Kyrgyzstan: Issyk-Kul forum attracts investments

BISHKEK (TCA) — Kyrgyzstan’s resort city Cholpon-Ata on July 21 hosted the fifth International Investment Forum “Issyk-Kul 2018”.

President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov declared 2018 the Year for the Regions’ Development, therefore the forum was devoted to the support of small and medium businesses, infrastructure development of the regions and ways to attract investments there.

Open to cooperation

“Together with partners in the Eurasian Economic Union, World Trade Organization and other integration associations, Kyrgyzstan has opened access of domestic and foreign businesses to promising markets,” First Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Kubatbek Boronov said at the forum.

It is necessary to build innovative business interaction in conditions of developing global logistics and high-tech instruments of trade and commercial operations which are blurring the borders and the distance between countries and people, Boronov added.

Promotion of investments together with introduction of modern information technologies will help boost the country’s regions, he concluded.

The Issyk-Kul forum has been held annually since 2014 by the Investment Promotion and Protection Agency of Kyrgyzstan (IPPA) with the support of the Huahe international consulting company and the local authorities of the Issyk-Kul province.

Every year the organizers choose a certain topic of the forum. For example, the forum agenda in 2017 was new opportunities and prospects in the Eurasian Economic Union. In 2016, the forum was dedicated to deepening business cooperation in the agro-industrial complex, tourism and ecology.

Participants and presentations

Representatives of DP World (a leading enabler of global trade and an integral part of the supply chain, which has a portfolio of 78 operating marine and inland terminals in 40 countries across six continents) and the Fujairah Chamber of Commerce and Industry from the UAE, the BAIC GROUP Chinese automotive corporation and the delegation of the Eurasian Economic Commission attended the forum.

Deputy Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of the Hubei Province of China, Wang Ling, spoke about business opportunities in her region, taking into account the development of modern technologies and integration of business in making decisions important for the country.

The forum guests were presented Kyrgyzstan’s investment opportunities. Representatives of the business community voiced their proposals for digital commerce.
For the first time, the forum was online, and investors can now find it on social networks to contact interested companies or the Investment Promotion and Protection Agency.

Reporting on the work done, IPPA Director Shumkarbek Adilbek uulu told about two cooperation agreements signed for $33 million — on the establishment of an industrial park in Ivanovka village in the Chui oblast and on processing of mining raw materials at the Kan lead and zinc deposit in the Batken province in the south of Kyrgyzstan.

The Investment Agency, with the technical support from the Aid for Trade UNDP project, organized B2B meetings with business representatives from Uzbekistan, Russia and China. As a result of negotiations, five domestic companies signed six trade contracts for a total of 132.2 million soms, or $1.93 million. Contracts for the supply of honey, trout, limestone, dealer services, and potato were concluded.

The IPPA also signed cooperation agreements with the Sino-Kyrgyz Silk Road International Trade Company, Kunsheng Gornoprom LLC from China and Innovative Business Group from Russia.

A fair of domestic products — dairy, sausages, fish products, dried fruits, honey, bottled water, confectionery, and textile products — attracted potential buyers from China, Russia, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.

Investment lots

To facilitate investors’ entering the Kyrgyz market, the IPPA will create investment lots, Shumkarbek Adilbek uulu said at the forum.

The investment lot is a package of investment documents including permits for the infrastructure creation, as well as information and analytical data on the raw materials base, sales market, preferences, and financial and economic calculations.

The Agency expects that investment lots will be of interest to both external and domestic investors.

Currently, two lots have been developed. The first lot is a six hectare plot for growing lentils located near Karakol city. The climatic conditions of the Issyk-Kul region are favorable for the cultivation of this crop. The second lot is aimed at the construction of a garbage processing plant.

Other investment lots will also be developed in accordance with the state program aimed at the development of 20 cities (growth points).

Investment map

Another IPPA initiative is the creation of an investment map that will present all the data necessary for investors in a graphic format.

USAID IT specialists demonstrated a sample of the IPPA investment map which includes statistical data, analytics, and export promotion strategy. The investment map will also have a digital library on legal opportunities for investors. The sample was made on the basis of the experience of Georgia and Costa Rica. Currently, the program is being finalized.

The State Customs Service, Tax Committee and National Statistics Committee participate in drafting the investment map.

It is planned that the private sector will have access to the investment programs, and regional and local governments will have direct access to the investment platform for various sectors of the economy.

Potential investors will be able to familiarize themselves with projects in all regions of the country. “If we find the money before the end of the year, we will need one year to develop the full version of the investment map,” the IPPA Director said.

Logistic project in Naryn

As part of the forum, Kyrgyz Economy Minister Oleg Pankratov met with representatives of DP World (UAE). Executive Director of the World Customs program Nadia Abdullah Mohamad Al Murzuki, who led the DP World delegation, told about the DP World structure and activities. The company operates multiple yet related businesses – from marine and inland terminals, maritime services, logistics and ancillary services to technology-driven trade solutions. DP World has a portfolio of 78 operating marine and inland terminals in 40 countries across six continents.

The UAE delegation expressed interest in implementing investment projects in Kyrgyzstan and building mutually beneficial cooperation.

The implementation of the Industrial Trade and Logistics Complex project in the Naryn region has a high potential, Minister Pankratov believes.

The Naryn FEZ, in the territory of which it is supposed to construct Industrial Trade and Logistics Complex, is located along the transnational road, which opens the way to the EEU markets. The Naryn FEZ enjoys a special status determined by the Government and certain preferences. The Kyrgyz Government is ready to adopt an appropriate regulatory framework to facilitate the successful implementation of the project, Pankratov said.

The meeting participants expressed their readiness to discuss particular steps to implement the project in the near future.

During the visit, the delegation visited the Naryn province to inspect the site for the construction of the logistics complex in the At-Bashi district.