Kyrgyzstan’s foreign debt reaches $3.6 billion

BISHKEK (TCA) — As of 31 March 2016, Kyrgyzstan’s foreign debt amounted to US $3.646 billion or 60.3 percent of the country’s GDP last year, the press service of the Kyrgyz Government said on May 10.

The Government is pursuing a tough policy in attracting external borrowings in line with the country’s National Sustainable Development Strategy for the period from 2013-2017.  

The National Sustainable Development Strategy of Kyrgyzstan until 2017 defines a foreign debt threshold at 60 percent of GDP, with borrowings to be attracted on favorable conditions only.  

The press service said that 99 percent of all external loans are favorable, with interest rates of 0.75-2 percent per annum and repayment periods of up to 40 years. More than 90 percent of the external loans have been taken for various investment projects.  

The Government said it is working to reduce the country’s foreign debt. This year alone, foreign creditors have written off US $43.5 million of Kyrgyzstan’s debt: $13.5 million by the government of Germany and $30 million by the government of Russia.  

It was earlier reported that since gaining independence in 1992, Kyrgyzstan has spent $7.59 billion from external sources for investment projects.

Of that amount, 77 percent was in loans and the rest in grants. The largest funding at the expense of foreign borrowings went to the energy sector, agriculture, and social services.

The Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, as well as the governments of China, Russia, Japan, Germany, and Turkey are Kyrgyzstan’s largest donors.

Sergey Kwan