A Series of five articles covers 25 years of independence of all Central Asian republics. All five articles are included in this one piece of writing to give a background of Soviet Socialist Republics (SSRs) so readers can understand circumstances new states went through after disintegration of former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).From Soviet Socialist Republics to Independent States: A story of Central Asia
The Independence of Central Asian states caused a snow ball effect and entire USSR was disintegrated on December 26, 1991– just one day after Independence of Kyrgyzstan was recognized.
The Soviet Union was officially dissolved on December 26, 1991, as a result of the declaration no. 142-Н of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), although five of the signatories ratified it much later or not at all.
Almost all Central Asian states are going to celebrate their 25th Independence from August 31, 2016 to December 25, 2016.
Uzbekistan was the first Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) that announced its Independence and came out from the clutches of former Soviet Union on August 31, 1991. Other Central Asian SSRs followed Uzbekistan instantly.
Tajikistan announced independence on 9 September 1991, Turkmenistan announced its independence on 27 October 1991, Kazakhstan announced its independence on 16 December 1991 and Kyrgyzstan announced its independence on 31 August 1991 but it was recognized an Independent state on 25 December 1991.
This phenomenon of disintegration and coming out from the clutches of former Soviet Union is called as “Uzbek way” by Russian anthropologists and historians.
Kazakh SSR had biggest land volume in former Soviet Union while Tajik SSR was the smallest. These Republics were called Constituent Republics of the Soviet Union (USSR).
Almost every SSR had certain production entity except Tajikistan which was known only for water and hydel energy production. Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan were known for their oil and gas productions, Kyrgyzstan was popular for copper, iron and gold mines, and Uzbekistan ruled the former SSRs for its cotton production.
Kazakhstan had an edge of being a wheat producer and hosting Baikonur Cosmodrome which is the first and largest operational space launch facility in the world. But all SSRs had other smaller products also including uranium and iron ore. The future of SSRs was determined by their products when they decided to disintegrate from former Soviet Union and they all performed well in their respective fields except Tajikistan that fell in civil war due to its proximity and social linkages with Afghanistan. A civil war and rule of radical Islamists continued for over five years and ruined this country from top to bottom. Tajikistan has yet to come out of adverse impact of civil war and remains poorest country in Central Asia.
Almost all heads of states of newly independent states had been a part or heads of Soviet system in their respective SSR therefore they decided not to disintegrate from new Russia culturally and socially because they had fears that radicalism would be injected in their countries by United States that had been financing Jihad in Afghanistan. Almost all newly born states did not go far away from Russian orbit though some of them wishes to stay little away from the gravity of New Russia.
New Russia had no interest in Tajikistan because of it proximity and cultural linkages with Afghanistan but new Russia did not wish to disintegrate from biggest country—-Kazakhstan and biggest cotton producer—Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan fell in Western bloc soon and weak Russia let it went away farther.
Almost every new state decided to preserve certain elements and values of the “old system” therefore Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan decided to provide socioeconomic basics including free education and health care, special support to elderly people, cheaper oil and subsidies on wheat because these three countries were rich SSRs while Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan could not do this without the support of new Russia because their productivity was less like of Kyrgyzstan.
One should look into political, social and financial conditions of these former Soviet Republics after they have completed their first quarter of century as independent states.
Uzbekistan was first to gain independence and its economy is currently growing but death of its Father of Nation and founding President Islam Karimov on August 30, 2016 (officially on September 2, 2016) can push this country into certain serious political as well as economic crises. Nothing can be said so far about its future but Uzbeks are a resilient nation and I believe Uzbekistan would manage this shock soon.
Uzbekistan performed very well under the leadership of deceased President Karimov. Uzbekistan exploited its cotton industry and provided cheaper labour to new Russia.
Though Uzbekistan got independence on August 31, 1991 but old Supreme Soviet of Uzbekistan remained in place until January 1995—-more than a year after a new constitution had been passed through a referendum, followed by general elections.
I first travelled to Uzbekistan via Tajikistan in 1993. I had seen a fragile administrative system and extreme poverty, empty huge buildings without electricity and gas and I thought this country would not come out of such conditions for next 10 years. However, I was mistaken and I saw a totally different Uzbekistan when I travelled a second time in the year 2004. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) continued to increase and its GDP stood at 302.8 billion sum in year 1995—a rise from 0.07 per cent in 1992 to 20 per cent in 1995. There is no doubt its inflation index soared up to 226 per cent in 2006 but the country managed its inflation by the year 2010.
One of the major reasons to fight out this inflation was that Uzbekistan continued to provide free education, health care and allowances to its population and it worked hard on its tourism sector. Families were given land and built houses by the government while families were allowed to earn some extra income through opening shops in their residences and other petty trade and businesses. Uzbek women played major role in its economy therefore productively of the nation was double. Women played their role in agriculture, trade and businesses. You can find more women doing businesses in markets than men because men are usually working at industries or in travel business.
Government invested on youth and a confident youth equipped with knowledge and skills replaced Soviet-minded non-decisive generation. Private enterprises were encouraged in the fields of construction, real estate, transport, medium size industry, financial and tourism sectors.
However Uzbekistan did not do well in attracting foreign investments due to its tight banking system, old state laws and lack of structural reforms. There is a great need to work about improving the investment climate for foreign investors, strengthening the banking system, freeing the agricultural sector from state control and building confidence among foreign investors to come.
There is saying “Uzbek investment is one way ticket—you can bring investment into Uzbekistan but you cannot take it back home due to laws those only help State (Uzbekistan) not the investors”. Moreover, state laws are complicated and international banking system is not present with international guarantees therefore smaller groups or individuals are shy to invest in Uzbekistan. Yes Uzbekistan is a pleasant place for investment for strong groups —-having government support from their home countries to ensure transfer of money outside Uzbekistan.
Uzbek economy is strongly linked with Russian economy through remittances therefore it had many serious jolts when Russian currency devalued during 2014-15. Inflation rose overnight and real estate prices went down when Russian ruble lost its value to half.
An energy crisis is another factor to slow down economic growth in last decade. Uzbekistan controls outflow of currency therefore it buys limited gasoline and natural gas while constant growth in its population and industry causes shortage of gasoline, gas and electricity during winter season. Tourism season in Uzbekistan is not growing due to lack of energy resources because heating becomes very expensive during winter therefore 70 percent small hotels shut their business and accommodation rate goes higher in winter. This situation is hampering tourism industry strongly and Uzbekistan can do much better in tourism sector in case it can run its tourism 12 months a year instead of only eight months as it is doing now.
Independence is blessing for Uzbekistan and it is expected that this landlocked country will do well in next decade but structural reforms are needed without delay.
Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) had been considered illiterate, unproductive and rebellion during Soviet era. Nikita Khrushchev tried to lift Tajik SSR at par of other SRRs during 1957–58 under his initiative known as “Освоение целины” (Virgin Lands Campaign).
However, this initiative also failed to change Tajik SSR and Tajikistan had the lowest household saving rate and the lowest rate of university graduates per 1000 people till 1980.
Influenced by Afghan Jihad, Tajik Communists had been demanding increased rights if not independence and Administrative disturbances were common, resulting poor performance and productivity during 80s.
According to some documents of Soviet Politburo, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Tajikistan Rahmon Nabiyevich Nabiyev had links with Afghan Mujahideen and CIA in early 80s therefore he was replaced in 1985. However, his influence continued on party and he led a group of Communist Party that declared the independence of the Republic of Tajikistan a week after its neighbour Uzbekistan declared Independence on August 31, 1991. Communist Party officially announced Independence on September 9 and decided to hold elections in December 1991. Nabiyev won the elections and became the first elected President of Tajikistan. Secret documents revealed in late 2001 indicated that Rahmon Nabiyev who had links with Afghan fighters promised them to share power with Tajik Islami groups before coming into power but he broke this promise and Islamic ethnic groups from Garm and Gorno-Badakhshan launched attacks against government in May 1992.
While Rahmon was fighting against Islamist groups, his own militias staged a coup against him in September 1992. He was forced to resign and Emomalii Rahmon from Kylyab province captured Dushanbe but civil war continued for another five years and Tajikistan lost its chance to stand at par with other newly independent states of Central Asia.
Eight million population of Tajikistan is working hard to find their prosper future in a country that has to import almost everything including wheat and gasoline because 90% of area is covered with mountain and its economy is highly dependent upon remittances, aluminium and cotton production. Contrary to the other former SSRs, Tajik government does not offer free education and or free health services or any subsidies on wheat to its population.
