID, the project has provided training for 115 women in modern hotel management in Tashkent, Andijan, and Samarkand.  

Kyrgyzstan’s President Says Acquitted Protesters Deserved “At Least a Fine or Probation”

International rights groups welcomed the recent acquittal of more than 20 Kyrgyz activists and political figures who would have faced long jail sentences if convicted of plotting riots and other crimes, but Kyrgyzstan’s president says the defendants should have been fined or put on probation. President Sadyr Japarov commented about the case on Saturday in an interview with the official Kabar News Agency, one day after the activists were acquitted because of insufficient evidence. The activists were arrested in 2022 after protesting against a border demarcation agreement with Uzbekistan that involved the Kempir-Abad Dam and surrounding lands. “The court is a separate branch of government,” Japarov said. “I have been saying since the beginning that no one has the right to interfere in the work of the court. We must all obey the court's decision. We have no right to criticize whether it is legal or not. Whatever the court decides, whether it is right or wrong, we must agree.” Japarov continued: “But now, after the decision of the court, I can express my opinion. If I were a judge, I would give the organizers of this case some kind of punishment, at least a fine or probation.” The Kyrgyz president said the activists deserved a penalty because, in his view, they misled people into thinking that Kyrgyzstan was losing the entire dam in the border deal, when in fact it is being jointly managed with Uzbekistan. Prosecutors were seeking 20-year jail terms for the defendants. Several were also charged with trying to violently seize power. “We didn’t expect it, at all. We were crying from surprise,” Rita Karasartova, one of the accused activists said of the acquittal. She was quoted by Amnesty International, which described the charges as politically motivated. The prosecutions in the Kempir-Abad case fed into worries that Kyrgyzstan, under Japarov’s leadership, is walking back the relative freedoms that it has enjoyed in comparison to some of its Central Asian neighbors. Critics point to prosecutions of journalists and a new law that tightens control of foreign-funded non-governmental groups as signs of growing authoritarianism. Japarov has described some of the international criticism as an exercise in double standards and meddling in the country’s internal affairs.

Pavel Durov’s Visit to Issyk-Kul Sparks Investment Hopes

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram and VK, has visited the Issyk-Kul region in Kyrgyzstan, generating significant interest amidst speculations about a potential investment in a large-scale project. The government are currently keen on attracting investment in the Three Peaks ski resort, and local authorities believe that his involvement could substantially enhance the potential of the project. Durov’s presence as an investor is seen as a strategic move that could attract additional capital and provide invaluable advertising support. Durov is traveling with Russian blogger Huseyn Gasanov, whom sources suggest could play a mediating role in the negotiations with the local authorities. The presence of Durov and Gasanov has not gone unnoticed by locals. The pair were recently spotted at the Petroglyphs Park in Cholpon-Ata, sparking rumors and excitement among residents. Many hope that this high-profile visit will lead to concrete investment plans and significantly boost the local economy.

U.S. Program Improves Lives of Over 300,000 Kyrgyz Citizens

On June 12, Bishkek hosted a conference themed  “Active Communities – Foundation for Development”  to review the success of the five-year Jigerduu Jarandar project. The event was attended by Member of the Jogorku Kenesh (Kyrgyz parliament) Elvira Surabaldieva, Kyrgyz Minister of Justice Ayaz Baetov, Deputy Minister of Labor, Social Development, and Migration Chyngyzbek Mamat uulu, USAID/Kyrgyz Republic Acting Mission Director James Lykos, and representatives of civil society organizations and local self-governments. As reported by the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, since 2019, the U.S. government’s Jigerduu Jarandar project – through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – has positively impacted communities across 19 municipalities in Kyrgyzstan. Committed to fostering active citizenship, the project has benefited over 62,000 residents through the creation of parks, safer sidewalks, improved street lighting, and inclusive playgrounds. The project has also provided free legal aid to 38,000 individuals, supported some 11,000 survivors of gender-based violence, and improved solid waste management systems to the benefit of over 200,000 residents. In praise of the initiative, James Lykos, Acting Mission Director of USAID/Kyrgyz Republic, commented: “The United States is proud to have supported the Kyrgyz government and local communities through the USAID Jigerduu Jarandar project. It has been a joint effort to help citizens make their communities a better and safer place, and better understand and claim their rights.” Minister of Justice Baetov expressed gratitude to the USAID Jigerduu Jarandar project for promoting initiatives in the field of legal assistance and notary services for citizens of Kyrgyzstan.    

New U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers Arrive in Kyrgyzstan

On 11 June, the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek announced the arrival of 22 U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer Trainees in Kyrgyzstan to support English language education in secondary schools in the country’s Chui, Naryn, Issyk-Kul, Talas, Osh, and Jalal-Abad regions. Invited by the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Education and Science, the trainees are the 30th Peace Corps cohort to serve in Kyrgyzstan since the launch of the initiative in 1993. The new group brings the number of Peace Corps Volunteers and Trainees in the country to 53. Prior to starting work, the trainees must embark on an eleven-week course to familiarize themselves with Kyrgyzstan’s educational system, Kyrgyz language and culture, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), and providing lessons with local teachers. On completion of the course in August, the participants will be sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers and begin their two years’ service enhancing the teaching of English alongside local teachers across the country.  

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