Since the beginning of 2020, not only our country but the entire world has felt its vulnerability against a tiny virus. This virus has revealed all our existing vulnerabilities, and the global economy has undergone and will continue to undergo significant changes.
Many people have lost their jobs and even their families. Yet, despite the crisis, hope remains strong among the people of Kyrgyzstan. In October, they went to vote with desperate optimism.
It’s true that when a fire engulfs an apartment, discussing plans for repairs is futile; extinguishing the fire comes first. I am confident that these dark times will pass, and lawlessness will fade. My country has a bright future ahead. It is often said that the night is darkest just before the dawn, and I believe we will become a nation where people dream of working, doing business, and living.
Currently, a dark cloud of criminal chaos looms over the country. Nevertheless, I want to share my vision of our country’s economic future.
This optimism is sorely lacking today, and it is what we should aim for once the dark clouds dissipate.
This plan is intended for the politicians of the future who will emerge when criminal chaos is defeated.
It may sound strange, but my program has nothing to do with the upcoming vote on January 10 or any other short-term political events.
So, the state of the economy — WE ARE AT THE BOTTOM.
It’s time to rise. Stop playing politics and start doing business. Our country has become a record holder in GDP growth in only one area: domestic political news production. Our drivers, builders, merchants, and consumers have all become political experts, managers, and virologists. The nation is split between those trying to survive and prove their truth, and those attempting to exploit the situation for personal gain.
In the midst of this desperate struggle, we’ve overlooked something crucial. Elections will occur, the pandemic will end, but will the political authorities be prepared for new and potentially unexpected challenges facing the country? All efforts have been directed toward pre-election promises and slogans. The budget is empty, and external debt looms like the sword of Damocles. Spring approaches, and as people watch events unfold, fear for an uncertain future creeps in unnoticed.
Today, more than ever, people are realizing that regardless of human-made laws, the laws of nature and the cosmos still apply. There are things that often go unnoticed in a person’s life, but they have a profound influence on it. All of this is connected on a planetary scale to the processes that occur at the intersection of science and metaphysics.
Whether we like it or not, ongoing cosmic changes impact both human health and thought, as well as our needs and interests. Solar flares, magnetic storms, Schumann resonances, climate change, pandemics, etc., are all interconnected in a chain that has persisted since the dawn of humanity.
2020 was no exception. Both the world and Kyrgyzstan found themselves in turbulent times. We all sensed that something was happening, but we couldn’t see the changes it would bring. It used to seem that only the people of Kyrgyzstan faced unique problems, but now many countries share these issues. And that’s not all.
We could discuss this endlessly, but I believe the time has come to take stock and begin building a new economic system. How long can we continue as an appendage and live by someone else’s established principles when they no longer function? We need to find a way forward and a path along which our country’s new economic format will grow and develop.
This format differs fundamentally from previous proposals and is fully adaptable to modern technological realities. We are talking about ECONOMIC DECENTRALIZATION.
But let’s first examine the geopolitical landscape.
OUR PLACE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
We must acknowledge that each country in the world pursues its own interests. No one is concerned with the economic success of our nation.
China views us as a source of raw materials, both now and in the future.
America sees us as a testing ground for its democratic technologies and NGO activities, as well as a place from which to influence the Chinese region bordering us.
Russia benefits from the inexpensive labor of our migrants.
Neither Turkey, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, nor any other power is interested in our country being economically prosperous and self-sufficient.
Therefore, we should build a new economic system independently.
We nearly fell into debt dependency with China, and there is no need to exacerbate an already challenging situation.
Another reason to build a new economy is the prospect of global power instability. It is uncertain how the pandemic-induced crisis will impact the global economy. The outcome of the confrontation between Trump and the Democrats in the United States remains unknown. It is unclear what sanctions countries will impose on each other in the coming year. Additionally, there is a risk that an unspoken embargo may be imposed on our country due to the critical concentration of crime in power. Recall how recently neighboring borders closed, leaving long lines of vehicles unable to deliver goods. The less we rely on one state’s economic decisions, the better for Kyrgyzstan.
