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Âû çäåñü: ÑÒÀÒÜÈ / Strategies / National Poverty Reduction Strategy (2003-2005)

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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

iii. Development of service industries and towns

531.         In recent years, service industries have grown steadily by an average annual growth rate in gross output of over 5 percent.
532.         A growing number of services in sectors such as tourism, transportation, telecommunications, processing industry and others, stimulate overall development of the economy, provide employment, and consequently raise people’s incomes.  Many of these services thrive because of the efforts of the private sector.  The areas with the largest private sector involvement are characterized by high rates of internal investment into expansion and improvement of business enterprises.  More and more new services appear each year, improving the quality of life for many people.
533.         The service industries contribute to establishment and expansion of links with other countries.  New contacts bring new technologies and modern methods of management, change people’s mentality.  The use of information technologies helps to overcome the geographic isolation of the country.  In future, the service industries should become one of the key economic sectors and address poverty issues through active changes in all areas of human activity.
Residents of Bishkek, regional cities, and town centers throughout the Republic, are the principal consumers of services.  This concentration of demand creates conditions for development of other economic sectors through development of service provision and employment of the population.
534.         However, the service sector in small towns is very weakly developed.  This could be explained by the fact that traditional activities in these towns were usually connected with the existence of large industrial enterprises that once played a role in town development.  Life in such towns directly depended on the economic and financial condition of their enterprises so that, once many such plants closed, and reflecting generally the unstable situation in the industrial sector, the employment and income levels in these towns became much lower than the average throughout the Republic.
               Closure of large enterprises that were once the economic centers of many towns, has resulted in significant migratory flows.  Highly skilled engineers and specialists, doctors and teachers have migrated in search of employment to the capital or abroad.  The fact that the majority of migrants have been young people motivated by employment opportunities raises special concern.  Spontaneous internal migration heightens social tension in the capital of the Republic and reduces urban population in the regions.
               The situation is aggravated by the unfavorable environmental situation in towns, affected by the discharge of pollutants; presence of tailing pits and mining dumps left after closure of mining and refining enterprises.  Moreover, unsatisfactory or lack of water supply, sanitary systems and inadequate municipal services generally, add to the adverse sanitary situation in cities and town centers.
               Many types of social and cultural services have become inaccessible for the majority of the population.  Health indicators and access to health and educational services to disadvantaged groups of population have significantly declined.
              At the same time, the remaining operating enterprises in small towns still possess substantial unused productive capacity, human potential, and the necessary infrastructure.
535.         The Government has approved many programs and measures to address the difficult situation in small towns.  However, insufficient funding has limited adequate implementation of the majority of these measures.
                Further development of small towns and villages under the new CDF approach is envisaged under the State Concept for Development of Small Towns and Town Centers.  Its implementation envisages revival of small towns through stabilization of existing capacities, active development of new forms of livelihood for the population, introduction of modern methods of management, and mobilization of human, material, and financial resources.
536.         Availability of basic conditions makes possible reorientation of many town economies to production of services.  The State will assist with upgrading of operating industrial enterprises or their reorientation to more flexible and effective forms of production.
                Because many regions of the Republic specialize in agriculture, the development of agriculture support services, including related processing and marketing units is required.  Development of food catering, consulting, transportation, and other services for rural residents could also provide employment.
537.         In future, these towns could become regional centers for development of tourist business, promotion of technologies, and provision of financial services to regional businesses.  They will also play the role of catalyst for development of private enterprise and social mobilization.  Active employment through promotion of support services for development of various economic sectors is the main goal in development of small towns.
538.         Increased state revenues will help to ensure better delivery of state social services to the populations of small towns.  Besides, decentralization of public administration will further empower urban authorities and local communities to address social and economic issues.  Special attention should be given to ensuring provision of basic health and educational services.
539.         The Government will develop appropriate mechanisms to stimulate development of small towns.  The State will encourage direct investment and grants for implementation of effective projects, increase in exports of goods and services, etc.  Specific programs are being developed, taking into account regional specifics, in order to revive small towns.  The activities aim to mobilize all resources of small towns in order to raise living standards of the population.
540.         Development of service industries in small towns will help to accelerate the adjustment process in regions and start a new phase in implementation of economic reforms throughout the country.  Reduction of poverty and improved wellbeing is the final objective of focused measures on development of service industries in small towns.
1.   Transport infrastructure
541.         In spite of the high costs on rehabilitation, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure facilities, the development of the transport system remains an important area for economic growth and carries a significant potential for the creation of new jobs and reduction of poverty.  The scarcity of state budget resources, however, limit the volume of state investments directed at rehabilitation of infrastructure facilities and implementation of new projects.  Nevertheless, considerable amount of loan funds received in recent years under government guarantee have supported rehabilitation, reconstruction, and construction of various types of transport infrastructure.  Although important, provision of these loans does not fully cover the financial need.  At present, legislative barriers hinder the attraction of private and direct foreign investment into transport infrastructure.  To address this, the Government is taking steps to improve the legislation and strengthen the institutional framework.  It is proposed to create conditions that are favorable to the attraction of private investment, including direct foreign investment, and to expand participation by all consumers in infrastructure development projects.
542.         Lack of financing for maintenance and development has led to a considerable degradation and deterioration of the infrastructure in the Republic.  Despite this, in the period from 1999 to 2001, all forms of transport functioned regularly and generally satisfied the needs of the economy and the population.  In 2001, compared to the year 2000, passenger turnover of all types of transport increased by 5.3 percent, including 9.6 percent increase for motor transport, and 11.8 percent increase for transport by rail.  The system of air transportation and international communication has been improving.  In the year 2001 alone, 113 licenses and over 800 permits were issued to foreign aircrafts to use Kyrgyzstan’s airspace.
Motor roads
543.         Motor roads are the most important sector in the unified transportation system of the Kyrgyz Republic.  Motor roads bear the main load of passenger and cargo transportation.  Many roads built through  mountain passes are often the only transportation means available to connect economic districts of the Republic.  Kyrgyzstan has a basic network of motor roads, which connects all regions of the Republic, linked with the motor roads of neighboring Central Asian countries that are further linked with Russia, European countries, as well as China, Pakistan, and India.  The total length of all motor roads in Kyrgyz Republic is over 34,000 kilometers, of which, nearly 19,000 kilometers are general roads.  Of the total network of motor roads, internationally important highways are the most critical for the country’s economy.  Due to constant expansion and improvement of economic ties, the load of motor transportation on motor roads has been constantly increasing.  Practically the whole network of motor roads remained open for all types of vehicles passing through or coming to Kyrgyzstan from other countries.
544.         The Government has undertaken a number of measures to improve the condition and maintenance of general motor roads.  The Bishkek-Osh motor road is being successfully reconstructed with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank, Islamic Bank of Reconstruction, and the Government of Japan.  A regional project on rehabilitation of Bishkek-Almaty motor road is to start soon.  The World Bank is assisting with the urban transportation project, which provides for reconstruction of motor roads in Bishkek, Osh, and Jalal-Abad cities.
545.         However, the technical condition of general motor roads remains extremely unsatisfactory.  The road maintenance indicators and road conditions do not meet the modern standards of safe transportation and traffic.  Of all the roads, over 60 percent do not have improved paving and less than 20 percent of roads have pavements suitable for heavy trucks.  Roads of the forth and fifth technical categories, mostly with gravel and dirt surfaces, prevail in the Republic.  The wear and tear factor of motor road network is currently 72 percent and over half of road facilities require capital reconstruction and repairs.  More than 75 percent of the existing road maintenance machinery is obsolete and over half must be replaced.  Continuous deterioration of motor roads is directly connected to unstable financing.  The annual budget appropriations satisfy only 18 to 20 percent of the motor road sector’s need.
                 Road reconstruction activities require 183 million soms in 2002, 300 million soms in 2003, 400 million soms in 2004, as well as 500 million soms in 2005. 
547.         The plans for the sector include:
  • Development of legal and institutional measures to involve the private sector in collection of road tax.
  • Strengthening of the State Road Fund to ensure sufficient technical servicing of the road network and its gradual upgrading.
  • Identification of road segments and road assets attractive for private investment and establishment of joint enterprises.
  • Ensuring higher efficiency of the sector through promotion of entrepreneurship.
  • Undertaking measures to ensure year-round operation of rural motor roads.
  • Providing the urban poor with affordable transportation though development of cheap public transportation.
548.         It is important to study the opportunities and develop mutually beneficial regional cooperation in order to integrate Kyrgyzstan’s motor and railroads into the existing international transportation networks, in order to take advantage of the strategic geographical location of the country.
549.         The railroad sector is an integral component of Kyrgyzstan’s transportation system.  Together with the other types of transportation, this sector should provide timely and good quality transportation services to satisfy the needs of the population and the economy.  The scarcity of budget allocations has led to the critical condition of the rolling stock, equipment, and other assets of the railroad sector.  Most of these facilities are being operated beyond the allowed service life periods, and many are close to that condition.  Due to an insufficient number and the inadequate condition of the rolling stock, some of the international routes have become unprofitable and traffic has declined.  The complex financial situation in the Kyrgyz railroad sector makes it impossible to renew the rolling stock and improve technical facilities with the available internal funds.
550.         The main goal in the railroad sector is to ensure Kyrgyzstan’s participation in the international market of railroad transportation services in order to promote the development of trade. 
551.         The following priority tasks should be addressed in the railroad sector:
·         Develop a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for Kyrgyzstan’s railroad sector in order to increase the share of cargo transportation in the structure of external trade.
·         Increase reconstruction of the rolling stock (freight cars, passenger cars, engines).
·         Provide a system of guaranteed transportation under agreements and long-term contracts.
·         Organize a system of special transportation services using modern information technology.
·         Make railroad transportation attractive for small and medium businesses.
·         Ensure a flexible tariff policy.
Air transportation
552.         Air transportation is a promising area of transit transportation due to Kyrgyzstan’s location in the center of trans-Eurasian communication network.  Besides, Kyrgyzstan finds itself in the center of two main air routes: between the Europe and Japan, and between South-East Asia and Russia (and on to the Eastern coast of USA).  These are the shortest routes between the mentioned destinations.  Using Bishkek City’s Manas airport as a transit link for the two air routes (refilling planes, storage of cargo, etc.)  Is a promising area not only for the air transportation sector but also for the country’s economy in general.  With the favorable geographic location and highly educated human resources, Kyrgyzstan should become a regional business center offering services of banking, business insurance, storage, air connections, logistic support to international transportation, and so forth.  In other words, Kyrgyzstan must be a link between the East and the West, the South and the North.  These considerations make ongoing projects on reconstruction of Manas Airport in Bishkek City and Osh City airport very important for the development of Kyrgyzstan’s infrastructure.
                Improvement of air communication is also very important for the expansion of direct foreign investment and development of closer relations with Central Asian neighbors, CIS and other countries.  This requires large investments and rapid completion of institutional reforms that promote effectiveness of the sector.  The airports, management of air transportation and commercial aviation must clearly specialize in types of activities and services.  The decision on radical restructuring and privatization of Kyrgyz Airlines and further development of its structure and technical facilities has been the most important step in this direction.  The indicated actions will reduce the burden from the state budget and upgrade the effectiveness of the sector.
            Priority tasks in the air transportation infrastructure include:
·         Improvement of navigation and meteorological equipment.
·         Modernization of airport infrastructure and upgrading maintenance of aircrafts.
·         Improvement of the civil aviation management system.
·         Modernization of operating aircrafts and improvement of their technical characteristics.
