Businesswomen to set up contacts in Central Asia

May 22, 2017

Photo Courtesy: Mavliuda Khodzhaeva

Today, representatives of women's business fill the relationship between the three countries of Central Asia with a new content. Supporting women's economic opportunities is crucial for establishing new business contacts among women entrepreneurs. It gives stimulus to further development of cooperation, promotes economic integration in the region.

Within the framework of the conference “Regional Association of Women Entrepreneurs: Creating a Sustainable Future for Women's Business in Central Asia - Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan” held in Osh, in April 2017, participants discussed the role of business associations in expanding the cooperation of women entrepreneurs and developed recommendations on expanding opportunities for women's entrepreneurship growth in the region.   

During the regional conference, the ex-president of the Kyrgyz Republic Roza Otunbayeva noted the woman is a key part in the economy and 90% of what she earns is usually invested in the education and health of children and social protection.

An entrepreneur from the Kyrgyz Republic, Banur Bakiyeva, spoke about the role of women in tourism and regional cooperation. She noted women's valuable skills are actively used to create a value chain in business and today services are gaining momentum in cooking, as well as holding a folklore show. Demonstration of life on the farm and involvement in the business of rural women who created guest houses in remote regions are also of great interest of tourists.

“The items of national life create a special atmosphere that is in great demand among tourists. It is necessary to consider the integration of women's tourism business, the creation of thematic routes around the Fergana Valley regions,” - said Banur.

Among 45 invited participants there were leaders of associations of women-entrepreneurs, representatives of government bodies, associations, businessmen, representatives of the expert community and non-governmental sector of the three countries of the region. The participants adopted a resolution on the development of regional cooperation of women entrepreneurs in Central Asia.

Leaders of women's associations also discussed the system of state support. “The active participation of representatives of women's business in public-private dialogue, discussion and introduction of proposals, amendments to laws and state programs is an important moment in the effective development of women's entrepreneurship,” - said Sabokhat Rakhimzoda, President of the “Kadbonu” National Association of Women Entrepreneurs. The Association actively participates in drafting laws. 6 proposals of the association were included in the State Development Program for 2017.  

During the conversation about state participation in the development of women's business, Akylai Kojomberdieva, Head of the Department for Regulation of Entrepreneurship of the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic, disclosed some figures and facts in the country. The main source of income for women is small and medium business. 18% of women own private business, 15% represented in agriculture, 56% of women entrepreneurs work in trade, 2% in manufacture, 19% in services and 3% in other sectors of the economy. Despite the increase in recent years of women-managed private sector enterprises, their share of the total is still small.

Dilorom Mehmonova, the Chairman of the branch of the Business Women's Association of the Fergana oblast in the Republic of Uzbekistan, noted that the development of the non-governmental sector in Central Asia has become an impetus for broad regional cooperation. Civil organizations had the opportunity to jointly coordinate their actions and address regional issues. “The work was suspended for some period, but we resumed it in 2015. This gives hope for the newly opening horizons of cooperation,” - added the entrepreneur.

“The leaders of the regional business associations can pool their efforts and resources to support the development of business environment in the field of women's entrepreneurship in the Central Asia,” - said Nuria Choibaeva, Program Analyst of UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Ethno-exhibition and fashion show became the bright addition to the conference, where masters from three republics could present their products to residents and guests of Osh.

Mavliuda Khodzhaeva, UNDP PR/Communications Specialist, Osh/Batken Area Based Development Programme

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