Korea Times | 11-19-2007
Korea, Kyrgyzstan Sign Investment Pact
By Yoon Won-sup
Korea and Kyrgyzstan signed a bilateral investment treaty and economic cooperation pact, Monday during Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev’s visit here, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and his Kyrgyz counterpart said the agreements would pave the way for increased economic exchange.
Atambayev arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a three-day visit. He is the first Kyrgyz prime minister to visit Korea since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1992.
The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the ministries of culture.
Last week, vice ministers of foreign affairs of the two nations had a bilateral meeting in Seoul at the 1st Korea-Central Asia Forum in which five Central Asian countries participated.
Korea’s attention to Kyrgyzstan is very much related to the nation’s rich natural resources such as uranium, gold and tungsten. Plus, the Central Asian country has tourism potential being dubbed the ``Switzerland of Central Asia."
A Cabinet meeting approved the establishment of a committee for economic cooperation between the two nations last Tuesday.
The two sides are also considering forming a body to initiate joint projects comprising of government and non-government officials, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Given that foreign investment in Kyrgyzstan increased from $200 million in 2005 to $340 million in 2006, Kyrgyzstan will emerge as new investment destination for Korea, according to the Korea-Kyrgyzstan Friendship Association.