Press Release: IMF Macroeconomic Policy Seminar for Parliamentarians from the Kyrgyz Republic

May 22, 2006

Press Release No. 06/108

A seminar for parliamentarians from the Kyrgyz Republic on the role of international financial institutions in support of the Kyrgyz Republic's reform efforts was organized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in cooperation with the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, on May 19-20, 2006 in Bishkek. The high-level seminar was opened by the Speaker of Parliament Marat Sultanov and included speeches by Prime Minister Felix Kulov, IMF Governor for the Kyrgyz Republic Marat Alapaev, Chairman of the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, and Graham Hacche, Deputy Director of the IMF's External Relations Department (see the complete list of speakers attached).

The purpose of the seminar was to gain a better mutual understanding among parliamentarians and representatives of the IMF and other international financial institutions on macroeconomic policies in the region, progress with economic reforms, and the role of the IMF in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Participants discussed a broad range of issues, including the economic progress made in the country in recent years and the policy challenges going forward; how to improve fiscal transparency and continue public sector reforms; financial sector reform; policies to improve the business climate and to strengthen governance and transparency; debt relief; global and regional economic integration; and the evolving role of the IMF and its dialogue with legislators and civil society more generally.

In their review of recent economic performance in the Kyrgyz Republic, the seminar participants observed that there has been considerable success in achieving macroeconomic stability. They agreed that the central challenge for the country remained to put in place policies that will achieve stronger, sustainable economic growth and faster poverty reduction. This requires that macroeconomic stability be preserved, and that structural reforms be accelerated. It was agreed that it is important to streamline public sector operations and enhance fiscal sustainability; modernize the financial system; and create a regulatory and legal environment that fosters private sector-led growth. Further efforts to strengthen tax administration, as well as debt relief under the HIPC and MDRI Initiatives, should also make the external debt burden more manageable and create fiscal space for poverty-reducing spending.

Seminar participants pointed out the important role of parliament in passing key legislation that would contribute to improving fiscal sustainability, institutional capacity, and financial sector soundness, such as legislation to increase revenue, central bank independence, and curb money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Going forward, the broad participation of parliament and civil society would also be important as the country updates its poverty reduction strategy through 2010.

Participants stressed that the seminar contributed to a broadening and deepening of mutual understanding of both the policy challenges facing the Kyrgyz Republic and the work of the IMF and other international financial institutions. They also agreed that the dialogue between the IMF and parliamentarians in the region should continue, including in seminars such as this.

List of Speakers

Marat Sultanov, Speaker of Parliament

Felix Kulov, Prime Minister

Graham Hacche, Deputy Director External Relations Department, IMF

Oleh Havrylyshyn, Deputy Director of the IMF's Office of Internal Audit

Marat Alapaev, Chairman, National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic

Akylbek Japarov, Minister of Finance

Ulan Danikeev, Deputy Head of the Strategic Development and Expertise Division

David Owen, Senior Advisor, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF

Thomas Moser, IMF Executive Director for the Kyrgyz Republic

James Christopher Lovelace, World Bank Country Manager, Kyrgyz Republic

Ashraf Malik, Country Director, Asian Development Bank

Jason Lane, Director, DFID Office, Bishkek


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