German agriculture minister to visit Kyrgyzstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Germany’s Food and Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt will pay a visit to Kyrgyzstan on October 15 and 16, the German Embassy in Bishkek said.

The goal of the visit is to outline new cooperation prospects and learn more about Kyrgyzstan’s agricultural sector.  

The German minister is expected to meet with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, Prime Minister Sooronbai Jeenbekov, and Agriculture Minister Turdunazir Bekboyev.

The Federal Minister will be accompanied by a delegation including representatives of German companies specializing in agriculture. They will meet with Kyrgyz counterparts to discuss agricultural cooperation.

The delegation will also meet with German organizations working in Kyrgyzstan.

German companies have little presence in Kyrgyzstan, the German Embassy said earlier, adding that they should pay special attention to Kyrgyzstan’s agriculture and food industry. Agriculture accounts for 15 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP, it employs a third of the country’s population, and agricultural products make up eight percent of the total exports. Agricultural products account for 20 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s export to Germany.

In July, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel paid an official visit to Kyrgyzstan and held talks with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev.

Atambayev then said that Kyrgyzstan places great importance on Merkel’s visit, which he called “historic” as it was the first time a German chancellor had visited the country.

Merkel said that Kyrgyzstan had chosen a democratic development path, and that her visit’s goal was to “discuss how we could cooperate in the future” and “how we can help you”.

Kyrgyzstan was once home to a large ethnic German population, but there are only an estimated 9,400 remaining after many immigrated to Germany and other countries after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Sergey Kwan

TCA