- Title: China increases its economic influence in Kyrgyzstan
- Date: 5th June 2017
- Summary: KARA-BALTA, KYRGYZSTAN (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ZHONGDA REFINERY PLANT FACILITIES FLAGS OF CHINA, ZHONGDA PLANT AND KYRGYZSTAN WORKERS WALKING ON PLANT TERRITORY VARIOUS OF PLANT FACILITIES DEPUTY GENERAL DIRECTOR OF ZHONGDA REFINERY PLANT, NURDIN AKMATOV, SPEAKING TO PLANT WORKERS WORKERS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) DEPUTY GENERAL DIRECTOR OF ZHONGDA REFINERY PLANT, NURDIN AKMATOV, SAYING: "We work in collaboration with Chinese nationals on our territory, so this is considered a Chinese company. There are 502 Kyrgyz workers on this plant and 212 Chinese workers. From the Chinese side they (workers) are mostly specialists or engineers who actually manage the system of work at the plant. They are the specialists as we have not had such plants in Kyrgyzstan before - this is the first one built - so the Chinese side is slowly teaching our guys. And they will leave their posts for our Kyrgyz workers." CHINESE AND KYRGYZ WORKERS IN ROOM WRITING ON WALL BEHIND CCTV SCREEN READING (Mandarin): 'PUT YOUR SOUL INTO WORK / ACHIEVE HIGH QUALITY' VARIOUS OF WORKERS SEATED IN FRONT OF COMPUTERS VARIOUS OF PLANT AND MOUNTAINS IN BACKGROUND BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN (RECENT) (REUTERS) ENTRANCE TO KYRGYZ ECONOMY MINISTRY BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Kyrgyz) HEAD OF INTERREGIONAL DIRECTORATE AT KYRGYZSTAN ECONOMY MINISTRY, ZAINIDIN ZHUMALIYEV, SAYING: "In the beginning of the 90s turnover of commodities between our countries (Kyrgyzstan and China) was around 100-200 million (USD), but now the annual turnover has reached 1,5 billion USD. It means that year after year relations get better." KYRGYZ FLAG AND CALENDAR ON TABLE (SOUNDBITE) (Kyrgyz) HEAD OF INTERREGIONAL DIRECTORATE AT KYRGYZSTAN ECONOMY MINISTRY, ZAINIDIN ZHUMALIYEV, SAYING: "One of the largest Chinese investment projects with colossal sums is the oil refinery plant Zhongda. If we look at the numbers for just the previous year: they paid 1.7 billion in taxes. This plant has the capacity to refine 800,000 tonnes of oil annually. There is also another refinery being constructed in the town of Tokmok." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE MILLING ABOUT IN MARKET FOLDED SHIRTS ON SALE CLOTHING STALL CHINESE TAG ON PANTS (SOUNDBITE) (Kyrgyz) MARKET VENDOR, OROZBEK MAZHITOV, SAYING: "These trousers are called jeggings. The trousers are really good, we bring them from China. When the goods arrive they are sold within a couple of days and we bring new ones every 10 to 12 days for sale. We tried to sell Turkish pieces but they are expensive and don't sell well. Chinese goods sell well so we sell them. I've been working with China for three or four years now. Before I used to bring Turkish clothing, but prices on those grew and I stopped." CLOTHING ON DISPLAY PEOPLE IN MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MARKET VENDOR, ZARIPA ISAKOVA, SAYING: "The import of goods goes well we can say, I would say that retailing is also not so bad. But there is one big problem that worries all of us and that is that we cannot enter China. We have certain limitations, limitations in receiving visas." VARIOUS OF PACKED GOODS ON TROLLEY PEOPLE IN MARKET
- Embargoed: 19th June 2017 10:51
- Keywords: investment oil refinery plant cooperation economoy Kyrgyzstan China
- Location: KARA-BALTA AND BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN
- City: KARA-BALTA AND BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN
- Country: Kyrgyzstan
- Topics: Government/Politics,International Trade
- Reuters ID: LVA0016K02M2H
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: China's economic influence in the ex-Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan is one the rise.
From Chinese made consumer goods swarming Bishkek's markets to construction projects that use Beijing loans to build highways and factories - China's impression can be felt in this Central Asian nation.
In 2016 Kyrgyzstan, whose economy was hit hard by the recession in Russia and a slump in gold output, said it wanted its giant neighbour to relocate dozens of Chinese plants and factories to the Central Asian nation.
The deal means that Kyrgyzstan can have some of those consumer and industrial goods sourced from China produced on its territory and by its own workers.
One of the most ambitious of these investments is the Zhongda oil refinery plant in Kara-Balta. The plant was completed in 2014 and now processes over 300,000 tons of crude oil a year, according to officials.
Chinese companies have invested some 350 million USD in the construction of the Zhongda plant. But authorities hope the plant will help ease the country's heavy reliance on Russian and Kazakh petroleum.
The plant receives raw materials from Russia and Kazakhstan, and also processes small amounts of oil extracted in the south of Kyrgyzstan.
Officials plan to increase the processing of raw materials to 600,000 tons in 2017. The refinery has the capacity to process 800,000 tons of crude oil annually.
Chinese investors have also constructed two smaller refineries in the country with a total capacity to process 1.2 million tons of oil a year.
Kyrgyzstan hopes refinery can cover over 60 percent of domestic consumption.
The impoverished, mostly Muslim, republic of 6 million people, is heavily dependent economically on its neighbours - namely Russia and Kazakhstan.
The financial crisis which started in Russia after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 brought dire consequences to the local currency. The Kyrgyz som lost almost half of its value against the U.S. dollar, also multiplying the national debt.
Beijing has been able to provide a stable flow of commodities, often at cheaper prices than the other trade partners of the country.
Small-scale retailers are also benefiting from the thriving China-Kyrgyz friendship as cheap goods find faithful customers in the republic.
"When the goods arrive they are sold within a couple of days and we bring new ones every 10 to 12 days for sale," says Orozbek Mazhitov who sells clothing in a Bishkek market.
"We tried to sell Turkish pieces but they are expensive and don't sell well," he added.
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