[Presenter] Today the fourth investment summit opened in Cholpon-Ata with the participation of Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, Prime Minister Nikolay Tanayev and members of the councils for foreign investment and fair management in Kyrgyzstan. The major components of the investment climate will be discussed at the summit, and further action plans will be adopted. Our correspondent, Inga Sikorskaya, has the details.
[Correspondent] The investment summit is dedicated to improving the investment climate and fair management in Kyrgyzstan. As President Askar Akayev said at the opening ceremony, such forums should be used to lay firm bases from the beginning. They were a clear example of the establishment of networks between businessmen and the government. The president said that a unique, completely new institution of modern business was managing to establish itself.
[Akayev] First of all, the realization of investment plans led to the significant growth of foreign investment in the country's economy. Gross direct investments in 2003 exceeded the level of 2001 by 65 per cent. We have practically recovered from the drop in direct foreign investment which took place between 1996 and 2001, and we have returned to the high levels of foreign investment in 1996 when the biggest investment project of Kumtor [gold mining company] was launched. Direct foreign investments have grown by 47 per cent in the first six months of this year. If this rate is maintained, by the end of the year, the highest level of direct foreign investment in all the years of our development [since 1991] will be recorded in Kyrgyzstan.
Second, noticeable changes have taken place in the structure of foreign investments. If earlier investments were directed to one or several spheres and were used for the extraction of minerals, investments are now - in recent years - being directed to practically to all spheres.
And a significant part [of the investments] is going into the processing industry. This means that diversification of capital is taking place, and that there are attractive aspects in many spheres of our economy. Is this not clear evidence of an improvement of the investment climate in the country?
Third, it is necessary to mention that not only gross investments, but also net investments - i.e. investment inflow minus investment outflow - have grown significantly. Net investments have grown more than 10 times in the last year and reached 53m dollars. Fewer and fewer enterprises are shutting down and transferring funds abroad. And we can confidently say that business is choosing our Kyrgyzstan.
Eurasianet/text of report by Kyrgyz TV, July 15, 2004