2.   Tourism
553.         Tourism is one of the priority sectors of the Kyrgyz economy.  The country possesses rich environmental and recreational features that are potentially attractive to tourists from both domestic and foreign sources.  Kyrgyzstan has such well-known mountain peaks as the 7,439 meters-high Mount Victory (Peak Pobedy), Mount Lenin (7,134 meters), and Khan-Tengri (6,995 meters).  Enylchek, one of the longest glaciers in the world, is also found in the Republic.  There are 14 resort/recreational areas and 10 mountain tourist areas in the country.  The availability of medicinal mud, mineral and thermal springs, clean and practically untouched landscapes, all attest to the recreational value of the country.  In addition to natural resources, Kyrgyzstan has a rich history.  The ancient Great Silk Road passes through the Republic and there are over five thousand historical and cultural monuments scattered over it.
554.         The recent upsurge in tourism has been largely encouraged by the Law on Tourism and the Tourism Development Concept to the year 2010.  The announcement of the year 2001as the Year for the Support and Development of Tourism also played a significant role in the growth of the sector.  The sector has been steadily growing since 1999.  In that year, tourism accounted for 2.5 percent of GDP, while in 2000 it rose to 2.9 percent and in 2001 reached 3.9 percent.  In the period from 1999 to 2001, the number of registered enterprises offering recreational services increased by 36 percent, from 2,533 to 3,463 entities, while the number of organizations providing tourist services increased from 877 to 1,206 entities.  In 2001, 98,600 foreign tourists visited Kyrgyzstan, twice as many as in 1999.
555.         There remain, however, several major issues in the Kyrgyz tourist industry:
·         poor quality of services;
·         undeveloped infrastructure;
·         difficult access to the country for potential tourists due to the mountainous terrain and insufficiently developed transportation infrastructure;
·         administrative barriers and unnecessary interventions by regulatory agencies raising the cost of tourist services in Kyrgyzstan;
·         lack of information abroad on tourist opportunities in Kyrgyzstan; and
·         growing competition on the international tourist market.
556.         The main development goal of Kyrgyzstan’s tourist sector is to form an environmentally friendly, socially oriented, profitable, and competitive tourist industry that will cater for the needs of tourists and create new jobs.
557.         Priority areas for attention in the Republic’s tourist industry include:
·         refining the legal framework;
·         developing tourism infrastructure;
·         attracting direct foreign and domestic investment;
·         carrying out an active information campaign on international markets;
·         developing alternative forms of tourism that accommodate national, cultural, socio-economic, and natural features of the Republic’s different regions;
·         raising the quality of services.
558.         It is envisaged that the actions proposed below will help to stabilize the tourist sector and set the stage for its further development.
In the area of refining the legal framework: 
·         elaboration and introduction of amendments of the tax code in order to provide tax incentives to enterprises and individuals engaged in the tourist sector;
·         development of proposals for attracting foreign investment into the tourist sector;  
·         creation of a favorable legal environment for tourists entering the Republic (streamlining visa regulations, reducing the time taken by border and customs controls, ensuring safety of tourists in the country); and 
·         elaboration of the Law on Social Tourism and adoption of measures for state support to tourist agencies, tour operators, and other companies engaged in social tourism.
In the area of tourism infrastructure:
·         construction of new and reconstruction of existing tourist facilities (mostly of small and medium capacity), development of transportation (airports and motor roads), communication systems and other elements of the tourism infrastructure; 
·         encouragement of formation of unions and associations of tour operators; establishment of partnerships between tourist companies and state agencies;          
·         creation of a multi-level system of training and qualification upgrading of workers in the tourist sector; and
·         development of state standards for the activities of tourist companies, as well as quality requirements for the services offered, facilities provided, etc. 
In the area of information provision:
·         carrying out wide-scale advertising campaigns to create and develop Kyrgyzstan’s image as a country with conditions favorable for tourism; increasing dissemination of information about Kyrgyzstan through diplomatic channels, foreign and domestic mass media; and
·         provision of state support to Kyrgyz tourist agencies participating in annual international tourism markets.
