This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
The Kyrgyz Republic’s emerging ICT sector is poised to be a major economic driver to power modernization and regional development, offering significant investment and trade opportunities in the “Virtual Silk Road.” The IT sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the Kyrgyz Republic. The Kyrgyz Republic has risen in the rankings of the Global Innovation Index from 117th (2013) to 94th (2021) among 129 countries, outperforming Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan in innovation and digital adoption activities. Founded in 2021, the Ministry of Digital Development is tasked with digitalizing government services and increasing the number of services the population can access online. In 2019, the Kyrgyz government adopted the “Digital Kyrgyzstan 2019-2023” strategy aimed at the following targets:
- Improving digital infrastructure and internet connectivity
- Ensuring “digital literacy” and providing IT education to promote domestic employment opportunities
- Developing e-government services and platforms
- Promoting economic growth through the digital transformation of the financial technology and banking sectors
The U.S. Embassy supports the digital development of the country through a variety of events and programs. In 2021, the Embassy helped High Technology Park and government agencies organize the first online IT Expo ConnectKG.
IT Software and Services
Since its inception just over ten years ago, the Kyrgyz IT landscape has enjoyed consistent, positive growth, making it one of the most profitable and self-reliant sectors in the Kyrgyz economy. In 2011, the Kyrgyz government, in collaboration with the Kyrgyz Software and Service Developers Association (KSSDA), launched the High-Technology Park of the Kyrgyz Republic; http://www.htp.kg/. (HTP). Modelled after the High Technology Park in Belarus, HTP is a tax-free economic zone oriented towards promoting exported IT services and products to overseas clients. Nearly 38 percent of software and other IT exports go to the United States, while the remainder reach over 30 other markets including Japan, Canada, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, India, and Germany. HTP residents specialize in software and mobile application development, gaming, and interactive technical service centers.
Under the digital transformation roadmap, the Kyrgyz government seeks to digitalize many citizen services and modernize ICT infrastructure including customs and logistics centers, healthcare service centers, educational institutions, and transport hubs. Prospects for U.S. exporters include broadband internet access technologies, consumer electronics, educational software, fintech and banking services and hardware, analytical software, ICT equipment, cyber security solutions, and legal and financial services. Cloud storage services are also in demand.
The growing eCommerce sector has many opportunities for U.S. products and services. The ECommerce Association of Kyrgyzstan expects the market to grow by 14 percent to $185 million by 2023. Main goods sold via eCommerce are clothing, electronics, food (restaurants and supermarkets), furniture, appliances, and toys. Both digital and physical infrastructure is still being developed for Kyrgyz eCommerce, with needs for consulting, construction, software development, digital payment methods, and data protection and privacy rights development. Digitizing customs and export procedures to make Kyrgyz exports more competitive is another need identified by the ECommerce Association. For more information, please see the ECommerce section of this guide.
Limited available financing remains a constraint for the government, which relies heavily on international donor assistance to fund major ICT projects. The country is also an emerging outsource market for international tech startups and companies seeking business process services, due to its zero percent tax regime, low overhead costs, and skilled local IT workforce.
Ministry of Digital Development:
High Technology Park:
ECommerce Association of Kyrgyzstan: