Kazakhstan - time

KAZAKHSTAN 2050 STRATEGY

“The main principle of the Kazakhstan 2050 strategy is comprehensive economic pragmatism. All future decisions should take into account profitability and return on investment, competitiveness and compliance with the long-term interests of Kazakhstan. It is not about the growth of abstract figures or economic statistics, but a real improvement in quality of life for each city, district and village” - President Nazarbayev

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Over the last 20 years we have modernized all areas of our society at a very high rate. We’ve done things that many other countries achieved in 100 or 150 years.”
President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Friday, 14th December 2012

STRATEGY KAZAKHSTAN 2050 declared by the President Nazarbayev on Dec. 14th 2012
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Kazakhstan : a global leader in nuclear responsibility

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ROMANIA & KAZAKHSTAN TO DISCUSS TRADE & ECONOMIC COOPERATION 6/25/2013

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta will visit Kazakhstan this week, said a spokesperson for the Kazakh President:."the Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta (above) will pay an official visit to Kazakhstan on June 27th when wide range of bilateral issues including the development of trade and economic cooperation will be discussed.” Romania is one of Kazakhstan's most important partners in Central and Eastern Europe.

“RAISING RETIREMENT AGE WILL BE PAINLESS” - NAZARBAYEV 6/25/2013

Raising the retirement age for women [from the current 58 to 63] from 2018 will be painless, said President Nazarbayev when meeting workers of the Pavlodar-based Neftekhim Ltd., a chemicals producing company. He elaborated that “changing of the country’s pension system is a necessary step needed to secure further development of Kazakhstan”. “I believe that if we raise the retirement age starting from 2018, we will take into account interests of those approaching the retirement age now”. “We have to raise the retirement age… because life forces us to (…) Let’s have a look at the so-called West reforming its pension legislation, with all the social tension, rioting (…) Some Western countries used to live on credit and pay retirement allowances through borrowing (…) now they have to cut down retirement allowances and raise the retirement age to 70. If we don’t raise the retirement age now, we will face similar problems later on”. According to the President, “by 2030 there will be one retired person for every 1.5 working people, with the ratio reaching 1 to 1 further on…”.

SPANISH & KAZAKH TRANSPORT JOINT VENTURES WORK - PM 6/25/2013

Today Serik Akhmetov, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, has received in Ukimet Uiy Ana Maria Pastor (abve), Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications of Spain, Prime Minister's website reports. The meeting discussed the prospects for cooperation development, expansion of contacts in the field of transport and information and communications technologies. "We have traditionally friendly relations with Spain. We have many joint projects, in particular, joint ventures in the field of transport," Akhmetov said. He also emphasized the potential for further expansion of cooperation.

KAZAKHSTAN & RUSSIA COUNTER LOCUSTS 6/25/2013

Kazakhstan and Russian are joining efforts in countering locusts. An invasion of the insects has been registered in the Aktobe oblast of Kazakhstan and Orenburg oblast of Russia. Representatives of the Agricultural Ministries of the two countries have arrived in the territory. The officials and farmers are concerned that the locusts may destroy the crops: their larvae have already spread at almost 800 thousand hectares of lands.

PRESIDENT TO ATTEND 'ASTANA OPERA' OPENING 6/21/2013

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The opening of the State opera and ballet theatre ‘Astana Opera’ will take place today with the participation of the Head of the State, Nursultan Nazarbayev. The theatre will be opened with an opera “Birzhan-Sara”, staged by the Russian director Yury Aleksandrov. The performance is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the outstanding Kazakh composer Mukan Tulebaev. ‘Astana Opera’ will become a brand of Kazakhstan and the world of opera, according to the theatre director Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov. Capacity of the opera hall of the theatre is 1 250 seats. The stage is equipped with 127 lifting machines that allow instant scenery changes.

KAZAKH OIL WILL HELP KEEP THE GLOBAL COMMODITY PRICES 6/21/2013

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Kazakhstan's oil field Kashagan will help to keep the world price of raw materials stable, states Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Richard Jones at the Atyrau IIIrd International Oil and Gas Conference titled "Development of the Caspian shelf." The conference was held under the influence of the upcoming start of development of commercial oil production at Kashagan which will strengthen the role of Kazakhstan as one of the leading suppliers of raw materials, " said Jones.

HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT IN JOINT SESSION 6/21/2013

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On the Order of the Chairman of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a joint session of the Houses of Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan will be held in accordance with subparagraph 2) of paragraph 4 of Article 58 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan on June 28 2013 at 10 a.m. in Astana.

DIVERSION OF IRTYSH RIVER PROPOSED 6/21/2013

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Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Regional Development has suggested the diversion of the Irtysh River flow into the central part of the country. A delegation from the Regional Development Ministry and Astana branch of the Kazakh Scientific-Research and Design Institute of Construction and Architecture visited Ust-Kamenogorsk. The delegation presented a draft General Plan of Territories Organization in Kazakhstan. The draft General Plan will be presented to the government in August 2013. The ministry hopes that the document will be approved and will come in effect on January 1, 2014. All the innovations – including the creation of villages - should be implemented within the next 25-30 years. The diversion of the Irtysh is key with regards to creating thriving angro-towns. The developments are expected to attract the current migration flow back to the villages and small towns.

AIR ASTANA AWARDED AT LE BOURGET 6/20/2013

Air Astana has once again been named the best airline in Central Asia and India, at Le Bourget Air Show in Paris. The company’s President Peter Foster received Skytrax award. “On behalf of over 4,000 dedicated Air Astana staff, I’m greatly honoured to receive the latest World Airline awards,” Peter Foster (pictured centre) told the journalists after the awarding ceremony. This “re-confirms our status as the leading carrier from Central Asia.” Last year Air Astana received the same award as well as an award in the Best Service category at Le Bourget. Le Bourget Air Show opened in Paris on June 17. Air Astana presented its Embraer-190for domestic flights in Kazakhstan.

ARABTEC-LED JV GETS CONTRACT FOR ABU DHABI PLAZA 6/20/2013

The management of Aldar Properties and Arabtec Holding PJSC has announced (see above) the award of an AED 4 billion contract to an Arabtec-led joint venture (JV) for the development of the Abu Dhabi Plaza in Astana. The project, which is scheduled to start shortly, will contain 566 luxury residential apartments, 107,000 square meters of commercial office space, a five-star hotel with additional serviced apartments, a 50,000 square-meter retail podium and four large basement car parks with space for more than 4,000 vehicles. The complex includes five towers and is due to be completed in 2017. The joint venture brings together Arabtec and Consolidated Contractors Company SAL (CCC), two key players in the local, regional, and international construction industry. Aldar sources said the complex was a response to the growth in the number of visitors to Kazakhstan’s capital city and reflected the growing relationship between the UAE and Kazakhstan. Aldar Properties aims to make Abu Dhabi Plaza a new benchmark for accommodation standards, work and leisure facilities.

“NAZARBAYEV DESERVES NOBEL PEACE PRIZE” 6/19/2013

For his contribution to global nuclear disarmament, President Nazarbayev deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, said Feng Yujun, Director of Institute of Russia of the Chinese Academy of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing today. Speaking on the topic "Kazakhstan is an active participant and supporter of development of non-proliferation regime," Feng Yujun spoke about important role of Kazakhstan in the sphere of global disarmament. Kazakhstan at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union had the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal, but voluntarily renounced nuclear weapons and shut down the Semipalatinsk test site. "The decision to close the Semipalatinsk test site on 29 August 1991, a further renunciation of nuclear arsenal and the new initiatives of Kazakhstan in this area have received recognition and respect of the world community", says the Chinese expert. "The key to this process is the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. For contribution to global nuclear disarmament Nursultan Nazarbayev deserves the Nobel Peace Prize" states Feng Yujun.

GOVERNMENT AMENDS RULES ON FOREIGNERS' RECRUITMENT 6/19/2013

The government of the Republic of Kazakhstan amended the ordinance on the Rules of setting quotas for foreign labour recruitment in Kazakhstan and the Rules and conditions for issuing work permits for employment of foreign workers and for employers to hire foreign workers.

BELARUS, RUSSIA & KAZAKHSTAN WANT UKRAINE IN CES 6/19/2013

Ukraine’s membership in the Common Economic Space will help make this association among the most powerful, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday at a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovich (above). “The positions of the three states - Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia - coincide on both the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. We would like Ukraine not merely to cooperate with us but to be with us in the common economic space,” Lukashenko said. “It would be the most powerful association that will be reckoned with in the world.” Viktor Yanukovich, in turn, said that Ukraine and Belarus should enliven their bilateral relations. “There is a considerable potential for their development but it is used not to the full. There still are reserves. Having such good relations, we should have prospects for settling these issues,” Yanukovich said.

KAZAKHSTAN’S GOVERNMENT & ADB TO CARRY OUT RESEARCH 6/19/2013

Kazakhstan’s Government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) will exchange expertise, according to the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Budget Planning. “A memorandum on exchange of expertise and experience has been signed today by Minister of Economic Affairs Mr. Erbolat Dossayev and Mr. Xiaoyu Zhao, ADB Vice-President. The memorandum seeks to facilitate exchange of expertise, best practices (…) contribute to the country’s economy efficiency and secure novel solutions”, the statement reads. The program envisages joint research to ensure growth and diversification of the economy (…), cooperation in the region, integration processes and the country’s stronger competitive edge.
The research will be financed by the country’s Government and the Bank on parity basis from 2013 to 2015. According to the Economy Minister, cooperation with ADB is of great importance to Kazakhstan as the bank bolsters efforts to modernize the national economy and implement crucial social projects.

KAZAKHSTAN AND SLOVENIA TO SIGN DOUBLE TAXATION TREATY 6/19/2013

Kazakhstan and Slovenia will sign an agreement of eliminate double taxation. “This double taxation treaty enable the companies working in both countries to avoid double taxation. Kazakhstan reviewed the document and held the in-state procedures on approval of the treaty and sent it to the Slovenian party. But we have to consider the fact that Slovenia is part of the European Union and they have much longer approval procedures,” said Kazakhstan Helathcare Vice-Minister Bolat Takezhanov.

DAVID CAMERON TO VISIT KAZAKHSTAN 6/17/2013

UK Prime Minister David Cameron will make his first official visit to Kazakhstan on June 30th. "This is a very important event for our bilateral relations. It will open a new page in our relations ", said Altai Abibullayev, government spokesperson. President Nazarbayev and Mr Cameron will have a session with representatives of the British oil and gas companies operating in the Caspian shelf. Then, on July 1st, he will begin the official part of the visit of the British government. In the narrow and expanded formats in Astana there will be discussion of a wide range of issues of mutual interest. "Between Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom there is active development of trade and economic, investment, industrial and innovation cooperation. It is obvious that the focus will be on security issues in Central Asia, oil and gas industry and others ", said Abibullayev.

ALMATY CAN LEAD IN TRANSITION TO A «GREEN ECONOMY” 6/17/2013

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In Almaty, Ahmetzhan Esimov, Akim of the city, chaired a meeting on implementation of the concept of transition to "green economy" attended by Nurlan Kapparov, the Minister of Environmental Protection. Mr Kapparov considered the construction of the ski resort called "Kok Zhailau" as one of the important projects of this concept. "If properly designed and properly done, projects only improve ecosystems and benefit the economy. And, indeed, they are part of the "green economy." The Akim noted that the largest Kazakh city's economy transition to "green economy" was very important…For instance, private sector gasification: the plan is to be completed this year, the thermal power stations operation transition to gas, as well as the increase of number of public transport operating on gas and electricity. According to forecasts, by the end of this year 50% of Almaty public transport will be running on gas.

NAZARBAYEV SIGNS LAW ON ECONOMIC CRIMES 6/13/2013

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The Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has signed the law ‘On amendments to some legislative acts… on issues of further decriminalization of economic crimes’ which is expected to liberalize the criminal policy as regards economic crimes.
The text of the law is to be published in media, announced the President's Press Service .

ASTANA'S FIRST PRESENTATION AS EXPO 2017 CITY 6/13/2013

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Today in Paris, the Kazakh delegation was participating in the International Exhibitions Bureau (IEB) General Assembly's 153rd session. That is the first time that Astana representing the winning city for EXPO 2017 has contributed.
The Kazakh delegation consists of Rapil Zhoshybayev, the Commissioner of EXPO-2017 and the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Talgat Ermegiyaev, the managing executive of ‘NC’Astana EXPO-2017 JSC, who are both reporting on their respective activities since Astana won the right to host EXPO. The presentation includes information on establishment and functions of the State Commission and the National Company; the financing of the project; planned work with the participating countries; selecting the exhibition location; and the intended use of the objects after EXPO. "Kazakhstan will make every effort to successfully carry out the exposition. We will create all the necessary conditions for participating countries and visitors", said Rapil Zhoshybayev. The construction of the exhibition venues will start next year.
The 153rd session of the General Assembly of BIE also involved presentations from candidates hoping to host EXPO 2020: Turkey (Izmir), Thailand (Ayutaya), Russia (Ekaterinburg), UAE (Dubai), Brazil (San Paulo). By the end of 2013 a secret voting of the BIE members will appoint the country to hold World Expo 2020.

KAZAKHMYS DEVELOPS ORE PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES 6/13/2013

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Kazakhmys is nearing completion of the development of unique technologies for cost-effective processing refractory oxide, mixed and off-balance sheet refractory sulfide ores of the Zhezkazgan field and is entering the stage of pre-feasibility study preparation. This was announced by the company at the IV International Congress of Mining and Metallurgy called Astana Mining & Metallurgy 2013. International experience of recycling shows that this technology is not currently used in production process. The research and pilot test results confirm that the emerging technologies are highly effective. This work is a part of Kazakhmys group complete progrmem on the Zhezkazgan field raw materials resources replenishment.

20 NEW MINING ENTERPRISES LAUNCHED 6/12/2013

20 new mining and metallurgical enterprises will be launched in Kazakhstan as part of the state programme of forced industrial innovative development, said Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Industry & New Technologies Asset Issekeshev (far right) at the IV Astana Mining & Metallurgy International Congress. "Today, this industry employs nearly 300,000 people, so the government gives special attention to this sector within the framework of the industrialization program. It is planned to start additional 20 enterprises with the creation of 10,000 permanent jobs," Issekeshev added. "In Kazakhstan, mining and metals sector is one of the key sectors of the economy, accounting for about 9% of GDP, about 18% of the total industrial production and almost a quarter of exports," he concluded.

KAZAKHSTAN – CENTRE OF INVENTIONS IN CENTRAL ASIA 6/12/2013

"We are actively assimilating the world's best practices and we have set a goal - to become the export hub of education and scientific discoveries in the Central Asian region, the CIS and Eurasia as a whole", said Deputy Prime Minister Yerbol Orynbaev above, speaking at the second Eurasian forum for leaders of higher education in the Nazarbayev University. He noted that the Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan formed a modern innovation environment, mobilizing its scientific potential, leading international staff and talented youth of the country. Orynbaev stressed the need for national and international companies to be given the opportunity to place on the territory of the Nazarbayev University their own infrastructure of production and research units.

KAZAKHSTAN & AUSTRIA: SALES TURNOVER SOARS 6/11/2013

The first session of the Kazakh-Austrian Business Council was held in Astana. During the meeting the sides signed the Charter of the Business Council, discussed the problems of cooperation in transport and logistics sphere, innovations and technologies sector, agriculture and food industry, construction and infrastructure, tourism and sport. In addition, subjects such as the opening of the representative offices of the largest Austrian companies in Kazakhstan, running of the technological equipment exhibition and financing export and import operations were all discussed.As Co-Chairman of the Kazakh-Austrian Business Council Meiram Pshembayev noted during the session 'at the moment Austria is the fourth largest partner of Kazakhstan in Europe in terms of trade and investment volume.' "Kazakhstan, in its turn, has become the biggest partner of Austria in the post-Soviet space. There are more than 100 joint Kazakh-Austrian enterprises in Kazakhstan. The sales turnover between our countries has reached $4 billion," M.Pshembayev said.

ALMATY HOSTS INTERSPORT-2013 EXHIBITION 6/12/2013

The first InterSport-2013 exhibition has opened today at the Baluan Sholak Palace of Culture and Sports in Almaty. Special clothing, footwear and kits, sport food, fitness facilities' equipment, different products for active leisure are presented at the exhibition. The event will last untill June 15th. The programme includes seminars, business meetings, sport clothing fashion shows and awarding of the best sport goods producers. The organizers are KazExpoService and Kazakhstan's Sport and Physical Culture Agency.

5% SURGE IN GDP IN LAST FIVE MONTHS 6/11/2013

Over the last five months GDP growth in Kazakhstan has made 5%, that is 0.2% more in comparison with the January-April period of 2013 announced the Minister of Economy & Budget Planning Yerbolat Dossayev (above) at a government meeting. "We believe that following the results of six months, GDP will amount to 5% and will reach 6% by the end of this year" Dossayev added.

KAZAKHSTAN / SPAIN: MILITARY COOPERATION 6/11/2013

Kazakhstan and Spain have signed a memorandum in the sphere of military and military-technical cooperation. The official signing ceremony took place in Astana on Tuesday (June 11th) following the bilateral negotiations between defence ministers Adilbek Dzhaksybekov of Kazakhstan and Pedro Morenés of Spain. "We have debated the problems of international security, especially in the field of information exchange, and also touched upon the participation of Spanish military men in ‘Steppe Eagle’ exercises that will be held this August," said Minister Dzhaksybekov of the meeting with his Spanish colleague. "Spain is fully supportive of Kazakhstan in all its initiatives. Spain considers Kazakhstan its key partner in the region," said Morenés.

ANTI-TERROR EXERCISES TO BE HELD IN SOUTHERN KAZAKHSTAN 6/11/2013

The 'Kazygurt-Anti-Terror 2013' international anti terrorism operation will be held in the South-Kazakhstan region on June 13th, the press service of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan reported. "In accordance with the decision of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) dated September 14, 2012, the holding of joint international anti-terrorist exercises Kazygurt-Anti-Terror 2013 is provided in the order of priority in Kazakhstan", the press-service said.

FIRE RAGES THROUGH 85 HECTARES OF STEPPE 6/11/2013

A fire has destroyed 85 hectares of steppe in southern Kazakhstan, according to the press service of the Kazakh Ministry for Emergency Situations. The accident happened on Monday (June 10) in Shanak district of South Kazakhstan region. No casualties were reported.

ABDENOV STEPS DOWN AS MINISTER OF LABOR & SOCIAL PROTECTION 6/10/2013

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In accordance with the Nursultan Nazarbayev’s decree Serik Abdenov has been released form the office of the Minister of Labor & Social Protection, Akorda announced today. Tamara Dyisenova, Vice Minister of Labor & Social Protection, will temporarily perform the duties of Minister.

HEAD OF GOVERNMENT TO VISIT PAVLODAR RGN 6/10/2013

The spokesperson of the Central Communications Service announced the Prime Minister's working schedule for this week: On June 11, a regular meeting chaired by the Head of the Government will be held to focus on the regulation of the greenhouse gas emissions and the "Employment-2020" Program implementation. The Minister of Environmental Protection Nurlan Kapparov will report on measures taken in the framework of the Kyoto Protocol ratified by Kazakhstan and the Concept of transition to a green economy. In addition, PM Akhmetov will visit Pavlodar region on June 14th. During the working trip the Prime Minister will be informed of the principle tasks of agro-industrial complex and will familiarize with industrial facilities of the region.

KAZAKH-KYRGYZ COOPERATION DISCUSSED 6/10/2013

A delegation headed by Chairman of the Majilis, Nurlan Nigmatulin, is taking part in the events within the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking Countries that started in Ankara today. The program of the Kazakh delegation includes meetings with colleagues from Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. The first bilateral meeting was held with the chairman of Zhogorku Kenesh (Parliament) of Kyrgyzstan Asilbek Zheenbekov. The sides appreciated the level of interaction between the parliamentarians of the two countries. Members of Parliament of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan regularly exchange their experience; cooperate actively within such parliamentary organizations as the CIS Inter-parliamentary Assembly, TURKPA, EurAsEC and Collective Security Treaty Organization.

