EBRD, FAO encourage agribusiness investments in Kyrgyzstan
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 28 / Trend , G.Dadashova /
Agribusiness community leaders representing a wide range of public and private sector enterprises and donor agencies are meeting in the Kyrgyz Republic's capital, Bishkek, on Sept.28 and 29, 2011, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reported.
The meeting is aimed to share insights on how to develop the country's agricultural sector which lies at the heart of further economic recovery and sustainable growth.
During the two-day Kyrgyz Agricultural Investment Forum representatives from local and international businesses, together with government officials, will discuss their experiences and concerns about investing in Kyrgyz agriculture.
The Forum was organized by the Kyrgyz government with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD and the EBRD's Shareholder Special Fund.
The main aim of the Forum, the first of its kind in the Kyrgyz Republic, is to assess potential areas for investment through encouraging public-private sector dialogue and identifying ways to overcome obstacles that currently hamper the sector's further development.
"We are committed to providing technical assistance to the Kyrgyz government," said Charles Riemenschneider, Director of FAO's Investment Centre division. "FAO is already active in advising national authorities in a wide range of specialized areas."
"Agriculture is one of the Kyrgyz Republic's most important sectors, contributing about 30 per cent to the gross domestic product and employing over one-third of the country's population," said Masaru Honma, EBRD's Director for Central Asia, who leads the Bank's delegation to the Forum.
The EBRD is the largest investor in agribusiness in the transition region and signed a record number of transactions in the sector during 2010. The Bank's main focus remains helping agribusiness in the region recover from the financial crisis and move towards fulfilling its potential as the world's next "bread basket". To date, the EBRD has committed about US$ 450 million in various sectors of the Kyrgyz economy, mobilising additional investments of approximately US$ 650 million in over 70 projects.
Over the past three years the Bank's investments in the Kyrgyz Republic have more than tripled, from US$ 63 million in 2008 to US$ 214.6 million at the end of 2010. In 2010 alone the EBRD signed eight projects worth a total of US$ 115.1 million. Some 84 per cent of the Bank's projects have been investments in the country's private sector.