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Dear members and friends,

Last week BEI took a trade mission to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan has liberal legislation and offers many opportunities for growth and investment. For instance, only 10% of their potential energy resources are currently being used and there are excellent conditions to build small hydro-power plants. The ski slopes rival those in the Swiss mountains, and there are considerable opportunities for investment into the tourist trade. The country also has a large and well-trained workforce of IT professionals, with 9.5% of the country’s IT support services already being exported to the UK. Visa-free travel from the majority of developed countries and the fact that it only takes six to eight days to register a company make the country very attractive for inward investment and partnerships.

This was the first ever UK trade mission to the country. We were very pleased to recruit 16 companies from four key sectors: Education & Training; Infrastructure; Tourism; and Professional & Business Services. All the delegates reported positive results from the three-day programme, supported by the British Embassy every step of the way. Even the arrival of President Putin on a state visit didn’t put the Embassy team off, though it did explain all the muscular Russians lurking about the corridors of the Hyatt Hotel!

HM Ambassador Robin Ord-Smith MVO led the trade mission briefings and hosted an excellent reception. The Head of DFID Central Asia, Peter Fernandes-Cardy briefed us on the DFID programme and also chaired a roundtable with all the main development donors. Companies also benefitted from a business seminar and an extensive programme of individual meetings, as well as group sessions including meetings with the Minister of Economy and the Minister of Education. We feel that the visit will result in starting a new, exciting chapter in UK-Kyrgyz trade relations.


Alexandra Barnes - Director, New Business