Since country is poor, its border management is weak and it is being run on international support. On the other hand, presence of one Russian and another Indian military base, regular exercises by combined Tajik, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Russian and Chinese troops are keeping Tajikistan at bay from hostile forces from Afghanistan though Taliban and Daesh are putting pressure on Afghan-Tajik border since early 2016.
At home front, war lords system is yet to be eliminated and they still fight each other in underground wars, mainly over control of drug, arms and other illegal businesses.
Economic and industrial output growth is perceivable but not trickling down to poor people. Tajikistan wishes to export hydropower to other countries including Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tajikistan believes that a big dam namely Rogun on Vakhsh River in southern Tajikistan will provide 3,600 megawatts for export but this project is yet to be completed though it was started during Soviet era.
Meanwhile Tajikistan building CASA-100 project but transmission line of this project is designed to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan through areas where Taliban are ruling since last December. Exporting electricity is the only hope for Tajikistan to come out of economic crises as Tajik economy had worse situation in late 2014 and early 2015 due to devolution of Russian currency and slowdown of Russian economy. Tajik economy strongly depends upon remittances from Russia.
According to a World Bank report, foreign investors are shy to invest in long term basis due to fluid economy and tight bureaucratic rules. World Bank suggests that Tajikistan should implement sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms that are necessary to attract foreign investments.
One of the World Bank report indicates that the country has done less well in reducing non-monetary poverty. Recently available micro-data suggests that limited or no access to education, heating and sanitation are the main contributors to non-monetary poverty. These three are the most unequally distributed services, with access to education varying by income level and heating and sanitation according to location.
Its topography does not allow it to produce much food and while landlocked situation compels it import with higher rates due to higher freight.
In 2014, Tajikistan exported $697M and imported $4.82B, resulting in a negative trade balance of $4.12B.
The top exports of Tajikistan are Raw Aluminium ($184M), Gold ($120M), Zinc Ore ($63.5M), Lead Ore ($58.4M) and Raw Cotton ($49.5M) while its top imports are Refined Petroleum ($377M), Wheat ($179M), Knit Men’s Suits ($175M), House Linens ($136M) and Footwear ($128M).
The top export destinations of Tajikistan are Kazakhstan ($172M), Turkey ($158M), Switzerland ($121M), Italy ($67.4M) and Algeria ($51.6M). The top import origins are China ($2.46B), Russia ($890M), Kazakhstan ($518M), Turkey ($277M) and Switzerland ($120M).
According to social development experts, Tajikistan needs to implement a deeper structural reform agenda to reduce the role of the state and enlarge that of the private sector in the economy through a more conducive business climate, modernize and improve the efficiency and social inclusiveness of basic public services.
Turkmen society is based on tribal norms where elite, clan and contacts run the system.
Word “Turkmen” appeared in history in 10th century for people who migrated from Mongolia and were called “Oghuz tribes”.
Turkmen areas were under the influence of Khanate of Khiva therefore the Turkestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (initially, the Turkestan Socialist Federative Republic) was established on 30 April 1918 and Turkmen tribesmen joined forces with the Bolsheviks at the end of 1919 to depose the rulers–Khans. On 2 February 1920, Khiva’s last Kungrad khan, Sayid Abdullah, step downed and Khorezm People’s Soviet Republic was created out of the territory of the old Khanate of Khiva. Former Khanate was divided between Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic and Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.
Since terrain of this part of Soviet Union was considered rugged and sandy desert without water therefore this area was not popular among Soviet people. Almost 80% land of SSR had no constant source of surface water flow. Main rivers were located only in the southern and eastern borders. A few smaller rivers on the northern slopes of the Kopetdag were diverted for irrigation. The most important river was (is) Amu Darya which flows across northeastern Turkmenistan.
Turkmen SSR was considered primitive and almost useless by former Soviet Union and people from main land of USSR were discouraged to travel to Turkmenistan SSR. The only interest former USSR had in Turkmen SSR was its oil resources.
The oil extraction industry started with the exploitation of the fields in Cheleken in 1909, Balkanabat in 1936, Kumdag field in 1948 and the Koturdepe field in 1959. However production level was low. Now Turkmenistan is the fifth-largest natural gas producer in the world.
Konstantin Georgiyevich Paustovsky who was a Soviet writer (who nominated for the Nobel Prize for literature in 1965) talks about Turkmenistan in his classic work “The Bay of Kara-Bogaz”.
