By Ambassador Erlan Abdyldaev – Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic (2012-18)
August 31, 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Kyrgyz Republic. During this period, Kyrgyzstan went through various stages of formation, including difficult ones, crucial for the preservation and strengthening of the foundations of democratic development.
Almost 30 years ago, on February 3, 1992, diplomatic relations were established between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany was the first EU country to open its diplomatic mission in Bishkek.
Kyrgyz-German relations have a solid foundation of traditionally strong and friendly partnership. An active political dialogue is maintained between our countries, mutual visits at the highest and high levels are regular. Inter-parliamentary ties are developing steadily.
Over the years of cooperation, a number of visits were organized to Germany at the level of the head of state. An important event in bilateral relations is the official visit of the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Dr. Angela Merkel to Kyrgyzstan in 2016, which became an important historical event and gave a significant impetus to further strengthening our cooperation in all areas.
Trade, economic and investment spheres are of high priority for us. Kyrgyzstan is very interested in attracting direct investments, advanced technologies and innovations from Germany for the development of the national economy. The priority areas of the economy for cooperation are digitalization, agriculture, energy, mining, information technology, tourism, etc. Paying special attention to the issue of attracting investments, a new Ministry of Investments has been formed in the structure of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, which is the leading Ministry in this area.
Currently, a number of successful investment projects are being implemented in Kyrgyzstan, among which I would like to note, in particular, the activities of the German company “Schmid Group” for the joint production of solar panels at the FEZ “Bishkek”, the plant with German capital for the production of glass “Interglass”, etc. In the short term, we are faced with the task of holding a Kyrgyz-German business forum.
According to the assessment of the annual report of the World Bank Group “Doing Business 2020”, Kyrgyzstan entered the top 20 reformer countries in the global ranking. In Kyrgyzstan, reforms are underway that significantly improve the legal and regulatory framework for doing business.
In addition, it should be noted that Kyrgyzstan is a member state of the World Trade Organization and the Eurasian Economic Union, which allows it to carry out commodity transactions under privileged conditions, and also has the status of a user of the GSP + system for exporting goods to EU countries.
It is no secret that the world has changed significantly under the influence of the pandemic. The exact extent of its economic, social and humanitarian consequences is not yet known. The current unprecedented global crisis has shown how vulnerable and fragile the system of global trade and transport and logistics connectivity is. At the same time, there is an increase in digitalization processes at all levels.
We have learned to live in a new way, to work in a new way, communication between people is carried out in a new way.
I would like to emphasize that there is a positive experience of cooperation in the field of digitalization between Kyrgyzstan and Germany. Taking into account the current realities, a separate Ministry of Digital Development has been created in Kyrgyzstan, and at present, the relevant state-owned enterprises of the two countries have a mutual interest in developing cooperation.
Cultural and humanitarian cooperation is an important and integral part of the Kyrgyz-German bilateral cooperation. Close ties have been established between universities and schools of the two countries, scientific cooperation and a scholarship program for young Kyrgyzstanis for training and research in leading scientific and educational institutions of Germany are being successfully implemented.
Priority areas of our cooperation include the joint effective implementation of the initiative of the Federal Foreign Office “Green Central Asia”, which is aimed at contributing to the development of a “green” economy and ensuring security, taking into account global climate change in our region.
Germany is the largest bilateral donor to Kyrgyzstan from the EU countries. The projects implemented in Kyrgyzstan together with the German side in the field of financial and technical cooperation are in great demand and make a real contribution to the sustainable development of our country.
Cooperation in the tourism area is successfully developing between Kyrgyzstan and Germany. First of all, we offer tourists from different countries to see the pristine pure nature of Kyrgyzstan – these are snow-capped mountain peaks, picturesque meadows, turbulent mountain rivers and mirror-like mountain lakes, as well as get acquainted with the ancient history of the Silk Road, which passed through the territory of our country. I would like to note that the leading British publication “The Guardian” in January 2021 presented a list of 12 recommended countries to visit, led by the Kyrgyz Republic.
In general, I would like to emphasize with satisfaction that the Kyrgyz-German cooperation is of multiple formats and is developing dynamically.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to wish the editorial board and all the readers of the Diplomat Magazine good health and prosperity.
For further information:
Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in Germany, Denmark, the Holy See, Poland, Norway and Sweden: https://mfa.gov.kg/en/embassies/embassy?id=66
Photography courtesy of Kyrgyz Embassy in Berlin