With the arrival of autumn 2007, work was intensified to strengthen cooperation between the former Soviet republics. In early September, the 37th meeting of the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community was held in Moscow, which was the preparation for the summit of the heads of the EurAsEC states in Dushanbe, scheduled for October. A few days later, a Kyrgyz-Russian business forum was held in Issyk-Kul to attract Russian investments to Kyrgyzstan, where Russian businessmen took the first steps to fulfill the promise of the Russian president to invest $ 2 billion in the republic’s economy. On October 6, the EurAsEC Interstate Council , on which the documents on the establishment of the Customs Union were signed, and a new General Secretary of the Community was elected. They became the representative of Kazakhstan Tair Mansurov.
The next meeting of the EurAsEC Integration Committee, chaired by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Naryshkin, was the last before the summit of the CIS and EurAsEC in Dushanbe in October of this year. The main direction of work within the framework of the EurAsEC today is related to the creation of the legal framework of the Customs Union. According to Sergey Naryshkin, by this time, 5 out of 23 documents are ready for signing by the presidents. It is assumed that in the first stage of creating a free trade zone, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will be included in it as countries with the most developed economies. Later other EurAsEC members should join these countries. During the meeting, a number of topical issues of the organization’s activities were discussed. The draft proposals for the improvement of the borders of the Member States of the Community by integrated systems for the control of large-sized cargoes, as well as the creation of a unified automated information system for the control of customs transit goods were reviewed. The prospects and format of the future Migration Policy Council under the EurAsEC Integration Committee were discussed, which should contribute to solving the problems of labor migration within the Community. In addition, the meeting announced the holding of the first Eurasian sports games among boys and girls from September 18 to September 22 in Brest.
From 6 to 9 September, a Kyrgyz-Russian business forum was held at Issyk-Kul Lake, in which about 170 businessmen, officials and experts took part. The event was organized by the EurAsEC Business Council Association, headed by Chairman of the Board Yevgeny Tarlo.
The Russian delegation at the business forum was headed by Secretary General of the EurAsEC Grigory Rapota. More than 70 participants also took part on the Russian side. Among them: Oleg Soskovets, President of the Association of Financial-Industrial Groups of Russia, representatives of the Board of the Eurasian Development Bank, Rinko Holding Group of Companies, RAO UES of Russia, Rusal and others. The Kyrgyz side was headed by the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic on issues of integration cooperation within the framework of the CIS and the EurAsEC Ishenkul Boldzhurova. In addition, several ministers and deputy ministers of the government of the country, as well as representatives of republican business took part in the forum from the Kyrgyz side.
The main objective of the forum was to create favorable conditions for Russian investments in Kyrgyzstan. The forum hosts presented the investment climate of the republic, sectors of the economy that are open to Russian investments. First of all, the energy sector was presented. This is not surprising: in terms of its hydropower potential in the post-Soviet space, Kyrgyzstan is second only to Russia and Tajikistan. Moreover, the first steps have been taken to create conditions for foreign investment in the industry. In June 2007, the Zhokorgu Kenesh (parliament of the republic) was passed a law on the concession for the Kambarata hydropower station. Immediately after that, work began on the preparation of a rationale for investment. Representatives of the partnership, which included Inter RAO UES CJSC, Electric Stations OJSC (Kirghizan) and KazKuat JSC (Kazakhstan), are currently holding a tender to select the company that will execute the feasibility study. After the audit, the shares of participants and the cost of the project, and hence the volume of investments, will be determined. But now it is clear that this will become one of the largest joint projects in the CIS.
Also, the Kyrgyz side offers Russian companies to take part in the privatization of energy facilities of the republic, in the construction of new thermal power plants, power lines, to begin developing large reserves of brown coal. So far, the implementation of these plans is hampered by the legislative framework that determines the percentage of state ownership of ownership of strategic enterprises in the republic.
The prospects for the tourism business were clearly presented. The forum participants appreciated the delights of the pearl of Kyrgyzstan - Issyk-Kul Lake, magnificent mountains, clean air, and national flavor. Today, the tourist flow to the republic is close to 1 million people a year, mostly from Kazakhstan, while less than 40 thousand people come to the country. To increase the flow of Russian tourists, the Kyrgyz side proposes that investors complete the construction of the coastal Tamchi airport in order to create conditions for direct flights from Russia, as well as start building hotels. The Russian side proposes to open an international gaming zone in the lake area for early return on projects, Chairman of the Board of the EurAsEC Business Council Association Yevgeny Tarlo stated at the final press conference.
The most significant success of the business forum was the presentation of an investment agreement prepared by RINKO-holding on the construction of an aluminum and energy complex of Kyrgyzstan. The project involves the creation of a complete chain of mining and processing of aluminum, ensuring the production of electricity, as well as the creation of the necessary transport infrastructure. The cost of the first phase of the project is tentatively $ 3 billion. Investors should be companies from Russia, China and the EU.
Another no less important result of the event was a certain change in the view of Russian business about the republic as a politically unstable and depressed country. The hospitality with which the Russian guests were greeted, and the measures taken by the leadership of Kyrgyzstan to create a favorable investment environment, demonstrated once again how Russians are expected in the republic, both as investors and as guests.