Japan interested in Kyrgyz mineral resources, agricultural products

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan and Japan have not yet used the full existing potential of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, Kyrgyz Economy Minister Arzybek Kojoshev said at a news conference as part of the Kyrgyz-Japanese forum on infrastructure development held in Bishkek earlier this week.

The forum paid special attention to cooperation in transport, infrastructure, and disaster prevention.

According to the minister, trade between Kyrgyzstan and Japan decreased from $216.2 million in 2012 down to $62.8 million in 2015. From the beginning of this year, bilateral trade has amounted to $10 million.    

According to Hirofumi Hanaoka, deputy minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism of Japan, Japanese companies are traditionally interested in the mining industry, given that Japan lacks natural resources of its own.    

According to the press service of Kyrgyzstan’s Economy Ministry, from 2012 specialists of Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) have been exploring for rare-earth metals in Kyrgyzstan in cooperation with the Kyrgyz Geology Institute. They have prepared a report on Kyrgyzstan’s mineral resources that are of interest for Japanese companies.    

Japanese companies are also interested in the processing and import of ecologically pure agricultural products from Kyrgyzstan. In 2013 Kyrgyzstan started exporting its mountain honey to Japan.

During the forum, the sides noted that Japan has assisted in the implementation of transport infrastructure projects in Kyrgyzstan. The projects completed in recent years include the reconstruction of a bridge across Kok-Art River and rehabilitation of some sections of the motor road Osh-Batken-Isfana in the south of the country.

Sergey Kwan

TCA