I have 2 friends in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyztan -- Seyitbek Uzmanov and Mirsulzhan "Michu" Namazaliev. They are the leaders and co-founders of the Central Asian Free Market Institute (CAFMI. Before, I have corresponded with them by email only. But last April this year, I have personally met them in Los Angeles, California, during the Atlas Liberty Forum.
The Institute was officially launched only last week, June 23. Michu, also CAFMI Executive Director, explained briefly what they want to achieve with putting up a new think tank in Kyrgyztan. He said,
“We intend to become the leading think-tank for the whole region, by providing constructive options for economic reforms.”
CAFMI will promote free-market reforms by producing relevant, scientifically rigorous, and constructive research and policy proposals.
This year, the Institute plans to hold two “Liberty Camps” for students in the fields of economic and personal freedom. One will be in English, the other in Russian. CAFMI will also launch within days a new website (www.freemarket.kg) and an ambitious campaign (www.freetrade.kg) to create a free-trade region in Central Asia, to facilitate exchange and wealth-creation throughout the countries of Central Asia.
The Institute's Board of Directors include Emil Umetaliev (CEO of Kyrgyz Concept), Krassen Stanchev (Chairman of the Institute of Market Economics, Bulgaria), Tom G. Palmer (Atlas Economic Research Foundation’s Vice-President) , Timur Shaikhutdinov (Free Generation Liberal Youth Alliance’s Co-Chairman) , and Seyitbek Usmanov (Institute’s a Co-Founder).
CAFMI directors hope to see establishment of branches in Osh (Kyrgyzstan) , Almaty (Kazakhstan) , and Dushanbe (Tajikistan) within the next two years.
I congratulated Seyit and Michu for their great effort. These guys are young and very devoted to free market principles. I wish they will be successful in "conquering" their neighbors in central Asia, so that there will be a real free trade zone there.