Economic Cooperation Organization

Kyrgyz Republic *

The Kyrgyz Republic is bounded by Kazakhstan on the northwest and north, by China on the east and south, and by Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on the south and west. Most of Kyrgyzstan-s borders run along mountain crests. The mountains stand in the core of the Tien Shan system, which continues eastward to China. To the southwest are two great valleys. The Country-s area totals approximately 199, 900 square kilometers. The Kyrgyz, a Turkic-speaking people, constitute more than half of the population. They speak a language belonging to the north-western or Kipchak group of the Turkic languages. They were formerly a nomadic people who were settled into collectivized agriculture by the Soviet regime. Besides Kyrgyz, the Country-s population includes minorities of Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, and Germans (exiled to the region from European parts of the Soviet Union in 1941), as well as Tatars, Kazakhs, Dungans (Hui; Chinese Muslims), Uighurs, and Tajiks. Since independence in 1991, many Russians and Germans have emigrated.

Kyrgyzstan-s 1993 Constitution, which replaced the Soviet-era Constitution that had been in effect since 1978, recognizes numerous rights and freedoms for citizens. It establishes legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government but gives the President, who is the Head of State, the ability to implement important policies or constitutional amendments through a national referendum. The current President is H.E Mr. Sadyr Japarov.

The new Constitution originally created a unicameral parliament, but in 1994 voters approved a bicameral legislature, with a lower chamber (the legislative Assembly) consisting of 35 nationally elected deputies and an upper chamber (the Assembly of People-s Representatives) consisting of 70 regionally elected, part-time members. The President, elected directly for a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms, appoints the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and members of the high courts, subject to approval by the parliament. The President also appoints the administrators of Kyrgyzstan-s six oblastes (provinces). The judicial branch includes local courts and three high courts: the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Court of Higher Arbitration.

The people of Kyrgyzstan have traditionally raised livestock and engaged in farming. Cotton, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products and exports. By the late 20th century the Republic had become a source for nonferrous metals, notably of antimony and mercury ores, and a producer of machinery, light industrial products, hydroelectric power, and food products. Gold mining has increased in importance, and Kyrgyzstan possesses substantial coal reserves and some petroleum and natural gas deposits. Hydroelectric power provides more than three-fourths of the country-s electric energy.

Kyrgyzstan has been one of the most progressive countries of the former Soviet Union to carrying out market reforms. More than half of government stock in enterprises has been sold. The share of private sector activity in Gross Value Added increased from 13% in 1994 to 35% in 1997. Drops in production have been severe since the breakup of the Soviet Union. During 1996 for the first time there was an achievement of 5.6% of GDP growth. Moreover, the real growth of GDP in 1997 has been fixed at the 6.2% level.

* The data and statistics here are reproduced from the following UN source: