KYRGYZ HOLDS IMMENSE TRADE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PAKISTAN
INTERVIEW: ALIK OROZOV, AMBASSADOR KYRGYZSTAN
Feb 14 - 20, 2011
Kyrgyz Republic, a democratic state of Central Asia, having historic relationship with this part of world offers tremendous trade opportunities both in exports and investment for business community in Pakistan.
This was stated by Alik Orozov, Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic to Pakistan, in an interview facilitated by Khizer H Schon, Executive Director Schongroup in Karachi.
It will be interesting to note that the farming community in Kyrgyz Republic, generally known as Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia, depends on conventional or organic fertilizer in their agriculture sector instead of using fertilizers and pesticides that are in vogue elsewhere in the world. Hence, the Ambassador feels that Kyrgyz could be an attractive export destination for fertilizers and pesticides from Pakistan. The technical advice for better yields would also be welcomed.
Kyrgyz is also looking for imports of pharmaceuticals, textile products and building material including cement, steel, marble and marble tiles etc.
Khizer H. Schon the young Director of Schongroup, a leading business house in Pakistan and actively engaged in construction business UAE, while participating in the discussion said that his group is facilitating for the establishment of Pakistan-Kyrgyz Business council to strengthen the economic relations between the two countries.
The Kyrgyz diplomat with a smile on his face observed that generally his country is considered as a small nation on the back of its small population of 5 million people, however having a high rate of quality education over 200 students from Pakistan are studying in Kyrgyz universities.
He recalled some political disturbance last year when the government of Pakistan had evacuated its students from Kyrgyzstan. However, all of them were back to their universities with the return of normalcy in his country. Now, we have a strong democratic government, which has come with the support aspiration of Kyrgyz people.
The strategic location of Kyrgyzstan located in the heart of Central Asian States offers tremendous opportunities to use Kyrgyzstan as an export base to grab the export opportunities in the adjoining Central Asian States.
Khizer Schon cited the example of Singapore, which with a small population is described as the strongest economy in this part of the world. It is not self-recommendation yet Kyrgyz people are second to none and would emerge strongly on the economic landscape of the region in the days to come. In order to develop bilateral relationship and interest in business promotion, efforts are underway to set a business council of the two countries to facilitate bilateral trade between the two countries.
Khizer added that his group was already dealing in sugar, rice edible oil, textile and other commodities. As far as Kyrgyzstan is concerned, it is an underdeveloped economy but future is great which promises ample scope for business communities of both the countries. He cited the example of Dubai, which had started from scrap some two three decades back but today it is the commercial hub of the world. So much depends on the strong will of the people to work dedicatedly for the good of the people and the economy.
Since agriculture sector in Kyrgyzstan still depends on natural farming, they need to develop their agriculture resources on modern lines and Pakistan can do a lot in that direction on the back of a strong industrial base of fertilizer production, Khizer Schon suggested.
While talking about literacy rate and economic potential in Kyrgystan, the Ambassador recalled that the literacy rate was 98-99 percent during Soviet Union days and after the collapse of Soviet Union his country had to struggle as an independent state. Hence, during the course of struggle, it faced economic, political and social problems. However, the dust has settled down now and we are focusing on the development of our strong base of rare natural resources.
Kyrgyzstan is listed as the 8th largest gold mining country. In the backdrop of rich mineral resources, Kyrgyz Republic was looking for investment in the mining sector because due to financial constraints his country could not develop the mining resources from its own resources, he observed.
The Kyrgyz Ambassador disclosed that his country is observing 20th anniversary of its independence and you would be happy to know that the first consignment of goods we had imported from Pakistan especially from Karachi and that was the reason that our first Consulate General was set up in Karachi and later on Embassy in Islamabad. Although we are importing from China, yet people in Kyrgyzstan have a great respect for Pakistani goods owing to their quality.
The Kyrgyz diplomat said his country believes in a free state of economy because controlling of the prices would never allow to the market economy to grow on sound footings.
Alik Orozov and Khizer H. Schon were of the positive views that economic and bilateral ties cooperation between the two countries would strengthen with the passage of time. The Ambassador with a grin on his face recalled that the relationship between Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan goes down in the history as the Great Mughal Emperor Zaheeruddin Babar hails from his country.
PROFILE OF KYRGYZ REPUBLIC
Kyrgyz people represent the title nation of the Kyrgyz Republic, which is one of the most ancient people in the world. The first written evidence of the Kyrgyz people as a nation is found in Chinese chronicles dated as far back as 2,000 BC. They emerged from many ethoses who settled in South Siberia and Central Asia. In the 4-3 centuries BC, the ancient Kyrgyz were part of strong nomadic tribal unions, which proved to be a serious distress to China. It was at this time that construction of the Great Wall of China began.
In the 1-2 centuries BC, a part of the Kyrgyz tribes moved to Enisey ("Ene Sai" translates as "Mother River" from the Kyrgyz language) and Baikal ("Bai Kol" in Kyrgyz means "Abundant Lake"). It was there that the Kyrgyz tribes organized their first state and Kyrgyz Khanate, which began the consolidation of the Kyrgyz nation and formation of its culture. The Kyrgyz written language emerged here, but was lost after the state was dismantled by conquerors. However, the human memory was alive: the outstanding epic "Manas" is a genuine encyclopaedia of the Kyrgyz history, society, habits and lifestyle of that time.
It is possible to say that the statehood of Kyrgyzstan was recreated thirteen years ago. Century-long hopes and expectations of the nation have come to reality through the route of sovereign and independent development.
Kyrgyzstan was the first Central Asian country to declare its independence in 1991 and emerged as a democratic and liberal reform-oriented country, providing a comprehensive program of market reforms.
Kyrgyzstan is in the Tien Shan mountain range, which stretches for hundreds of kilometres across the northeastern part of Central Asia. It is located on the same latitude as New York, Italy, Northern Turkey and Japan.
Kyrgyzstan is beautiful, with mountains covering 94 per cent of the country. Their sheer untouched beauty, largely free from ski lifts, funiculars, frequently used paths and observation platforms, stands majestic and intact.
In 1998, the United Nations General Assembly declared the year 2002 as the International Year of Mountains (IYM). During 2002, people all over the world participated in events to celebrate mountains and discussed ways to promote their conservation and sustainable development.
Kyrgyzstan is a remote and mysterious place to many, yet one filled with exotic sights, colorful, pleasant and ruggedly beautiful scenery.