The 2nd Annual Kyrgyz Convention opened with welcoming remarks by H.E. Tairbek Sarpashev, Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, H.E. Temir Sariev, Minister of Economic Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Hon. Dr. Kanybek Imanaliev, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Jogorku Kenesh, and Dr. Faruk Taban, President of Turkic American Alliance.
The distinguished speakers acknowledged the presence of the participants and their efforts towards improving bilateral relations between the U.S. and the Kyrgyz Republic. Following these welcoming remarks, Almaz Sazbakov, Director of the Investment Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, delivered a brief presentation highlighting the benefits of investing in the Kyrgyz Republic and increasing economic cooperation between the Kyrgyz Republic and the economic community.
Vladimir Fedorenko, Research Fellow at the Rethink Institute, kicked off the “Kyrgyz-American Economic Trade Forum,” the academic component of the convention organized by the Rethink Institute. The purpose of the sessions was to provide an intellectual platform for government officials, academia, businesspersons, policymakers and community leaders to share ideas and experiences.
The first panel was entitled “Reviving the Silk Road: Economic Development, Trade and Investment Opportunities” and focused on increasing economic development, trade and energy cooperation in the Kyrgyz Republic and beyond. The panel was moderated by the Hon. Emil Umetaliev, President of the Kyrgyz Concept Company and former Minister of Economic Development of the Kyrgyz Republic. Umataliev elaborated on the economic development of the Kyrgyz Republic and the process of accession to the Customs Union. The Kyrgyz accession to Customs Union, Umataliev elaborated, promises not only some benefits, but also several significant challenges that should be addressed. Semetei Omurgazy Uluu, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Young Entrepreneurs in Kyrgyzstan, highlighted the role and value of the private sector in sustainable economic growth and establishing strong relationships. Dr. Michael Cain, Director of the Center for Study of Democracy and Professor of Political Science at St. Mary’s College, offered strategies and recommendations on improving energy efficiency in Kyrgyzstan. David Koranyi, Acting Director of Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council, shed insight on the geopolitics of Kyrgyzstan within the broader region, as well as ways of improving its hydro-energy potential and advancing the energy sector in Kyrgyzstan.