In the area of attracting direct foreign and domestic investment:
·         development of measures to stimulate investment generally into the sector; attraction of foreign and domestic investors for participation in negotiations, auctions, and tenders for procurement of tourist facilities; and
·         improvement of investment attractiveness of tourist facilities available for privatization; privatization of facilities in the sector should improve economic effectiveness of recreational facilities.
559.         Further development of the tourism sector should focus on expanding traditional areas (recreational resorts) as well as development of alternative areas of tourism (high class resorts, adventure mountaineering, Great Silk Road tourism, eco and business tourism).  The high-class tourism will require development of adequate infrastructure and investment of considerable funds, which are not presently available in Kyrgyzstan.  Given this situation, it is preferable for Kyrgyzstan to specialize on high-class non-conventional services.  These could include hunting, skiing, mountaineering, and recreation in the Issyk-Kul Lake area.  The expansion of recreational tourism is closely connected with the extensive network of resorts, rest homes, and other recreational facilities of the Issyk-Kul Lake area.  The quality of services must be improved and brought to the international level.  Direct investment and use of modern service technologies should help to address this. 
              The mountainous territory of Kyrgyzstan makes mountains the greatest attraction for foreign tourists.  Mountain-related adventure tourism is in high demand on the world tourism markets.  Sky-touching mountain peaks, glaciers, caves, lakes, and rivers are all attractive natural sights that give Kyrgyzstan an opportunity to develop mountaineering, speleology, skiing, and other tourist-attractive sports.  The most popular mountain areas of the Republic should have adequate housing and recreational facilities.  Special territories with limited access to tourists and mountaineers (mountain tourist zones) should become base areas for development of other types of adventure tourism.  Organizing transit tours on the Great Silk Road is especially promising since it gives Kyrgyzstan an opportunity to enter the sphere of interests of such countries as Japan, Malaysia, PRC, Korea, as well as a number of European countries.
560.     A Tourism Coordinating Council has been established to oversee the activities of state agencies, local communities, and the private sector in the area of tourism.  Realizing the importance of the sector, the Government has approved the Tourism Development Action Program to the year 2010.  This Program should help Kyrgyzstan join the world tourism market, while the subsequent growth of the country’s tourism industry should improve the general economy and, in the longer-run, help to reduce poverty.
3.   Telecommunications and information technology
561.         Modern information and communication technologies (ICT) have a significant impact on all social relationships.  A new informational society is being established.  Advanced technologies are changing not only methods of production of goods and services, but they also create new possibilities for implementation of civil rights, self-development of the individual, acquisition of knowledge and the education of a new generation.  In the information society distances become shorter, globalization deepens, unprecedented opportunities are created for the development of regions.
562.         In recent years, the Kyrgyz Republic has made progress in the development of an information infrastructure and information technology has been introduced into both government organizations and private companies, together with the development of appropriated legislation.  There is a high educational level in the Republic.  The first telecommunication project, the project of the Trans-Asian-European Optic Fiber Communication Line (ÒÀÅ) has been completed, the state computer network (SCN) has been established, Internet pages of government and non-government organizations as well as of  commercial structures are being created.  The National Strategy, Information and Communication Technologies for Development of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Program on ICT Development have been adopted this year.
                Conditions for development of telecommunications have been created mainly as a result of free competition and changes in the operation of this market.  In 1998, the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic, On Electric and Mailing Service, was adopted.  At the same time, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has established an independent state regulatory body, the State Agency of Communications under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic.  Other operators of electronic communications, including those with participation of foreign capital, have appeared in addition to the national communication operator, the JSC KyrgyzTelecom.  Today there are 115 operators in the market, providing various communication services throughout the Republic.
563.         The mailing service of the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the important socially oriented structures of the State providing socially important services to the population, including services to pensioners and benefits recipients.  The network of the mailing service consists of the government department, “Kyrgyz Pochtasy”, and more than 870 post offices, state courier communication, as well as the government enterprise, “Kyrgyz Markasy”.  Major problems in the development of the mailing service of the Kyrgyz Republic are related to an obsolete and insufficient material and technical basis, including logistics techniques and transportation means.  A uniform infrastructure of mailing, telegraph and other simple forms of dissemination of necessary public information is developed insufficiently.  The services offered in the area of mailing and saving operations, various types of utility service payments and operations with securities are developed rather poorly.
564.         Installation of telephones in rural and remote settlements of the Republic is still one of the most acute problems, as commercial operators, in contrast to the national operator, the JSC KyrgyzTelecom, focus their efforts on the most solvent clients of the capital city and large towns.  In 2001, more than 30 percent of populated areas did not have access to telephones.  The situation with rural telephone communications is eloquently reflected by statistical data on density of telephone installation: on average, there are only 2.8 telephones per 100 inhabitants and 17.2 in the cities.  A low density of telephone installation and its uneven distribution in rural areas and cities is accompanied by technological aging of cabling.  Mobile, paging and trunk communication is also unevenly developed within the country.  Besides, these types of communication are still not affordable for a major part of Kyrgyzstanis because of their low income.
               At present, in order help solve some of the acute social and administrative problems of remote areas, permission has been granted for the provision of licensed telecommunication services on data transmission throughout the Republic.  At the same time, significant attention will be paid to the charges being made for these services in order to make them affordable for a broad range of consumers.  It is also worth noting that, in order to forestall unjustified increases in charges for products and services by organizations that are natural and permitted monopolies, the Tariff Policy Plan for 2000 – 2003 has been developed, which envisages a phased rebalancing of existing tariffs for telecommunication services.  The plan does not envisage an increase in tariffs for such socially important communication services as telegraph communication, the tariffs for which are being maintained at a minimum level.
               Unreliable quality of television and radio broadcasting in the Republic and obsolescence of the technological base of the whole television and radio broadcasting system, does not provide the population with timely and high-quality information.  In addition, alternative sources of information, such as satellite and cable television and commercial radio broadcasting are not developed beyond the major population centers.
Information technology
565.         Development of information technologies in the Kyrgyz Republic provides a unique opportunity for comprehensive development of the country and its integration with the international community.  Kyrgyzstan has all the necessary pre-requisites for building an information society: a high level of education of the population and a basic telecommunication infrastructure.  State policy in the sphere of development of information technologies is regulated by the Law on Informatization adopted in 1999 and the National Strategy, Information and Telecommunication Technologies for Development of the Kyrgyz Republic, approved in 2002.
               Kyrgyzstan also develops rather promising positive trends on the issue of education of specialists in the area of information technologies.  Within 10 years the number of graduates in the ICT sphere has increased 6.4 times, while the total number of university graduates in Kyrgyzstan has increased 2.9 times.  The educational system of the Republic mainly prepares specialists in the development of software applications, providing the local market with a large number of software products.  At the same time, the country practically lacks specialist designers of information systems that would allow optimization of activities of economic enterprises and adapt their business activities to international standards.
               At present, there are 10 Internet providers, about 10 commercial structures operating in the market for information services in the Republic.  They provide various information products and supply and assemble computers in the Republic.  The State Computer Network is being developed for the purpose to ensure information exchange among government structures and establish on its basis the infrastructure for “electronic government”.  Presently, more than 40 governmental agencies, all oblast and rayon administrations are connected to the SCN.  However, the infrastructure for high-speed data transmission is still weakly developed.  In terms of telecommunication, not all territory of the Republic is covered by digital services, there remains a “digital gap” between urban and rural territories.  Due to uneven development of the Internet system in cities and villages, the population is still not well aware about possibilities of Internet and other information technologies.
