Press Releases

IFC and Switzerland to Help Improve the Kyrgyz Republic’s Business Environment

In Bishkek:
Kymbat Ybyshova
Phone: +996 (312) 626160

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, March 3, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the government of Switzerland are launching a five-year program to improve the Kyrgyz Republic’s business environment by promoting reforms and helping facilitate private sector growth.

Through the program, IFC will work with state agencies and other organizations to identify and remove regulatory barriers for starting and operating a business, as well as help streamline inspections practices and tax administration. The program will monitor changes to the country’s business environment through nationwide surveys of the private sector. It will also promote private sector reforms and help increase entrepreneurs’ legal awareness through a public outreach campaign and foster dialogue between the government and private sector.

“Sustainable private sector development in the Kyrgyz Republic is a top priority for the Swiss government,” said Andrea Studer, Deputy Country Director for the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Kyrgyz Republic. “The new program is an important step toward achieving this goal and improving the regulatory environment for Kyrgyz SMEs.”

Since 2002, IFC has partnered with the government of Switzerland in a number of Central Asian countries to help improve the business environment, which has resulted in $66.4 million of cost savings for local entrepreneurs.

“Building on our partnership with the Swiss government, we will now apply our wealth of regional experience to strengthen the private sector in the Kyrgyz Republic,” said Ellen Payne, IFC Project Manager. “IFC is strongly committed to helping the Kyrgyz government create a more favorable climate for business.”

The Kyrgyz Republic joined IFC in 1993. IFC commitments to the country have reached nearly $75 million, including investments and other advisory services with a focus on leasing, microfinance, housing finance, and corporate governance.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit

About SECO
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is the Swiss Confederation’s competence center for all core issues related to economic policy. Its aim is to create basic regulatory and economic policy conditions to enable business to flourish and benefit all. SECO also represents Switzerland in the large multilateral trade organizations and international negotiations, and is involved in efforts to reduce poverty and help developing countries with transition economies build sustainable democratic societies and viable market economies. For more information, visit