The Kyrgyz Republic is a mountainous country in Central Asia. It is land-locked and borders Kazakhstan to the North, China to the East, Uzbekistan to the West and Tajikistan to its South. The Kyrgyz Republic was formerly part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the “USSR”). It is also known as Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyzia (alternatively Kirghizia or Kirgizia).
The peaks of the Tien Shan mountain range and its associated valleys and basins span the entire country such that approximately 90 per cent of the Kyrgyz Republic’s land area is mountainous. The capital city is Bishkek which is located in the Northern part of the Country.
The economy of the Kyrgyz Republic is dominated by mining of various minerals, agriculture and remittances from citizens working abroad, particularly in Russia and Kazakhstan.
The Kyrgyz Republic has a multi-ethnic population of approximately 5.7 million people. Notwithstanding the fact that it has a literacy rate of close to 100 per cent, the Kyrgyz Republic is in the bottom quartile of countries by measure of GDP per capita; GDP in 2015 was estimated to be $3,400 per capita. Approximately 18 per cent of the country’s GDP is attributable to agriculture, although this sector employs about 48 per cent of the workforce. Approximately 71 per cent of the population speaks Kyrgyz, one of the official languages of the country. Other languages spoken in the Kyrgyz Republic include Russian (also an official language) Uzbek and Tajik.
After the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, the Kyrgyz Republic became an independent republic. The country has a democratic political system and it is organised into seven provinces or ‘Oblasts’. Following its independence from the former Soviet Union, the Kyrgyz Republic carried out various market reforms, such as adopting a constitution in 1993, improving its regulatory system and instituting land reforms. The Kyrgyz Republic was one of the first Commonwealth of Independent States countries to be accepted into the World Trade Organisation.