566.         An electronic payment system, including interstate money transfer, has been established in the Republic.  International payments are made by financial and crediting institutions of the Kyrgyz Republic by means of:
·         direct correspondent accounts, Loro-Nostro, with correspondent banks of the states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EurAsEU), using standard telecommunication systems: facsimile, telex, e-mail, SWIFT;
·         payment and settlement plastic card systems: VISA, EUROPA, Master Card, JCB, Diners Club, Union Card, Cirrus Maestro;
·         money transfer systems: Western Union, Money Gram, Contact;  and
·         Kyrgyz Pochtasy.
              At the same time, due to the lack of mechanisms stimulating the use of ICT, a low level of financing for development of information technologies at the national level, inefficient use of donors’ assistance aimed at informatization of governmental structures, the use of information technologies in activities of government and private structures in the market of Kyrgyzstan is still far from being adequate.  A low level of equipping of the population and economic enterprises with information equipment does not allow the development of a management culture applying ICT.  The situation is aggravated by a lack of personnel possessing basic skills necessary to work with information equipment and technologies.
             Studies carried out with the UNDP for the purpose of objective assessment of the situation in the ICT sphere have indicated to the presence of the above problems in the nation. 
567.         A major goal of ICT development is establishment of the foundation for creation of an information society.
568.         For the steady promotion of reforms in ICT, it is intended to develop an adequate regulatory and legal framework.  At present, there are more than 20 laws and 20 bylaws in this area.  State standards on information and communication technologies that are compliant with international standards have been developed.  The existing legislation will be systematized through improvement and development of the legal framework for the information society, while new laws ensuring effective development of ICT will be drafted.
569.         It is necessary to expand technical and infrastructure capacities of ICT in order to provide information and communication services to rural and remote areas.  Television and radio broadcasting will be ensured in remote settlements by modernization of the existing television and radio broadcasting infrastructure to overcome “information hunger”.
570.         Modernization of the existing mailing service infrastructure, effectiveness of the work of the state postal services will be ensured to provide for timely delivery of correspondence, newspaper, magazines, pensions and benefits to all regions.
                Modernization of the existing telecommunication infrastructure will be implemented under corresponding financial support of donor organizations.  Within the framework of development of an optimum ICT infrastructure its modernization will be carried out in accordance with international quality standards.  A uniform information space will be created by introducing digital communication in all regions.
571.         A transfer of the public administration system to the principles of e-government will be ensured by the use of ICT.
Provision of information and communication services to the population in the whole territory of the country will be expanded thanks to ICT infrastructure development in the country.  It is necessary to provide all population with equal, affordable and high-quality access to information services in all regions.
A competitive electronic economy will be built in the Republic by developing information business, electronic commerce, establishment of information business center, and so forth.
572.         It is necessary to create favorable conditions for the development of local production of computer equipment, software and information services, as well as national science in the sphere of information and communication technologies.
573.         The Government will focus its attention on improving investment attractiveness of the information and communication sector, establishment of an effective mechanism for attracting investment.
                The system of education will be oriented to preparation of specialists in ICT, given the market demand.  Distant education methods will be introduced actively; the area of providing information technology training to the population will be expanded.
Kyrgyzstan will be actively striving to become integrated into the international information community.
574.         Development of ICT will be implemented through active promotion of establishment of an information society in Kyrgyzstan.  Modern culture of the ICT use will be developing.
The partnership of business, civil society and the State will be broadened by means of ICT development.
575.         Coordination of work on informatization of public administration bodies, various programs and projects on ICT development will be ensured for the purpose of accumulation and strict control of resources allocated for ICT development.
576.         Safe operation of the existing and newly established information infrastructure, including telecommunication systems, television and radio broadcasting systems, publishing systems, information resources of the country will be ensured.
577.         A series of political measures will be taken on development and approval of the Concept of Information Security of the Kyrgyz Republic with participation of representatives of the civil society, mass media, private business and government agencies.  The document will be aimed at utmost possible promotion and protection of the rights of the individual and society.