President Askar Akayev told the second congress of the Association of Kyrgyzstan's Entrepreneurs in Bishkek on Saturday that Kyrgyz businessmen have failed to make full use of the potential of the WTO in which Kyrgyzstan has been a member country since 1998.
"You should not be satisfied with the markets of neighboring countries. You must do your best to trade with countries outside the CIS," he said.
The conditions of trade between WTO member nations are favorable but Kyrgyz businesses fail to make use of this, Akayev said. "The country's private sector must make a tangible contribution to developing a national strategy of foreign trade in bilateral and multilateral talks in the WTO framework. Entrepreneurs must think of vigorously promoting Kyrgyz goods to world markets by making good use of cooperation with leading foreign companies," he said.
The country must step up its export by at least 10% annually if its economy is to steadily expand, Akayev said.
International experts also believe that the country's stable development is contingent on expanding its export, he said.
Kyrgyz companies must open up for attracting foreign investments, Akayev said. Their activities must be transparent to make this possible, he said. "They must follow in the footsteps of Russian companies that make their activities transparent," Akayev said.
The congress, at which 700 delegates from all Kyrgyz regions gathered, also nominated Akayev for a new term of presidency.
The general director of the Contemporary Trade Technologies company, Sergei Voronin, said on behalf of Kyrgyz entrepreneurs that "considerable progress has been made in implementing market reforms, but a lot more needs to be done."
"Kyrgyz businessmen believe that launched reforms should be completed. In light of the president's enormous contribution to the development of sovereign Kyrgyzstan and his ongoing support of businesses, we are asking Askar Akayev to be the president of our state for another five-year term," he said.
Other delegates backed the proposal.
According to the Kyrgyz Constitution, a president can serve only two terms. Akayev's second term expires in 2005.
Akayev previously said that he has no intention of running in the next elections.
Interfax, September 29, 2003