SINGLE AUTHORITY FOR PUBLIC PROCUREMENT 6/10/2013

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Kazakhstan Finance Ministry proposed the establishment of a single institution for the organization of public procurement. At today's briefing in the central communications service of the Minister of Finance Bolat Jamishev announced amendments to the Law ‘On Public Procurement’. "This authoritative body will provide a ‘gap’ between the people who prepare the tender documents, and those who hold the competition, " said Bolat Jamishev. Concerning construction and information project documents, tenders will be sent to relevant ministries for examination to rule out corruption.

TOURISM DEVELOPMENT DISCUSSED WITHIN EXPO-2017 6/10/2013

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The first meeting of a working group on foreign participation in EXPO-2017 chaired by the Commissioner of the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO-2017 Executive Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan, Rapil Zhoshybayev noted Kazakhstan's progress in holding such international events as the OSCE Summit, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the Astana Economic Forum, the 7th Asian Games etc. The Executive Secretary of the Foreign Ministry stressed that during the working period of the EXPO a large number of guests would attend the event. Issues of image, escorting and services during EXPO were addressed during the meeting.

KAZAKHSTAN'S NEW MINING FRONTIERS 6/10/2013

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Kazakhstan will start issuing its first mineral exploration licences in four years. There is a growing emphasis on metals and mining in the country and the Central Asian region as technological advances and changes in global demand make it worthwhile to develop previously overlooked deposits and explore new areas. Before independence two decades ago, Kazakhstan had a greater focus on mining than hydrocarbons, but the launch of production at the offshore Tengiz oilfield marked a fundamental change in the country's economic structure. The lion's share of investment is now directed at the oil and gas sector, and oil makes up the bulk of Kazakhstan's export revenues. Attention did, however, return to mining with the launch of the state industrialisation programme in early 2010. Officials are now drawing up a development plan for the mineral resources sector for 2015-2019 – they are preparing the first new licences following a four-year suspension, which are due to be issued in the near future, while also drawing up a new tax code. Astana is also planning to set up a new geological exploration centre in order to remove the twin bottlenecks of lack of support infrastructure and training facilities for mining companies in the country.

INVESTMENTS TO UZBEKISTAN MULTIPLIES 6/10/2013

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Investments of Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan from 2004 to 2012 exceeded the reverse investments by 10 times, announced the press service of the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning. "During the period from 2002 to 2012, the inflow of direct investments from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan's economy amounted to $ 10.5 million while the volume of Kazakh investments in Uzbekistan from 2004 to 2012 amounted to $ 102 million dollars," the statement says. According to the Ministry, the volume of the foreign trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for 2012 totalled nearly $ 2.1 billion, which is 11% more than in 2011. Kazakhstan's exports to Uzbekistan in 2012 amounted to 1.344 billion (up 14%), while the import from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan amounted to 817 million dollars (up s6%).

EXPORT OF CHEMICALS UP IN 2012 6/10/2013

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The export of chemical products increased by 12% - amounting to $3.9 billion in 2012, announced the Minister of Industry and New Technologies, Asset Issekeshev (above) at a government meeting last week. The export of chemicals increased by 67.7% from 2009 to 2012, he said. Issekeshev also noted the need to solve outstanding problems in order to stimulate domestic demand for the products of the chemical industry and promote exports. "We need to actively solve the problems associated with the stimulation of demand in the local market and export promotion," he said.

PM & HEADS OF CIS DELEGATIONS MEET WITH PRESIDENT OF BELARUS 6/3/2013

Today, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, during his working trip to Minsk, attended a meeting of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and the heads of delegations of the CIS.

CIS PREMIERS TO ADOPT 11 INNOVATIVE PROJECTS IN MINSK 6/3/2013

As many as eleven pilot innovative projects will be adopted at the session of the CIS Heads of Government Council in Minsk on 31st May. Participants of the session are expected to discuss the progress in implementing the interstate program for innovation-driven development, which was launched in 2012.. They cover various areas of the work of the CIS states and are aimed at advancing information technologies, nanotechnologies, manufacturing technologies, aviation, space and transport systems. The projects also deal with security, energy effectiveness, rational nature management, and healthcare. In addition, the CIS meeting will air a draft agreement on coordinating interstate relations in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Humanitarian matters are also traditionally discussed at such events.

3,500KM OF ROADS TO BE REPAIRED IN 2013 6/3/2013

3,500 km of roads will be repaired in Kazakhstan in 2013, announced the Roads Commission of the Kazakhstan Ministry of Transport & Communications. In particular, construction and reconstruction of 888km of roads will be started, while medium and capital repairs are scheduled for 1,112km of roads. 2,000km of roads will start operating before the end of the construction season. “This year’s plan is to complete reconstruction of 806km of road of the Western Europe-Western China international corridor. 220km of roads have already been constructed since the beginning of the year,” the Commission said. Reconstruction of roads such as Astana-Karaganda, Almaty-Kapshagai and Astana-Pavlodar will also start in 2013. Another plan is to build a road from Karaganda to Almaty with a bridge over Balkhash Lake. The works are planned to be completed in 2019.

KARAGANDA OBLAST TO GET WIND POWER STATION IN 2016 6/3/2013

A 15 MW wind power plant will be constructed by 2016 in Karaganda oblast in central Kazakhstan, announced the deputy director of Astana branch of Kazakh Scientific-Research & Design Institute of Construction & Architecture, Kazbek Matayev. According to Matayev, the general layout provides for active use of renewable energy sources in forming of the common energy system of Kazakhstan with a possibility of linking with energy networks of the neighbouring countries. There is an energy deficit in Karaganda Oblast that is growing proportionally to the region's economy, the authors of the document said. “The deficit is covered by cross flows from power plants of Kazakhstan’s common energy network along North-South 220/500 kW transit lines. As for new generating capacities for Karaganda Oblast in 2015-2030, it is necessary to construct 360 MW Karaganda Heat Power Plant No.4, and 220 MW Zhezkazgan Heat Power Plant No.2 in 2021-2025,” he added.

PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV SPEAKS OF THE BENEFITS OF INTEGRATION 5/30/2013

Today in Akorda, President Nazarbayev held a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the press-service of the President reports. The meeting was also attended by Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, Almazbek Atambayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and Viktor Yanukovych, the President of Ukraine. During the meeting the Board considered a number of issues related to the main aspects of integration including the activities of the Eurasian Economic Commission which are to develop mechanisms for further cooperation between the countries. The parties discussed prospects of Kyrgyz Republic and Ukraine entry to the Customs Union (CU). Talking to his counterparts President Nazarbayev said that these sessions allow them to keep up the pace of instruments adoption for integration and creation of the Eurasian Economic Union. After the meeting Mr Nazarbayev made a statement saying that a number of important decisions had been made. "Changes have been made to the regulations on the activities of the Eurasian Economic Commission for international negotiations on trade. This document will enable the CU Member States to cooperate using the Commission platform. It will expand the range of our partners in trade. This is an important step towards closer integration of our countries. Today there has been approved the concept of coherent agricultural policy of the Customs Union and Common Economic Space Member States.

KAZAKHSTAN & RUSSIA: TREATY & ALLIANCE TO BE SIGNED 5/30/2013

At the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, President Nazarbayev had a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin Regarding bilateral Kazakh relations the Kazakh President expressed hope that the elaborated comprehensive treaty on good-neighborliness and alliance in the 21st century would be signed the current year. "Our task is to develop mutual trade and strengthen the Customs Union… I take this opportunity also to thank you for the invitation to attend the G-20 summit," said the President of Kazakhstan. "We can see how much personal attention you pay to the development of Russian-Kazakh relations” said President Putin. “Due to this direct participation, our relations are developing very quickly and efficiently, and trade volumes are growing.”

CU SUPPORT UKRAINIAN & KYRGYZ AS EURASEC OBSERVERS 5/30/2013

The heads of the Customs Union (CU) member states support the intentions of Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan to become observers in the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), said President Nazarbayev at a briefing in Astana following the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on Wednesday. “By the autumn of this year, experts from these countries must have prepared the necessary documents, and then we will be able to approve them”, said Mr Nazarbayev. EurAsEC is an international economic organization formed for the purpose of the formation of common external customs borders of its member states for a common foreign policy, tariffs, prices and other components of the common market.

HALYK BANK ON POSSIBLE PURCHASE OF BTA 5/30/2013

Halyk Bank of Kazakhstan wills pend two-three months to complete due diligence over possible purchase of BTA, said Halyk Bank’s Chairwoman of the Board Ms. Umyt Shayakhmetova on May 29th. “Halyk Bank has entered negotiations over the offer to purchase BTA. No official statements can be made so far. The due diligence is under way. Halyk Bank has hired external consultants, lawyers, auditors to examine the deal both from the Government’s perspective and Halyk Bank’s perspective”, Ms. Shayakhmetova said at a press conference. According to her, the major task as of today is to obtain results of the full due diligence, which may take 2-3 months. Samruk-Kazyna made Halyk Bank an offer to purchase BTA March 27, 2013.

MYNBAYEV ASKED TO INCREASE CHINESE CONTENT IN OIL COMPANY 5/30/2013

Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev was asked to increase the allowed number of foreigners in Kazakhstan’s oil projects. The Minister met with citizens in the community liaison office of the Nur Otan party. One of those who addressed the Minister was Li Chan from China, Commercial Director of Emir Oil. According to him, there are 352 employees in Emir Oil with only 6 Chinese among them. “The Director General is Chinese. All his deputies are local and all the engineers are local. We don’t have enough foreign content. Our managers reported that the company has 95 percent of local content, but we are getting fined every year,” the Chinese citizen said. He said that he came to Astana from Aktau especially for the meeting with Mynbayev in hope to resolve the issue. Commenting on the request, Mynbayev stressed that it was impossible to fulfil the foreign citizen's wish. “The law requires 90-percent Kazakh content among employees.”

KYRGYZSTAN TO JOIN DISCUSSION ON INTEGRATION 5/30/2013

President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambayev has arrived in Astana for a one-day working visit. The Kyrgyz leader was invited by President Nazarbayev to participate in the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.

HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TRAIN IN TURKEY 5/30/2013

Kazakhstan and Turkey continue to cooperate in the field of education, especially in terms of various internships. A group of neuropathologists from all regions and cities of Kazakhstan completed their internship in Ankara. The trip was arranged by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) together with Turkey's Ministry of Healthcare. More than one hundred specialists from Kazakhstan surveyed modern methods and technologies used by their Turkish colleagues at Ankara Training and Research Hospital.

PRESIDENTS OF FIVE COUNTRIES TO MEET IN ASTANA 5/27/2013

The Presidents of five countries will meet in Astana, said the spokesman of the Central Communications Service of the President of Kazakhstan, Altai Abibullayev today at a press briefing. The meeting - on May 29th - within the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, will address further inter-country integration. The meeting will be attended by the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. "At the invitation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev and President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych will also visit Astana on May 29th. The presidents of Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine will not participate in the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.

FRANCE TO DOUBLE EXPORTS TO KAZAKHSTAN 5/27/2013

France will double its exports to Kazakhstan within five years, said the French Ministry of Foreign Trade in a statement following the Astana Economic Forum. Minister Nicole Bricq met with the Prime Minister, the head of the presidential administration, the Deputy Prime Minister of Industry, the Minister of Environmental Protection and the Mayor of Astana to promote the French offer. According to Ms Bricq, "Kazakhstan is one of the priorities for foreign trade We are below our potential The roadmap is clear. Doubling our exports within five years, diversify our commercial and industrial trade, and pursue political exchanges at the highest level."

QATAR SUGGESTS CREATING A JOINT INVESTMENT FUND 5/27/2013

Qatar offers to create a joint investment fund for Kazakhstan, announced the Kaznex Invest press-service. During a meeting with Asset Issekeshev, the Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Industry and New Technologies, organized by the «Kaznex Invest» agency at the end of the VI Astana Economic Forum, Yousef Hussain Kamal, the Minister of Economy and Finance of Qatar, made a proposal to establish a joint investment fund with equal contributions from each side amounting to USD $ 500 million. Asset Issekeshev expressed readiness to provide all the needed support and assistance on the investment cooperation. In this case, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed to the possibility of investing in the tourism industry of Kazakhstan. Issekeshev proposed to interact with the Kazakhstan Development Bank on the establishment of a joint Kazakh-Qatari fund. Yousef Hussain Kamal also offered to open an international connection between Qatar and Kazakhstan, in particular, between Doha and Astana or Almaty. The issue concerns direct flights of the state airline, Qatar Airways.

SUPERVISORY OF SINGLE ECONOMIC SPACE FOR KAZAKHSTAN 5/27/2013

A financial supervisory body of the Single Economic Space will be headquartered in Kazakhstan, said the Chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Grigory Marchenko (above) at the VI Astana Economic Forum. "We need to build the structure of a single financial institution potentially capable of functioning effectively, and able to counteract the problems of the financial markets arising in a period of crisis. For instance, the issues of counter-cyclical policy are a matter of debate. Therefore, the agreements that have been signed by the Presidents of the three countries, stipulate that there should be a single financial supervisory body and it should be in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan," Marchenko said.

EXPO-2017 WILL CONTRIBUTE TO INVESTMENTS – SAYS PM 5/24/2013

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EXPO-2017 in Astana will contribute to a significant influx of investment - said Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov in a speech at the IV International Investment Forum – ‘Astana Invest’ - at the Palace of Independence. "Astana was formed on the concept of future that is based on smart solutions and smart technology… The capital needs modern technologies, and they should be directed primarily at energy conservation, development of a ‘green’ economy and transfer of modern technology solutions. As you know, the theme of EXPO-2017 is the development of future energy. It is expected that participants of the exhibition will be the leading companies of 100 countries around the world, and millions of people will see the exhibition. Of course, this event will contribute to a significant influx of investment, the implementation of major new projects and new environmentally friendly production ", said Akhmetov.

PRIME MINISTER MEETS WITH MACEDONIAN COUNTERPART 5/24/2013

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Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov met with the Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski on the sidelines of VI Astana Economic Forum. The PMs discussed the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation in trade and economic spheres. Calling Macedonia an important partner in the Balkan region, the head of the Kazakh government said that "the two countries have big potential for the development of mutually beneficial economic cooperation, expansion of contacts in the spheres of transit transport, energy, joint ventures in various sectors of the economy." Nikola Gruevski said that "the Kazakh-Macedonian cooperation has all the prospects to reach a qualitatively higher level."

PEOPLE'S IPO IN KAZAKHSTAN MIGHT FOLD 5/24/2013

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Implementation of the People’s IPO in Kazakhstan will be suspended until the end of the year and may possibly be even folded altogether, says a widely citied source within the Kazakh government. According to the unidentified speaker, this will happen for several reasons. “The debut placement as part of the People’s IPO was successful (KazTransOil's IPO), which sets it apart from the other similar state programs. That’s why there is a big game at the top right now. People who have nothing to do with this program do not want is to continue,” he said. According to him, another reason lays in legal collisions that sprout from the fact that strategic facilities, such as the national power networks and railroads, cannot be privatized according to the existing law. In fact, representatives of the General Prosecutor’s office held a meeting with the government on the IPO program where they challenged legitimacy of placement of KazTransOil's common shares that took place last year.

CAMECO TO TRANSFER URANIUM TECHNOLOGY TO KAZATOMPROM 5/24/2013

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Construction of a joint facility to process uranium by Canada’s Cameco and Kazakhstan’s KazAtomProm National Nuclear Company will start in 2018, said Robert Steane (above), Cameco Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, in the Company’s statement issued for the 26th sitting of the Foreign Investors Council on May 22nd. “There is a memorandum signed with KazAtomProm to transfer the Company’s own technology to construct and operate a highly efficient and environmentally friendly facility that will be processing 6 000 tons of uranium (UO3) a year, relying on the Ulba Metallurgical Works [engaged in production of hi-tech uranium, beryllium and tantalum products for the needs of the nuclear power industry] based in Ust-Kamenogorsk.” The actual transfer of the technology will take place upon the start of construction in 2018. According to Mr. Steane, Cameco’s technology and expertise “will support Kazakhstan’s intention to be an integrated player in the global nuclear industry”.

CANADA PROMOTES AGRICULTURAL TRADE PARTNERSHIP 5/24/2013

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Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz (above) concluded a successful agricultural trade mission to Kazakhstan where he strengthened the trade relationship with the growing Kazakh (and Russian) markets and promoted Canada's world-class livestock. Canada exported over $21 million of agri-food products to Kazakhstan in 2012, including $7.6 million worth of purebred cattle, making Kazakhstan Canada's top market for purebred cattle. During the mission Minister Ritz witnessed commercial contract signings and helped to create more sales opportunities for the livestock industry delegation accompanying him. In Kazakhstan, Xports International sold Canadian purebred cattle valued at almost $3 million.

NAZARBAYEV PROPOSED G-GLOBAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES 5/23/2013

Today at the opening ceremony of the VI Astana Economic Forum,the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to create a board of trustees for G-global following the example of the Club of Rome and the Club of Madrid. "A year ago at the Economic Forum, I proposed the idea of G-global, and I am grateful to all those who welcomed it. The main purpose of G-global is to offer a positive alternative to the chaotic dynamics of the changing global paradigms of global development ", he said. Nazarbayev expressed his hope that the number of followers of G-global will grow, and suggested the idea of creating G-Global Board of Trustees. "Within this framework it is necessary to carry out funding of fundamental aspects of research," said the President.

WORLD ANTI-CRISIS CONFERENCE & AEF OPEN 5/23/2013

Work of the VI Astana Economic Forum is continuing today. The forum is a recognized international summit, bringing together the best minds to find solutions to the economic, financial and social challenges of our time. Today sees the grand opening of the World Anti-Crisis Conference, and the official opening of VI Astana Economic Forum,. The forum is attended by about 10,000 representatives from more than 90 countries, including Heads of State and Government, prominent political and public figures, heads of international organizations and business corporations, leading researchers and Nobel laureates, as well as representatives of the world media.

AEF: VISCOUNT WAVERLEY PRAISES KAZAKHSTAN 5/23/2013

One of the VI Astana Economic Forum participants is John-Desmond, Viscount Waverley, an independent member of the House of Lords. He chairs the six All-Party Parliamentary Groups for Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, in addition to heading the regional Central Asian Group - a position held since the foundation of the Groups. Lord Waverley is an advisor to the Chairman of KazMunaiGaz and to the Chairman of the CCC Group. He is also a Chairman of the New Silk Road Forum. On May 22nd, Waverley made a speech at the session – ‘The Concept of the Republic of Kazakhstan's entry into the Top 30 Developed Countries’. "I am delighted to be back in Astana” he said. “I am electing to link Kazakhstan's internal advances to a regional leadership role as evidence of development…Kazakhstan is a geopolitical lynchpin which is evidenced by its prominence and influence in regional affairs, together with events that effect the global stage; this at a time when ominous grey clouds are gathering on the regional horizon.”

CRISIS ACTION IS BETTER THAN NO ACTION - PRESIDENT 5/23/2013

The global recession lead, incredible as it may seem, to anti-crisis measures taken at national levels, said President Nazarbayev at the Astana Economic Forum. "Of course, during any crisis action is better than inaction. Kazakhstan is known to have carried out a successful anti-crisis program. It is possible to preserve jobs, and the positive dynamics of economic growth," he said. "Not all anti-crisis recommendations made within the G20 group have been implemented. For example, many states have implemented protectionist measures, this has led to a slowdown in the growth of world trade, lower prices on the global and regional markets fell volumes of cross-border lending and investment. Now they make up only 60% of the pre-crisis level. Another aspect of sharp deterioration in social well-being of people is growing global unemployment. According to the forecasts of the International Labour Organization, this year the world will have more than 200 million unemployed. At the beginning of this year in Europe there were more than 26 million unemployed, which is 1.5 times more than 5 years ago. Many states have cut spending on education, health care, and human development. All these are clear signs of global social crisis that threatens to undermine the bar of standards of quality of life, even in advanced societies ", said Nazarbayev.