Superstitious, illiterate, overall backward and contributing nothing culturally comparing to other SSRs”.
Saparmurat Niyazov was in charge of Turkmen SSR in early mid 80s when former USSR was crumbling. He became First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Turkmen SSR in 1985 when Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev removed Muhammetnazar Gapurov due to alleged corruption in a cotton-related scandal. On January 13, 1990, Niyazov became Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Turkmen SSR. The post was equivalent to that of President.
Niyazov supported the Soviet coup attempt of 1991 and then announced Independence from USSR following Tajik and Uzbek SSRs.
The Turkmen Supreme Soviet declared independence from USSR and appointed Niyazov as President on October 27, 1991.
Independent Turkmenistan looked after its population and kept providing free education, free health services and free transportation.
Niyazov died of heart attack in 2006 and his Deputy Prime Minister Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov took over charge as “interim successor” and then was elected as new President through elections.
Political observers believe that 70 year Soviet rule failed to change social fabrics of Turkmenistan and it remains a tribal community.
Turkmen government provides almost everything free of cost to its population and public services such as water, house, apartment, energy and even basic food supplies are 100 per cent subsidized. However, Turkmen youth is not performing well in higher education sector although education is free.
Economy is performing excellent through export of cotton and energy products but decrease in oil and gas prices world over dented its economy during the last two years. In January 2016, Russia suspended all gas purchases from Turkmenistan due to its (Russian) economic meltdown. Now China is the only buyer of Turkmen gas and has been cutting down prices of gas on its (Chinese) will. China is buying around 30 billion cubic metre per annum, despite a supply contract amounting to 65 billion.
In these circumstances, Turkmenistan government backed by western world is trying to export natural gas to Pakistan through Afghanistan.
Opening of Iranian energy resources to the world after lifting of sanction is also not pleasant news for Turkmenistan as it has a competitor in its neighbourhood regarding oil and gas export.
Melting oil and gas market is hampering Turkmen economy because like most other post-Soviet states, it has failed to build up financial back-ups and export oriented economy makes the country almost fully dependent on cash invested from abroad—-export bills.
Leadership of Turkmenistan is facing political worries also as it has promised to provide almost 100% subsidies on electricity, natural gas, water and salt up to 2030 to its population while its financial resources are draining due to low exports. According to the decree of the Peoples’ Council of 14 August 2003, electricity, natural gas, water and salt will be subsidized for citizens up to 2030.
After oil and gas market meltdown, Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its economy and promote tourism industry for rapid cash flow.
Turkmenistan exports raw cotton to Russia, Iran, South Korea, Britain, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Ukraine, Singapore and the Baltic nations.
The tourism industry has been growing rapidly due to the creation of the Avaza tourist zone on the Caspian Sea. Turkmen tourism operators are doing business collectively with Uzbek companies to get tours for historical sites like Daşoguz, Konye-Urgench, Nisa and Merv.
One can say Independence for Turkmen is blessing as government is looking after its population and country is growing its economic base. “Yesteryears primitive “Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic” is today’s successful “Republic of Turkmenistan”.
The story of disintegration of former Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) from former USSR and becoming an Independent Republic of Kazakhstan indicates that interfaith, inter-ethnic and inter-cultural harmony can do a wonder for the development of a country.
The land of Kazakhs is known to accept and respect outsiders —– non-Kazakhs and give them admiration and confidence. The biggest Central Asian SSR —-Kazakh SSR had been known as a destination for those who had been penalized by the repressive Soviet system.
Soviet repression in the form of forced collectivization and Great purge sent millions of political prisoners and farmers to Kazakhstan from other parts of the Soviet Union during ruthless rule of Joseph Stalin and Kazakhs kept accepting outsiders with open hearts. Germans, Ukrainians, Jews and Belarusians were forced to settle in the Virgin Lands of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic under Virgin Land Campaign (Освоение целины). These social backgrounds of former Kazakh SSR provided a solid foundation for a new Independent Kazakhstan. This is one of the reasons that Kazakhstan is receiving highest level of foreign investments in Central Asia because country is open hearted and open minded and ready to share fortune with outsiders —-non-Kazakhs.
Kazakhstan made spectacular economic progress during the last 25 years of its independence and is known as an icon of interfaith, inter-ethnic and inter-cultural harmony.
The process of establishing Kazakh SSR started on August 26, 1920. It was initially called Kirghiz ASSR (Kirghiz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic) and was a part of the Russian SFSR. On April 15–19, 1925, it was renamed Kazak ASSR (subsequently Kazakh ASSR) and on December 5, 1936 it was elevated to the status of a Union-level republic, Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR).
Kazakhstan was worst victim of great famine along with Ukraine because both parts of former USSR were major producers of grain and they were left without grain when all grain was taken away by USSR authorities. According to estimation, over 1.7 million Kazakhs died of hunger during 1932 and 1933.
Kazakh SSR land played an important role in the development of nuclear and space programs of former USSR. Baikonur Cosmodrome (Космодро́м «Байкону́р») is first and largest operational space launch facility in the world. Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test, code-named ‘RDS-1’, at the Semipalatinsk test site in modern-day Kazakhstan on 29 August 1949. Kazakhs were also accepted in Soviet bureaucracy because of their multi-ethnic backgrounds.
Former Soviet Union started losing grip over Kazakh SSR in mid 80s due to illogical decisions of Gorbachev.
In late 80s, crumbling of former USSR started under the leadership of Gorbachev. Political observers of former Soviet Union believe that Gorbachev disintegrated USSR by design—slowly but surely.
Gorbachev replaced Kazakh communist Secretary-General Dinmukhamed Kunayev in December 1986 because Kunayev was reluctant to adopt glasnost and perestroika. Gorbachev sent Gennady Kolbin as Secretary-General who had never lived in the Kazakh SSR before and he was not acceptable by population.
Removal of Dinmukhamed Kunayev was followed by large scale demonstrations all over the SSR and authorities used force against demonstrations, resulting killing of over 200 protestors.
It may be mentioned that Dinmukhamed Kunayev was first Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan since 1964. He was known to place Kazakhs in prominent positions in the bureaucracy and economy in Kremlin.
The new leader, Gennadi Kolbin could not survive and Nazarbayev was named party leader on 22 June 1989. He became Chairman of the Supreme Soviet (head of state) on 22 February till 24 April 1990 —the day when he was named the first President of Kazakhstan by the Supreme Soviet. Here, the journey of New Kazakhstan started.
In the beginning of 1991, Nursultan Nazarbayev started work to get out of the clutches of USSR and he played well during March 1991 referendum which was held to determine the fate of the Soviet Union in nine of its fifteen republics. Kazakhs voted in favour of the maintenance of the USSR as a “union of sovereign states”. Since USSR was decaying day by day, Nazarbayev announced independence on December 16, 1991 as President of Kazakhstan.
First four years were difficult. I visited former Capital Almaty in 1993. I saw poverty everywhere due to the large scale of closure of state run industries and high inflation.
In 1994, over 900 state enterprises were simply closed down, sending over 400,000 employees without support while over 170 enterprises cut working hours and laid off 130,000 workers. However, this situation was transitional and remained only for two years. I saw a different Kazakhstan when I again visited it during 1997. That was the time when the new independent Kazakhstan was emerging as the strongest economy in Central Asia. Foreign investment started coming in oil and gas industries and government instantly shifted fortune to its population by announcing subsidies on bread, gasoline and household services to avoid socioeconomic dilapidation.
Kazakhstan played well during 1998 meltdown of oil prices and by year 2001, it reached to a level to gain 13.5 percent economic growth.
Oil price meltdown of year 2014-15 did not harm Kazakhstan much because China showed interest to buy huge pieces of lands from Kazakhstan and Chinese investments surpassed Russian investments.
Now Kazakh government is also concentrating upon other sectors including mining and tourism to maintain its pace of economic growth.
Today, average living standards in Kazakhstan are still more than twice those of the other Central-Asian republics.
Kazakh economy received direct foreign investments over 130 billion dollars during year 2014-15. This was possible due to basic incentives created for investors, which included a 10 year corporate income tax break and an 8-year break on property tax. State guarantees now provide for 30 per cent of returns on investments.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev is a visionary leader who made Kazakhstan a success story during the last 25 years.
Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic (Kirghiz SSR) came into being in phases. It was first established as the Kara-Kirghiz Autonomous Oblast of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) on 14 October 1924 and then it was transformed into the Kirghiz ASSR (Kirghiz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic) on 1 February 1926. On 5 December 1936, with the adoption of the 1936 Soviet Constitution, it became a separate constituent republic of the USSR as the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic (Kirghiz SSR).
