The Kyrgyz Republic is situated in Central Asia along with its neighboring nations, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and China. Although a part of modern civilizations, this landlocked country is among the poorest in Central Asia. Covered with mountainous terrain, Kyrgyzstan’s economy primarily relies on agriculture with cotton, wool, tobacco, and meat as staple products. Additionally, the nation exports gold, uranium, and natural gas.
After Kyrgyzstan gained its independence from the Soviet Union, the country’s production slowed down. With market reforms in place along with land reform and revamped regulatory systems, Kyrgyzstan began to recover and became the first Commonwealth country to get into the World Trade Organization.
In 2005, the Bakiev administration, with the assistance of international financial institutions, launched a comprehensive medium-term game plan designed to combat poverty and promote economic growth. The government’s effort in controlling its significant deficit resulted in a GDP growth of about 8% in 2007 and 2008.
Following the overthrow of President Bakiev in April 2010 as well as conflicts among ethnic groups that killed hundreds of people and destroyed infrastructure, agricultural production dropped and trading declined. As a result, GDP fell off to about 3.5% that year. With an increase in spending on the recapitalization of banks and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure, the deficit increased to 11% of GDP.
The Kyrgyz som is the country’s national currency which was introduced in 1993. The first set of banknotes in denominations of 1, 5, and 20 som were issued by the Kyrgyzstan Bank while 1, 10, and 50 tyiyn banknotes were issued by the government. Recent Kyrgyz som banknotes bear revised portraits of significant Kyrgyz figures on the left of the front design an ornament pattern equipped with De La Rue’s Mask security feature that would show COM when viewed with backlighting. These notes are also in smaller sizes which make them easier to carry.