$1 BLN VENTURE FUND ESTABLISHED 5/23/2013

An innovation-oriented venture fund with a capital of $1 billion will be established in Kazakhstan. “Starting from this year, all subsoil users have to spend 1% of their total annual income on research and development, but not everyone has the know-how. I believe that this money can be used to form an innovation-oriented venture fund with an initial capital of $200 million. I want to take this capital of $1 billion (over time),” said President Nazarbayev at the meeting of the Foreign Investors Council. The President noted that active participation of Kazakhstan's foreign investors and partners could make this fund a key source of financing of innovative projects. “It will finance researches of our universities, innovative technologies park and regional innovative offices as part of international projects. These funds can also be used to finance a wide range of research programs via the G-Global information and communication platform,” he said.

50 MAYORS AND GOVERNORS TO BE REPLACED IN KAZAKHSTAN 5/23/2013

At least 50 Akims (mayors and governors) of cities and regions will be replaced in Kazakhstan this autumn, announced the chairman of Kazakhstan State Service Agency Alikhan Baimenov (above). “2,000 people have applied for 550 positions in the A Block. 200 of the applicants were dismissed for non-compliance with the qualification requirements. Around 1,100 people out of 1,800 were tested in the first 7 days. 63% of them passed the test successfully and 37% did not pass the required threshold. That means that over 50 akims of cities and regions did not pass the threshold. Their positions will be taken by September 26th by people from the reserves selected by the national commission,” Baimenov said on the sidelines of the 6th Astana Economic Forum.

40 AGREEMENTS WORTH $400 M. TO BE SIGNED AT AEF 5/23/2013

Over 40 memorandums and agreements worth $400 million will be signed during the 6th Astana Economic Forum, according to the Forum’s organizational commission. “The memorandums and agreements of understanding and cooperating with international unions and foreign companies from Poland, China, Austria, France and the U.S. will be signed by Kazakhstan state authorities, national holdings, companies and funds. The agreements will be related to innovative technologies and, according to the preliminary information, are estimated at $400 million,” the commission’s message said.

THE NETHERLANDS DEBATES STEM CELL RESEARCH CENTRE 5/23/2013

The Ministry of Health and a delegration from The Netherlands discussed the opening of a centre of stem cell research and biomedical centre in Kazakhstan.
As part of the Astana Economic Forum a meeting of the health ministry’s executive secretary S. Musinov with a delegation from the Kingdom of the Netherlands - comprising the president of the University of Groningen Sibrandes Poppema, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Kazakhstan Peyter Van Leeuwen and others. The meeting touched upon a partnership between Kazakhstan and the University of Groningen for further development of new technologies in the field of medicine.

KASHAGAN STAKE DECISION DELAYED UNTIL JULY 5/22/2013

Kazakhstan will decide by early July whether to take up an option to buy ConocoPhillips stake in the Kashagan oilfield, which has drawn interest from China and India. "(The state commission's) decision will be made by July 2," Kazakh Oil & Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev told Reuters on Wednesday. Kashagan, the world's biggest oilfield discovery in more than 40 years, holds an estimated 30 billion barrels of oil-in-place, of which 8 billion to 12 billion barrels are potentially recoverable, with first production expected in the middle of this year. The government has a right to buy the 8.4 percent stake held by the U.S. firm as part of an international consortium developing the field, and if it does not, to decide on a buyer. Kazakhstan had originally said it had until late May to decide on the fate of the ConocoPhillips' stake. Mynbayev gave no reason for the extension of the deadline. The minister, speaking on the sidelines of the 6th Astana Economic Forum, also said Kazakhstan did not plan to change to the current production-sharing agreement on Kashagan. Last month Mynbayev said that China had shown an interest in buying the stake.

STATE PRIZE FOR RESEARCH BREAKTHROUGH INITIATED 5/22/2013

The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has established a State Prize named after Al-Farabi to scientists for breakthrough research and innovation. It has been said by the the Head of State today at the 26th plenary session of the Foreign Investors Council. "It will be awarded annually in seven categories. A the beginning the premium amount will be 100 thousand dollars, then it will be higher, " said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

PRESIDENT RECEIVED CONOCOPHILLIPS CHAIR 5/22/2013

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has received chairman and chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips Ryan M. Lance, who arrived to partake in the 26th Foreign Investors' Council session, Kazinform has learnt from the Presidential Press service. The sides talked over results of ConocoPhillips work in Kazakhstan, and the change of the Company's priorities. In addition, an agenda of forthcoming session of the Foreign Investors' Council was considered at the meeting. Nursultan Nazarbayev and Ryan Lance agreed the Company's activity in Kazakhstan was profitable and characterized by high level of mutually fruitful cooperation.

FOREIGN INVESTORS COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP CHANGED 5/22/2013

The Foreign Investors Council body has changed, said the President of Kazakhstan, opening the 26th meeting of the institution taking place at the Hotel Rixos in Astana today."Instead of Mr. Thomas Mirow there is Sir Suma Chakrabarti, who since July 2012 has been governing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Sir Suma has huge experience at the highest political positions of the UK, he has worked closely with the countries of the CIS… I am also introducing to you Dr. Jacob Frenkel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of JP Morgan Chase International, and the new CEO of BG Group Chris Finlayson. The Kazakh side of the Foreign Investors Council has also been changed. I present to you the new board members: Serik Akhmetov - Prime Minister, Sagintayev Bakytzhan - First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development, Erbolat Dosayev - Minister of Economy and Budget Planning, and Hairov Erlan - Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies ", said President Nazarbayev.

KAZAKH PRIME MINISTER RECEIVED EBRD 5/22/2013

The Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov has met with member of the Foreign Investors Council under the Kazakh President, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Suma Chakrabarti. The parties discussed the prospects of cooperation in financial and economic spheres as well as joint infrastructural projects. "Cooperation with the EBRD is of paramount importance for our country. The projects Kazakhstan and EBRD implement in the field of energy, manufacturing industry, transport infrastructure, small and medium businesses are significant for the Kazakh economy," Akhmetov said.

PUBLIC DEBT STAYS AT SAFE LEVEL 5/21/2013

The public debt of the Republic of Kazakhstan is at a safe level said Deputy Finance Minister Berik Sholpankulov, representing the Government report on the execution of the republican budget for 2012 at a meeting of the committee on social and cultural development of the Majilis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan under the chairmanship of Dariga Nazarbayeva. "As part of the financing deficit of the national budget, as well as promoting development of the financial instruments in the course of 2012, the Ministry of Finance placed government securities amounting to KZT 1 trillion 67.5 billion. Income from foreign borrowings amounted to KZT 111.4 billion, including from international financial institutions - KZT 107.4 billion, from foreign countries - KZT 3.9 billion. Repayment of external loans amounted to KZT 32.9 billion, domestic loans - KZT 241.4 billion," said Sholpankulov.

NAZARBAYEV STRESSES NEED TO CONTROL SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
5/21/2013

The Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev has received the Deputy Prime Minister's Yerbol Orynbayev, the press service of the President informs. Mr.Orynbaev informed the President of the implementation of the Employment Program 2020, the implementation of health programs, as well as fulfilment of the instructions of the President. During the meeting President Nazarbayev noted the need to strengthen the monitoring of the implementation of the key areas of social development Following the meeting Nursultan Nazarbayev gave a number of specific instructions on further development and monitoring of the state of the social sphere.

PRESIDENT, EADS & AIRBUS DISCUSS AEROSPACE COLLABORATION 5/21/2013

President Nazarbayev held a meeting with the participants of the forthcoming meeting of the Foreign Investors Council, reports the press-service of the Kazakh leader. The meeting was attended by the heads of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Group (EADS) - its President Thomas Enders, the head of the President's office Nicolas Chamussin, CEO of International Development Jean-Pierre Talamoni, CEO of Airbus John Leahy and CEO of EADS Kazakhstan Silver Delone.

GREAT BRITAIN TO PAY KAZAKHSTAN FOR MILITARY TRANSIT 5/21/2013

Kazakhstan will be receiving $300,000-400,000 per year from Great Britain for transit of military cargoes via its territory, said Kazakhstan’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Aleksey Volkov. "Сountries pay for transit. Great Britain's preliminary calculation was $300,000-400,000 per year. But the actual amount will also depend on the frequency of flights, type of aircrafts, cargoes and their weights. The payment is similar to those made by other countries that we already have the agreement with. There is a difference only for those who fly more frequently. The more frequent the flights are the more the country will pay," Volkov told the Senate Commission on International Relations, Defense and Security at last week's extended meeting on ratification of the agreement between the governments of the two countries on transit of military property and personnel via Kazakhstan in relation to participation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in international efforts on stabilization and restoration of Afghanistan.

RUSSIA AS SPACE PARTNER IS A PRIORITY – NAZARBAYEV 5/16/2013

Russia is the main space partner of Kazakhstan, so the cooperation development and implementation of joint projects priorities, said the Kazakh President today.
The Head of State recalled that the "Kazakhstan-2050" Strategy is aimed at expanding the niche of Kazakhstan in the global market space and bringing projects to fruition. For this purpose accurate planning of the governmental activities is needed in the field of space activities. It is important to set realistic goals identifying those segments of space movements which are the most interesting and popular in Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan had not only ambitious targets in the field of space activities but relevant economic and technical possibilities to use space technologies. However, as this sector is one of the world expensive industries it requires a systematic approach and state control. Kazakh President challenged the government to provide the level of interagency coordination necessary in the activities of state agencies involved in space projects.

COOPERATION DEVELOPMENT WITH RUSSIA IN LAW 5/16/2013

President Nazarbayev has signed the law "On ratification of Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the Government of Russia on development and implementation of programs in the sphere of military technical cooperation for the benefit of Kazakhstan and Russia."

LEADERS & SCIENTISTS TO HOLD ONLINE TALKS AT ANTI-CRISIS CONF 5/16/2013

An online conference to discuss the World Anti-Crisis Plan for the UN will be held on the eve of the World Anti-Crisis Conference (Astana, 22-24 May). WAC will be held in Astana for the first time at the initiative of the Kazakh President. The conference aims to develop a Global Anti-Crisis Plan to be presented to the United Nations, a document based on democratic principles and reflecting interests of all countries.

KAZAKHSTAN AND CHINA TO COOPERATE FURTHER 5/16/2013

Nurlan Ermekbayev, the Kazakh Ambassador to China is on a working visit to the Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region of China. On Thursday, he held a meeting with the directory administration of departments of agriculture, commerce of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corp, as well as representatives of local businesses which interest the Ambassador in the field of cooperation development. "Kazakhstan is interested in the Chinese experience in the implementation of drip irrigation and water conservation technologies. The cooperation in the creation of a full cycle enterprises in the livestock field, as well as the establishment of agricultural parks has been agreed” said Ermekbayev.

PM TO DEVELOP DRAFT OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM 5/14/2013

Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov charged the Ministry of Industry & New Technologies together with other public bodies to introduce a draft of an energy efficiency programme up until 2020. The PM noted that all guidelines included in the document should be worked out in detail, in particular concerning financial issues. "The main standards and norms should be clear and have direct action, otherwise the programme is doomed to failure," said Akhmetov.

FIRST MAJOR WIND POWER PLANT TO BE BUILT 5/14/2013

Kazakhstan will build the first large wind power plant (WPP) at the Yereimentau site in Akmola region with the capacity of 45 megawatts. The First Wind Power Plant LLP and the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) signed an agreement on a credit line worth 14.2 billion tenge (over $93.8 million) to finance the turnkey construction of the WPP in Kazakhstan, a statement published by the First Wind Power Plant LLP said.

2500 SQUARE METRES OF RENTAL HOUSING PLANNED 5/14/2013

Since the beginning of this year 2.5 thousand square meters of rental housing for young families has been built across the country, announced the Deputy Minister of Regional Development Serik Nokin at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. "10 billion tenge of targeted transfers will be allocated for the construction of rental housing for young families by Akimats of Astana and Almaty regions in 2013... The plan for 2013 is to commission 117 thousand square meters or 1.6 thousand apartments. 2.5 thousand square meters or 42 apartments have been built for four months," Nokin said. He noted that funds for the construction of housing for young families were allocated in 2012.

RELIGIOUS AGENCY MET WITH MINISTRY FOR ISLAMIC AFFAIRS 5/14/2013

The Chairman of the Agency for Religious Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Lama Sharif met with a delegation from the Ministry for Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Dawa and Guidance of Saudi Arabia headed by Deputy Minister Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Ammar. The sides talked over trends of bilateral cooperation including legal regulation of Kazakhstan's citizens' training in theological universities of Saudi Arabia and efforts to counter religious extremism and terrorism.

KAZAKHSTAN & ROMANIA SET UP INVESTMENT FUND 5/14/2013

Kazakhstan and Romania have created a joint investment fund with a total capitalization of USD 1 billion, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports. The investment fund will strengthen the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Romania and ensure the Kazakhstani energy resources consumption growth in the region of the Black Sea and the European Union. "The Romanian Government approved the final terms of Rompetrol Company’s debt settlement. Under the agreement Rompetrol is to buy the Government’s shares in the oil refineries of Romania. The bill draft was sent to the Parliament for ratification. A key foundation of the transaction was the creation of an investment fund of the two countries", the statement reads.

KAZAKHSTAN PLANS UP TO $1 BLN EUROBOND 5/14/2013

Kazakhstan will return to global bond markets this year with an issue of up to $1 billion and has invited banks to apply to manage the deal, Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev said on Friday, May 10th. Kazakhstan has one of the lowest public debt ratios in emerging markets and its last sovereign Eurobond matured in 2007. Zhamishev said a new bond would be aimed at creating a benchmark for corporate borrowers. "In 2013 we would like to go back to the borrowing market and I think that we will probably borrow up to $1 billion, it will be in U.S. dollars," he told the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). "We are going to the external markets not for money but for credit, for loans, for benchmarks and in order to make ourselves present in this market."

BOLASHAK-SERHETYAKA RAILWAY SERVICE OPENED 5/14/2013

President Nazarbayev, and his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov are launching the through railway service the "Bolashak station (Republic of Kazakhstan) - Serhetyaka station (Turkmenistan)". "I am delighted to welcome the fraternal people of Turkmenistan and the delegation presenting here... The new line is the shortest way to deliver cargo", said Nazarbayev. The "Bolashak-Serhetyaka" line section is a part of the transnational railway corridor that will connect Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran. It will provide land flow of cargo access to the sea routes in the Persian Gulf region.

ASTANA TO HOST GLOBAL WOMEN CONGRESS 5/14/2013

The Global Women Congress will be held within the VI Astana Economic Forum on May 22 in Astana. The Global Women Congress aims to bring together women - scientists, economists and practitioners, representatives of government agencies, business, civil society and international organizations to discuss and find the optimal solutions of socio-economic, legal, cultural and gender issues in the development of the countries of Central Asia, Europe, and Kazakhstan in particular.

KAZAKHSTAN & CANADA DISCUSSED ENVIRONMENT 5/14/2013

The Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Canada Mr. Konstantin Zhigalov met with Minister of the Environment of Canada, Peter Kent in Ottawa. The parties had substantial discussions on further development of cooperation on protection of environment. Ambassador Zhigalov informed Minister Kent about several of Kazakhstan's initiatives in this area, including the Green Bridge Initiative and the EXPO-2017, inviting the Canadian side to participate in joint implementation of these projects. During the meeting, the parties noted the successful visit of the delegation of the Forestry Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan to the Canadian Province of Alberta in October 2012 in order to learn about the Canadian experience in the sphere of sustainable forestry, forest fire management, inventory procedures, preservation and restoration of forests and also management of urban green areas. to the oil and gas sector, including shale oil and gas and others.

FOREIGN MINISTER IN SPAIN & PORTUGAL 5/14/2013

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yerlan Idrissov, has arrived in Spain for his first official visit, announced Altai Abibullayev of the Kazakh President's Central Communications Service reports. "Yerlan Idrissov is expected to meet with King of Spain Juan Carlos, speakers of Parliament and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain José Manuel García-Margallo, as well as heads of leading companies. Perspectives of Kazakh- Spanish cooperation will be touched upon during the meetings," Abibullayev said. Mr Idrissov will also pay his first official visit to Portugal to discuss cooperation and perspectives of further development with the leaders of Portugal. Both countries will participate in business seminar titled ‘Kazakhstan-Portugal.’

CHINA-TURKMENISTAN PIPELINE TO INCREASE CAPACITY 5/13/2013

The capacity of the gas pipeline network, which runs from Turkmenistan through Kazakhstan to China, is planned to increase by 65 billion cubic meters, said President Nazarbayev after the talks with his Turkmen counterpart. "Building a strong transportation system from Turkmenistan through Kazakhstan to China - the functioning of which today equals 40 billion cubic meters - will increase its capacity by 65 billion cubic meters", said Nazarbayev.

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT, SECURITY AND DEMOCRACY DISCUSSED BY KAZAKH SENATORS IN WASHINGTON, DC 5/10/2013

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The delegation of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan headed by the deputy chairman of the Senate Alexander Sudin is on a working visit to the United States. The visit is aimed at strengthening inter-parliamentary relations between Kazakhstan and the United States, and as part of the 10th anniversary of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, convened at the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2003. The meetings focused on issues of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, international and regional security, economic development, and promotion of democratic values.

EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION READIED FOR 2014 5/2/2013

President Nazarbayev received Kairat Kelimbetov (above), the Deputy Prime Minister, the press-service of the President reports. During the meeting Mr. Kelimbetov told the President about the main areas of work in macroeconomic and fiscal spheres, as well as the activities of the financial sector of the country. In addition, the sides discussed issues of further improving customs and trade policy. President Nazarbayev noted that Kelimbetov acts as the person responsible for integration in the Eurasian area.
"In the light of an approaching summit in late May, it is necessary to review the results of the ongoing negotiations and to determine the protection level of Kazakhstani interests. It is necessary to to observe the state of the economy and the pace of its development", the Kazakh President said. Kelimbetov informed the Kazakh President that in the frame of preparation for the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council of the three heads of the Customs Union and Common Economic Space member states there have been regular sessions at the level of deputy prime ministers of the three countries.

KAZAKHSTAN, ISRAEL TO COOPERATE IN OIL AND GAS SECTOR 5/2/2013

Kazakhstan and Israel may cooperate in oil and gas projects, said Tasman Eliyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to Astana today. "The perspective gas fields with reserves amounting to more than 1 billion cubic meters were discovered in the Mediterranean Sea off the Israeli coast," he said. "This will give impetus to the development of new technologies that may be of interest to your country." He added that Israel imports Kazakh goods worth $1.5 billion, mainly oil and grain. The export volume from Israel to Kazakhstan amounted to $126 million as of 2012. Tasman also said that Kazakhstan and Israel have signed more than 20 contracts and agreements. The leaders of two independent countries have mutual understanding and respect. Kazakhstan was the first Central Asian country to open an embassy in Tel Aviv.

BORDER AGENCY STARTS MILITARY CERTIFICATION 5/2/2013

Today the Border Patrol of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee started extraordinary certification of the military. According to the press-service of the National Security Committee (NSC), senior military officers are deployed at locations for taking a series of tests including legal knowledge, tests on the drill, physical combat and fire training. "Extraordinary certification is carried out with a view to a comprehensive and objective assessment of the state of servicemen, their professional and business skills, as well as to ensure the proper selection, placement and career prospects for further use of the military border guards", states the press-service of the NSC.

