Diplomatist: On August 31, 2021, Kyrgyz Republic celebrated the 30th anniversary of Independence. Embassy also successfully organized official reception on the occasion of the National Day of the Kyrgyz Republic in Delhi. Our congratulations! Tell us about the significance of Independence Day to the people of the Kyrgyz Republic.
H.E. Mr. Asein ISAEV: Thank you for your congratulations. Yes, our event dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the Independence of the Kyrgyz Republic had a great success. Taking this opportunity, I would like to sincerely thank all of our friends for participating and supporting us. Special thanks to our main guest Ma’am Meenakashi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs.
30 years ago, a new independent state – the Kyrgyz Republic – appeared on the political map of the world. During this period, many events have taken place in the history of modern Kyrgyzstan. International contacts were established and state institutions were changed and developed.
To be precise, since the proclamation of independence, Kyrgyzstan has become a full participant of international community. Since then, our Republic has chosen a democratic model and ideals of development.
Of course, we have faced various challenges on our way finding an optimal development model. The most important is that civil society of Kyrgyz Republic was also able to preserve our country’s striving for an active, fair and dignified life for its freedom-loving people. Independence is definitely one of the most privileges in the history оf mankind.
Moreover, people of the Kyrgyz Republic, all nationalities, all ethnic groups are very keen to preserve our country and to be responsible member of the international community.
This year, Kyrgyzstan returned to a presidential form of government. Of course, democracy has different forms and types, and Kyrgyzstan is still on the way of its development.
In this context, I would like to note the words of our President Mr. Sadyr Japarov, who emphasized that the new Constitution will contribute to the implementation of such tasks as strengthening the national state, unity in society, and at the same time will allow us to continue the democratic path.
Diplomatist: How do you assess the level of bilateral relations between Kyrgyzstan and India? Are you satisfied with the level of relations and what should be done for their improvement?
H.E. Mr. Asein ISAEV: Our countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. Since then, we have achieved a great breakthrough in the development of bilateral relations between our countries. Today, cooperation between our countries can be characterized as partnership and progressive based on sustainable development and mutual trust. We can say, that intensification and expansion of bilateral cooperation between the Kyrgyz Republic and India is one of the important parts of the foreign policy of Kyrgyzstan.
Throughout the history of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of India, a number of mutual visits of high and highest levels took place. The presidents of the Kyrgyz Republic visited India in 1992, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2016 and 2019.
Our leaders, quite recently, on the 1st of November, 2021 had a very friendly and fruitful conversation on the sides of Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. And as one of the main results of that meeting is that we are planning to organize a visit of our President Sadyr Japarov to India next year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited Kyrgyzstan twice, in 2015 and in 2019. The visit of Mr. Modi to Kyrgyzstan in 2019 can be considered as a new era in the development of bilateral relations.
One of the main results of the visit is that our countries signed a Declaration on the establishment of bilateral strategic partnership relations. There are also other platforms between our countries, within which Kyrgyzstan and India interact – these are meetings of intergovernmental commissions and consultations between the foreign ministries, interaction within the framework of the United Nations Organizations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other international structures.
Next year, Kyrgyzstan and India will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In this regard, it is planned to hold a number of bilateral visits and events in the political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. Special attention will be paid to holding events within the framework of the cross year of cultures, which has also been postponed by mutual agreement to 2022.
Of course, Kyrgyzstan and India still have a lot to do to strengthen all areas of cooperation, but at the same time I would like to note that our countries have an appropriate attitude for the intensification of bilateral cooperation:
– On June 16, 2021, the Kyrgyz-Indian inter-MFA consultations were held;
– On September 17, 2021, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic and India held a bilateral meeting in Dushanbe;
– On October 10-11, 2021, at the invitation of Minister R. Kazakbayev, Minister S. Jayshankar arrived on official visits to Kyrgyzstan, during which he was received by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic S. Japarov, and also invited Minister R. Kazakbayev to visit India in December 2021;
– On October 25-28, the Secretary of the Security Council of the Kyrgyz Republic M. Imankulov visited India to participate in the first strategic consultations on security;
– On November 2, 2021, a meeting of the leaders of the Kyrgyz Republic and India took place in Glasgow, during which N. Modi invited S. Japarov to visit India;
– On November 10 the Secretary of the Security Council of the Kyrgyz Republic M. Imankulov visited India to participate in Regional Dialogue on Afghanistan.
