Tuesday, April 12, 2011
In 1999, Kyrgyzsgtan issued a souvenir sheet picturing a Panda and an Owl in celebration of the China '99 World Philatelic Exhibition (Scott #131). Only 15,000 were issued, and Scott '11 prices it unused at $ 2.25.
Aside from being a scarce Animal topical issue, the souvenir sheet also appeals to collectors in China, the biggest and most dynamic stamp market in the world. Focusing on scarce popular topicals is a prudent means of speculating on stamps of the newly independent nations of Central Asia. Whether or not demand develops within these countries for the stamps that they issue, there will always be worldwide demand for their most popular topicals. Issues that are of interest to the tens of millions of Chinese collectors should do especially well.
A nation of about 5.4 million,Kyrgyzstan was the second poorest country in the former Soviet Union, and is today, the second poorest country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan has had economic difficulties following independence. Initially, these were a result of the breakup of the Soviet trading bloc and resulting loss of markets, which impeded the republic's transition to a free market economy. Overall, the government appears committed to the transition to a market economy.and is seeking to establish a pattern of long-term consistent growth. Agriculture is an important sector of the economy, and the country also has substantial reserves of coal, gold, uranium, antimony, and other valuable minerals. Also, the country's plentiful water resources and mountainous terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric energy. Annual GDP growth over the last five years has averaged about 3.5%.