Cash-strapped Kyrgyzstan has a potential fix for its fiscal woes. Experts say the country is capable of doubling its gold production within a decade and reaping a financial whirlwind. Yet it’s no sure thing that officials will get their regulatory act together to make that happen.
Foreign investors are increasingly skittish when it comes to working in Kyrgyzstan. Political instability, physical insecurity and misgivings about the Ministry of Natural Resources’ management style have undermined confidence.
“At best investors here [in Kyrgyzstan] are guarded. They are sitting on their hands. Various events are very discouraging to investors […] people describe the Ministry of Natural Resources as ‘chaotic’,” said Ken Arne, a senior associate with Behre Dolbear International, a global firm offering business, technical and financial advisory services to the mineral industry.
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Deirdre Tynan is Bishkek-based reporter specializing in Central Asia affairs.