The country has only one path forward — to build a new economic system. This is an innovative and unexpected concept rooted in proto-national foundations. We have grown accustomed to adopting ready-made models and learning from other countries» experiences. However, none of these models will fit today, as they are all designed for integration into a defunct political structure.
It doesn’t matter who assumes power. Any president will face harsh conditions. Will they be able to cope?
The new economic system entails a radical shift in the construction and development of the economy based on different principles.
The centralized system has exhausted itself and is now starting to implode. Decentralization, based on principles rarely implemented elsewhere, could establish an entirely new foundation for our development. We have been claiming for two years that we are developing the regions, but in reality, nothing has materialized. It’s time to recognize that a country is not just its capital but also its strong regions.
If power is built from the bottom up rather than top-down, it becomes much more stable.
Kyrgyzstan is traditionally a communal state, where local issues carry significant importance. We won’t change our mentality quickly, nor should we. We simply need to adapt the system of state administration to our people’s traditions.
Thus, for political stability in Kyrgyzstan, it is essential to grant more power to the regions. The national government should only hold the authority granted to it by the regions from below.
This is the key to stability.
This is a separate topic, to which I will devote minimal attention. This is because the New Economic System cannot be implemented within the existing political format. It would be swallowed by the old system, rendering all attempts futile.
Our politicians are used to offering pre-election political programs addressing issues they deem significant. But do these programs genuinely reflect the aspirations and expectations of the people? After all, the electorate is presented with pre-packaged programs that merely summarize existing issues. Has there been a case where voters themselves proposed their own development program? Has anyone asked them what they truly want at a local level? Until now, voters have chosen from what they were offered, but it is now necessary for the electorate to present demands to politicians. This way, those seeking power understand the tasks set for them by the electorate.
Our politicians have developed a fashionable habit of looking back and recalling others» mistakes. Constantly looking back prevents seeing the road ahead and leads to endless stumbling. It’s time to broaden our thinking, see the road in its entirety, and not just focus on the election campaign period. Currently, candidates come to power not to rescue the country from crisis but to control resources. This is the truth.
Old tools and methods persist. Even young appointees, such as Artyom Novikov and Tilek Toktogaziev, who arrive with good ideas and plans, risk becoming hostages to a system that will crush them. This is because the system confines them within its political framework, which remains unstable amid a series of crises: economic, financial, political, social, environmental, and anthropological.
That is why the new economic system must be constructed outside the political format, from the ground up. Nature itself offers clues, as trees grow from the ground.
This new structure will become the mechanism for the birth, growth, and development of a fresh format for the state economy.
In the past, the state assigned economic tasks to regions without considering realities and necessities, merely to generate a gross product and fulfill plans. People worked for the economy, striving to increase and surpass percentage ratios with previous periods. In the new format, the economy will work for the people. The new economic system must address people’s expectations and adopt a rational approach. It will be a green economy in every sense (not to be confused with an environmentally-focused economy).
When the foundation of the new structure takes into account the interests of all locations, the superstructure (in this case, the political structure) can be built and adapted according to citizens» real needs.
The state, in its current form, has become a supervisory, controlling, and punishing entity. However, it should perform entirely different functions. Implementing a new economic system will allow the state to develop policies based on a humanistic, person-centered approach towards its citizens. Just examine Kyrgyz legislation – is it compassionate towards its people? Taxes, fines, deductions, restrictions… But where are the conditions, protections, and guarantees?
What does an economy of Kyrgyzstan, built on new principles, look like?
Almost all countries are striving to develop their own information technology.
Why does Kyrgyzstan have an excellent opportunity to outpace other countries in attracting high-tech companies?
Kyrgyzstan can offer them something many countries lack — freedom. The most advanced information technologies require liberation from excessive regulation.
Many countries (for example, China) restrict internet freedom, ban new financial settlement technologies, and so on.
