EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett visits Kyrgyz Republic

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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The First Vice President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Phil Bennett, will begin a visit to Bishkek, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic, on 29 June.

During his first visit to the country Phil Bennett will meet with the Kyrgyz Prime Minister, Djoomart Otorbaev, key government ministers and the Governor of the National Bank, Tolkunbek Abdygulov, to discuss the upcoming EBRD strategy for the country. He will also meet the mayor of Bishkek and the heads of municipal companies, staff of the international financial institutions active in the country and representatives of the business community, including EBRD clients and local partner banks.

During his three-day stay, the EBRD’s First Vice President will also visit several enterprises that have benefited from EBRD financing or know-how. These include the furniture maker Lina, the beverage producer Bear Beer, the clothes factory Aselina and the City Hotel.

The EBRD delegation will also include the Director for Central Asia, Masaru Honma, the Head of Office in Bishkek, Larisa Manastirli, Mahir Babayev, Senior Political Counsellor, and Agris Preimanis, Lead Regional Economist. The mission will focus on determining priorities for the forthcoming EBRD country strategy for the Kyrgyz Republic, which is being drafted and will subsequently be posted online for public comment.

The EBRD’s main strategic priorities in the Kyrgyz Republic which will be discussed during the visit include fostering sustainable growth by strengthening regional links; enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to scale-up and bolster competitiveness; promoting sustainability of public utilities through commercialisation and private sector participation; as well as helping the country to reduce regional disparities and address gaps in social inclusion.

Since the beginning of its operations in the Kyrgyz Republic, the EBRD has invested close to €470 million (US$ 637 million) in the country’s economy through 112 projects supporting various sectors and industries. The current EBRD portfolio in the Kyrgyz Republic is represented by 51 projects amounting to almost €230 million (US$312 million) in the natural resources, financial, infrastructure and industry (agriculture, manufacturing and services, property and tourism) sectors.

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