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Results of a research of the international SHADOW project presented in Bishkek

December 12, 2019

According to the results of the SHADOW project, the level of the shadow economy in Kyrgyzstan is 42% of GDP.

The research was conducted as part of the SHADOW project (12 countries) with the support of the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union.

SHADOW is a research and training program aimed at producing strategic intelligence in the region and training a generation of specialists on informality in post-Soviet spaces.

What encourages participation in the informal economy of Kyrgyzstan? To what degree can we estimate the size of its Shadow economy?

In 2019 SIAR research & consulting has conducted a study to calculate the index of the shadow economy, based on the methodology developed by Putniņš and Sauka (2015). The methodology allows to compare the results in the Kyrgyz Republic to other shadow economies (Ireland, Romania, Moldova, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan).

This research primarily focuses upon the aspects of Kyrgyzstan’s shadow economy between 2017 and 2018 in order to provide relevant and contemporary results.

The research authors believe that discussion of its results at different levels, involving all stakeholders would be useful for policy-making and decision-making, aimed at overcoming the problems of the shadow economy.

The level of the shadow economy in Kyrgyzstan (% of GDP)


Dr. Abel Polese is a senior research fellow at the Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction, Dublin City University, Ireland. He has been Principal Investigator of SHADOW a four year project starting in 2018 funded through Marie Curie RISE (H2020).

Ainura Sagynbaeva is a founder and director of SIAR research & consulting (1998), one of the leading research companies in Central Asia and Mongolia. She has over 35 years of international experience in the field of various research, surveys and counseling. She is a member of ESOMAR and the National Monitoring and Evaluation Network in Kyrgyzstan, a member of the board of the KURAK Women's Forum.