Monday, January 16, 2006

Country Focus: Kyrgyzstan

Location: Central Asia, west of China

Population: 5,146,281

Total Area: 198,500 sq km - slightly smaller than South Dakota

Climate: dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone

Natural resources: abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc

Environment - current issues: water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices.

Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection. Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements .National holiday:

National holiday: Independence Day, 31 August

Economy - brief overview: Kyrgyzstan is a poor, mountainous country with a predominantly agricultural economy. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are exported in any quantity. Industrial exports include gold, mercury, uranium, and natural gas and electricity. Kyrgyzstan has been fairly progressive in carrying out market reforms, such as an improved regulatory system and land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first CIS country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization.

Budget: revenues: $431.3 million: expenditures: $445.4 million, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)

Labor force: 2.7 million (2000)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 55%, industry 15%, services 30% (2000 est.)

Agriculture - products: tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool

Industries: small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals

Oil - production: 2,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

Oil - imports: NA

Oil - exports: NA

Exports: $646.7 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Exports - commodities: cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, hydropower; machinery; shoes

Exports - partners: UAE 28.2%, Russia 19.1%, China 12%, Kazakhstan 11.1%, Switzerland 6.3% (2004)

Imports: $775.1 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)

Imports - commodities: oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners: China 26.3%, Russia 22.3%, Kazakhstan 17.1%, Turkey 5.4%

Government departments:
Government of the Kyrgyz Republic
Ministry of External Trade and Industry
Committee on Foreign Investment and Economic Development

Kabar Agency
Kyrgyzstan Review
Times of Central Asia

Travel Information:
Kyrgyzstan Travel Information Lonely Planet Destination Guide

Other useful links:
Kyrgyzstan Development Gateway
Kyrgyzstan - photos by Jonathan Barth

News headlines
World Bank: Cash set to help Kyrgyzstan, Turkey fight bird flu
Construction In Kyrgyzstan In January-october 2005
Preparations to referendum on constitutional amendments started in Kyrgyzstan Regnum
Kyrgyzstan: Fear of Forcible Return/Fear of Torture Amnesty International
Kyrgyzstan hikes gas prices (Press Release)
Kyrgyzstan: Don't Trade Refugees for Empty Promise Scoop
Cowboyin' in Kyrgyzstan Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming

Previous articles in the series:
Albania Botswana Cayman Islands Djibouti Ecuador Fiji Georgia Honduras Iceland Jamaica