PRESIDENT INTENDS TO MODERNIZE METALLURGIC INDUSTRY AND TO STIMULATE MINING SECTOR 4/30/2013

At a meeting with Industry Minister, Asset Issekeshev, President Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized the need to perform further modernization of the metallurgic sector to retain its growth pace.
“Tau-Ken Samruk company was established for development of the mining sector, while KazGeology is working on reviving the country's geology. These are important sectors that had not been developed. Kazakhstan is rich in natural resources, and exploration and production of minerals would give a big prospect to development of the mining sector,” Nazarbayev said.
Thanks to the implementation of the industrial program “the highest growth was registered in the processing industry, in mining, engineering, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. Based on the results of the first quarter of 2013, the engineering sector grew 21 percent, production of construction materials grew 14 percent and light industry grew 7 percent. But production growth in metallurgic sector is slow because of a decline in the global demand and lowering of prices,” Issekeshev said.

FROM 1993-2012: INVESTMENTS AMOUNTED TO $171 BILLION 4/30/2013

From 1993 until 2012 Kazakhstan has attracted $171.2 billion of investments.
Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev has announced the figures at the session of the Kazakh Government in Astana today.
$81.6 billion dollars or 48% was attracted in 2009-2012. Currently, Kazakhstan is cooperating with 413 investors from 88 countries of the world under 228 investment projects. 81 projects worth $8.8 billion dollars have already been implemented.

FIID QUALITY CONTROL SYSTEM TO BE DEVELOPED 4/30/2013

Kazakhstan's Prime Minister, Serik Akhmetov, has instructed the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies to develop a control system for the Forced Industrial Innovative Development (FIID) State Program's implementation. This program will help to control progress and quality of industrial projects.
"Currently, 19 projects of this program are problematic," the Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev has informed today at the Government's session.

"Quality is the key factor in carrying out control in terms of such big projects. I instruct to introduce the FIID control system into the Government", Akhmetov said. This program is currently observed by the President.

CPC INCREASES ANNUAL THROUGHPUT TO 67 MLN CUBIC METERS 4/29/2013

After the expansion of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium the volume of oil transportation will grow up to 60-67 million cubic meters per year, Chairman of the Board of JSC KazMunayGas, Lyazzat Kiinov (above) announced at a briefing today.
To date the CPC can pump 30-32 million cubic meters of oil a year. After the expansion the annual throughput capacity will increase up to 60-67 million cubic meters.
Kiinov also announced that at the Kashagan field it was planned to produce between 1.5 and 3 million tons of oil in 2013.
Speaking about the possibility of transportation of light oil via Kashagan-Karachaganak-Tengiz to China the Chairman noted that work was underway to expand the oil pipeline from Western Kazakhstan to China via Atasu. Today, this system has a capacity of 12 million tons, and will be increased to 20 million tons.

KASHAGAN TO PRODUCE UP TO 3 MILLION TONS OF OIL
4/29/2013

Kashagan should produce between 1.5 to 3 million tons of oil at the giant Kashagan oilfield in 2013, the Chairman of KazMunaiGas National Oil Company’s, Lyazzat Kiinov, said today.
“There is all the needed infrastructure in place to supply the crude to global markets”, he said.
KazMunaiGas us gets ready to deal with a greater volumes of crude in the future. “We are expanding the Caspian Pipeline Consortium’s network of pipelines. Its carrying capacity as of today stands at 30-32 million tons. When the expansion works are over, we will be able to ship 67 million tons, with Kazakhstan being responsible for most of the crude”, he said.
“There is a probability that part of the Kashagan’s oil will be shipped via the Aktau-Baku-Batumi pipeline. Such an option is also interesting for us as Rompetrol, part of KazMunaiGas, processes oil in the heart of Europe. We are also considering supplying light crude from Kashagan, Karachaganak and Tengiz oilfields to China. The market of China is of great interest, Mr. Kiinov said.
To serve China, Kazakhstan uses the the Atasu-Alashankow pipeline. The system is capable of shipping 12 million tons as of today; it is planned to raise the transport volume to 20 million tons.

IRAN INTENDS TO ENHANCE TIES WITH KAZAKHSTAN
4/29/2013

"The leaders of both countries are resolved to further expand and consolidate brotherly and friendly mutual ties in all areas," said Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi at a meeting Friday with his Kazakh counterpart Erlan Idrissov on the sidelines of the Asia Ministerial Conference in Almaty.
Salehi expressed optimism that bilateral economic and trade cooperation will witness a further growth after the 13th meeting of the Iran- Kazakhstan Joint Economic Commission in the near future and the inauguration of the Iran-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan railway next month.
He also called for more active cooperation between the two countries' parliamentary friendship groups.
The Iranian foreign minister also invited his Kazakh opposite number to visit Iran.
Kazakhstan’s Forein Minister Idrissov called Tehran-Astana ties "excellent" and wishes to enhance the cooperation in transportation and communications and in the Joint Economic Commission.

AFGHANISTAN ENTERING IMPORTANT HISTORICAL PERIOD - N. NAZARBAYEV 4/26/2013

istanbul process meeting.jpg
In his welcome address today at the opening of the Third Ministerial Conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Almaty, the President Nursultan Nazarbayev has underlined that “Afghanistan was in an important historical period”. He emphasized that the key to solving the problems of Afghanistan is primarily in the hands of the Afghan people and the Government, as their legal representative. "It is important for the international community to encourage the development of fully inter-Afghan dialogue. Support should be given to the powers that demonstrate commitment to the establishment of peace in Afghanistan and order ", added the President

KAZAKHSTAN TO RETAIN UNEMPLOYMENT AT 5 PERCENT BY 2020 4/25/2013

Kazakhstan's Ministry of Labor and Social Protection plans to retain unemployment at 5-percent level annually by 2020.
“We expect to retain unemployment level at 5 percent a year until 2020 and lower the insecurity by 0.5 percent annually, provide employment of discharged employees, increase the share of self-employed citizens in the program by 30 percent annually,” Serik Abdenov, Minister of Labor said in a meeting.
According to the Minister’s estimations, it is necessary to annually ensure employment of 508 thousand Kazakhstan citizens to retain unemployment at 5 percent.
Oblast Akims (Governors) will report on creation of jobs annually at the meeting of the inter-authority commission chaired by Prime-Minister and heads of the central state authorities and the Labor Ministry will submit reports on labor market monitoring.

PRESIDENT PROMOTES EURASIAN UNION AT THE EURASIAN MEDIA FORUM 4/25/2013

"I would like to highlight the contribution of the Eurasian Media Forum in the development of Eurasian integration", said the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in his welcoming speech to the participants of the Eurasian Media Forum 2013.
"I would like to emphasize the contribution of the Forum into the development of Eurasian integration, for which I have stood up for almost 20 years. Three countries, as you know, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, have established the Customs Union. By the beginning of 2015 we will create a Eurasian economic space, which would allow the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union. And I am glad that one of the most important issues of the agenda of today's event is related to the discussion of the prospects of this particular Union ", said the President.

KAZAKHSTAN CLIMBS UP IN WEF-IT-REPORT 4/25/2013

In the annual Global Information Technology Report of the World Economic Forum, Kazakhstan ranks 43 out of 144 countries, leaving behind Russia and its Central Asian neighbors.
This is an up of 12 ranks compared to place 55th in 2012. Kazakhstan’s strengths are its growing number of cell phone users and its mobile broadband subscriptions and its developing Infrastructure. However, shortcomings in the IT education system were revealed.
The IT report analyzes the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on 144 economies, utilizing the Networked Readiness Index, which judges a nation’s progress using 54 indicators.
The World Economic Forum emphasizes the importance of ICT to a country’s competiveness and prosperity. “It is clear that ICTs offer higher benefit-to-cost ratios in all sectors of production, while simultaneously offering new ways to create value by better and more efficiently organizing the use of natural, financial, and human resources.”

20TH ASSEMBLY OF PEOPLE IN ASTANA 4/24/2013

Today the 20th session of the Kazakhstan’s People Assembly kicked off in Astana’s Palace of Peace and Accord.
The President and the Chairman of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan opened the meeting titled “Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy: One nation - One state - One destiny"
It will bring together the Assembly members from all regions, the chairmen of the national and regional ethno-cultural associations, members of Parliament, heads of central executive bodies, political parties, religious organizations, nongovernmental agencies, diplomatic missions of foreign countries, scientific and creative people media and others.
The People Assembly is in line with the ‘Road Mapf of peace and harmony’, a giant project aiming to enhance Kazakhstan’s societal development.

UKRAINE TO OBTAIN OBSERVER STATUS IN CUSTOMS UNION 4/24/2013

According to the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov (above), the Ukraine will obtain observer status in the Customs Union, comprising Russia Belarus and Kazakhstan.
"We reached the fundamental decision. In my opinion, the decision was already made and it is a technical issue now," Azarov said during a press meeting on Tuesday.
“The observer status will give Kiev an opportunity to participate in the meetings of the CU board, but will not allow Ukraine to influence decision-making in the union”.
The Ukraine intends to sign the cooperation agreement with the trade union in May.

KAZTRANSOIL SHAREHOLDERS TO RECEIVE 86% OF NET INCOME 4/24/2013

"KazTransOil" JSC is planning to pay dividends amounting to KZT 28,847,669,925 which is 86% of its consolidated net income for 2012. This has been announced today by Kairgeldy Kabyldin, the General Director of "KazTransOil" JSC.
This sum is significantly higher than previously promised dividends which supposed to be not less than 40% of the profits.
"If the issue is taken to the agenda of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), there will be payments of KZT 75 per share beginning from 4th of July this year", said Kabyldin.
In 2012 the net profit of the oil company was KZT 33.5 billion.

KAZAKHSTAN & BELARUS SHARE STANCE ON DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN POLICY 4/24/2013

Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev has received the Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, Anatoly Rubinov yesterday.
He said: "Kazakhstan and Belarus share common stance on many issues of domestic and foreign policy. We actively cooperate in the economic and political spheres, especially within the framework of the CIS, the CSTO, Common Economic Space and Customs Union. A joint meeting of presidents of Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia is set to take place in late May this year. The CU leaders will discuss further economic integration" .
"Both Belarusian and Kazakh parliaments play an important role in that process. We communicate in various formats. I believe that my visit to Astana will boost the interparliamentary cooperation between Belarus and Kazakhstan," Rubinov said.

ELECTRONIC HEALTH PASSPORT SYSTEM TO BE LAUNCHED 4/23/2013

The government of Kazakhstan decided to implement electronic health passports by 2020.
"A digital health passport of every citizen of our country should be the central element of electronic healthcare system. It will contain key information about every citizen's health, and biometric data, innate diseases information, and allergy-immune status," Minister of Healthcare of Kazakhstan Salidat Kairbekova (above) said at the session of the Government today.
This innovation will be provided within the electronic healthcare development of Kazakhstan for 2013-2020.
"The electronic health passport will be a part of the central data base program. The other systems will interact with it, " Kairbekova added.

NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTED AT KAZMUNAIGAS 4/23/2013

KazMunaiGas Exploration Production ("KMG EP") held an Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders on April 16t, where the new Board of Directors of the Company was elected for the term of one year. The following members were elected to the Board of Directors: Lyazzat Kiinov - Chairman of the Board of Directors of KMG EP, Chairman of the Management Board of JSC NC KazMunaiGas; Timur Bimagambetov - Deputy Chairman of the Management Board for production and technical development at JSC NC KazMunaiGas; Asiya Syrgabekova - Financial Director of JSC NC KazMunaiGas; Abat Nurseitov - CEO, Chairman of the KMG EP Management Board; Philip Dayer - Independent Non-Executive Director; Edward Walshe - Independent Non-Executive Director. The Board of Directors set the date for the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders for the 21st of May 2013, and approved its agenda.

SCO SUPREME COURT TO HOLD CONFERENCE IN KAZAKHSTAN IN 2014 4/23/2013

Moscow hosts the VIII conference of the presidents of the supreme courts of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Issues of fight corruption within the court system, consumer protection and drug related crimes are to be considered during the conference, the press service of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan reports. Head of the Kazakh delegation, Chairman of the Board on the oversight of civil and administrative cases of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan Elis Abdykadyrov said that currently there was a need for a more vigorous and effective sub-regional efforts to further expanding and strengthening cooperation in cases involving drug crimes. He added that drug abuse and drug trafficking exceed the boundaries of one state covering the Central Asian region, taking into account that Kazakhstan has transient position in relation to Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. The ninth conference of the presiding judges of the Supreme Courts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held in Kazakhstan in 2014.

KAZAKHSTAN DISCUSSES DIPLOMATIC MISSION OF ARGENTINA 4/23/2013

On Friday 19th, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov had a meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Argentina Eduardo Suainom. The sides discussed prospects of development of Kazakh-Argentine political and economic cooperation, and joint work in the spheres of energy and agriculture. The parties also debated the possibility of opening diplomatic missions of Argentina in Kazakhstan.

KAZENERGY SUGGESTS CREATING ENERGY MINISTRY 4/23/2013

Kazakhstan Association of «KAZENERGY», Oil & Gas and Energy Sector, proposes establishing in Kazakhstan a separate Department of Energy and to assign it with extra authorities. That was reported by Aset Magauov, the general director of the Association, at a meeting of «KAZENERGY» Coordinating Council which took place in Astana. "We have suggested establishing a separate Energy Ministry with functions of the industry regulator in the field of electricity and heating energy as well as to endow " Samruk-Energo" with a status of the national operator in electricity sphere," announced Magauov.

IN ATYRAU GAS BURNS IN FLARES OWING TO LEGISLATION GAP 4/23/2013

In Kazakhstan due to gaps in legislation the oil associated gas problem has not yet been solved. The topic was discussed at a meeting of the Board of outbound Committee for Environmental Regulation and Control of Environmental Protection Ministry in Atyrau. According to the regulations of Law "On Subsoil and Subsoil Use" flaring of associated and natural gas is prohibited, with the exception of threat or occurrence of emergencies, danger to lives of staff or people health and environment."

KAZAKHSTAN ALLOWS IMPORT OF BOTTOM ASH WASTES FROM RUSSIA 4/23/2013

The government has allowed Russia’s Troitsk regional power station to deliver over 12 million tons of bottom ash wastes for dumping in Kostanay oblast, according to the website of Kazakhstan information-legislative system of the regulatory legal acts. The government also instructed Kostanay oblast administration to take measures on fulfillment of the terms of the land rental agreement dated April 14th, 1999, and (jointly with Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Ministry) to ensure performance of full technical and biological reclamation of ash disposal area and the adjacent territories by the branch of OGK-2. The decree was signed by Kazakhstan Prime-Minister Serik Akhmetov on April 11th, and came into effect from the moment of signing. Troitsk regional power station is one of the most powerful basic suppliers of energy in South Ural.

KAZAKHSTAN-2050 STRATEGY DISCUSSED 4/22/2013

The first meeting of the Interagency Working Group on Coordination of analytical and research in key areas of the "Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy has taken place at Akorda. The event, held under the chairmanship of the Secretary of State Marat Tazhin, was attended by members of the Government, representatives of the Presidential Administration, university rectors, heads of research institutes, the Republican scientific activity, and leading experts. Presentations were made by the Secretary of State M.Tazhin, Deputy Prime Minister K.Kelimbetov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Sultanov, Minister of Education and Science B.Zhumagulov, Minister of Economy and Budget Planning E.Dosaev, and Rector of "Turan" University R.Alshanov. They debated the specific challenges facing the research community of the country, the quality of training in the social and human sciences, and research priorities for scientific structures in the medium term. Following the meeting, the Secretary of State M.Tazhin gave specific instructions to state agencies for adoption of a new state of the scientific order and the development of a competitive market professional research in Kazakhstan.

CONSORTIUM NOT WILLING TO BUY CONOCOPHILLIPS’ STAKE
4/22/2013

Shareholders of the international consortium developing Kashagan oilfield have no intention of purchasing the stake of the exiting ConocoPhillips, announced the Minister of Oil & Gas Sauat Mynbayev. “We have asked every shareholder who enjoy the pre-emptive right to purchase stakes of exiting partners (…) to the best of our knowledge they all have discarded - at least in informal talks - the opportunity”, Mynbayev said. “The project can only pay off with the price for oil standing at $90-100 per barrel (…) great amounts have been invested; and a potential stakeholder should be fully aware that the bulk of investments is still ahead”, he said. “If we want KazMunaiGas to own a large stake in the project we should be aware of how much money the company has to borrow to meet all the investment-related obligations”, Mr. Mynbayev added. He also said that KazMunaiGas hasn’t sufficient experience of managing such large-scaled project.“

MINERAL LICENCE BAN LIFTED - AND INVESTORS INVITED 4/18/2013

Today, Kazakhstan lifted a moratorium on issuing new mineral exploration licences to develop new deposits in the non-oil sector and invited investors to start bidding in May for rights to develop its vast mineral wealth. Less than 15% of Kazakhstan’s explored metals reserves are in production, official data show, and despite its prospects Kazakhstan receives about 1 percent of global investment in metals exploration. "In May we will start accepting bids from potential investors for an open tender for licences of mineral deposits," Kazakh Industry and New Technologies Minister Aset Isekeshev said today.

“OUR GLASS IS HALF FULL” - NAZARBAYEV
4/18/2013

Nursultan Nazarbayev has stated that Kazakhstan is guided by the level of Western countries such as Finland in its democratic development. “Of course, Kazakhstan strives to be in the family of the developed countries. You have just heard that Finland has taken this path 100 years ago (Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto stated as much). Kazakhstan independence is only 20 years old. We believe that we are taking bigger steps than Finland did,” said President Nazarbayev after talks with his Finnish colleague. Nazarbayev noted that after the collapse of the Soviet Union Kazakhstan was forced to make survival its top priority for a long time. “We didn’t think about anything else. But now Kazakhstan is an example of rights and freedoms of all the citizens representing 130 ethnic groups ...” The President noted that Kazakhstan’s target was to achieve the democracy level equal to that in Europe. “We are walking this path. Quoting a philosopher, I can say that our glass is half or three quarters full and we have to keep filling it,” he said.

NATIONAL INVESTORS COUNCIL TO BE CREATED 4/18/2013

A National Investors Council will be established in Kazakhstan. “In the Strategy-2050 we have defined the local business as the main source of local investments. Thus, I believe it important to increase the role and the status of our Council. I have made a decision to transform it into the National Investors Council of Kazakhstan,” said President Nazarbayev at the meeting of the Businessmen Council.
According to him, the new status of the Council will be accompanied by creation of standing work groups led by co-chairmen. The Ministry of Regional Development will be its managing authority. “The state’s position is to support local entrepreneurs. This is the primary economic objective,” the President said.

INNOVATIVE CLUSTER FOR EXPO-2017 PAVILIONS
4/18/2013

An ‘innovation cluster’ under the Nazarbayev University is to be built on the territory of the EXPO-2017 pavilions. This decision has been made during today's session of the Supreme Board of the Regents of the Nazarbayev University, Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools and Nazarbayev Fund in the Akorda presidential residence. "The construction site of the EXPO-2017 pavilions has been relocated closer to the Nazarbayev University. Afterwards, the pavilions can be used for research and development of new technologies," the President said.

SAMRUK-KAZYNA CONSIDERS MAJOR INVESTMENT PROJECTS
4/18/2013

Samruk-Kazyna is considering the possibility of implementing another 83 investment projects in Kazakhstan for a total of 51.7 billion dollars, said Berick Beisengaliyev, the managing director of the company. "Today the investment portfolio of the Fund includes 100 projects worth $ 81 billion, 27 projects of which have been commissioned and are operating for national economy. 73 projects worth $ 71 billion are in the active stage of realization. At present the possibility of implementing another 83 investment projects worth 51.7 billion dollars is being worked out", he said.

