Waiting for further reforms
Since 2010 the Kyrgyz Republic has been Central Asia's first parliamentary democracy. Being small but with large neighbours, the Kyrgyz Republic has to rely more than most nations on good, balanced foreign relations. The Kyrgyz economy is not very diversified and the country is susceptible to external shocks. Its most important export is gold. The Kumtor gold mine accounts for half of all industrial production and is the former Soviet republic's most important source of foreign exchange. At the same time, the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's poorest countries. Hundreds of thousands of people among the Kyrgyz population earn their living by working abroad, predominantly in Russia and Kazakhstan, to support their families back home. In the first few years of its independence, the mountainous Central Asian country was regarded as being, to an above-average extent, a market economy and oriented towards reform. Reforms have increasingly slowed down since the late 1990s, while the unequal distribution of wealth in the country is on the rise. Within the framework of development cooperation, the primary aim is to promote economic development and the health sector.