If we skillfully leverage our legislation’s strengths, we can attract significantly more IT business to the country than we have now.
Chinese software firms may arrive due to the inability to develop specific technologies in China. European firms may come because of the strict European legislation on personal data, and so on.
It is necessary to eliminate restrictions for the development of international projects in areas such as payment systems, blockchain, and the handling of personal data. Simultaneously, restrictions can be maintained to protect domestic consumers.
KYRGYZSTAN AS THE FINANCIAL CENTER OF THE FUTURE
Kyrgyzstan can occupy a unique position as a regional or even international financial center.
To reiterate, this can happen once the country establishes political stability and removes crime from power. At present, this is unattainable: any international investor could be targeted by one corruption clan or another.
To develop financial and investment businesses on a global scale, Kyrgyzstan currently possesses excellent, very liberal legislation. The nation’s securities market is almost non-existent, but due to its liberal regulation, it can attract international investors rapidly. All that is needed is stability.
By focusing on international financial services alone, the country could earn tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
And this is just a small part of what can be accomplished through the new economic system.
No other sector sparks as many disputes and conflicts in Kyrgyzstan as the activities of foreign mining companies.
The population often sees no other purpose in their activities than to receive momentary handouts – sometimes as a result of severe extortion and threats of violence. The government and regulatory authorities view such investors as an opportunity to extract bribes for every aspect of their operations.
As a consequence, reputable foreign companies avoid Kyrgyzstan and primarily collaborate with Chinese capital companies that have little regard for the environment and consider paying bribes a standard business practice.
This vicious cycle must be broken.
When it becomes feasible, nationally significant mining projects should involve reputable global companies that, due to their status and risks, will not harm the environment or encourage corruption.
At smaller deposits, anyone interested in trying their luck should be allowed to work, regardless of their country of origin. However, conditions for such work should include hiring local workers and allocating guaranteed funds to the local budget. In the event of violations, the license could be transferred to someone who meets the requirements.
We must abandon the illusion that Kyrgyzstan holds vast resources for mining. Almost everything that was possible was mined during the USSR era. The remaining facilities are either low-quality, highly capital-intensive, or require sophisticated infrastructure. As such, it is essential to treat conscientious mining investors with respect.
Economic decentralization will enable addressing investment issues at the local level, bypassing the corruption trap within the central administrative apparatus.
A SPECIAL APPROACH TO TOURISM
We often emphasize the need to develop tourism, but the truth is that tourism can be developed in different ways. If we merely strive for a constant increase in the number of tourists, our nature may not be able to withstand the pressure. The mass of tourists will damage the environment, and we will lose our most significant advantage for tourism – untouched nature.
Instead, we should focus on attracting wealthy tourists. Currently, budget-conscious tourists from Europe and Russia visit our country, increasing pressure on nature and infrastructure while contributing little revenue. It is better to have a few tourists spend a considerable amount of money, reducing the burden on nature.
To attract wealthy tourists, we should invite well-known tourist brands, hotels, and travel companies to the country. Over time, we could become a destination for elite, environmentally friendly, high-quality tourism.
We might also consider opening gaming zones for foreigners in Kyrgyzstan, providing an exclusive experience that generates significant revenue.
KYRGYZSTAN AS THE REGIONAL AVIATION CENTER OF THE FUTURE
Creating conditions for Kyrgyz airports to serve as transit airports for international air transportation should be a priority. This will require significant investment in infrastructure, but potential investors are already waiting for political stability and guarantees against criminal encroachments.
Due to its geographical position, Kyrgyzstan can act as a transit point for air transportation of Chinese cargo to Europe and fulfill other functions.
LIGHT INDUSTRY AND PRODUCTION
Our country possesses immense potential for the growth of small-scale production within the light industry sector.
Currently, textile workshops and small-scale industries suffer from persistent corruption. By eliminating this issue and implementing supportive government policies for exports, a significant expansion of these enterprises can be achieved.
At present, officials find it unprofitable to support the export of local products, as these smaller businesses yield limited returns. Instead, they prefer to protect large-scale smuggling operations.
