From a sixth-floor window overlooking Bishkek’s “golden quarter” — a district touted as holding the city’s prime real estate — a panorama of slow-moving and stalled construction projects greets the eye.
The dormant sites are casualties of Kyrgyzstan’s national currency, which has lost nearly a third of its value in the space of a year. The som slipped from 59 to the dollar on January 1, 2015, to around 76 to the dollar at the end of the year, according to the Kyrgyz national bank’s official rate.
With other sectors of the economy also feeling the strain, the government is mulling heavy-handed anti-crisis measures that analysts say will do more harm than good.
According to a recent report citing the State Inspectorate for Ecological and Technical Safety, there are over 40 frozen construction projects in Bishkek. Construction companies are unwilling or unable to finish building as long as their buyers cannot stump up the cash for apartments or office space.
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