On February 17, 2017 the leaders of the consulting company Experts of Central Asia (ECA) took part in the Business Forum "KARAKOL – A CONVENIENT PLACE FOR BUSINESS AND LIFE" which was organized by the Public Association "Destination Karakol", "Business Association "JIA Issyk-Kul", by the Council for Business Development and Investment in Issyk-Kul Oblast as well as with support of the EBRD’s Small Business Support Program and with the support of the USAID-BGI ("Business Growth Initiative ") Project in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The main purpose of the Business Forum was to create a platform for establishing a constructive dialogue between representatives of local authorities and the business community to implement the tourism potential and improvement of the investment attractiveness of Karakol city. Besides of this goal there were other sub-goals:
- To demonstrate the possibilities and services to be provided by international development agencies (their products, know-how) for local small and medium enterprises;
- To consolidate the local SMEs with the aim of creating a unified view of the local business community and the local government as well as to positively influence on local economic development;
- To present ideas and local investment opportunities through presentations and discussions with the potential investors.
The number of the Business Forum participants made about 140-150 people including local representatives of small and medium businesses, business associations, NGOs, international development agencies and representatives of local authorities.
The forum participants discussed a wide range of current issues and trends in the tourism sector, presented their interesting ideas to increase the tourist flow into the Issyk-Kul oblast and into Karakol city in particular.
During coffee break of the Business Forum Mr. Talantbek Sakishev, Director of ЕСА had a talk and discussions with the local business representatives, associations and local authorities as well and he expressed his ideas how to increase the tourist flow in Karakol:
“Like any theatre in the city begins with a “coat racks" (cloakroom) at their entrance hall hence entrances to Karakol city must start with port/gateways of entry and exit of tourists, businessmen and ordinary citizens. Such ports-gateways should be like the visiting cards of the city and there should be three ports-gateways in Karakol:
1. Airport gateway. In Karakol city there should be a modern building of Airport with the runway to meet the international standards which can accept planes not only domestic but also international flights. The surrounding area of the Airport must have adequate modern infrastructure: Parking spaces, Stops for Public Transport and Taxis, Cafes, Souvenir Shops, Pharmacies, Bank branches, ATMs accepting all types of plastic cards VISA, Master-Card etc., and of course there should be nice, clean and tidy public toilets to be used by tourists and citizens of Karakol.
2. Land gateway. It means that there should be modern roads with roadside infrastructure. This requires first the reconstruction of internal city roads which are the roads belonging to National/Republican level. These roads should be as a four-lane highway with good road markings and signs, to have a good road light, access point to free Internet, cafe and restaurants with good services and again there should be clean and tidy public toilets.
3. Water gateway. Karakol has its own dock (Marina). However it is necessary to do reconstruction or to build a modern water port pier where high-speed and multi-passenger boats (with a capacity of 20-40 people) can go into it and travelling to other resorts places (Cholpon-Ata, Tamchy, Bosteri, Chon Sary Oy, Kara Oy, Tamga, etc.). The adjacent area of the Marina must have all appropriate modern infrastructure as well”.
Having considered and discussed the issues mentioned above the participants of the Forum adopted resolution saying that the decision of complex problems facing entrepreneurs and residents of Karakol requires close coordination with local authorities.
Let's hope that in the next 3-5 years the slogan of the Business forum "Karakol – A Convenient Place For Business And Life " indeed to be realized and not to become just another Declaration.