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Russian-Kyrgyz Inter-Regional Cooperation with a Digital Focus

15 June 2018
Российско-киргизское межрегиональное  сотрудничество в цифровом фокусе

The role of digital transformation in the economic integration of the Russian Federation and the Kyrgyz Republic was discussed at The 7th Russia-Kyrgyzstan Interregional Conference, which took place on 15 June 2018 in Chelyabinsk.

Traditionally, the Russia-Kyrgyzstan conference was organised by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic. The conference was hosted by the Roscongress Foundation.

An Executive Order by the President of Russia designated Chelyabinsk as the host of the SCO and BRICS summits in 2020. Accordingly, experience hosting other large events is crucial to strengthening the region’s congress and exhibition infrastructure.

The conference programme included a plenary session and thematic round tables on topical issues of bilateral cooperation. Moreover, during the contact exchange session, conference attendees also had an opportunity to arrange B2B meetings.

The main avenues for cooperation discussed in light of the development of digital technologies were trade, transport, tourism, agribusiness, and youth policy. “It would be no exaggeration to say that, in the last few years, the Russia-Kyrgyzstan International Conference has become the most important and far-reaching platform for public discussion of a wide range of issues on the bilateral agenda”, said Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media Konstantin Noskov. “Our cooperation is developing intensely along a number of avenues, including on the regional level, which is becoming one of the key factors strengthening our trade and economic relations, expanding our industrial cooperation and deepening the humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan. There are already more than 70 regions in Russia engaging in trade and economic cooperation with Kyrgyzstan."

Head of the Kyrgyz delegation, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Zhenish Razakov stressed that holding this conference allows the two countries to maximize the potential of their cooperation. “The search for new, digital business solutions, electronic marketplaces, electronic document management, electronic registration of all regulatory documents, and electronic communication between businesses and the administrative agencies of our countries will allow us to change the very nature of the economic integration of our two countries”, said Zhenish Razakov during the plenary session.

The event was also attended by representatives of the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation, the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic, representatives of regulatory agencies, business circles, non-governmental organizations, the expert community, and media outlets.

Governor of Chelyabinsk Oblast Boris Dubrovsky brought to the attendees’ attention that, according to this year’s Q1 results, foreign trade turnover between Chelyabinsk Oblast and the Kyrgyz Republic grew by almost 20%, with a threefold increase in import. “In 2019, the capital of the Kyrgyz Republic will simultaneously serve as the capital of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. For us, learning from the experience and best practices of our Kyrgyz colleagues is crucial, because Bishkek then passes on the SCO summit baton to Chelyabinsk, where, in the summer of 2020, we will greet our esteemed guests from friendly counties. In this respect, I believe it’s helpful to establish continual contact now, so we can better understand the particularities of the preparation process (and the big picture) through the experiences of our Kyrgyz colleagues.”