According to the Public Relations of the National Development Fund, a meeting was held yesterday, May 29, 2023, with the presence of Hossein Eivazlou, a board member? and Deputy for Foreign Investment of the National Development Fund, and Turdagon Sadikov, the Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan, regarding the conclusion of a cooperation agreement between Iran and Kyrgyzstan and the creation of a joint investment fund.
At the beginning of this meeting, Hossein Eivazlou, a member of the Board of Directors and Deputy for Foreign Investment of the National Development Fund, commented on the finalization of a joint agreement between the National Development Fund and Kyrgyzstan: "Determining specific projects in this agreement is of great importance so that it can safeguard the interests of both countries. For this reason, several projects will be presented by the Fund's team in this meeting."
Eivazlou added that several countries, including Russia, Uzbekistan, Hungary, Azerbaijan, and the United Arab Emirates, have established joint funds with Kyrgyzstan, However, the National Development Fund is interested in adopting a similar financial model to the joint fund between the UAE and Kyrgyzstan within the framework of this cooperation agreement.
Furthermore, referring to the outcomes of a previous meeting held in November of the previous year and the readiness expressed by the Minister of Economy of Kyrgyzstan to collaborate with the National Development Fund of Iran, Turdagon Sadikov, the Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan added: "According to the Minister of Economy of Kyrgyzstan, if Iran is prepared, Kyrgyzstan is also ready to engage in cooperation within the context of a joint agreement."
Sadikov mentioned that the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan has drafted an agreement, he said: There are useful provisions in this draft, but one section emphasizes the establishment of a joint fund between the two countries, and other details are also mentioned in other sections.
Addressing certain discrepancies in the draft document submitted by the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan and its inconsistency with the obligations of the National Development Fund, Negin Heydari Zadeh, the Manager of International Cooperation at the National Development Fund, added: "Some provisions mentioned in the draft, such as establishing brokerage relationships, contradict the obligations of the Fund and need to be rectified. Additionally a representative from the Ministry of Economy of Kyrgyzstan should be appointed to facilitate and expedite the process in order to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement between the two countries."
She stated: "The scope of cooperation outlined in the agreement should not be limited to one or a few sectors. Considering the Fund's involvement in upstream sectors such as oil and gas, agriculture, and production, the areas of cooperation should remain open for exploration.
Furthermore, Hadi Soleimanpour, the Head of the Center for International Research at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, referred to the highly skilled and experienced investment team of the National Development Fund and said: "We hope that Kyrgyzstan would also assemble a professional team and the work continues with vigor."
Referring to feasible projects between the two countries, he stated: "Establishing livestock slaughterhouses and a reference laboratory under the Economic Organization of ECO, supported by FAO and the ECO Bank, with the aim of exporting red meat from Kyrgyzstan to Iran and potentially Turkey can be one of the joint projects between the two countries. The project has already received approval from ECO and only requires investment for the establishment of livestock slaughterhouses and a reference laboratory to assess the health of livestock."
The Head of the Center for International Research at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered the economic returns of this project to be very high and added: "in addition to being cost-effective, this project will be highly profitable for Kyrgyzstan from a technical standpoint as well."
He presented his second idea as the creation of a mechanism within the consortium's framework and the Kashmar Railway Corridor through Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan, saying: "This four-sided project would significantly shorten the transportation route for Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Iran to China by up to 600 kilometers through Kashmar. In case of approval from Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and considering regional support towards the interests of the four countries, Kyrgyzstan plays an extremely important role in the implementation of this project which unlike the first project, lacks preliminary studies and requires significant funding."
Continuing the discussion, Majid Shokrollahi, the Director of Domestic Investment at the National Development Fund, while presenting a proposal for a phosphate processing project, said: "Iran is one of the largest consumers of phosphate and currently meets 40 to 50 percent of its needs through imports from countries like Pakistan and India. However, with our 50-year knowledge and expertise in this field, we can complete the economic chain of Kyrgyzstan."
Shokrollahi referred to cross-territorial cultivation as another viable project between the two countries and stated: "Kyrgyzstan, being in close proximity, holds significant potential for Iran, considering its annual import of $15 billion worth of inputs. Through the new investment of the National Development Fund with a reputable international holding and high access to all agricultural inputs (without the need for a third country), and considering Iran's extensive experience in cross-territorial cultivation in similar countries, this project can be well-implemented in Kyrgyzstan."
He emphasized the need for information on areas suitable for cross-territorial cultivation in this project and said: "Corn, rapeseed, and soybean are our main objectives in this project."
In conclusion, Eivazloui asserted the feasibility of more than 10 joint cooperation projects between Iran and Kyrgyzstan and announced: "if these projects receive approval within the framework of a cooperation agreement; and a joint fund is established between of the two countries, the National Development Fund is prepared to take action by providing a credit line or investment."