Employment in the Kyrgyz Republic: Challenges and Incentives for Creating Better Jobs
December 8, 2015Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

The World Bank is organizing a roundtable to discuss the results of its new report Transitioning to Better Jobs in the Kyrgyz Republic: A Jobs Diagnostic


Jobs diagnostics covers a broad range of issues regarding the jobs development in the Kyrgyz Republic over the past decade, including problems to create jobs, high-quality employment opportunities, distortions and obstacles that currently prevent the expansion of private sector, macroeconomic, regulatory and logistical impediments to greater and more diversified export, and impact of migration on employment.

The diagnostics will show that growth and jobs model is showing increasing signs of stress, with increasing levels of informality and declining worker productivity and wages.

The inability for the formal private sector to create jobs can be traced to problems affecting output and firm growth, largely related to firm size and age. Small firms, which grow early on, are incentivized to stay small, with high costs associated with growing in size, including higher tax, labor and social security payments and higher degrees of government harassment and graft payments. Large firms have seen strong growth, but they have not created jobs because of limited competitive pressures, reducing incentives to invest and hire.

Addressing the jobs challenge in the Kyrgyz Republic requires a range of policies and arrangements, from removing the barriers to firm entry and growth, to making migration work better for jobs (including through greater financial intermediation of remittances and better combatting early exits from school), to making the challenging geography of the Kyrgyz Republic work better for trade.

Author Biography

Jennifer Keller is a senior economist in the Macroeconomics and fiscal management practice of the World Bank.  She led the development of a Jobs Diagnostic tool for the World Bank, which has become a key element of the inclusive growth focus of IDA-17. She also led the development of technical training courses for staff and external partners on undertaking jobs diagnostic analysis. The Jobs Diagnostic for the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the first reports to examine jobs trends and challenges triangulating macro, household and firm census data.

Throughout her career at the World Bank, she has worked in almost all regions of the world and has taught and written extensively on subjects relating to economic growth and jobs, as well as on a broad range of themes from exchange rate management, industrial policy, education and poverty.  She currently leads the macro and fiscal practice’s technical knowledge and learning agenda.

Ms. Keller received her bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and did her Ph.D. studies at Johns Hopkins University.


The presentation will be given in English with simultaneous translation to Russian.


We would highly appreciate if you kindly confirm your participation or nominated representative to Ms. Meerim Sagynbaeva by December 4, 2015 by phone: 62 52 23 or by email: Should you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to your participation in the roundtable to have open and lively discussion.


09:45 – 10:00

Registration and Coffee

10:00 – 10:20

Welcome and Opening Remarks by
  • World Bank
  • Government of the Kyrgyz Republic

10:20 – 10:50

Presentation “Transitioning to better jobs in the Kyrgyz Republic: A Jobs Diagnostic“

By Jennifer Keller, Sr. Economist


Panel discussions:
  • Ministry of Economy and Industry: Economic Growth and Jobs creation
  • Ministry of Social Development: Employment Policy
  • University of Central Asia

11:30 – 12:00

Q&A Session

12:00 – 12:15

Closing Remarks

12:15 – 13:30

Reception. Informal Discussions.

  • When: December 8, 2015, 10:00AM
  • Where: Bishkek, Park Hotel
  • Contact: Ms. Meerim Sagynbaeva, tel.: +996 (312) 625223, email: