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Among the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan was an early mover in economic and political liberalisation. It is now one of the most globally integrated economies in the former Soviet space, and the centre of entrepot trade in Central Asia. Most economic indicators have only recently recovered to those of the late Soviet era, however. Its geography poses major challenges – landlocked isolation, shared borders with neighbours with which it has uneasy relations, and unusually rugged mountainous terrain. In some years it is the world’s most remittance-dependent economy. Nevertheless it has some strengths. Its education and health indicators are relatively good, in part a legacy of the Soviet ‘cradle-to-grave’ welfare system. The country enjoys preferential access to the Russian market. It shares a border with the dynamic Chinese economy. The major economic challenge is to accelerate economic growth through wide-ranging economic and institutional reform.