Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 212

Economic prospects have seemingly brightened for the small, landlocked nation of Kyrgyzstan. According to Kyrgyz economics minister Talai Koichumanov, growth in GDP this year could be a respectable 5 percent. (Interfax, November 11) Data recently released by the Statistical Committee of the CIS supports this upbeat forecast. In sharp contrast to gloomy reports coming from a number of other CIS states, industrial output in Kyrgyzstan through the first nine months of this year grew by 11.2 percent. (Itar-Tass, November 1) Mining, particularly of gold, has been an especially impressive performer. Reform of the agricultural sector, which accounts for 40 percent of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP, has also led to positive results, according to Koichumanov. (Interfax, November 11) Government policies have also led to a swift reduction in the budget deficit, which could fall to 5 percent in 1996 from last year’s level of 11 percent. Although Kyrgyzstan’s national currency, the som, has of late depreciated sharply against the dollar, authorities have indicated that they will not support the currency’s exchange rate and that the central bank intends to accumulate foreign currency reserves. According to Koichumanov, a lower exchange rate is part the country’s export strategy. (Interfax, 11 November)

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