In the future economy, the focus should shift to providing full support for small local industries, enabling them to successfully export their products to foreign markets.
EXPORT OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
A major challenge faced by our farmers is the difficulty in selling their products at fair prices abroad.
Our neighbors impose bureaucratic barriers, demanding one document after another. The state has retreated from providing assistance in document preparation and export support at the foreign policy level.
It is more advantageous for our officials to accept bribes from foreign dealers rather than assisting farmers.
I believe that the new economic policy should prioritize empowering people to take matters into their own hands.
We need to adopt globally proven practices by creating purchasing cooperatives, allowing foreign buyers to directly collaborate with them. These buyers can handle the documentation process, ensuring farmers are not left to face the bureaucratic machine alone.
The primary objective of the new economic policy should be to welcome back our labor migrants and provide them with decent employment opportunities. I believe that the implementation of the program elements I have outlined here will eventually achieve this.
However, even with the best possible progress, our country will not be able to accommodate all labor migrants in the near future.
I suggest an excellent solution for this transitional period.
The pandemic has demonstrated the value of labor migrants, as global movement restrictions have highlighted their importance to the most developed economies in fields such as construction and service development.
Currently, Kyrgyzstan exports mostly unskilled, low-cost labor, including drivers, construction workers, and dishwashers.
In partnership with interested foreign firms, we should establish training and advanced skills development centers in Kyrgyzstan. If individuals wish to work abroad, they should leave as organized teams or at least as workers with certified qualifications.
Evidence shows that our migrants can then earn two or three times more than they do now.
I personally initiated a pilot project earlier this year in collaboration with several European construction companies. I am convinced that there is significant interest from foreign firms, who are willing to provide free training to specialists with certified qualifications. I believe that this practice can become widespread.
What do we face today? Decades of corrupt governance have led us to doubt our own capabilities.
We have come to see ourselves as a «third world country» plagued by corruption, exporting labor migrants and smuggled goods.
Politicians may come and go, but the people and the country remain. The people must decide their future, guided by the principle of «bottom-up.»
It is crucial to recognize that a new economy should be built on proto-national, natural, and cosmic laws that have the potential to change the global landscape.
Currently, politicians attempt to control our resources — subsoil, water, and nature. The results of this are evident to all.
These resources are not the private property of politicians; they belong to everyone. Economic decentralization will enable regions to develop their own resource management mechanisms. They can form and allocate their budgets, engage directly with investors, develop infrastructure, create jobs, and identify priority areas specific to their region.
As a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic, I urge civil society to participate in shaping a new economic system, independent of the political framework.
As the editor-in-chief of the Ekonomika newspaper and a citizen, I will begin traveling around the country from the start of 2021, meeting people to hear their expectations, ideas, and visions. This is to ensure the new economic program considers the interests of all citizens while respecting the laws of nature, traditional practices, and environmental sustainability.
The new economic program is revolutionary – it represents a fundamental shift in our citizens» mindset toward harmony and ecological balance, equitable development, and cooperative engagement with other systems. It is a horizontal line of unity that brings together minds to achieve resource equilibrium.
I welcome collaboration with civil initiatives, local communities, media, experts in various fields, and those who understand the need for a new beginning instead of clinging to the old. Let’s create an economic map of our country to guide a new generation of politicians.
To those who ask who supports me, I say: my family, my ancestors, and my responsibility as a citizen of this country stand behind me. This is not an international project or a political directive. Many in the regions are familiar with me from the training sessions I have conducted and know my commitment to the country’s development.
In January, I will head to the Batken region. I welcome suggestions and ideas, and I am grateful for any cooperation and assistance in organizing local meetings. I am open to dialogue. All meetings will be recorded and broadcast on social networks, allowing everyone to participate in discussions and ask questions.
Ultimately, we will create our own economic map of the country, introducing a new economic system that incorporates innovative technologies and considers solutions at both the natural and geopolitical levels.