Based on the results of the meetings and negotiations, a number of high-level visits are planned in the last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.
Diplomatist: According to official sources, there are more than 300 companies operating in Kyrgyzstan with partnership from Indian firms. Explain us the latest developments in commercial partnership between Indian and Kyrgyzstan.
H.E. Mr. Asein ISAEV: Indeed, more than 300 Kyrgyz-Indian joint ventures are currently operating in Kyrgyzstan. Mainly, they operate in pharmaceutical products, coffee, tea, chemical products and other sectors.
In recent years, India has shown high economic growth including on the level of international business. Such prospects open up new business opportunities for our countries. It can be noted that in commercial partnership there is fertile ground for cooperation in the mining, pharmaceutical, IT, textile, education, hydropower, agricultural, industrial and tourism sectors
Along with political relations, I believe development of business relations and other mutually beneficial forms of cooperation should be the driving force of promoting our bilateral relations. In this regard, it is necessary to focus on encouraging and supporting the development of business relations between Kyrgyzstan and India. In this aspect, the search for finding profitable economic projects seems to be the most promising in relations between our countries. That’s why Embassy making its efforts in this direction.
Embassy maintains good relations with the leading chambers of commerce and economy of India. We are actively participating in events organized by FICCI, PHDCCI, FIEO, CII, ASSOCHAM and etc. Based on the results of work with the leading Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, agreements were reached on organizing two visits of business delegations at the end of 2021 (FICCI) and the first quarter of 2022 (FIEO).
In addition, as part of the participation in the events, information desks are prepared with presentations on various sectors of the Kyrgyz economy, as well as a summary of investment projects, which are also distributed among the participants. It’s very pleasant to note that there is a high interest of the Indian business community in the field of trade, agricultural products, mining, film industry, tourism and other sectors with the Kyrgyz Republic.
This year, despite the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, we were able to carry out a number of significant events in this direction and reached good results.
On March 25, 2021, the Kyrgyz-Indian Business Forum was held in cooperation with the Indian Economic Trade Organization with the participation of a number of leading companies and enterprises from southern India. As a result of the event visit of a business delegation from South India to the Kyrgyz Republic was organized from 5 to 10 September 2021 to establish cooperation in such areas as: mining, textiles, tourism, agriculture, film industry, education, etc. To implement agreements following this visit, a number of visits of business delegations to the Kyrgyz Republic are planned.
On April 20, 2021, an international business forum of women of Kyrgyzstan and India was held in a virtual format. The organization of this forum became the implementation of the initiative of the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
Two Memorandums of Understanding were signed at the Forum between:
– Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Congress of Women of Kyrgyzstan;
– Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and NGO “Women’s Forum “Kurak”.
At the end of the Forum, the Indian side expressed its readiness to pay a visit to Kyrgyzstan as the situation with the coronavirus pandemic stabilizes, for further implementation and detailed discussion of projects in the field of women’s entrepreneurship with the Kyrgyz side.
From September 28 to October 1, 2021, the visit of the Embassy to Mumbai took place. On September 29, 2021 the Kyrgyz Republic became the focus country of the 7th annual “Speed Networking” Business Forum, organized by the Bombay Association of Industrialists in Mumbai.
After the plenary session, profile sessions, meetings and negotiations were held with representatives of leading companies in various sectors, as well as the film industry in Mumbai. As a result, number of agreements were reached regarding supplies of dried fruits from the Kyrgyz Republic, organizing a visit of a business delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic on investment in the construction of hotels, organizing visits of tourists for adventure tourism, exploring filming locations and landscapes to make films and music videos, etc.
On October 1, 2021, a business forum “Doing business in Kyrgyzstan” was held in Mumbai, organized by the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in conjunction with the World Trade Center in Mumbai, the All India Association of Industrialists and the Indian Chamber of International Business.
The participants of the business forum showed great interest in the development of trade and economic cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic. During the event, the parties noted that there are huge undisclosed prospects between the city of Mumbai and the Kyrgyz Republic, and such bilateral events play a very important role in strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation.
