Free Market Advocate Chosen as Minister in Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek, April 27, 2010 – The interim government of Kyrgyzstan today named a leading free-market advocate, Emil Umetaliev, as acting Minister for Economic Development. The announcement followed the revolution that replaced the increasingly authoritarian and corrupt regime of president Kurmanbek Bakiev.
Umetaliev is a member of the board of governors of the Central Asian Free Market Institute (CAFMI) and the founder and owner of Kyrgyz Concept, a leading Cental Asian travel, tourism, and event company. Umetaliev founded Kyrgyz Concept in 1990, before the collapse of the USSR, and has been a pioneer of private business development in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia since that time.
The choice of Umetaliev as Minister for Economic Development has been welcomed by economic reform advocates. Immediately following the announcement, Mirsulzhan Namazaliev, executive director of CAFMI, said, “This should help to pave the way toward a stable, open, and democratic system. The authoritarian regime of Bakiyev did great harm to the cause of economic reform, by increasing government’s size, decreasing transparency, and awarding special favors to the cronies and family of the president. Free market reforms go hand-in-hand with constitutional, democratically accountable government, something that Emil Umetaliev understands well.”
Namazaliev noted that the country is at a crossroads, and that “A great danger at present is the tendency to solve every perceived problem by creating new government ministries. We need fewer ministries and less government, not more.”
The Central Asian Free Market Institute was established in April of 2009 and has organized a number of programs in Kyrgyzstan and neighboring countries to promote individual liberty, respect for property and free exchange, and limited and democratically accountable government. Those programs have included “Free Market Schools” in Bishkek and Issyk-Kul and cooperation with free market groups in other countries, including the newly formed Tajikistan Free Market Centre. CAFMI researchers are currently preparing a Guidebook to Public Policy for Kyrgyz legislators.
Central Asian Free Market Institute contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org; mobile telephone: +996 555 101 202
Website of Kyrgyz Concept: http://eng.concept.kg/about/