Kyrgyzstan push UK to resume flights between the countries

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Кyrgyzstan highly values the contribution and assistance of the United Kingdom in the context of projects for the socio-economic development of the country, strengthening human potential, and supporting small and medium-sized businesses, said the head of the Kyrgyz Cabinet of Ministers, Akylbek Japarov, during negotiations with the UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron in London, the press service of the Kyrgyz government reports.

In 2021-2022, the assistance from the United Kingdom within projects and programs amounted to $5.2 million. Additionally, an allocation of $10.56 million as official development assistance to Kyrgyzstan is expected, stated A. Japarov.

Over the last three years, Kyrgyzstan's budget has tripled due to political stability, successful administration, anti-corruption efforts, and economic reforms. Kyrgyzstan has become a leader in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, ranking 45th out of 166 UN member states.

Trade and economic cooperation were discussed during the negotiations. It was noted that the trade turnover between the two countries exceeded $60 million in the first 8 months of 2023, which is 480% more than the same period in 2022.

Japarov emphasized the importance of actively continuing joint efforts to establish business contacts between British importers and Kyrgyz exporters, noting that Kyrgyzstan is actively working to attract foreign investors.

The Kyrgyz side highly values the contribution of the UK government to the organized recruitment of Kyrgyz citizens under the seasonal work program in the United Kingdom, said the head of the Kyrgyz government.

"I am pleased to note that this year the quota for seasonal workers from Kyrgyzstan reached 8,000 people. We hope that, taking into account the positive mutually beneficial experience, the number of seasonal workers will continue to grow," he said.

The UK Foreign Secretary welcomed the activities of Kyrgyz citizens during the seasonal work period.

At the same time, Japarov mentioned that there is an Agreement on Air Services between the governments of Kyrgyzstan and the United Kingdom dated December 8, 1994. Under this Agreement, British airlines operated regular flights between London and Bishkek in different years, but they stopped in 2013.

"However, in recent years, the number of our working citizens, students, and graduate students in the UK is increasing, as well as a growing tourist flow, both from Kyrgyzstan and to Kyrgyzstan, which can positively affect the increase in passenger traffic. Given these circumstances, we ask for assistance in considering the resumption of regular air traffic between our countries at the government level," he said.

The UK Foreign Secretary expressed interest in activating bilateral cooperation and expressed confidence that the implementation of previously reached agreements and new agreements between the two countries will be at a high level.

November 27, 2023