Kyrgyzstan

In-depth country-focused analysis on Kyrgyzstan's economic, political and operational risk environment, complemented by detailed sector insight

Kyrgyzstan

Our comprehensive assessment of Kyrgyzstan's operating environment and the outlook for its leading sectors are formed by bringing together a wealth of data on global markets that affect Kyrgyzstan, as well as the latest industry developments that could impact Kyrgyzstan's industries. This unique integrated approach has given us an impeccable track-record for predicting important shifts in the markets, ensuring you’re aware of the latest market opportunities and risks in Kyrgyzstan before your competitors.

Country Risk

Kyrgyzstan Country Risk

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CORE VIEWS

  • Kazakhstan's incumbent leader Nursultan Nazarbayev won by a landslide in presidential election on April 26 - winning 97.7% of the votes with a record turnout of 95.1% - prolonging for five more years his 24-year-long rule. While the election result will ensure policy continuity in the near term, the succession question will increasingly cloud the country's medium- to long-term socio-political outlook.

  • The worsening macro outlook for Central Asia will compound the issue of water supplies in the region. The latter, in turn, poses a major risk not only to our 2015 growth outlook for the region, but also to our medium- to long-term political stability and growth forecasts.

  • Although general elections in Tajikistan held on March 1 resulted in the landslide victory of President Emomali Rahmon's ruling People...

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Kyrgyzstan Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Kyrgyzstan Operational Risk

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BMI View: Kyrgyzstan's extremely low minimum wage, at USD16.3 a month, and fairly strong democratic credentials are major attractions for investors, especially those with labour-intensive operations such as agriculture and mining. However, investors face a myriad of other risks, ranging from insecurity and poor infrastructure to low urbanisation and high levels of bureaucracy, which have the potential to elevate input costs, cause considerable delays and, in some cases, lead to significant losses. Overall, Kyrgyzstan is awarded a score of 36.4 out of 100, ranking 28th out of 29 Emerging Europe countries, above only Tajikistan.

Generally, Kyrgyzstan is an underperformer in BMI's Operational Risks index. The most severe risk for investors is insecurity, with the country vulnerable to...

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Kyrgyzstan Crime & Security

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Kyrgyzstan poses a high degree of security risks to foreign business travellers, expatriates, and tourists. For the most part, the greatest risks to these groups are petty crime such as pick-pocketing and theft, rather than violent crimes. However, the persistent weakness of the Kyrgyz state means that there are limits to the government's ability to maintain order and security.

Combating terrorism is one of the government's top priorities. Militant Islamist ideologies are reportedly gaining adherents in Kyrgyzstan, especially in the south of the country, which shares borders with Uzbekistan and highly fragile Tajikistan - both of which are experiencing Islamist agitation. Kyrgyzstan's proximity to Afghanistan - the main hub of Islamist militancy and extremism - and adjacency to China's westernmost region of Xinjiang - where ethnic Uighurs are fighting for an independent state - exposes it to regional Islamist currents. We expect terrorism and...

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Kyrgyzstan Labour Market

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As a result of a poor-quality education system and low urbanisation, there is a limited pool of poorly educated workers, the majority of which are based in rural areas. Significantly, there is also a lack of workers educated to tertiary level, which increases risks to investors looking to move into sectors requiring highly skilled workers. However, Kyrgyzstan has one of the lowest minimum wages in the region, bringing down the cost of employment and reducing the labour market risk. Kyrgyzstan is a regionally poor performer for Labour Market risk overall. We have given it a score of 47.9 out of 100, which places it 5 th from bottom in Emerging Europe (EE), between Moldova and Macedonia, and 18.4 points behind BRICS member Russia.

Availability Of Labour presents a large risk to investors, with the small size of the country's workforce contributing to its score of 46.2, placing it 21st out of 30 countries in the region. After years of...

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Kyrgyzstan Logistics

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The major risks in Kyrgyzstan include poor domestic transport infrastructures, high costs and complications involved in trading internationally, low international connectivity, and a small market size. Kyrgyzstan receives an overall score of 31.12 out of 100 for its Logistics Risk, placing it in second-lowest position out of 31 countries in the region, above Mongolia only.

Kyrgyzstan's transport networks are hampered by the rugged, mountainous terrain which makes increasing capacities difficult, and the frequent geographic activity which makes large investment in infrastructures risky. Due to this, the rail and road networks suffer a lack of quality, increasing risks in terms of delays due to impassable sections of track or road. Air transport is relatively adequate in terms of quality, but the geographic spread of airports in Kyrgyzstan is limited and air cargo is an expensive method of transport.

Kyrgyzstan also...

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Kyrgyzstan Trade & Investment

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Convoluted bureaucratic procedures act to inhibit investors' activities, however the country's fiscal environment is one of its greatest assets, with low corporate and profit tax making it an attractive option. As a result foreign direct investment is relatively high, and the government is looking to increase FDI as a means of boosting the country's prospects. Poor legal infrastructure and an unsophisticated banking sector are two additional contributing factors to Kyrgyzstan's extremely poor performance on Trade and Investment. BMI gives the country a score of 39.4 out of 100 in our Trade and Investment Risk Index, which places it 29 th out of 30 countries in Emerging Europe (EE), only ahead of neighbouring Tajikistan, which scores 38.1. Kyrgyzstan is ranked 9.3 points behind BRICS member Russia, and 38.8 points behind regional frontrunner Estonia.

Kyrgyzstan underperforms on Economic Openness largely due...

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Kyrgyzstan Industry Coverage (2)

Defence & Security

Kyrgyzstan Defence & Security

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BMI View:  At present, Kazakhstan and the other four Central Asia countries, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan have limited defence budgets, yet numerous requirements. While BMI expects these budgets to increase incrementally over the coming years, BMI also expects the budgetary and underdevelopment challenges to limit those increases considerably. These countries face numerous internal and external security challenges, including border disputes, criminality, and domestic and transnational terrorism.

BMI expects Kazakhstan's defence spending to have reached USD2.4bn by the end of 2014 and USD2.6bn by the end of 2015. While...

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Telecommunications

Kyrgyzstan Telecommunications

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BMI View: Mobile number portability looks set to become a major trend throughout the Central Asian region, as a number of regulators look to introduce it. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have reached a saturation point in terms of mobile subscribers and the launch of MNP will facilitate increased competition between operators, encouraging innovative tariff plans and likely driving down ARPUs. MNP is less of a concern in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, where organic growth prospects remain. Transitions to 3G will continue to be vital across the region and though 4G is available, it will remain too expensive for mass uptake. Government interference in the sector remains the key risk in the telecoms industry, however, and we tend to believe that this high risk outweighs the potential rewards at the time.

Key...

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Latest Kyrgyzstan Articles

  • IBM's decision to establish a local office demonstrates Kazakhstan's growin...

  • The sudden rise in US and European bond yields in May following a long, ste...

  • We forecast global real GDP growth of 3.0% in 2015, a rise from the 2012-14...