Reforms for improved governance and domestic job creation on the agenda
BISHKEK, November 13, 2015 – World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller today completed his first official visit to the Kyrgyz Republic. Accompanied by World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia Saroj Kumar Jha, Mr. Muller met with Head of President’s Administration Farid Niyazov, Prime Minister Temir Sariev and Minister of Finance Adylbek Kasymaliev.
During the meeting with Mr. Farid Niyazov, Mr. Muller congratulated the authorities for the successful parliamentary elections held in October 2015 and re-iterated the World Bank Group’s commitment to strengthen its partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic. Progress of the country’s participation in regional integration and inter-connectivity were also addressed, including the CASA-1000 Project on regional electricity transmission and trade, and other regional initiatives in water, energy security, and climate change.
With Prime Minister Temir Sariev, Mr. Muller discussed the country’s economic resilience in the face of regional and international headwinds and the Bank Group’s response through financing and advisory services aimed at reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity of the Kyrgyz people. Prime Minister Sariev and Mr. Muller noted the progress achieved to date as well as the remaining challenges in improving public sector governance, reforming business environment, and creating jobs, notably for the youth.
Commenting on his visit, Vice President Muller said: “My visit to the Kyrgyz Republic gave me the opportunity to better understand the country’s challenges and opportunities on the path to strong, sustainable and balanced growth. As hard budget constraints limit the scope for the Kyrgyz Government to increase social transfers, the uncertainties surrounding the economic fortunes of countries hosting Kyrgyz labor migrants put at risk these countries’ continued ability to absorb the migrants. Job creation domestically, therefore, remains the key channel to improve Kyrgyz citizens’ welfare. The World Bank Group will continue supporting the country’s reform efforts aimed at improving governance in the public sector and enabling private sector-led growth which benefits the citizens through job creation.”
During his stay in Bishkek, Mr. Muller also met with development partners and civil society organizations.
Mr. Muller’s visit to the Kyrgyz Republic was his first visit to the country since he became the World Bank’s Vice President for Europe and Central Asia on July 1, 2015. Prior to travelling to Bishkek, he visited Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan.
The World Bank’s overall mission in the Kyrgyz Republic is to reduce poverty, promote economic growth and shared prosperity. 45 percent of the World Bank’s assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic is in the form of grants. The other 55 percent is in highly concessional credits with no interest, and only a 0.75 percent service charge. Credits are repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The Bank’s financial assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic since 1992 amounts to over US$1 billion, in the form of grants and highly concessional credits.