Lake Issyk-Kul is one of the most famous sights in the Kyrgyz Republic and Central Asia. With appropriate investment, the area has the potential for further promotion as an attractive holiday resort.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and KICB, its local partner bank, are supporting further development of this tourist attraction by financing a programme of improvements at one of the Issyk Kul resorts, Ak Bermet.
The resort plans to modernise its wastewater treatment facility, reduce energy consumption, build a swimming pool, improve the resort’s beach area and redesign the grounds, all of which will make Ak Bermet more environmentally friendly and more appealing to tourists.
The US$ 500,000 financing package will pay for the installation of a new wastewater-treatment facility and an energy efficient heat-exchange unit for hot-water supply, as well as funding improvements to the grounds of the resort.
Ak Bermet is a popular holiday resort which can accommodate up to 400 guests. The resort is located in Karaoi, a village 3 km from Cholpon Ata. The region around Lake Issyk-Kul sees annual tourist flows of up to one million people, mostly from Russia and Kazakhstan. The resort’s peak season runs for three months in the summer and for one month in the winter. During the low season, it is also a popular venue for conferences and workshops.
The loan to Ak Bermet is being made under a special medium-sized co-financing facility (MCFF), through which the EBRD and its partner banks can lend together to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Ak Bermet will also receive advice from the EBRD Small Business Support programme to help install the wastewater treatment plant.
Larisa Manastirli, Head of the EBRD office in the Kyrgyz Republic, said: “We are pleased to support the Ak Bermet resort together with our partner, KICB. Support for resource-efficient investments among small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in the regions, is one of the EBRD’s core objectives in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project will not only bring long-term environmental and social benefits to the region but will also make the resort more attractive to tourists, thanks to an improved beach and a new swimming pool.”
Akjoltoy Nasirdinov, owner and Manager of Ak Bermet resort, commented: “At present Lake Issyk-Kul is exposed to environmental risk, because the Soviet-era wastewater treatment facilities in most resorts are now obsolete. The financing of this project by the EBRD and KICB will help to install modern wastewater treatment facilities. After completion of this project we aim to invite representatives of other Issyk-Kul resorts to a presentation of the new wastewater-treatment technology, and encourage them to apply for funding facilities so that they can also make environmental improvements that will benefit the area.”
To date, the EBRD has invested over €535 million in 121 projects in the Kyrgyz Republic.
In the Kyrgyz Republic, the risk-sharing component of the MCFF is supported by the European Union’s Investment Facility for Central Asia. MCFF is also supported by the Early Transition Countries Fund through specific training programmes for credit officials of participating banks.