NEW SYNERGIES TO INCREASE TURNOVER FOR KAZAKHSTAN & TURKEY
4/18/2013

Zhanseit Tuimebayev (above), Kazakh Ambassador to Turkey, met with Binali Yildirim, the Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications of Turkey. The Ambassador informed the Turkish Minister about the achievements since Kazakhstan independence, Kazakhstan's policy in the transport sector through the prism of "Kazakhstan - 2050" Strategy main provisions. The parties emphasized that the launch of Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway the following year would not only expand the logistical capabilities of Kazakh port in Aktau and would also give a huge impetus to the development of trade and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Turkey. Another important project aimed at the development of multimodal transfer is transportation of rail freight from Kazakhstan to Turkey in the south of the Caspian Sea through Turkmenistan and Iran. The Ambassador noted the importance of building a shipyard in Aktau involving Turkish capital as Turkey ranks 6th among the world largest shipbuilding countries and has rich experience in the field. The Kazakh diplomat pointed out the successful cooperation development in the field of civil aviation with the leading role played by the national carriers of the two countries Air Astana and Turkish Airlines, important contributions made by Scat airlines (Shymkent-Istanbul-Shymkent flight) and Pegasus (Istanbul-Almaty-Istanbul flight).

FINANCIAL POLICE: CORRUPTION DIMINISHES
4/17/2013

The First Deputy Head of Kazakhstan Agency for Countering Economic & Corruption Crime, Andrey Lukin (above), had declared that the level of corruption is steadily lowering in Kazakhstan. “I can confidently say that thanks to the President’s political will and development of the strategy for countering corruption in our country, consistent changes in the legislation to bring it to the international standards, the corruption level in our country is minimizing steadily” said Lukin who also noted that Kazakhstan was continuously improving its anti-corruption legislation in line with recommendations of the UN Convention against Corruption.

PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV MEETS WITH FINNISH COUNTERPART SAULI NIINISTÖ IN ASTANA 4/16/2013

A meeting between President Nazarbayev and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö took place in Akorda today. In the course of the bilateral negotiations, the Kazakh President noted the similar histories of the two countries. It was the first state visit of the Finnish leader to Kazakhstan.

RUSSIA IS MAIN SPACE PARTNER OF KAZAKHSTAN – PRESIDENT
4/17/2013

Russia is the main space partner of Kazakhstan, so the cooperation development and implementation of joint projects are priorities, said President Nazarbayev during the meeting of the Security Council. At the event there was a discussion of issues relating to strengthening food security and measures for the space industry growth.
The Head of the State recalled that the "Kazakhstan-2050" Strategy is aimed at expanding the niche of Kazakhstan in the global market space and bringing projects to fruition. For this purpose accurate planning of the governmental activities is needed in the field of space activities. It is important to set realistic goals identifying those segments of space movements which are the most interesting and popular in Kazakhstan. Nursultan Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan had not only ambitious targets in the field of space activities but relevant economic and technical possibilities to use space technologies. However, as this sector is one of the world expensive industries it requires a systematic approach and state control.

FITCH ASSIGNS KAZMUNAYGAS A 'BBB(EXP)' RATING
4/17/2013

Fitch Ratings has assigned KazMunayGas's (NC KMG) USD-denominated notes an expected foreign currency senior an unsecured 'BBB(EXP)' rating, Fitch reported on Tuesday. The notes are issued under NC KMG's the USD10.5 billion medium term programme rated at 'BBB' by Fitch. Fitch upgraded NC KMG's Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) in November 2012 to reflect the upgrade of Kazakhstan's Long-term foreign and local currency IDRs to 'BBB+' and 'A-' respectively. "Although NC KMG continues to benefit from strong links with the Kazakh state, an explicit state guarantee would be needed for a significant portion of NC KMG's debt to ensure a full rating alignment, in the agency's view. Therefore, the company's ratings are notched down one notch from the sovereign ratings," the agency said. Fitch views NC KMG's standalone operational and credit profile as commensurate with the 'BB' rating category.

LABOUR MINISTRY BANS DESCIMINATORY JOB OFFERS
4/17/2013

The Committee on the Control and Social Protection of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection issued a letter to heads of media warning of a penalty
for running ads with mention of sex and age. As the press service of the ministry reports, guided by the Constitution and the Labour Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the committee recommended that the management of media to refrain from printing a newspaper ad for a job with requirements relating to a citizen’s gender and age. It should be noted that for violations by employers they may be fined by the state labour inspectorate. “No citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan may be subjected to discrimination in the exercise of labour rights based on gender, age, disability, race, nationality, religion, political opinion, membership of a tribe or caste" reads the recommendation.

GAP BETWEEN RICH & POOR TO BE NARROWED 4/16/2013

The Kazakhstan government has been instructed to work on narrowing the gap between rich and poor.“It is not about out GDP per capita, this is not what's important. What matters is how many poor people we have, and what the difference between rich and poor is. And we have a significant difference,” President Nazarbayev said. 36% of Kazakhstan’s households (6 million people) have an average monthly incomes of over 30 thousand tenge ($200). 55.6% (9 million people) have average earnings of 36 thousand tenge ($240) or less. 8% of households (1.5 million people) have average incomes of less than 15 thousand tenge ($100) per person. “I instruct the government to study this issue.” the President said.

9 000 BOLASHAK SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED
4/16/2013

"More than nine thousand scholarships have been awarded within the Bolashak International Scholarship of President of Kazakhstan," announced the Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Zhumagulov at the Government's Session. According to him, 20% of graduates are employed by national companies, 21% - by state-owned companies, 55% - by private sector and 4% by international and non-governmental organizations. Approximately 70 graduates hold positions in public service sector, the press service of the Ministry states.

INTELLIGENCE SERVICE TO ENSURE BOLASHAK SCHOLARS RETURN 4/16/2013

The country’s Education Ministry in partnership with Kazakhstan Agency for National Security (national intelligence service of Kazakhstan) will make sure Bolashak scholarship holders return to Kazakhstan to work off the state expenses covering the tuition fee. According to Education Minister Bakytzhan Zhumagulov, under the Program students must return to Kazakhstan to work in different Kazakh companies, governmental structures and international organisations for a period of five years.

KAZAKHSTAN & POLAND EYE JOINT FORUM IN KARAGANDA 4/16/2013

The first Kazakh-Polish forum is to be held this autumn in the Karaganda region, The Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Poland Erik Utembayev said while visiting Karaganda region. "The Forum will hopefully give a new impetus to the relations between Karaganda region and 16 regions of Poland. All logistical matters and arrangements are being discussed at the moment," said Ambassador Utembayev. The Forum will promote business ties as well as mutually profitable cooperation in various spheres between Kazakhstan and Poland. According to Mr. Utembayev, Poland can share its experience in local self-government with Kazakhstan.

KAZAKHSTAN & UAE TO DEVELOP SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE 4/16/2013

On Monday KazakhstanTemirZholy" JSC (and DP World (the UAE) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation within a working visit of the Kazakh governmental delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev to Dubai. DP World operates more than 60 terminals across six continents, with container handling generating around 80% of its revenue. In addition, the company has 11 new developments and major expansions underway in 10 countries.

MAJOR EXHIBITIONS OPEN IN ATYRAU 4/16/2013

The largest regional exhibitions in oil & gas and construction industries "Atyrau Oil & Gas 2013" and "Atyrau Build 2013" will be opened in Atyrau today. The exhibitions - held from 16th to 18th April at Atyrau Sport Complex and a pavilion, especially constructed for the event. Kazakhstan's Ministry of Oil & Gas, KazMunaiGas, and the administration of Atyrau region and Atyrau city are the official sponsors. Nearly 150 companies from 15 countries, including Azerbaijan, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Canada, China, Latvia, the Netherlands, Turkey, Finland, France, Ukraine and Russia will showcase their products.

KAZAKHSTAN TO PRODUCE 300 000 CARS A YEAR 4/16/2013

Kazakhstan-based car-assembling plants will be able to produce 300 000 cars a year, says First Vice Minister of Industry & New Technology Albert Rau as saying. “Our dream is to produce 300 000 cars a year … it’s with due consideration of the domestic demand and planned exports”, Mr. Rau said when speaking at a round-table discussion focused on car making industry issues. He elaborated that in 2012 a total of 100 000 new cars had been sold in Kazakhstan, with 20 000 of them being domestically produced. According to him, the domestic demand is much higher than that as currently most of the 4 million cars registered in Kazakhstan are previously owned cars imported from abroad. “These used cars will need recycling in some years’ time”.

KAZAKHSTAN ENTERS INTO TOP 50 NETWORK READINESS INDEX 4/15/2013

According to the report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on information technologies in terms of the Network Readiness Index, Kazakhstan ranked 43rd among 144 countries in the world, rising in the ranking by 12 positions compared to 2012, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said on Thursday. "Thus, Kazakhstan took the highest position among the CIS countries, standing between Hungary (44th) and the Czech Republic (42nd). Russia is placed 54th in the same index. The WEF 2013 ranking was topped by Finland, surpassing Sweden from the first to third place. Singapore retained second position," a statement released by the ministry said.

WATER DEFICIT MAY TRIPLE IN KAZAKHSTAN BY 2050 4/15/2013

The water deficit may triple in Kazakhstan by 2050, accoding to the Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Minister Nurlan Kapparov. “Water will be the main problem of Kazakhstan. Water remains the main priority for the Environmental Protection Ministry. We see the figures and the forecasts… If we don’t act, water supplies will be three times lower than the demand by 2050,” Kapparov said. According to him, Kazakhstan is already a country dependent on water resources and the dependency on transborder water will keep growing. “Currently half of all the water resources comes from the neighboring countries and the other half is represented by our own water resources. We have calculations that show that the amount of transborder water will keep decreasing with the neighboring countries increasing their water consumption,” the Minister said.

KAZAKHSTAN TO SPEND 1% OF GDP ON GREEN ECONOMY 4/15/2013

Kazakhstan will annually spend at least 1% of GDP for transition to the green economy, said the Environmental Protection Minister Nurlan Kapparov at the conference called Creation of green economy in Kazakhstan. “It is yet hard to say how much it will cost to switch to the green economy. But I can say how other countries have done it. China, for example, undertook to invest 1.5% of GDP into the green economy. South Korea pledged to invest 2% of its GDP… There are many scenarios and we will compare them, but I think we will invest at least 1 percent,” Kapparov said. According to him, Kazakhstan is ready to transit to the green economy financially, mentally and, most important, programme-wise.

URANIUM EXTRACTION TO BE BOOSTED 4/15/2013

Kazakhstan plans to annually boost uranium extraction to retain the global leader’s positions. Estimated 2013 uranium production will reach 22 821 tons, with the figure growing to 24 019 in 2014, 24 754 in 2015 and 25 602 in 2016. These are the projected indicators in accordance with the Kazakhstan’s Agency for Nuclear Power as they are outlined in the 2012-2016 strategic plan. According to the document, global uranium explored reserves stand at over 3.5 million tons, with 96% of them being concentrated in 11 countries. The most of explored reserves (989 000 tons) are concentrated in Australia. Meanwhile only 7 countries provide 87% of all the uranium extracted, with Canada and Australia extracting half of globally supplied uranium.

PRESIDENTS DISCUSS INVESTMENT FUND'S ACTIVITY 4/12/2013

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Today, President Nazarbayev met with his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambayev within the latter’s working visit to Astana. Perspectives of further development of bilateral relations in different spheres of cooperation including Kazakh-Kyrgyz Investment Fund were talked over at the meeting. In addition, the sides discussed integration to the Euarsian area and issues of forthcoming summit of the SCO heads of states in Bishkek. Mr Nazarbayev noted the necessity of holding such meetings. In turn, the Kyrgyz President expressed gratitude for the warm reception. Kazakhstan is the fastest growing state in the region, he said, and its experience in the field of economic change is important for the Kyrgyz Republic.

KAZAKHSTAN: ONLY VIABLE LOCATION FOR NUCLEAR BANK 4/12/2013

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Kazakhstan has no competitors among other countries as a possible location for placement of the international nuclear fuel bank, said the chairman of the nuclear energy commission of Kazakhstan Ministry of Industry and New Technologies Timur Zhantikin. He also said that Kazakhstan would receive no financial benefits from placement of the nuclear fuel bank at its territory. “[Kazakhstan will receive] nothing economically. Basically, there are only losses in terms of money,” Zhantikin said. According to him, Kazakhstan will have to maintain the bank at its own expense, in particular, to provide electricity and water supplies to this facility, not speaking of provision of premises. “In terms of the financial balance alone, of course, it will be negative, as we will bear the costs of maintenance of this bank,” Zhantikin said. Answering the question why Kazakhstan wants this nuclear fuel storage, he reminded: “We have pledged that we are the country that is doing its best to enhance the international non-proliferation regime. This is how we are doing it.”

OIL & GAS MINISTRY LOWERS GAS PRODUCTION FORECAST 4/12/2013

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Kazakhstan’s Oil and Gas Ministry has lowered the forecast on production of natural and associated gas in Kazakhstan during the period until 2016. According to the amendments of the Ministry’s strategic plan for 2011-2015, Kazakhstan plans to produce 40.5 billion cubic meters of gas in 2013, 41 billion cubic meters in 2014 and 45 billion cubic meters in 2015. Earlier Oil and Gas Ministry forecast gas production at the level of 52.9 billion cubic meters in 2013, 55.8 billion cubic meters in 2014 and 59.3 billion cubic meters in 2015. Production of natural gas made 40.3 billion cubic meters in 2012 (+1.8 percent).

KAZAKH, RUSSIAN & BELARUSIAN BUSINESSMEN SHARE EXPERIENCE 4/12/2013

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The first innovative forum "Kostanay Invent-2013" has brought together reps of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus to discuss the problems of introduction of innovative ideas and to exchange experience. The innovative forum was the first big event of such kind in Kazakhstan held at the regional level. Businessmen, officials, scientists and reps of development institutes attended the exhibition of innovative technologies conducted prior to the event itself. Afterwards, they took part in the discussions, attended the seminars on support of businesses that introduce new technologies. According to deputy governor of Kostanay region Murat Daribayev, utmost attention should be paid to the development of science. In his words, a special technological park on the basis of Rudnensk industrial institute will be created. The Kostanay forum is expected to be held on a regular basis.

MCKINSEY TO HELP DEVELOP GREEN ECONOMY 4/11/2013

Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Ministry has attracted McKinsey, the global management consulting firm, to work out a strategy on the country’s transition to the green economy. “The strategy will consist of several blocks: energy, energy efficiency, water, sustainable agriculture, wastes disposal and macroeconomics,” Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Minister Nurlan Kapparov said at the round-table meeting on development of the strategy for Kazakhstan’s transition to a green economy. He noted that in power, 80% of Kazakhstan still relies on coal and the rest is covered by hydropower and gas. “We have prepared 4-5 scenarios of development of our energy basket until 2050. The Strategy-2050 announced by our President in December is our starting point. The strategy sets a goal for Kazakhstan to achieve generation of 50% of the power from alternative renewable sources by 2050. And this is our main drive,” he said.

ASTANA TO HOST AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFGHANISTAN 4/11/2013

An international conference on "Regional security and the situation in Afghanistan" will be held in Astana on April 11th, the press service of JSC 'Center for Military and Strategic Studies' reported. "The conference is being held before NATO forces' withdraw from Afghanistan, and 'The Heart of Asia' international conference scheduled on April 25 this year in Astana, also dedicated to the challenges to the regional security and stability," the press service said in its statement released on Wednesday. International experts, scholars, political scientists and specialists from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Latvia, Russia, Iran and Kazakhstan will take part in the event.

KANAT SAUDABAYEV RELEASED FROM DUTIES AT NAZARBAYEV CENTER 4/11/2013

Kanat Saudabayev has been released from his position as Director of The Nazarbayev Center . The Head of Kazakhstan President’s office Makhmud Kassymbekov was appointed acting Director.

CHEVRON MARKS 20-YEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH KAZAKHSTAN 4/11/2013

Chevron this week celebrated 20 years of successful partnership with the Republic of Kazakhstan at events in Astana with President Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Akhmetov, key government officials, employees and other stakeholders. "Our collective success is a tribute to our strong partnership with the people and leadership of Kazakhstan, the national oil and gas company, KazMunaiGas, and our international oil company partners," said Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson. "Together, we have delivered impressive results in safety, production and revenue, and in the process, created thousands of jobs, trained the local workforce, established a supplier base, and actively invested in the development of the local communities." Extending Chevron's commitment to the community, Watson announced plans to construct a new youth center in Atyrau. The center will offer young people educational, professional and vocational development as well as social, health and recreational opportunities.

APARTMENT BUILDING DECLARED UNFIT IN PETROPAVLOVSK 4/11/2013

Prosecutors of North-Kazakhstan oblast have declared 126-apartment building in Petropavlovsk unfit for exploitation. Another new 90-apartment building in Petropavlovsk in northern Kazakhstan was also denied exploitation permits because of the poor quality of its construction and noncompliance with standards.
The Petropavlovsk Prosecutor's office suspects some of the money for the construction had been siphoned off. It has initiated a criminal case on embezzlement of budget money. Over 900 million tenge ($6 million) were spent on construction of the buildings. Petropavlovsk is not the only city in Kazakhstan that has this problem, a 5-storey apartment building collapsed in Karaganda in central Kazakhstan on April 6 last year. That building was only 3 years old.

HOPES FOR GOOD 2013 HARVEST 4/10/2013

After suffering a drought in 2012, Kazakhstani farmers are hoping for a bountiful growing season this year. The KazTAG news agency projected in February a potential harvest of at least 15.2m tonnes of grain – up from last year's 14.7m tonnes – but any increase depends on several factors, officials and specialists say. Worldwide harvests should increase by 4.3% this year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. The winter of 2012-2013 was in Kazakhstani farmers’ favour, said Mekhlis Suleimenov, a Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences member and senior scientist at the A. I. Barayev Grain Farming Research and Production Centre. But the yield depends on spring and summer weather. "The first underpinning of the harvest is soil moisture," said Suleimenov. "There's plenty of it everywhere this year. ... We now have to wait and see what sort of a spring we get … and it also depends on the summer precipitation. High soil moisture in spring alone will not be sufficient for a good harvest."

EURASIAN BANK AIMING FOR PROFIT GROWTH OVER 20% 4/10/2013

Kazakhstan's Eurasian Bank is targeting an increase in net profit of over 20 percent this year, helping by rising deposits, loans and strong growth in central Asia's largest economy. Chairman Michael Eggleton said on Wednesday the bank, ranked No. 11 by assets among Kazakhstan's 38 lenders, was aiming for net income of over 12 billion tenge ($80 million) in 2013. Eurasian Bank is part of Eurasian Finance Company, which belongs to three founders and shareholders of London-listed miner Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation - Alexander Mashkevich, Patokh Chodiev and Alijan Ibragimov.

KAZAKHSTAN/EU MEETING IN AKORDA 4/10/2013

Kazakhstan's Secretary of State Marat Tazhin has received today Head of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan Aurélia Bouchez in the Akorda presidential residence. During the meeting the problems of bilateral and multilateral cooperation and a number of priority issues were reviewed, including the prospects for interaction in the sphere of common security, strengthening of the mechanisms of political dialogue and development of commercial and economic relations. It was noted that the EU is a key commercial and economic partner of Kazakhstan, making $70 billion of its foreign trade turnover.

FUNKE-KUNSTSTOFFE MOVES TO KAZAKHSTAN 4/10/2013

The German company, Funke-Kunststoffe, is moving its production from Germany to Kazakhstan. The agreement on the construction of a plant for production of PVC profiles and TFC-tube was achieved in 2010 with the assistance of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Germany and the direct involvement of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Kazakhstan and "KazNeksInvest" JSC. The project with total investment of 25 million euros is coming to the final stage of implementation. « «Funke Kunststoffe GmbH» (Germany) is a global innovation leader in making PVC profiles and TFC-pipes, one of the world's leading providers of engineering systems of plastic.

VICE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF ARGENTINA FOR ASTANA 4/10/2013

"The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina Eduardo Suain will pay a visit to Astana on April 18th-19th," the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Zhanbolat Usenov announced. Talks will centre ‘round bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The visit includes meetings of E. Suain with his Kazakh counterpart Yerlan Idrissov and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexei Volkov.

TRANSPORT SYSTEM TO BE IMPROVED 4/9/2013

Kazakhstan will launch a state program to improve the country's transport system.
The Ministry of Traffic & Communication will ultimately double road freight volumes by 2020, and increase traffic volume tenfold by 2050. The program will include further developing the country's road network, increasing road safety and reconstructing six international routes. The country also plans to improve the infrastructure associated with the Silk Wind project, which connects China with Eastern Europe via Turkey and Kazakhstan.

CHINA TO HELP KAZAKHSTAN PRODUCE FMCG 4/9/2013

Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund and the Chinese corporation CITIC Group is expanding their investment activities in Kazakhstan's non-energy sector, says the chairman of CITIC Group Chang Zhenming (above). The parties have signed a strategic cooperation agreement and according to Zhenming, the corporation is primarily interested in the non-energy projects in Kazakhstan. "There are many other companies working in oil, gas and other natural resources sectors in Kazakhstan. Profitability and efficiency of oil and gas sector is not always stable. CITIC Group wants to take part in the trade and economic cooperation and make an impact on its development. Kazakhstan lacks production of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and light industry," the representative of Chinese corporation said.

200 MILLION HECTARES OF AGRICULTURAL LANDS 4/9/2013

Kazakhstan has 222.24 million hectares of agricultural land. First Vice Minister of regional Development of Kazakhstan Kairbek Uskenbayev (above) announced the figures at the meeting of Government on Tuesday In his words, crop lands cover the area of 29.41 million hectares, perennial plantations - 0.12 million hectares, hayfields - 5.16 million hectares and pasture lands - 187.55 million hectares.

HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AGENCY TO BE SET-UP 4/9/2013

Kazakhstan is working on the creation of an agency for official development assistance to countries "Kaz aid", Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Alexey Volkov announced during the presentation of the 2013 Human Development Report "The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World" in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Every year we play more active role as regional donor and provide humanitarian assistance to countries in distress even outside our region," he said.
In addition, he said that the MFA continues to work on the creation of Almaty regional hub of multilateral diplomacy. "We believe that giving the city of Almaty a status of UN regional centre such as Vienna, Bangkok, Geneva would facilitate the implementation of big regional projects, and expand the development assistance to such countries and regions as Afghanistan and the South Caucasus", the Deputy Minister added.

A YEAR OF CHINESE TOURISM? 4/9/2013

Kazakhstan may declare 2017 the year of Chinese tourism. Answering questions from journalists about the preparations for EXPO-2017, President Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan had obtained China's support in holding the exhibition. "The most important is to make sure that Kazakhstan is visited by 5 million people. That's why I agreed with the chairman that the year of Chinese tourism will be declared in Kazakhstan in 2017. Then we will get a huge number of people visiting Kazakhstan. This will be very important. A special Chinese pavilion will be built and this friendly country will help us in holding this major event," said Mr Nazarbayev.

KAZAKHSTAN & CHINA TO RESOLVE TRANSBORDER RIVERS ISSUE 4/8/2013

Kazakhstan and China will solve the issues related to transborder rivers, said President Nazarbayev following talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (picture shows a meeting of both presidents last year). “Mr. Xi Jinping stated that China would never do anything to the detriment of Kazakhstan’s economy. The issues related to transborder rivers will be solved through negotiations. We have agreed to launch an ad-hoc working group”, President Nazarbayev said. “A second important issue is grain exports from Kazakhstan (…) We have agreed to launch a joint exemplary crops production facility to implement the best selection practices. It is of great importance to Kazakhstan”, said the Kazakh President. Another important issue on the agenda was construction of a terminal at the Lianyungang sea port. According to Mr. Nazarbayev, the project will enable Kazakhstan to have an access to the Pacific region. He added that all the other issues will be solved during the official visit of Xi Jinping to Kazakhstan before the end of June this year.

UNDP SAYS KAZAKHSTAN IN THE FOREFRONT OF DEVELOPMENT 4/8/2013

A UNDP report considers Kazakhstan as one of the new players forming the landscape of modern global development. This was reported by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan Stephen Tull (above) at the presentation of the report titled «Rising of the South: human progress in a variable world», which was held at the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. “The UNDP has recognized the measures that Kazakhstan is taking on human development ", said Tull who noted that the Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy sets very ambitious goals and, at the same time, Kazakhstan is implementing very pragmatic, thoughtful approaches to achieve those goals. According to Tull, in Kazakhstan for the last 20 years there has been reduction of poverty, improved measures to ensure the equal rights of women. But it is necessary to take measures for child mortality reduction and improvement of other indicators. Tull also stressed that Kazakhstan is moving away from resource-based economy and its foreign policy shows a disposition to multilateral cooperation and collective actions.

80% OF FDI IN CENTRAL ASIA COMES TO KAZAKHSTAN 4/8/2013

Kazakhstan's share of foreign direct investment is 80% in the Central Asian region. The financial potential of Kazakhstan is strengthening, and the international reserves, including the National Fund reach 87 billion US dollars. "Unemployment in Kazakhstan in recent years has been steady, not exceeding 5.5%," said First Deputy Prime-Minister, the Minister of Regional Development Bakhytzhan Sagintayev. "According to the experts, Kazakhstan is one of the most attractive countries for investments among CIS. Since 1993 foreign direct investment raised to more than $ 160 billion," said Sagintayev. "The success of the country is also evidenced by the World Economic Forum rating, in which Kazakhstan ranked 51st in the Global Competitiveness Index, moving within the year to 21st place in the group of countries with a higher level of development.

KAZAKHSTAN TO JOIN WORLD'S TOP 5 OIL EXPORTERS 4/4/2013

"This year Kazakhstan will join the world's top five oil exporters," said President Nazarbayev at a reception on Wednesday on the occasion of 20 years of partnership between Kazakhstan and Chevron Corporation."With the start of oil extraction at the Kashagan oil field in June, Kazakhstan will hopefully join the top five oil exporters in the world. Chevron is our partner at Kashagan and CTC, and we expect that the problems of Kazakhstani content and ecological issues will be solved," said the President.
Talks on Iran’s nuclear program began in Almaty yesterday. The road to Almaty was a long one. Iran vetoed other suggested locations – including Istanbul – and held out for weeks before a time and place was agreed. Kazakhstan hit the mark. A country that has amicable ties with Tehran and robust political and trade links with Washington, it was a host everyone could live with. The discussions are being held at Almaty’s Hotel Rixos where the Iranian flag is flying (see above).

IDRISSOV ON CREATING NUCLEAR BANK 4/4/2013

In an interview with the Express K newspaper, Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov explained the idea of Kazakhstan hosting a nuclear fuel bank. “The idea of a nuclear fuel bank originated in the last century due to the increase in the number of countries that have conducted their own development in the nuclear field. Considerable effort was made to develop technology to produce nuclear fuel, which would be protected from being used for military purposes. One of the options for nuclear fuel nuclear power was the establishment of an international pool of such fuel” he said. The political stability, the country’s relationship with the IAEA, its developed system of export controls, legal and regulatory framework to address the issues of licensing, storage, transport and export of nuclear materials and its geographical aspect married to its technical expertise make Kazakhstan an ideal place to host any such bank, said Idrissov.

KAZAKHSTAN CONTINUES COOPERATION WITH U.S. COMPANIES 4/4/2013

As Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev said at a reception on the 20th jubilee of Tengizchevroil project on Wednesday, Kazakhstan will continue to cooperate with the U.S. companies. "Our joint work with Chevron continues, new goals are ahead - further development of Tengizchevroil, increase in crude oil output and $7.5 billion investments into the oil sector," he noted. Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that it was very important for him as the first President of the country to show that Chevron could work in Kazakhstan, be successful. "Currently there are about 8 500 foreign companies operating in Kazakhstan. Nearly $200 billion has been invested into our country, but Chevron was the first. Thanks to cooperation with Chevron, Kazakhstan has built good relations with the U.S. and other American companies that work here today," the President added.

ARABLE LAND UNDER WHEAT & RICE REDUCED 4/3/2013

Kazakhstan during this sowing season will reduce the area under wheat and rice. This has been announced yesterday at the meeting of the Government by the Minister of Agriculture Asylzhan Mamytbekov (above) . "As part of the President's instructions given to them at the enlarged session of the Government January 27th, 2012, and the signed memos between the Ministry of Agriculture, akimats of the regions, KazAgro national holding and " KazAgroInnovation " JSC to diversify crop acreage for 2012-2016 it is expected to decrease the wheat area to the level of 2012 by 468 thousand hectares, of rice by 5.7 thousand hectares due to expansion of the areas of priority crops like corn - 5.6 thousand hectares and of other crops - 7.6 thousand hectares ", said the minister. According to him, the areas of oil crops reached 1.9 million hectares, 43 hectares more than the previous year, forage crops - 3.1 million ha, which is also by 265 hectares more compared with the level in 2012. "The work on diversification is underway", concluded Mamytbekov.

AIR ASTANA LAUNCHES NEW FLIGHTS TO KIEV & MOSCOW 4/2/2013

Air Astana is about to launch regular direct flights to Kiev according to the airline’s President Peter Foster (above) Air Astana also plans to offer new Astana-Orenburg and Atyrau-Moscow flights to its clients. The new routes are a part of the company's strategy to increase the passenger traffic flow. "Last year the growth of passenger traffic amounted to 14%. It is expected to hit 15% this year," Mr. Foster said.

20-YEAR DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR ALMATY AIRPORT 4/2/2013

Almaty airport will soon be able to service a growing flow of passengers and cargo and ensure a sufficient number of landing-takeoff operations. According to head of the public relations department of Lufthansa Consulting Hollwurtel, the company has developed a concept of infrastructure development for managing space at the airport and airfield. In particular, the company is planning to develop the existing and new terminals and facilities for processing of cargoes, technical maintenance and the air strips system. Almaty International Airport was the first airport of it kind in the CIS with the navigation equipment of III B category under ICAO classification for airway strips. This equipment is important to ensure air safety under poor weather conditions.

BAIKONUR DISCUSSED 4/2/2013

The first meeting of the Kazakhstan-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on the Baikonur Space Complex took place in the town of Baikonur on March 28-29. The delegation from Kazakhstan was led by First Deputy Prime Minister, Kairat Kelimbetov, and the Russian side by First Deputy Prime Minister, Igor Shuvalov. The two sides discussed the future operation of the complex, and also socio-economic issues about the future development of the town of Baikonur. The delegations also witnessed the launch of the manned space rocket “Soyuz-TMA-08M”.

KAZAKHSTAN TO EXPAND COOPERATION WITH NATO 3/28/2013

Kazakhstan Defense Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov met with NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai and new NATO officer on interaction with Central Asia Alexander Vinnikov, according to the Defense Ministry. “We are interested in expansion of participation of divisions of NATO member-countries and partners in trainings and count on NATO’s support in this issue,” says Dzhaksybekov.

SENATE RATIFIES AGREEMENT ON THERMAL POWER PLANT 3/28/2013

At a plenary sitting Kazakhstan’s Senate ratified the agreement between the country’s Government and the Government of South Korea on financing, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the Balkhash thermal power plant. “The agreement sets an acceptable model to recoup investments, finance the project and do the actual construction works”, the country’s First Vice Minister of Industry and New Technology Albert Rau said when unveiling the document at the plenary sitting. He elaborated that the first unit capable of 660 megawatt is to be commissioned in October 2017, with the first module capable of 1032 megawatt to be commissioned in April 2018.

PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN TO RECEIVE KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER 3/27/2013

The Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov arrived in Tashkent on a working visit yesterday(Tuesday 26th). Today, Minister Idrissov is expected to meet with his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov.The President of Uzbekistan will receive the Kazakh Foreign Minister and agreements reached at the Uzbek-Kazakh summit held in Astana in September 2012 will be discussed.

KAZAKH-UZBEK STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP TO BE SIGNED 3/27/2013

The President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has met with his Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Yerlan Idrissov in Oksarai Presidential Palace. Islam Karimov and noted that a treaty on strategic partnership will be signed during a visit to the country by President Nazarbayev in June. In addition, the Head of Uzbekistan touched upon the theme of integration in the Central Asian region for current threats countermeasures and some points of bilateral cooperation.

KAZAKHSTAN TO EXPAND ITS FERRY FLEET 3/27/2013

Kazakhstan will expand its ferry fleet, according to the Minister of Transport and Communications Askar Zhumagaliyev. "There is currently a necessity of expanding the ferry fleet and increasing the volume of transported freights, as local shipping companies transport oil only and the whole load of dry and ferry freights is transported by foreign companies. "We expect the expansion of Aktau seaport to increase the dry cargo part at least by 2.5 million tons per year. The feasibility studies are currently being prepared for that. We need an expanded seaport that would handle all the freight transportation needs," Askar Zhumagaliyev said at a Majilis meeting.

KAZAKHSTAN THRIVING IN CRISIS –PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV 3/26/2013

“We are looking forward, and we have adopted the program of development of the country until 2050. Our goal is to be among the top thirty most developed nations of the world” said President Nazarbayev in Almaty.. The President also spoke about the impact of the crisis on the world and Kazakhstan. "It is the fifth year of the world's raging crisis, jobs are being cut, and we have created 700 new businesses, there is increased unemployment everywhere and we have it down to 5%, all are facing reduced salaries and pensions yet we have increased them in the last four years by half. All this thanks to the unity and hard work of our people ", he said.

BANK CHIEF CALLS FOR FULL INDEPENDENCE 3/26/2013

The governor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan called on March 19th for recent reform to be continued, with the aim of granting the central bank full independence. "Ideally, the National Bank of Kazakhstan should be independent, and there are no 'ifs'," Grigory Marchenko (above) said. "Theory and practice have proved that countries where the central banks are independent enjoy lower rates of inflation. In general, the independent central banks are better and more effective in terms of achieving specific goals," Marchenko said.

KAZAKHSTAN & GAZPROM DISCUSS COOPERATION 3/26/2013

A working meeting of Russian Gazprom's Chairman of the Board Alexey Miller and Kazakh Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev was held in Gasprom's office in Moscow. The parties discussed prospects of bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, including the implementation of joint projects in the field of exploration, production, processing and marketing of hydrocarbons.

BELARUS TO EXPAND COOPERATION WITH KAZAKHSTAN 3/26/2013

Belarus is interested in expanding mutually beneficial cooperation with Kazakhstan. The statement was made by Prime Minister of Belarus Mr Mikhail Myasnikovich at the meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Belarus Mr Ergaly Bolegenov on 25th March. The sides discussed terms and prospects of promoting partnership in the bilateral format and in the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space.
The Belarus government attaches great importance to the visit of Kazakhstan Prime Minister Mr Serik Akhmetov to Belarus. The visit is scheduled for late April 2013. During the visit the sides are expected to discuss prospects of bolstering the trade turnover between the countries, joint investment projects, and are expected to sign new documents on cooperation.

KAZAKHSTAN RATIFIES LAW RELATING TO EBRD ACTIVITY 3/21/2013

President Nazarbayev has signed the law o’On ratification of amendment to the Agreement on establishment of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, authorizing its activity in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries,’ the press service of Akorda has announced.

MARCHENKO PLANS TO RETIRE 3/21/2013

Chairman of Kazakhstan National Bank Gregory Marchenko plans to retire in 2015.
“I will turn 55 in December 2014 and my 6-year contract finishes in January. I would like to retire in 2015, as I have saved enough money (on the pension account): I have around 28 million tenge ($187 thousand), including the investment profits and voluntary deductions. This will be enough for life,” Marchenko said during online-conference at profinance.kz on Tuesday.

FOREIGN MINISTER IN SWEDEN 3/21/2013

An official visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerlan Idrissov to the Kingdom of Sweden took place on 20th March A key issue on the agenda of the visit, was the attraction of high technology and the promotion of "greening" economy of Kazakhstan in the international exhibition "EXPO-2017".
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan will meet with his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt in order to discuss bilateral cooperation in political, trade and economical fields, interaction at the international scene concerning international issuances. Y.Idrissov informed that Kazakhstan will open its embassy in Stockholm this year in order to further strengthen bilateral cooperation.

MEDICAL CARE MUST IMPROVE – PM AKHMETOV 3/21/2013

Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov called for intensified work in the field of healthcare. "On the instruction of the Kazakh President, we have discussed and made a decision to consolidate costs of outpatient care at the level of the national budget in 2014, the so-called per capita financing," the Prime Minister said."There are a lot of complaints about the poor quality of treatment. So it is necessary to intensify efforts to improve professionalism of our specialists, especially narrow specialists such as cardiologists, and other specialists that are necessary to educate and maximally attract to the local level," Akhmetov said. The Prime Minister pointed out insufficient number of physicians trained by foreign experts. "It is necessary to invite more foreign experts to conduct master classes," he added. "Third. Despite the performance of complicated surgeries, there is poorly developed rehabilitation treatment in the country. This issue can be solved through public-private partnership," Serik Akhmetov noted.

NWF SAMRUK-KAZYNA CHANGES PURCHASES' PROCEDURE 3/21/2013

"In connection with future joining the WTO, National Welfare Fund "Samruk-Kazyna" changes the purchases' procedure," Managing director of the NWF "Samruk-Kazyna" JSC Zhumagali Mynzhassarov announced during the second session of Community Council on issues of Kazakhstan's content development under the Fund. "Kazakhstan's content interest amounted 63% in 2012. We believe that the results achieved are the result of the priority purchase of domestic products in the group companies of the Fund," Z .Mynzhassarov said.

3 ASTRONAUTS LAND SAFELY IN KAZAKHSTAN 3/18/2013

A Russian Soyuz capsule made a 'bull's eye' landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan on Saturday, delivering a Russian-American trio from the International Space Station, a day after its originally scheduled touchdown was delayed by foul weather. NASA's Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin, who had manned the $100 billion orbital outpost since October as Expedition 34, landed in cloudy weather at 7:06 a.m. Moscow time (0306 GMT) northeast of the town of Arkalyk. They had spent 144 days aboard the multinational ISS on their space journey of almost 61 million miles (98 million km).

HEADS OF KAZAKHSTAN, ISRAEL DISCUSS ECONOMIC COOPERATION 3/18/2013

President Nazarbayev had a working meeting with his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres, where the leaders of the two countries discussed bilateral economic cooperation. They touched upon such key directions as agro-industrial complex and innovative technologies. The presidents noted it was necessary to strengthen mutual partnership in future and expand the spectrum of interstate collaboration.

KAZAKHSTAN & CHINA DISCUSSED EXPO-2017 HOLDING ISSUES 3/18/2013

National Coordinator of EXPO-2017 project, the Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Rapil Zhoshybayev has met with the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Chen Gopin today in Beijing. The sides exchanged their views on Kazakh-Chinese cooperation and holding of EXPO-2017 in Astana.

KAZAKH CIVIL PILOTS TRAIN IN HELSINKI 3/18/2013

Kazakhstan civil pilots will be able to receive licenses complying with European standards, according to a draft memorandum on joint training of pilots was prepared during the recent visit to Finland of Kazakhstan delegation led by Kazakhstan Minister of Education and Science Bakytzhan Zhumagulov. Earlier a group of Majilis (lower chamber of the Parliament) deputies filed a request to Prime-Minister of Kazakhstan Serik Akhmetov inquiring about the civil aviation in Kazakhstan. MP Irian Aronova said that the questions were raised because of the recent plane crashes in Kazakhstan. “10 out of 13 accidents and crashes in civil aviation over the past years, not taking the recent ones into account, happened because of violations of flying techniques, the human factor in other words,” Aronova said.

MILITARY PARADE TO BE HELD IN KAZAKHSTAN ON MAY 7th 3/14/2013

A military parade will be held in Kazakhstan on May 7, announced theDefense Ministry. “Kazakhstan Defense Minister Adulbek Dzhaksybekov has signed a decree to prepare and hold a military parade of Kazakhstan Armed Forces in commemoration of the Defender of the Fatherland Day,” states the Ministry communiqué. Guards Divisions will from the core of the parade which will mark the 21st anniversary of the establishment of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan.

HIGH VELOCITY RAILWAY LINK TO BE COMPLETED BY 2017 3/14/2013

The first ever high velocity railway link will be completed by 2017 between the capital city Astana and the former capital Almaty. The tough deadline is just prior to the EXPO-2017 to be held in Astana. Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Railways Operator has signed a contract with Systra to design and construct the link. The 1000-km-long railway will enable the trains to run at 250 km per hour. The route will cross the Balkhash lake. The 75 degree Celsius difference between the winter and summer temperature peaks will be taken into account. SYSTRA is an international engineering and consulting group specializing in rail (passenger and freight) and public transport.

PARLIAMENT AGREES ON RUSSIAN OIL SUPPLIES TO PAVLODAR
3/14/2013

The Kazakh Parliament has ratified an agreement between the governments of Russia and Kazakhstan on trade cooperation in oil supplies. Russian oil supplies will now be guaranteed for Pavlodar refinery in Kazakhstan. “The amendments to the agreement will ensure guaranteed supplies of Russian oil to Pavlodar refinery and Russian light oil products to fully cover the local fuel market until December 31, 2013,” says the explanatory note to the draft law. After January 1st, 2014, the mutual oil supplies are expected to continue in the form of swap operations. According to Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev, this is be the best opinion because Kazakhstan and Russia would be able to fully provide themselves with oil and the swap operations would be a way to solve logistics issues only.

UAE & KAZAKHSTAN CEMENT ECONOMIC TIES 3/12/2013

Ambassador Askar Mussinov met in Dubai with Chairman of the Federal National Council of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr. At the meeting, Speaker of the UAE Parliament hailed the level of political and commercial and economic relations between the two countries. The Kazakh diplomat, in turn, briefed the politician on the modernization of political and economic spheres and positive social reforms in Kazakhstan. He paid close attention of his interlocutor to the "Kazakhstan-2050" development strategy that would help Kazakhstan join the club of 30 most developed countries. Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr praised high rates of Kazakhstan's growth and expressed confidence it was going to achieve all goals defined in the new development strategy.

TENGIZSHEVROIL WILL CELEBRATE ITS 20TH BIRTHDAY 3/12/2013

This year Tengizchevroil LLP developing Tengiz and Korolev fields in Atyrau will mark the 20th anniversary of its founding. The news has been announced by the director of the Eurasian department of the Chevron corporation Scott Davis.at the meeting with the Governor of the region Baktykozha Izmukhambetov.
According to Mr. Davis, the festivities will begin on April 3-4 in Astana, April 5 they will continue in Atyrau, and on 6 April they will be completed in Zhylyoy region in the Tengiz field.

KAZTRANSOIL ANNOUNCES 2012 EARNINGS 3/12/2013

KazTransOil made over 33 billion tenge ($220 million) in 2012, according to the company’s Director General Kairkeldy Kabyldin during the briefing on the results of the financial-economic and business activities of KazTransOil in 2012. “The consolidated net profit of KazTransOil in 2012 exceeded 33 billion tenge ($220 million), which is 30 percent above the target and 29.1 percent more than in 2011,” Kabyldin said. According to the company, the consolidated volume of oil and oil products transportation and transfer by KazTransOil made 66 million tons, which is 2.8 percent over the target. Consolidated cargo turnover made 42 billion ton/km in 2012.

IDRISSOV VISITS INDIA 3/12/2013

The Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Erlan Idrissov, paid an official visit to India from March 3-5. In meetings with India’s political leadership (including his counterpart in India Shri Salman Khurshid - above) and senior business figures, the dynamic development of the bilateral relationship between Kazakhstan and India was heralded not only as a positive step for the two countries, but for the whole region and the wider international community.

FOREIGN MINISTRY LOOKS TO THE FUTURE 3/12/2013

The Collegium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan met on March 2 under the Chairmanship of Foreign Minister Idrissov. Top of the agenda was the plan for the country’s long-term development, “Strategy-2050”. Mr Idrissov said in his opening remarks that Strategy 2050, put forward by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in December 2012, was a sober assessment of modern global realities and of the challenges facing Kazakhstan in the 21st century.

DISEASE DETECTION INCREASES IN ASTANA 3/11/2013

Disease detection has grown during screening examinations in clinics of Astana by 7.7%. The news was announced by the head of Health Directorate of the capital Aigul Segizbayeva. According to her, in 2012, 51,261 people were covered by screening, with 39 cases of cancer found (35 of which were breast cancer).

HELSINKI TO HOST KAZAKH-FINNISH BUSINESS FORUM
3/11/2013

Helsinki will host the next Kazakh-Finnish Business Forum on 13-15 March.
The Minister for Environmental Protection Nurlan Kaparov, representatives of ministries and business circles of Kazakhstan are expected to attend the event. President Nazarbayev paid a state visit to Finland in March 2009 and later in 2012 the Embassy of Finland opened its doors in Astana.

KAZAKH PEACE MAKERS TO BE INVOLVED IN UN MISSIONS 3/11/2013

The Minister of Defence Adilbek Djaksybekov received the Ambassador of Great Britain to Kazakhstan Carolyn Brown, the Ministry's press service informs. Head of the Ministry of Defence congratulated Ms Braun on her appointment to the diplomatic mission and wished her fruitful work including bilateral cooperation in the sphere of defence. The current situation and prospects of development of Kazakh-British military cooperation, in particular the withdrawal of NATO out of Afghanistan and of its military involvement in UN peacekeeping missions were touched upon at the meeting. "As part of strengthening stability and security in the world, Kazakhstan has good intentions to send their peacekeeping unit in one of the missions of the United Nations. In this regard, the Ministry of Defense is preparing Kazakh peacekeeping unit and is working on the legal framework for citizen participation in UN missions in Kazakhstan.

PHARMACEUTICAL MARKET TO GROW 15% IN 2013 3/11/2013

Kazakhstan’s pharmaceutical market will grow 15% in 2013 because of the increased government expenses and improvement of the country’s attractiveness for foreign investors thanks to participation in the Customs Union and elimination of the administrative barriers, says Vyacheslav Lokshin, president of the Association of Representative Offices of Foreign Pharmaceutical Producers. According to him, the total volume of Kazakhstan’s pharmaceutical market currently makes $1.2 billion and the market has been growing for several years already. “Kazakhstan is investing a lot of money in healthcare development. The investments are nearing 4% of the GDP and the government is not planning to stop at that. It keeps launching new hospitals and new medical programs,” Lokshin said. Kazakhstan pharmaceutical companies are planning to occupy 50% of the domestic market by 2014.

GEOLOGICAL SECTOR SUPPORT INCREASED 3/7/2013

At least 5% of the taxes on mineral extraction will be assigned to the development of the geology sector, the vice minister of industry and new technology of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nurlan Sauranbayev (above) has announce. "This amount will be assigned to the development of geology sector annually, constituting 60 billion tenge (1 Dollar - 150.6 Tenge)," Sauranbayev said '. The vice minister mentioned a crisis in the geology sector in Kazakhstan due to limited financing. "A five-year sectorial programme on replenishment of the mineral resource base of the Republic of Kazakhstan meant for 2015 - 2019 will be created on the basis of the concept” he said.

CSTO HOLDS CONSULTATIONS ON DISARMAMENT 3/7/2013

Consultations of representatives of the CSTO member states on disarmament and arms control were held in Moscow on 6th March under the chairmanship of CSTO Deputy Secretary General Gennady Nevyglas. It was attended by the heads of relevant units in the Foreign Ministries and other departments of Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, said CSTO spokesman Vladimir Zainetdinov. "The meeting participants had a constructive exchange of views on cooperation between the CSTO member states in the implementation of the decisions of the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and on the coordination of their participation in the next review cycle of the treaty, and also the issues of the treaty on nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia signed in Semipalatinsk on 8 September 2006," said Zainetdinov.

260 FEMALE AKIMS - NAZARBAYEV 3/7/2013

260 women are the governors of districts and rural districts, said President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev today. "In the sphere of public administration 55% of the employees are women. This means that more than 50,000 women are working in the field of state management. 260 women are the governors (mayors) of districts and rural districts. In the current Majilis, compared with the previous Parliament, there is the 2.5 times increase of women's representation."Women make up 24% of all deputies. It's very high even in the world ranking, " said the President, speaking in Akorda at the meeting with representatives of women's community of Kazakhstan on the occasion of International Women's Day.

KAZAGRO INVESTS 74.3 BLN TENGE IN SOWING CAMPAIGN 3/7/2013

Normally sowing campaigns receive investments from three sources, including 60 bln tenge from an attracted budget loan, 600 mln tenge from the Fund for Financial Support of Agriculture and the Food Contract Corporation provides 13.7 bln tenge for purchase of grain. According to the press service of KazAgro, the holding will allocate almost 74.3 billion tenge for the country’s sowing campaign. All funds for farms and agricultural enterprises will be allocated through the subsidiaries of the structure. It is planned to allocate loans guaranteed by commercial banks, grain certificates and through microcredit organizations. Additionally, it is planned to make purchases guaranteed by social and entrepreneurial corporations.

NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC & ONCOLOGICAL CENTRE TO OPEN 3/7/2013

The construction of a national scientific and oncological centre will start in Astana this year. Kennet Aliber, the Head of the National Medical Holding, informed that the institution will be the best among the post-Soviet countries. The centre will have a range of facilities, including a 350-place clinical sector and day hospital for radio and chemotherapy. The institution will also have its own scientific centre and a hotel for patients from other cities and their relatives. The Head of the National Medical Holding says that the government has approved the idea.

260 FEMALE AKIMS - NAZARBAYEV 3/7/2013

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KAZAKHSTAN TO SIGN PSA DEAL 3/7/2013

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Kazakhstan is set to sign an industrial and commercial deal with French auto maker PSA Peugeot Citroen that could generate more than 300 jobs in France, the French government said in a statement on Wednesday. The project, due to be signed on today in Paris, would also create 150 jobs in Kazakhstan. "The deal involves the assembly in Kazakhstan of car kits produced in France," a PSA spokesman said. PSA, which has announced plans to slash thousands of jobs to cope with shrinking car sales in Europe, last week said it was in talks on sharing vehicle production with Russia's ZIL

KAZAKHSTAN AIMS TO NATIONALISE 3 PRIVATE PENSION FUNDS 3/6/2013

Kazakhstan aims to nationalise the country's three largest private pension funds this year by paying for them in state-owned shares in local banks, announced the Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov today. President Nazarbayev has ordered the government to nationalise the country's pension system by merging the assets of private pension funds into a single state-owned fund to support fast economic growth. A government order now instructs sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna to offer Halyk Bank, Kazakhstan's second-largest lender by assets, to sell its private pension fund for shares in state-owned Bank BTA.

PRESIDENT MET WITH ANTITRUST MINISTER 3/6/2013

President Nazarbayev has received the Eurasian Economic Commission's Antitrust Minister Nurlan Aldabergenov. The Kazakh President noted that it was necessary to solve the issues concerning an effective functioning of Single Economic Environment. Besides, the President stressed the need for system analysis of commodity markets of the Customs Union for the production and sale of goods and services in the same conditions and to the same competitive environment. Aldabergenov reported on the results of the past year and plans for the next period in the regulation of antitrust activity. In addition, Issues of competition and antitrust regulation in the electricity, aviation and rail industries were also discussed.

GDP GROWTH MADE 5% IN 2012 3/6/2013

Kazakhstan's GDP growth amounted to five per cent last year, announced Kazakh Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Yerbolat Dossayev (above).
"A number of parameters are low” he said. “Decreasing external demand, reduction in crop production by 27.7%, the decline in oil production from the planned 81 million tons to 79.2 million tons. " Dossayev noted that there had been an increase in some sectors - in particular, transport, communications, and wholesale and retail trade.

NUCLEAR POWER STATION TO BE BUILT IN AKTAU 3/6/2013

The government has defined the location for construction of the first nuclear power station. It will be built in Aktau in western Kazakhstan. Most probably the first station will be built in Mangistau oblast, as the personnel and infrastructure exists. “The station will be built at the base of the well-proven reactors that will be switched from military use to peaceful atom,” said Valeriy Shevelev, MD on Innovation Projects of KazAtomProm.

OVER 3 TRILLION TENGE FOR EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME 3/6/2013

Over 3 trillion Tenge will be spent on increasing and safeguarding employment in the coming years. The plan was reported by the Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Erbolat Dossayev (above) during Government Hour in Majilis. It is one of the measures under the anti-crisis “Road Map”, the development of which will be completed by the middle of April this year. Its main objectives are to encourage self-employed people, combat illegal labour migration and finance social projects.

€90M CONTRACT FOR ALSTOM 3/4/2013

Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) has selected KazElectroPrivod (KEP), a joint venture of Alstom and Kamkor a €90m contract to supply 10,000 point machines over a period of 10 years. Delivery will commence this year. Alstom and Kamkor, a subsidiary of KTZ which solely manufactures point machines, established the 50:50 joint venture in January. KEP is based at the Almaty Wagon Repair Plant which is owned by Kamkor. The first point machines of the order will be imported from Alstom's plant in Bologna, Italy, while the Almaty workshop is rebuilt to suit the needs of new production. Alstom's share of the contract is €65m.

SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATIONS ON CREATION OF NUCLEAR FUEL BANK 3/4/2013

Kazakhstan’s delegation to Vienna met with Director General of IAEA Yukiya Amano, who noted the successful course of negotiations on implementation of the unique international project on creation of the Bank of Low-Enriched Uranium to be located in Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan. The meeting was held during a regular round of negotiations between Kazakhstan and the IAEA on approval of the text of the Country Agreement on Placement of the Nuclear Fuel Bank.


FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER IN KAZAKHSTAN 3/1/2013

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France’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, is on a whirlwind tour of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Accompanied by a French business delegation, Mr. Fabius, hopes to boost relations with countries whose economic potential stability is crucial for Central Asia. During his visit, the Minister will be received by all three Heads of State and the respective Foreign Ministers of each country. He will discuss prospects of development of bilateral economic relations, the role of civil society and key regional issues like Afghanistan as well as international issues such as Iran, Syria and Mali. In Kazakhstan, he will visit the factory of the joint venture Eurocopter / Kazakhstan Engineering.

IRAN HAILS TURNING POINT IN ALMATY NUCLEAR TALKS 2/27/2013

Saeed Jalili (above), Iran's chief nuclear negotiator has declared that negotiations in Almaty with a group of world powers have reached a "turning point" after it was offered a series of concessions, including sanctions relief on gold and petrochemical exports, in return for acceptance of limits on uranium enrichment. The six-nation group – the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – maintained its insistence that Iran stop making 20%-enriched uranium. However, it relaxed its demand that all of Iran's stockpile of about 170kg of 20%-enriched uranium should be shipped out of the country, allowing Iran to retain enough to fuel a research reactor in Tehran. The six powers also softened the stipulation put forward at a series of abortive meetings last year that an underground enrichment plant at Fordow, in central Iran, should be shut down. In Almaty the Iranians were asked to "reduce the readiness" of Fordow while accepting more monitoring of the facility by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

GOVERNMENT TO PAY $3 MILLION FOR SEEDS 2/28/2013

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Kazakhstan’s government will provide 450 million tenge ($3 million) in subsidies for seeds, says Kazakhstan’s Agriculture Minister Assylzhan Mamytbekov. “The issue of seeds supply is critical. I would like to take steps to resolve the issue in advance. There is a problem of price rises. This year it reached 70 thousand tenge ($467) per one ton of elite seeds. Considering that, we are making changes to increase the seeds subsidies and the ceiling price is raised from 19.5 thousand tenge ($130) to 25 thousand tenge ($167). To make sure that this program's scope is not cut, the government is planning to allocate additional funds from its reserves in the amount of 450 million tenge ($3 million),” Mamytbekov said. According to the Minister, seeds deficiency is expected in the amount of 80 thousand tons this year in Kazakhstan.

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS TO BE CUT BY 20% 2/28/2013

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Kazakhstan cities will lower their greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent. Kazakhstan Ministry of Industry and New Technologies has signed an Interaction Agreement with the EU Association of Energy Efficient Cities to expand international cooperation in energy-saving and improvement of energy efficiency. The cities that sign this agreement undertake voluntary obligations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20%. The Covenant of Mayors is a mainstream European movement that involves local and regional authorities that voluntarily commit to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources at their territories. The movement currently involves 46 countries, 3,700 cities and over 9 million citizens

PRESIDENT CONGRATULATES CUBA’S CASTRO ON RE-ELECTION 2/26/2013

President Nazarbayev has sent a telegram of congratulations to President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba Raúl Castro. President Nazarbayev sent greetings to Castro who was re-elected as the President of the Council of State of Cuba. "I am convinced that dynamic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Cuba based on mutual trust and understanding will strengthen in the future for the benefit of our nations," the telegram reads.

MORTGAGE MARKET BLOSSOMED IN 2012 2/26/2013

After research of the financial market, the analytical portal Ranking.kz has announced that at the beginning of 2013 the sum total of banking loans given to Kazakhstan population issued for construction and purchase of housing equalled 920 billion tenge and by the end of this year may exceed 1 trillion. The highest demand for mortgages for the recent five years occurred in 2012 and increased 7.5% or by almost 65 billion tenge. As a result, specialists claim that it is possible to talk about gradual transition of the mortgage market from stagnation to slight growth without sharp fluctuations.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION IN ALMATY TOTALS 521 BILLION TENGE 2/26/2013

Almaty’s industrial production reached 521 billion tenge, which is 3.3% up on 2011. The proportion of production and distribution of energy, gas and air conditioning amounted to 16.4% with manufactured produce worth 85.9 billion tenge and the index of actual volume equalled 101.6%. The index of actual volume of processing industry is estimated at 80.1%. The manufacturing of food increased by 2.5% compared with 2011. The manufacturing of vegetable oil increased by 34.3%, meat output rose 17.8%, production of dairy products increased by 17.7% and of soft drinks by 10.2%. The manufacturing of television sets more than doubled and washing machines saw a 1.4% growth.

PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV MEETS BARONESS ASHTON 2/26/2013

The EU foreign policy chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, has arrived in Kazakhstan to lead negotiations between world powers and Iran over its controversial nuclear programme hopened today in Almaty. She met with Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev yesterday. Negotiators have set low expectations for the talks beginning today in Almaty - the first since last June's meeting in Moscow that threatened to derail delicate efforts to convince Iran to stop enriching uranium to a level close to that used for nuclear warheads. The stakes couldn't be higher: the Obama administration is pushing for diplomacy to solve the impasse but has not ruled out the possibility of military intervention in Iran to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And Israel has threatened it will use all means to stop Iran from being able to building a bomb,

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT KAZAKHSTAN 2/25/2013

"The Minister of Foreign Affairs of France Laurent Fabius will pay an official visit to Kazakhstan," the official representative of the Kazakh President's Central Communication Service Altai Abibullayev reported during a briefing. Representatives of 14 major French companies will accompany Fabius during the visit. The head of the French Foreign Ministry is expected to meet with the President of Kazakhstan, the Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yerlan Idrissov and with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev.

