Infra structure in Kyrgyzstan

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Infrastructure in Kyrgyzstan?

Infra-structure is important to the economic growth - and, thereby, for the developmental potentials.

 

The main components of Kyrgyzstan's physical infrastructure include roads, rail, electric grids, gas pipelines, and a telecommunications system. The country's road system consists 16,854 kilometers (10,467 miles) of paved roads. The rail system consists of 1 major rail line of a length of 370 kilometers (299 miles) linking the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, with Kazakhstan. The fixed (copper wire) telephone system and microwave relay stations dating from the Soviet period (consisting of 357,000 lines) are rapidly being overtaken by new, decentralized mobile phone services. Of the country's 14 airports, only the capital airport is capable of accommodating international flights.

 

Mountainous Kyrgyzstan has abundant low-cost hydropower but only very limited amounts of oil, gas, and coal. Consequently, Kyrgyzstan is dependent upon the other Central Asian countries for much of its gas and petroleum. Kyrgyzstan trades hydroelectric energy for natural gas with both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. With the urging of international donors, Kyrgyzstan is seeking to adopt an energy policy that will reduce the role of the state, increase private sector involvement, and explore the potential for energy exports, particularly to China. China's recently adopted "Go West" policy has opened a potentially rich market for hydroelectric energy in the adjoining Xinjiang-Uigur Autonomous Province of China.

Kyrgyzstan is very much having investments from China and other Asian countries - plus is now a member of the "Russian commom market".

Especially, the Chinese new Silk Road Project will be a key infrastructural investment: Difficult but necessary: this is the essence of the relationship between China and Kyrgyzstan, its gateway to Central Asia and the first step on its “new Silk Road”, launched by Xi Jingping with his grandiose One Belt One Road (Obor) project.

The proposed revival of a great trade route that two thousand years ago bridged Eastern and Western cultures across the Eurasian continent might well help realize that objective.

 

The idea of a new “Silk Road economic belt,” launched by President Xi during his tour of the Central Asian republics in October 2013, will mainly take shape along railway lines connecting several cities in western China to Europe via Central Asia, Iran, Turkey, the Balkans, and the Caucasus across the 11,000-kilometer-long Eurasian continent. The Chinese authorities see this transportation infrastructure as a first step toward the creation of a Eurasian “economic corridor,” allowing for the development of the landlocked Central Asian economies and their future integration with both European and Asian markets. They hope that trade liberalization and strengthened monetary cooperation among the economies connected by the railroad network will lead ultimately to a new form of regional economic community and—in the words of President Xi—give rise to “a sense of common destiny” among China’s neighbors. The new Silk Road will also branch out across Southeast Asia and have a maritime component extending across the Indian Ocean to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean.

 

In all, the Chinese vision of a Silk Road economic belt (also dubbed “one belt, one road” by Chinese writers) encompasses a population of 4.4 billion people with a collective GDP of $21 trillion (one-third of the world’s wealth) and links emerging markets with strong growth potential.

The transport infrastructure of the Kyrgyz Republic is not well-developed, though much effort is made by the Government to improve the situation. The primary means of transportation remains road transport. Road transport represents more than 90% of all cargo turnover in the country. The next popular transportation mode is railway due to low costs. However, it needs to be mentioned that railway infrastructure is poorly developed and Kyrgyzstan’s rugged terrain makes it difficult to build additional railway capacity. Railways are primarily used for passenger transportation to Kazakhstan and Russia and for fuel cargo from Russia and Kazakhstan. Air cargo, being the most expensive way of transportation, is fairly well-developed. International Airport Manas has one terminal and provides a complete range of logistics services.

 

Kyrgyzstan is a land-locked country and does not have access to waterways and ports. The only waterway that exists in the country is at the Issyk-Kul Lake. Transportation there only includes commuting between local ports and is primarily focused on tourist passengers.

 

Railway is not a very popular transport in the Kyrgyz Republic, since it is not very well developed. The primary cargo flows via the railways are exports from Russia such as various construction materials, (including wood and metal), and fuel, etc.

 

More than 90% of all consumer goods are transported via roads making it the main mode of international transportation infrastructure for the Kyrgyz Republic. The country's largest trade partners – China, Turkey, Iran, Russia and Europe – all use road transportation for bringing all kinds of consumer goods. The total length of roads in the Kyrgyz Republic is 34,000 km. Roads in the Kyrgyz Republic can be divided into 2 groups – strategically important state and international roads and in-country local commuting roads.

 

There are 11 airports in the Kyrgyz Republic. Four of them have international flight processing capacity. Manas International Airport in Bishkek is the largest and best-equipped airport in the country and is equipped for heavy aircraft landing. Manas Management Company handles all air freight. It also manages a modern warehouse space with temperature control and other features.

 

View details

Sustainable Development Goal No 9

Questions about infrastructure

1. What are the advantages (+) and the disadvantages (-) for Kyrgyzstan with the new Silk Road controlled by China?

2. What does inequality between countries mean to their opportunities to choose and to prosper?

3. Why is science, technology and infrastructure important to sustainable development, including economic growth, social inclusion and environmental balance.

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