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Kyrgyzstan hopes to bring trade turnover with Russia to $2 bln, says PM

To date, more than 700 joint ventures are working in the country, about 80% of goods are exported to Russia

BISHKEK, April 5. /TASS/. Kyrgyzstan’s government hopes to bring the annual trade turnover with Russia to $2 bln, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev said at a Cabinet meeting in Bishkek on Friday.

"The volume of trade with Russia reached $1.6 bln [in 2018], growing by $56 mln, while the volume of direct investment from Russia amounted $123 mln ensuring a 25-percent growth. These figures continue to be insufficient in terms of the existing potential for Kyrgyz-Russian cooperation, and our objective is to increase the volume of trade to $2bln," he said.

According to the prime minister, there is every precondition for that. "To date, more than 700 joint ventures are working in the country, about 80% of goods are exported to Russia, they are also in demand in other Eurasian Economic Union member-countries," he said.

Abylgaziev noted that Kyrgyzstan was cooperating most successfully with Russia’s Gazprom energy giant, which invested about 16 bln rubles ($245mln) in the development of the country’s gas transport infrastructure and gasified 30% of the country. "Recently, we held talks with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, and our task is to bring the level of gasification to 50%," he noted.

The prime minister recalled that during the Russian president’s visit to Bishkek on March 28 the two countries signed a cooperation agreement in the oil and gas sector. "A roadmap for cooperation will be drafted to make sure that a strategic investor comes to that sphere. We will make a decision based on how it will contribute to our economy, what social programs will be implemented, how many jobs will be created and how many taxes will be received," he stressed.

He also criticized the opponents of that agreement. "Those who are opposed to it understand nothing in economic issues or just do not want our oil and gas industry to develop. We will pursue the right policy that will promote the development of the national economy and meet the requirements of law," he assured.