“The agreements of Centerra and the government of Kyrgyzstan will have a good impact on the investment climate of the republic,” the head of the International Business Council Askar Sydykov said, commenting on the Cabinet’s statements on the agreement reached.
“A detailed assessment of the agreements can be given when all of their details will be available. But the fact that investors and the government of Kyrgyzstan, finally, were able to agree and came to a mutual decision on increasing environmental payments and settlement of litigation was undoubtedly positive news. This is a good step towards resolving a difficult situation,” Askar Sydykov said.
“Most importantly, there will be no litigation with billions of claims in Kyrgyz courts and arbitration — it was a serious blow to the country’s investment climate”, he added.
He notes that with winning conditions for Kyrgyzstan everything is clear, but the question arises, what will Centerra itself benefit from the achieved agreements?
“I think the main gain of the gold mining company is that environmental claims will be withdrawn and they will not have to prove their case and continue arbitration proceedings. A public company doesn’t need this, because any such litigation primarily negatively affects the stock price,” Askar Sydykov says.
As for guarantees for quiet future work of the investor without discontent from the local population and protest actions, none can give them, the expert believes.
“It’s easier said than done. Even the government can’t fully guarantee that conflicts will not arise from now on. Everything depends on how effectively both sides work with the population, carry out detailed explanatory work, how transparently the money allocated by the investor for the development and support of the region will be distributed,” Askar Sydykov adds.
According to the head of the International Business Council, the agreements reached can only be put to the credit of the Cabinet. The government during the last year had difficult negotiations with the Canadian partner, who finally reached the home stretch under the new Cabinet.
“The joint work of officials who have been involved in the Kumtor question for a long time have borne fruit – and this is commendable,” Executive Director of the International Business Council said. (24.kg/Ukrainian metal)
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