Canada - Kyrgyz Republic Relations
Canada established diplomatic relations with the Kyrgyz Republic in 1992. Canada is represented in the Kyrgyz Republic by the Canadian Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan and maintains an Honorary Consulate in Bishkek. The Kyrgyz Republic is represented in Canada by the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic in Washington, D.C., USA. and has an Honorary Consulate in Montréal.
Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs met with the Kyrgyzstani President and Foreign Minister in 2010. In March 2013, the Canadian Parliamentary Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs visited Bishkek. Most recently, Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs visited the Kyrgyz Republic in 2014, where she met with the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Canada makes regular contributions to multilateral and regional programs in the Kyrgyz Republic. Canadian contributions to the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria are currently partially programmed in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Canadian government also funds a major health and education programme run by the Aga Khan Foundation aimed at improving basic health outcomes in the country. Canada is a contributor to the UNESCO education monitoring program in the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as to the University of Central Asia, which is based in the Kyrgyz Republic with branches in other Central Asian States.
The Canadian Embassy in Astana with accreditation to the Kyrgyz Republic manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) , through which funding assistance is provided to local NGOs currently active in the Kyrgyz Republic. Over the past five years, CFLI has supported over $371,000 on projects that promote freedom of the press, LGBT rights, inter-ethnic tolerance, anti-corruption, women’s rights, religious freedom, and freedom of speech.
Following the 2010 inter-ethnic conflict in the Kyrgyz Republic, Canada provided over $2.3 million in humanitarian assistance for those affected by the conflict. This included over $850,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and $1.5 million to UN agencies for the provision of emergency food assistance, protection and essential relief items and for the coordination of the humanitarian response. Since then, Canada has provided $500,000 in funding to international organizations working on security and conflict prevention and resolution in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Kyrgyz Republic is Canada’s second largest commercial partner in Central Asia. Canada’s technical expertise in the extractive sector greatly contributes to the economic development of the Kyrgyz Republic. Canada’s Centerra Gold Inc. continues to be the largest foreign investor in the country through its joint-venture with the Kyrgyz Government, the Kumtor gold mine. The mine accounts for half of the country’s industrial output.
In 2015, bilateral trade between Canada and the Kyrgyz Republic totalled $15 million, an increase of 3% over 2014. Canada’s merchandise exports in 2015 totalled $14.8 million, up 3% from 2014, with products including machinery, chemical products, food products, and vehicles. Canada’s imports from the Kyrgyz Republic totalled roughly $250,000, up 8% from 2014, with base metal products, telecom equipment, machinery, textiles, and dried fruits making up the bulk of Canadian imports.
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