Improving the Legal Framework for Business in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan has been unique in Central Asia in seeking to chart a democratic trajectory, but the country also walks a fine line between Russia, China and the West – and has lately seen some signs of democratic decline. The Kyrgyz economy is also vulnerable to reduced labor remittances and new tariffs, underpinning the need for a strong domestic small and medium enterprises (SME) sector to diversify growth and help shore up the health of its fledgling democracy. CIPE is working with Kyrgyzstan’s diverse and geographically widespread SME community to coalesce and advocate for needed reforms, and to strengthen public-private dialogue mechanisms. In partnership with the think tank BizExpert, CIPE supports Kyrgyz business associations to develop, advocate, and monitor evidence-based policy recommendations through a National Business Agenda. In recognition of Kyrgyz youth’s stake in increasing economic opportunity at home, CIPE and BizExpert introduced a fellowship program for youth to gain experience with the advocacy and policymaking process. In previous projects, CIPE helped create the National Alliance of Business Associations, representing 59 associations and over 80,000 SMEs; provided capacity-building support to improve individual associations’ management and advocacy skills; trained public and private sector stakeholders on tools to analyze regulations; and developed a corporate governance training program.