common grounds for cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Khorasan Razavi

  • 20 April, 2022

Discussed in the meeting between Chairman of Iran Chamber of Commerce and Kyrgyzstan Ambassador: common grounds for cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Khorasan Razavi

In order to discuss common grounds for cooperation between private sectors of two countries, there was a meeting between Gholamhossein Shafei and the province economic campaigners with Turdakun Sydykov. According to Public Relations of Mashhad Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, Sydykov, regarding 30 years of diplomatic relations between two countries, stated, “Kyrgyzstan is situated in the heart of Middle Asia through which the Silk Way passes and it has common borders with China and Central Asian countries. We share several cultural interests with Iran and we hope to hold business assemblies and exhibitions in the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between two countries.”
He continued, “Khorasan Razavi Province, as one of the developed economic areas in Iran and the closest area to Kyrgyzstan, plays a pivotal role in two countries relations. In Iran, Mashhad was the first city where Kyrgyz traders entered for business. This metropolitan has a fundamental role in two countries economic development.” And added, “the economy of Kyrgyzstan is presently flourishing and dynamic; investors from all around the world, particularly form our friend and neighbor country, Iran, are there.”
Kyrgyzstan ambassador maintained, “Kyrgyzstan, by organizing Iranian private sector direct investment, has shown its readiness to expand cooperation in its infrastructural projects such as hydropower plants, dam construction, agricultural, industrial and construction fields, alterant industries, health and treatment and tourism. We try to absorb both Iranian businesspeople and tourists; in particular, we’ve facilitated visas for tourists.”

The necessity of direct flight between Mashhad and Bishkek
Turdakun Sydykov emphasized, “to create suitable mutual relations situation, it is necessary to establish a direct flight between Mashhad and Bishkek, a subject that we are working on. At the first glance, Kyrgyzstan seems to be a small country with a small population (6 millions); however, our country has the membership of several regional and international economic organizations which provide good capacities and facilities for foreign traders. Since 2016 Kyrgyzstan has been a member of EAEU.”
Sydykov added, “the other advantage is the membership of Kyrgyzstan in the World Trade Organization that allows it to export its products to China with a population of 1.5 billion where its agricultural organic production gets more popular year by year and it clearly bears witness to the investment capacity in agriculture.”
Kyrgyzstan ambassador then continued, “in 2016 Kyrgyzstan acquired an export permission of 3900 goods to EU without customs duties; that is why I invite Iranian economic campaigners to invest in our county and establish joint venture companies in order to have this export advantage.”

Kyrgyzstan facilities for foreign investors
Sydykov pointed at facilitating process for investors in Kyrgyzstan and said, “our government makes enough efforts to support foreign investors and provide equal conditions for them, the same as domestic investors. Between Iran and Kyrgyzstan in 1996 an investment promotion and support agreement was signed, so there is no obstacle to expand two countries economic interactions.”
He, for a second time said, “Iran and Kyrgyzstan have historical traditions and 30 years of friendly relations, a point that is so determining for development of stable economic relations; I insist that there is no political dispute between two countries and both of them consider economy and business as their first priority. We wish to utilize Iran’s facilities, experience and capacity in industry. For more than 3000 years, Iranian merchants have had business transactions with the world, so there is lots of experience here.”
Referring to his 20-year-ago trip to Iran, he asserted, “after two decades, despite all the imposed sanctions, I see that Iran is still in progress and this is a worthwhile experience.”
Kyrgyzstan ambassador admitting that seemingly the period of just import and export between two countries has come to an end, stated, “we’ve reached a point that to increase our relations, we need to establish joint venture companies and factories to export our products to Middle Asian countries and other countries of the world.”
He continued, “together with Mashhad Expo in Khordad in Bishkek, we will organize an exhibition exclusively for Iranian products where two countries business transactions are to expand.”
As another part of his speech, he referred to a meeting between two countries railways organizations over shipment issue and said, “we hope the transit train to Bandar Abbas provides a faster and more economical way for goods shipment; this train reaches its destination in a week time.”
Sydykov declared, “in air freight also, there has been some negotiation with Varesh Airlines and Kyrgyzstan airport has allowed 40% discount for this airline. We expect to have more than a flight a week after Fetr Holiday.”
He then said, “we are discussing visa issuance with Varesh Airlines; these days for Iranian passengers and traders we issue visas in the airport on our side; however, this is not the same for our citizens and they have to fill an online application form a week before. We hope negotiations solve this problem.”

Introduction of 50 projects for Iranians’ investment in Kyrgyzstan
Kochkorbaev Sagynbek Abdumutalipovich, Kyrgyzstan embassy counselor, started speaking and introduced 50 projects, recognized in his country, which are suitable for Iranians’ investment. He said, “Kyrgyzstan government regards power and energy increase as its top priority. Water and hydropower dams are its energy sources and a number of projects, predicted to be financed in the budget, will be done this year. The government has procured necessary lands and just look for investors.”
He continued, “Kyrgyzstan exports some agricultural products to Russia, Kazakhstan and a few other members of EAEU and in different provinces and cities there are storehouses and industrial refrigerators for fruits and vegetables. Another project is investment in conserves in which Iran has got lots of experience. To build a sugar factory, there is its raw material in abundance in Kyrgyzstan. Iran has plenty of experiences in production of sunflower oil, which is another field that we tend to build factories.”
Kochkorbaev named husbandry as one of the most significant fields for investment in his country and said, “we have satisfactory records for lamb export to Iran and still there are some projects in this field. We are also ready to export and invest in pure cotton.”
He continued, “in textile also, with regard to the availability of pure cotton in Kyrgyzstan, there is suitable capacity. We also have an investment project in building greenhouses, and several ones in construction roads and bridges.” Kyrgyzstan embassy counselor added, “entirely there are 50 projects for which we are ready to be in contact with Iranians and give them consultation and guidance.”

Hope for more development in two countries business relations
Mohammad Reza Tavakolizadeh, a member of Mashhad Chamber Board of Directors, hoping for the development of business relations between two countries, stated, “20 years ago, in a specific period, business between Iran and Kyrgyzstan was inclusive and after the establishment of new republics in Middle Asia, it got even more extensive; however, then it decreased for a while without any clear reason. To detect and remove the obstacles resulting in this decrease, a solution needs to be devised.”

Request from Kyrgyzstan to negotiate with Turkmenistan
Mohammadhossein Roshanak, head of business commission of Khorasan Razavi Chamber of Commerce, as part of his talk, mentioned, “Kyrgyzstan government may find a way to resolve trucks transit prohibition in Turkmenistan through negotiation with its administration. An issue that causes problems for both Iran and Kyrgyzstan.”
Emphasizing on the importance of flight from Mashhad to Kyrgyzstan for business growth, Roshanak maintained, “it would be very influential if the flight between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan has a layover in Mashhad, since due to limited number of flights, the price is too high.”

Request to simplify rules for foreign investment
Gholamhossein Rokhsat, head of Industry Commission of Mashhad Chamber of Commerce, also said, “I have been active in Kyrgyzstan since 2012 and recommend my colleagues to make the best use out of the chance prepared to transact with this country. Having reliable partners is one of the reasons for traders’ success, and Kyrgyzstan is such a partner; it has desirable climate, and properly respects customs principles; therefore, investors should grab the chance.” He also asked for simplification of rules of Kyrgyzstan and security of investment for foreign investment.
In this meeting, Kazem Shirdel, head of Khorasan Razavi Exporters Union, declared, “issues like preferential tariff and coordination among two countries traders are the ones we discussed with the ambassador before. Our transactions volume is not satisfactory, so we hope for more.”
He then added, “Iranian investors in Kyrgyzstan are not exempt from paying tax and they even have to pay 10% more than Kyrgyz citizens, while in our country there are 10 years of tax exemption for foreign investors.”

Cooperation Committee between Iran and Kyrgyzstan Chambers of Commerce
Anushiravan Qodsi, representative of Chamber of Commerce in Kyrgyzstan, explained, “since 7 months ago, Kyrgyzstan Chamber of Commerce has established a committee to support foreign investors and it’s planning for more security for Iranian investors who wish to invest in this country not to face difficulties such as ownership, partners’ selection and other official activities.”
He added, “establishment of the cooperation committee between Kyrgyzstan and Iran had been one of such activities; in which from each side there are 9 members who express their opinions in fields like tourism, industry, agriculture…therefore, potential problems are discussed and ways to remove them are followed up. In fact, this committee is to simplify traders’ affairs.”
He then said, “we ask Iran Chamber of Commerce to help Varesh Airlines; since the tickets for Kyrgyzstan are not sold, this airline has financially faced lots of loss; if the chamber makes some of these tickets charter, it will be very profitable.”

Export capacity of agriculture production to Kyrgyzstan
Mohammadreza Ourani, head of Agriculture Organization of Khorasan Razavi, talking about Iran export capacities to Kyrgyzstan, maintained, “different agricultural machinery and poisons can be exported to Kyrgyzstan. Right now in our province 145 units are producing more than 70 kinds of agriculture machinery and poisons, most of which are exported. There are three vegetable and fruits seeds production units that are ready to export.”
He continued, “there are 11 producers of fruits seedlings in the province that work based on contemporary knowledge, acquiring from Ferdowsi University, to produce seedlings and they can be effective in the expansion of gardens in Kyrgyzstan. Because of two advanced and modern greenhouse builders, our province has also potentials to export related knowledge.”

Readiness of Ferdowsi University to provide technical and engineering services to Kyrgyzstan
Nargess Salehnia, a faculty member of Ferdowsi University also said, “one of shortcomings to which a little attention has been paid in business circles is connections with scientific circles. Ferdowsi University is fully prepared to provide technical and engineering services for Kyrgyz citizens. This university has got a holding of 8 strong subdivisions working on new energies…”
She added, “among 90 memorandums of Ferdowsi University with other countries and 2500 foreign university students, there is not even a single Kyrgyz student. We are ready to cooperate and we suggest joint study table of Iran and Kyrgyzstan, because we believe, next to economic campaigners, university can simplify processes.”
Seyyed Hossein Sekhavati, managing director of Sakha Shimi Company, as one the investors in Bishkek free zone, maintained, “although we cannot deny some difficulties, rules in Kyrgyzstan are not strict. The problem in Kyrgyzstan is that some of staff in customs interpret rules based on personal preferences, an issue we have in our country too.”
He continued, “in Kyrgyzstan textile industry, gold mines and energy are profitable grounds for investment. Another benefit is that in financial transactions rules are not strict in Kyrgyzstan. Flights, after a short pause, restarted and we are glad to have weekly flights; even to start flight between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Iran can be highly desirable.”
Jalil Nayeb, managing director of Hamian Tejarat Mehr Khoshnam, also said, “in business center of Kyrgyzstan there is a good chance to invest and transact. The other promising capacity is the coming Iran exclusive exhibition.”

Iran, the 18th goods supplier of Kyrgyzstan
Mohammadali Amirfakhrian, head of foreign business office in Khorasan Razavi SAMT Organization, admitting the low volume of business transactions between two countries and saying that Iran is 18th supplier of goods to Kyrgyzstan, added, “75% of our country export to Kyrgyzstan is through our province; last year the value of export to Kyrgyzstan was 79 million dollars, 70% of which belonged to Khorasan Razavi.”
He declared, “what matters is that we need to achieve win-win situation in relations and guarantee common interests in our interactions; along with common investment, the volume of transactions is to rise. Iran can import cotton, silk, beans and needed mineral products and export goods like shoes, medicines, tele-communication products, cigar, fabric and food and alterant products.”
Amirfakhrian insisting on the necessity of increase in two countries volume of transactions, suggested, “the issue of free-visa tourism between two countries can be very beneficial; to establish common standards also can play an effective role in business simplification. Exhibitions also should be bilateral and bartered; we should hold Kyrgyzstan exclusive exhibition in Mashhad.”
He then said, “for railway freight exchanges, if a dock is built in Bandar Abbas and another one in one of Kyrgyzstan areas, we shall witness brilliant and desirable results in this field.”
Mohammadreza Taziki, managing director of Khorasan Razavi Municipal Corporation, also said, “the Municipal Corporation can cooperate with Kyrgyzstan in three fields and projects; first, meat import, due to draughts and needs in Iran, of course in case Kyrgyzstan slaughterhouses receive our approval.” He added, “the other project is investment in hydropower dams, since, we have a knowledge-based company in this field and in return we may have goods barter.” He continued, “in road construction and urban development projects we can immediately start cooperation with one of the companies without any specific limitations.”

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