It may be mentioned that Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was first phase of transition that ended at the formation of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) —- A union of multiple subnational Soviet republics.
Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic was known as tourist resort and summer resort because of its scenic beauty and lush green valleys and pastures. Over 80% of the country is mountainous region comprising of Tian Shan Mountains and rest of 20 percent is comprising of valleys and basins.
Issyk-Kul Lake is the largest mountain lake in Central Asia with sweet water and the second largest mountain lake in the world. Heavy snowfall in winter leads to spring floods. The runoff from the mountains is also used for hydro-electricity. Less than 8% of the land is cultivated therefore food trend of people is based on livestock, vegetables and fruits. Wheat and other grains are less than 20 percent part of dining tables.
There was no big industrialization took place in this region during USSR but Soviet Union invested heavily in education and health sectors. Contrary to Tajik SSR, Kyrgyz youth took interest in education and played a positive role in the development of former USSR.
Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic continued to live with USSR without significant events and was considered as a peaceful place where ethnic Russians loved to live and settled their families. However, it came in spotlight when Osh clashes took place in 1990.
In the summer of 1989, an Uzbek political movement under the name Adalat (Court) started to send petitions to the Kremlin with the request to grant Osh the status of an autonomous “Uzbek” oblast. In response, Kyrgyz ethnic groups living in Osh formed a counter-movement namely “Osh Aimagy” (Osh Land).
Ethnic Uzbeks and Ethnic Kyrgyz had their first brutal clash in June 1990. Over 400 people were killed while estates and private property was looted and burnt. This was beginning of the fall of USSR authority in this SSR.
Following this clashe, the Kyrgyz Supreme Soviet adopted a “decree” declaring “sovereignty” of the republic within the USSR, allowing free elections of a President first, to be followed by a Parliament.
Elections were held on October 27 and Askar Akayev became the first President of the Kyrgyz Republic within the USSR.
USSR continued to crumbling slowly but surely and the State Emergency Committee assumed power in Moscow on 19 August 1991. Akayev suspended Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and announced independence from the Soviet Union on 31 August 1991 as the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. However, its independence was recognized on 25 December 1991—a day before official disbanding of USSR.
New Russia was too weak to think about its former SSRs therefore its former SSRs started looking at western world —particularly Kyrgyzstan, It moved forward towards western world and totally disintegrated from former Soviet system and social norms. Akayev promoted privatization of land and other economic assets and sold out over 70% state assets instantly.
He adopted business-driven society in the absence of long-term policies and kept depending upon foreign grants, loans and money coming through Non-government Organisations (NGOs). He became part of western economy without having anything to sell to western world except granting contracts of mineral exploration.
Kyrgyzstan abandoned all “socialist” principles overnight and withdrew all social services and support to its population. Askar Akayev fulfilled all demands for applying for World Trade Organisation after fixing everything according to open market economy model. His designed resulted in economic meltdown and gross domestic product dropped by 8 per cent in 1991, by 14 per cent in 1992, by 16 per cent in 1993 and by 20 per cent in 1994. Situation has not changed significantly ever since.
Kyrgyzstan successfully developed its tourism sector through ecotourism but incidents like Tulip Revolution and Osh riots harmed credibility of Kyrgyzstan as a destination with long term investment opportunities.
Economic growth declined to 3.5% in 2015 from 4.0% in 2014. Economic meltdown in Russia due to drop in oil and gas prices strongly dented Kyrgyz economy because its over-dependence on remittances coming from Russia.
Kyrgyzstan can do well as it has minerals and gold mines including Kumtor Gold Mine which was opened in 1997. More gold mines were discovered in Jerooy and Taldy–Bulak and Tokhtonysay in late 2006. This country is also rich in coal deposits (estimated at 2.5 billion tons). Foreign firms got contracts of exploration of minerals and gold but most of them left due to litigations with the government.
Kyrgyz political experts claim that western world injected and sponsored Tulip Revolution but it also failed to help crumbling civic facilities, overall living standards and population remained living in sheer poverty.
Since its independence, economy of the country is based on overdependence on a global monetary framework with loans, grants and remittances Kyrgyz migrants are sending mostly from new Russia.
It looks that Kyrgyz people have to go a long way to get fruits of freedom because economic indicators are not in favour of social and economic growth.