As a result of the event and the negotiations held, an agreement was reached on organizing a visit of a business delegation from Mumbai to the Kyrgyz Republic in November 2021 to establish cooperation in such areas as: the textile industry, mining, use of alternative types of energy, export/import of precious stones and gold, etc.
According to abovementioned, between our countries there are all opportunities for development, first of all, mutually beneficial cooperation. Successfully operating and developing joint ventures and Indian enterprises in the Kyrgyz Republic in different sectors of economy are a vivid example.
Diplomatist: What are the steps governments of both the countries are taking to strengthen bilateral trade, investment and technology cooperation?
H.E. Mr. Asein ISAEV: Since the establishment of diplomatic relations and to this day, close cooperation has been developing between our countries. Kyrgyzstan and India are united by an ancient, rich history and traditional values. Our sides created a comprehensive legal framework and a Joint Declaration on the Establishment of Strategic Partnership Relations has been signed in 2019. Cooperation is developing in all of the main areas of bilateral relations, political, economic, cultural, security and defence and etc.
There is high political trust between our countries, supported by mutual visits at the highest and high levels on an ongoing basis. The Bilateral Investment Agreement between the Kyrgyz Republic and India and amendments to the Agreement on the avoidance of double taxation allows representatives of the business community of the two countries to successfully develop mutually beneficial cooperation.
On October 14, 1992, the Kyrgyz-Indian intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation was established. I would like to note that the IGC meetings are one of the main tools for promoting bilateral Kyrgyz-Indian trade and economic relations. In this context, it is very important to qualitatively and fully implement the agreements reached as a result of the meetings, as well as to hold them on an annual basis.
During the visit of Dr. S. Jaishankar External Affairs Minister of India to Kyrgyz Republic on 10-11 October, 2021 important agreements were reached on the financial sector. In particular, Memorandum for grant assistance for implementation of high impact community development projects was signed, significant improvements on negotiations about Line of Credits 200 million US dollars reached. Our sides are also working on other projects and agreements to promote relations between our countries.
Diplomatist: What is your message to Indian companies looking to invest in Kyrgyzstan? Explain the benefits of investing in Kyrgyzstan for Indian companies.
H.E. Mr. Asein ISAEV: As representatives of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, we are ready to create the most favorable conditions for running Indian business and Indian projects in the Kyrgyz Republic and provide maximum assistance.
I would like to emphasize that the protection of investors is under the personal control of President Mr Sadyr Japarov. The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic is open to cooperation on all issues of ensuring the security and protection of foreign investors. The leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic is also ready to hold meetings with the heads of diplomatic missions of foreign states on a regular basis to discuss all existing issues.
Kyrgyz Republic proposes very favorable conditions for the effective activity of foreign investors:
– our country has liberal tax regime in the region. Income tax rate only 10 and VAT tax rates is only 12 percent;
– established businesses and enterprises are exempt from property tax, land tax, income tax and sales tax for 5 years;
– amendments were made to the “Law on Investments of the Kyrgyz Republic” on the “stabilization regime”. In other words, an investor in the Kyrgyz Republic will be protected even if the amendments to the tax legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic would be made;
– the Institute of Business Ombudsman was created to protect the legitimate interests of entrepreneurs and investors;
– according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2015 report, the Kyrgyz Republic ranks 9th in the business start-up index. It takes only 2 procedures to open a company in the Kyrgyz Republic within 8 days.
I also would like to emphasize following advantages:
– the lowest cost of electricity in the region, which is only 2 rupees (2 soms 16 tyiyns) for industrial purposes and 0.7 rupees (77 tyiyns) for the population per 1 kWh;
– highly qualified and educated workforce;
– favorable geographic location;
– preferential trade regimes and duty-free access to markets with a population of over 1 billion people from the countries of Central Asia, the CIS, the European Union and WTO members;
– The SWIFT system (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) is successfully operating in Kyrgyzstan. In other words, there are no restrictions on the export of capital abroad.
– free economic zones in our country provide great opportunities for doing business in the region. FEZ activity also provides a number of advantages, such as: exemption from all taxes, duties and other payments, customs duties on goods, from quotas and licensing. In addition, simplified entry and exit of foreign workers, express check of a business entity and direct access to the necessary infrastructure for work.