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Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Team Up To Restore Obsolete Materiel

BALYKCHI, Kyrgyzstan -- Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have launched a joint venture in the northern Kyrgyz town of Balykchi to renovate and repair Soviet-era military equipment, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Jyrgalbek Sagynbaev, who heads the Kyrgyz state machine-building corporation Kyrgyzkural, told RFE/RL on April 21 that the new industrial facility will be called Kyrgyztekhnoeksport.

Kazakhstan's Tekhnoeksport company will own a 51 percent stake, and Kyrgyzkural 49 percent. The plant is scheduled to start operating next month.

The new facility's output will be geared to Kyrgyzstan's military needs. It will employ 300 people, which Sagynbaev noted is a large number for a small town like Balykchi.

Sagynbaev said the Kazakh side agreed that the average monthly salary of the Kyrgyz workers at the plant will be at least 10,000 soms ($215), which is above the local average.

Sagynbaev added that in future the new plant would also produce nonmilitary machinery.

Read more in Kyrgyz here