Sources of Long Term Growth
Edited by Gur Ofer and Richard Pomfret
Roman Mogilevsky and Rafkat Hasanov To understand the history, current level and prospects of economic development of Kyrgyzstan it is worthwhile to consider its geographical location, relief, climate, the size and structure of the population as well as the political history and structure of the country. Kyrgyzstan is located in Central Asia; its area is 199.9 thousand km2. It is a landlocked country, so world markets are accessible only through territories of neighbouring countries; to the east on the Chinese border transport infrastructure is poorly developed, and to the south there are centres of political instability. This makes the Kyrgyz economy dependent on the transshipment policy of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Mountains cover more than 90 per cent of the territory of the country, and arable land composes only about 7 per cent of the total area. A majority of the population and larger part of economic activity are concentrated in valleys; the most important among them are the Chui and Fergana valleys. There are two main economic regions in the country – the North and the South. Because of mountains, communications between diﬀerent parts of the country are quite diﬃcult, for example, railway communication between North and South requires crossing Kazakh and Uzbek territories. The climate is continental, hot and dry. Highly productive agriculture is possible only on irrigated land; for this reason water resources and irrigation have a strategic importance for the Kyrgyz economy. A cascade of hydroelectric stations on the Naryn River supplies a large part of...
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