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2008

 

AmCham Survey Investment Climate, Transport &
Trade Facilitation


In September 2006, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a new initiative to provide the U.S. government and other relevant institutions with a strategic business outlook vis-à-vis the emerging markets of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ukraine and Turkey. The initiative, entitled Eurasia Business Platform (EBP), also allows members to create and maintain dialogue, access and strategic interaction with Eurasia's governments and business decision makers. 



In November 2007, the U.S. Chamber launched this initiative through our AmCham affiliates in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The purpose of the survey is to give a broad picture, from a regional perspective, of the business and investment climate in the region as well as investor's perceptions of the transport and trade facilitation regimes in the region. 
Nine hundred ninety (990) companies doing business in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan were surveyed electronically in November-December 2007.  A total of 202 responses were received, giving an overall response rate of 20.4%. 
Regarding the business and investment climate in their country, respondents were quite optimistic with 57% indicating that the current business climate was 'good' and 60% believing that the situation will continue to improve.
As for the main challenges to businesses, by far the biggest that they face is corruption.  One-third of all respondents indicated that corruption was their biggest problem and 58% ranked corruption in the top three challenges.
 The least problematic issue overall was credit access for local citizens.  Finding qualified staff and protection of intellectual property were also ranked as not particularly problematic. 
Regarding transport and trade facilitation, 75% of respondents believe that they must devote added human resources to deal with customs regulations; 64% believe that it is necessary to pay unofficial 'taxes' or bribes in order to clear customs, and 61% believe that travel times are slow due to poor road and rail conditions.
Since corruption was identified as the main overall business challenge in the region, respondents were asked to give their perception of the level of corruption within several government department or agencies. Overall, respondents indicated that customs, inland enforcement bodies, and special financial control bodies were perceived to have the highest levels of corruption.  The lowest levels were attributed to warehouse and seaport administrations. 

Full version of survey can be found at: http://www.uschamber.com or www.amcham.kg

 

Discovery AmCham Kyrgyz Republic #3/2008

 

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