1.3 MILLION SQ M OF HOUSING TO BE BUILT IN ASTANA BY 2017 2/21/2013

About 1.3 million square meters of housing will be built and put into service in Astana by 2017 within the program "Affordable Housing-2020", Astana Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov stated today (Thursday, February 21st). "We will continue our work on the program… In addition, we are planning to expand the network of social facilities, including the construction of 50 kindergartens for 12 000 seats, and 30 schools for 36000 seats," Tasmagambetov said. It is also planned to put into operation 15 health facilities, including five primary health care centers for 750 patient visits per day, 3 outpatient clinics for 1000 patient visits per shift, and 4 hospitals with 1000 beds. In addition, 12 large enterprises, including a pharmaceuticals plant, precious metal refinery and fast food production, will be launched in Astana by 2017.
It should be noted, this work is scheduled to be implemented in the city before the EXPO-2017 International Exhibition.

SCO SUPREME TO HOLD CONFERENCE IN KAZAKHSTAN IN 2014 2/21/2013

Moscow hosts the VIII conference of the presidents of the supreme courts of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Issues of fight corruption in the court system, consumer protection and drug related crimes are to be considered during the conference. The Head of the Kazakh delegation, Chairman of the Board on the oversight of civil and administrative cases of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan Elis Abdykadyrov said that there was a need for a more vigorous and effective sub-regional efforts to further expanding and strengthening of cooperation in cases involving drug crimes. He added that drug abuse and drug trafficking exceed the boundaries of one state, covering the Central Asian region, taking into account Kazakhstan is the transition location in relation to Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. It was announced that he ninth conference of the Presidents of the Supreme Courts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held in Kazakhstan in 2014.

MAYOR SAYS ASTANA'S FACE TO CHANGE PRIOR TO EXPO-2017 2/21/2013

Astana Akimat (administration) has named new landmarks that will appear in the Kazakh capital before the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017. New parks, a 100 hectare botanical garden, a park along the Yessil River and a unique ethno village are to appear in Astana, according to the statement made by the capital’s mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov. An opera and ballet theater, a library, the First President Fund, a national museum, a space research centre, the National Defence University, a roofed city, Abu Dhabi Plaza complex, Hilton Hotel, Marriott Hotel, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel, and an ice stadium will be added to Astana's architectural face. According to Astana's press service, construction of a new railway station, 4 km away from the Palace of Peace and Accord, is about to start.

KAZAKHSTAN, ITALY DISCUSS REGIONAL SECURITY 2/19/2013

Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov met with Italian Defense Minister Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola in Astana today (Tuesday, 19th Feb.). According to the press service of the Kazakh Defense Ministry, Admiral Di Paola is on his first official visit to the Kazakh capital. During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on a wide spectrum of issues. They paid special attention to the cooperation in the sphere of defense and security and touched upon the problems of regional security, including the situation in Afghanistan.

MAYAMEROV ELECTED SUPREME MUFTI OF KAZAKHSTAN 2/19/2013

Yerzhan Mayameov has been elected as Supreme Mufti of Kazakhstan during the VII special session of Kazakh Muslims (Kurultai) today. Yerzhan Mayamerov was born on December 16, 1972 in Semipalatinsk (now East Kazakhstan) region. In 2006 he graduated from the Al-Azhar University in Egypt, one of the world's oldest and most prestigious Muslim spiritual academic universities. In the period from 2006 to 2008, he continued to receive his knowledge in the Egyptian Muftiate. On October 10, 2011 upon the recommendation of the Chief Mufti of Kazakhstan Absattar Derbisali Haji Y. Mayamerov was appointed a representative of the Spiritual Administration of the Muslims of Central Asia and Kazakhstan to Semey region.

OIL OUTPUT TO AVERAGE 1.58 MILLION BARRELS PER DAY 2/19/2013

Kazakhstan's oil output is expected to average 1.58 million barrels per day in 2012, a decline of 20 TBD from the previous year. According to the OPEC's Monthly Oil Market report released in December 2012, the minor decline comes on the back of limited new developments and the impact of maintenance and declines in mature producing areas. Output is expected to increase in the Q4 from the maintenance curtailed production seen in the third quarter. During the first three quarters of 2012, Kazakhstan's supply decreased by 30 TBD from the same period of 2011. On a quarterly basis, in 2012 it averages 1.62 MBD, 1.57 MBD, 1.52 MBD and 1.62 MBD respectively.

KAZAKHSTAN & JAPAN DISCUSS ENERGY COOPERATION 2/19/2013

A Kazakh delegation discussed cooperation with Japanese companies in energy sphere during a visit to Japan, announced the Kazakh Ministry of Industry & New Technologies yesterday (Monday, 18th Feb.). In particular, Kazakh delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Industry and New Technologies Minister, Aset Isekeshev met with representatives of the Japanese New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC).
At the meeting with representatives of the JICA, the parties discussed the agreements reached at the Fourth Meeting of the Foreign Ministers' Dialogue "Central Asia + Japan" in Tokyo, plans of the JICA to strengthen technical cooperation aimed at disasters prevention in Kazakhstan, and Kazakhstan's participation in the Japanese governmental program Science and Technology Cooperation on Global Issues (SATREPS).

SPECIALIZED MEDICAL CARE GREW BY 60% 2/18/2013

In 2012, the volume of highly specialized medical care increased by 60% as compared with 2011, Kazakh Health Minister Salidat Kairbekova told tGovernment Hour in the Majilis. "Stable implementation of the Unified National Health System allowed us to focus on the development of high technologies available for residents of the capital and in the regions as well. As compared with 2011, the volume of highly specialized medical care increased by 60%, with 56% at the regional level ", said Kairbekova. Also as part of the development of advanced technologies 28 stroke centres will be launched in the regions until the end of 2013, the Kazakh. In addition, more than three thousand health managers were trained for organization of specialist training at the centre of management. 12,000 patient care specialists were trained in 2012.

ALMATY INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME LAUNCHED 2/18/2013

In 2012 the Almaty region was able to both retain the pace of development in all the areas of the economy and improve its key growth indicators. In particular, the industrial output reached 500 billion tenge and the amount of attracted investments increased to 393 billion tenge. At the meeting with the population, the Almaty region governor Ansar Mussakhanov (above) said that the region had achieved these results mainly due to the implementation of the accelerated industrial and innovative development programme. During three years as part of the accelerated industrial and innovative development programme the region has commissioned 36 facilities and created more than 5 thousand new jobs. As part of the national industrialisation map another 6 large projects are currently underway

GOVERNMENT DISCUSSES EXPO-2017 PREPARATIONS 2/18/2013

The Government has held a meeting headed by Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov (above) concerning the ongoing preparations for EXPO-2017 International Exposition. Issues concerning the development of Registration dossier of the exhibition, cooperation with the Bureau of International Expositions, as well as the organisation of a contest for the best architectural solutions for the construction of facilities and landscaping for EXPO-2017 were discussed. According to the results, Mr Akhmetov spoke of pointeneeding a committed approach to the implementation of the targeted goals and tasks, emphasising that «The National Plan on the implementation of EXPO preparations was under special control of the Head of State and the instructions given by the President should be performed on time and with maximum efficiency».

NATIONAL CHAMBER OF ENTREPRENEURS TO BE CREATED 2/18/2013

The National Chamber of Entrepreneurs will be created in Kazakhstan in 2013, chairman of the Board of the Kazakh National Economic Chamber 'Atameken Union' Ablai Myrzakhmetov (above) said on Monday. "According to the presidential order, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs will be created this year. The working group has discussed almost all conceptual issues (concerning the new chamber) in the government. We expect the concept of this bill will be submitted to the interdepartmental commission by the end of February," Myrzakhmetov said at the briefing in Astana. According to Myrzakhmetov, the government will submit the bill to Majilis by the end of April. "If Majilis considers the bill rapidly, it can be passed on July 1, otherwise it will be passed in September-October," he said.

FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT KAZAKHSTAN IN MARCH 2/18/2013

Foreign Minister of France Laurent Fabius is to make an official visit to Kazakhstan in early March. Jean-Charles Berthonnet (above), Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Kazakhstan, made the statement at the opening ceremony of the international exhibition "France-Kazakhstan" in Astana on Saturday. "The next year is the Year of Kazakhstan in France. Our nations boast 20 years of diplomatic relations. I can assure you that there are big cultural and economic projects ahead for France and Kazakhstan. I believe that today's event and the forthcoming visit of Mr. Laurent Fabius to Kazakhstan on March 1st, 2013 is a good impetus for further development and strengthening of the bilateral relations," Ambassador Berthonnet said.

KAZAKHSTAN HOLDS SPECIAL PLACE IN IRAN’S FOREIGN POLICY 2/15/2013

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Kazakhstan holds a special place in Iran's foreign policy, Iran's ambassador to Astana Gorban Seyfi (above) said on Tuesday. "One of the priorities mentioned in our Constitution is the establishment of relations with the Islamic countries and Kazakhstan is one such," he said. Kazakhstan has been chosen as the venue for hosting the next round of talks on the nuclear programme between Iran and the 'Six' mediators to be held on February 26. Earlier, Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrisov said that Kazakhstan is ready to deliver a platform and create good conditions for the negotiations on the nuclear programme between the international community and Iran. He said that the process of choosing Kazakhstan as the venue for the negotiations is connected with the policy of the Islamic Republic to expand relations with neighbouring countries.

AVERAGE WAGES IN KAZAKHSTAN INCREASE BY 6.9% 2/15/2013

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According to the National Statistics Agency, the average wages per month in Kazakhstan have increased by 6.9%. In the industrial breakdown the largest wages were in the mining industry and working of quarries and equalled 247.5 thousand tenge. Wages in the professional, scientific and technical areas equalled to 264.6 thousand tenge. Employees of the financial area are earning 267.7 thousand tenge. In the regional breakthrough the highest wages in 232.7 thousand tenge is in the Mangistau region. The level of wages in this region exceeds the average level in the country by 1.8 times.

METEORITE FRAGMENTS RAIN DOWN ON KAZAKHSTAN 2/15/2013

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A hail of meteorite fragments has hit three regions of Russia, and Kazakhstan, Russian Emergencies Ministry officials confirmed. As of midday Moscow time, over 500 people in Russia had reported injuries as a result of the strikes, including 84 children. Officials said 112 people had been hospitalised, with three reported to be in a "grave" condition. Most people were hurt by shattering glass and many of the injuries seemed to be concentrated in the hard-hit Chelyabinsk Region.

KAZAKHSTAN OIL MINISTRY FINES SUBSOIL USERS 2/15/2013

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Kazakhstan Ministry of Oil and Gas has fined subsoil users 350 million tenge ($2.3 million) in 2012, said the Ministry’s accountable secretary Kanatbek Safinov (above) at the forum Oil and Gas: Kazakhstan Content-2013. “Since 2010 Kazakhstan has a right to impose penalties on companies for non-performance of their contract obligations on local content. Oil and Gas Ministry started levying the penalties in 2011. In 2011 we received 180 million tenge ($1.2 million) and 350 million tenge ($2.3 million) in 2012,” Kanatbek Safinov said. 21 companies out of 25 fined ones have already paid the fines into the budget, he said adding that the number of violations of procurement rules by subsoil users has been decreasing.

EBRD TO EXPAND ITS ACTIVITY IN KAZAKHSTAN 2/13/2013

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According to a report from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in 2013 the Kazakhstan economy will grow by 6%, which corresponds to the forecast of the Bank made in October, 2012. According to the results of 2012, the GDP of Kazakhstan increased by 5%. Analysts of the Bank forecast that the expected beginning of the Kashagan oil deposit development will favour the growth in 2013.
Kazakhstan is one of the largest recipients of loans of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Since the EBRD started its activity in Kazakhstan, it has invested over 15 billion US dollars into the country. Additionally, the Bank has provided 79.3 million US dollars’ worth of free aid. As of January, 2013 Kazakhstan has been implementing 85 projects using over 2.5 billion US dollars in loans from the EBRD.

KAZAKHSTAN TO BE PRODUCING FLU VACCINE 2/13/2013

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At a briefing in Astana the chairman of the board of the Kazakhstan Science Fund has announced that in the near future Kazakhstan is going to produce its own flu vaccine. By the end of 2013, it is planned to begin the construction of the first pharmaceutical plant for local vaccine production near the city of Almaty. As part of the project there were consultations with both Kazakhstan and international experts and specialists of the World Health Organization. The plant has a capacity of 10 million doses per year, worth 9.5 billion tenge. It is expected to be equipped with Swiss made equipment. Kuatzhan Ualiyev said that it would be Kazakhstan’s first enterprise to be producing vaccines against flu, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, brucellosis and veterinary infections.

$4 BILLION INVESTMENT IN GAS PROCESSING PLANT IN KARACHAGANAK 2/13/2013

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Kazakhstan is planning to invest $3.7 billion into the gas processing plant at Karachaganak oil and gas field that is being developed by the consortium operated by British BG Group. “The plant will work to meet the needs of the country’s capital, Astana, and the northern regions starting from 2017,” says KazMunaiGas. In 2019-2021 supplies may be brought to 5 billion cubic meters, which is over a half of the whole Kazakhstan’s demand of 2011. Last year Kazakhstan purchased a 10 percent stake in the Karachaganak oil and gas project.

EMPLOYABLE POPULATION TO REACH 9.5 MILLION PEOPLE BY 2017 2/13/2013

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The number of active employable population will grow by 2017 and will make 9.5 million people, says the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. "Some of the regions of the country will see a decrease or a low growth of economically active population. Such regions are Akmola, Kostanay, North-Kazakhstan and East-Kazakhstan oblasts," the Ministry's press-service writes. The Ministry will make 5-year forecasts of the labour market development based on the labour resources balance starting from 2014. "The biggest growth will be seen in Astana (plus 107 thousand people by 2017)" the press-service writes. According to the Ministry's forecasts, the share of employed people in agriculture will continue lowering: from 26.5 percent in 2011 to 23 percent in 2017

NAZARBAYEV & PUTIN AGREED ON EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION 2/12/2013

Kazakh President Nazarbayev has met with the Russian President during his working trip in Moscow. "The volume of our cooperation is very big, and I am pleased to note that it is growing. We get work enough and achieved very good integration experience. There are several key points that we discussed today, and I was glad to do it," the Russian President said. Presidents discussed further mutually beneficial cooperation on usage of Baikonur space-launch complex. The Heads of States agreed to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation on a whole range of interactions, and further implementation of a joint action plan for 2013-2015. In addition, it was decided to continue cooperation on integration issues, in particular related to the Single Economic Space and starting of the Eurasian Economic Union by 2015.

KAZAKH PRIME MINSTER TO BOOST ECONOMY 2/12/2013

"To achieve objectives defined by the Head of State, there should be at least 6% growth in the economy. This is the main task of the Ministry. This task should be one of the main areas, " said Kazakh Prime Minister Akhmetov at an enlarged board meeting of the Ministry. According to him, the economic policy of the country in 2013-2017 should be aimed at ensuring macroeconomic stability and economic growth as planned. "In this regard, it is necessary to continue monitor the status and operational development of the economy, both within our territory and in the world markets, most importantly, the economies of our trading partners - Europe, China and other countries", the head of the Government said.

TOP ARCHITECTS PONDER EXPO-2017 'GREEN' QUARTER 2/12/2013

30 best architects will take part in competition of ideas of "green" quarter for EXPO-2017, announced Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov at an enlarged meeting of the Board of JSC "National Welfare Fund "Samruk-Kazyna". According to him, a significant designing work will be started following the competition. "This year, we have to announce tenders for contract work", he said.

KAZAKHSTAN HOSTS IRAN-POWERS TALKS 2/12/2013

Kazakhstan's impartial stance on Iran's nuclear issue was the main reason why Iran agreed to the Central Asian country as the venue for the next round of talks between Tehran and the world powers, a prominent Iranian lawmaker explained. "Kazakhstan is an impartial country on Iran's nuclear issue and the country's stance is very important to us," Chairman of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi (above) said.

KAZAKHSTAN TESTS 3RD GENERATION ARTIFICIAL HEART 2/12/2013

Kazakhstan is among five countries that are testing the 3rd generation artificial heart, according to Kazakhstan’s senior cardiac surgeon Yuriy Pya. “We have submitted the application for participation in the international program on testing of the 3rd generation cardiac ventricles implants and recently received a message from the United States confirming that we have been included into this program. The tests of efficiency and safety of their implantation involve 5 hospitals in the world, including Astana National Scientific Cardiac Surgery Centre,” the surgeon said at the briefing in Pavlodar cardiac surgery centre. The other four hospitals are in Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic and France.

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT TO BE UNVEILED 2/12/2013

The first version of the concept of social development of Kazakhstan developed on the President's instruction will be unveiled at the end of March, Deputy Prime Minister Yerbol Orynbayev said at an extended board meeting of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection. The Vice Premier noted that by May the concept must be ready for comprehensive discussion and adoption by the Government. According to him, the document is developed with the support of the World Bank's specialists and envisages the introduction of qualitatively new standards.

GOVERNMENT REVIEWS RENEWABLE ENERGY PROGRESS 2/12/2013

On February 5th the Government met to discuss progress on development of the renewable energy sector in Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstan 2050 national strategy plan sets as an objective the generation of over half of the country’s total energy consumption from alternative and renewable energy sources by 2050, while Kazakhstan is also gearing up to host the ‘Future Energy’ themed EXPO-2017 in Astana, ensuring strong momentum in developing the renewables sector. The renewable energy plan for 2013-2020 targets the generation of 1,040 MW of renewable energy annually, from a total of 13 wind farms, 14 hydroelectric stations and four solar stations to be constructed over the period. Deputy Prime Minister Asset Issekeshev (above) said that over the course of 2013, Kazakhstan will implement 12 renewable energy projects, among them two hydrocarbon plants in the southern region of Almaty, two hydropower plants in Zhambyl, a solar plant in Kapchagay and a wind farm.

SPECIAL MEETING ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 2/12/2013

On February 4th, President Nazarbayev chaired a special meeting of Government to discuss the economic development of Kazakhstan, with particular focus on three areas: the banking sector, pension reform and the oil and gas industry. The meeting reviewed progress on implementation of tasks outlined in the national strategy “Kazakhstan 2050”. Participants included Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, Head of the Presidential Administration Karim Massimov, Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Bakhyt Sultanov, President of the Samruk-Kazyna National Fund and Minister of Oil and Gas Sauat Mynbayev, and Chief Executive of the National Fund Umirzak Shukeyev.

IRAN TO ATTEND NUCLEAR TALKS IN KAZAKHSTAN 2/5/2013

Iran is to discuss its disputed nuclear programme with world powers in Kazakhstan on February 26th. First mention of the meeting came in comments from Iran’s Supreme National Security Council to state news agency IRNA. Later, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said she hoped to make progress in allaying concerns about a programme Iran denies has a military purpose. Both sides said the appointment to meet was made on Tuesday by Iran’s deputy nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri and European Union counterpart Helga Schmid.

1 GIGAWATT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY POWER BY 2020 2/5/2013

Kazakhstan plans to invest in the construction of hydro, wind and solar power plants to add 1,040 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2020. The plan to build 13 wind power plants with total capacity of 793 megawatts, was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Aset Isekeshev (above). Kazakhstan also plans to construct 14 hydropower plants with capacity of 170 megawatts and 4 solar power plants able to produce 77 megawatts, said Issekeshev. The projects include construction of a 23 billion-tenge ($153 million) wind-power plant near Astana by 2017, and a $196 million hydropower plant in the Almaty region by 2015.

EXPO-2017 FUELLED BY ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES 2/5/2013

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Serik Akhmetov gave instructions to address the issues of power supply of the EXPO-2017 in Astana with the use of alternative energy sources.

KAZAKHSTAN & GERMANY TO OPEN TECHNOLOGIES TRANSFER CENTER 2/4/2013

Foreign Minister Idrissov (above left) rendered an official visit to Germany, The visit upon an invitation of the Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (from Jan. 1st to Feb. 1st). During the visit Kazakhstan Minister held several bilateral meetings with representatives of German political and business circles. Idrissov’s visit also included signing of several bilateral economic agreements. Two memorandums were signed with German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) on cooperation in development of content for Astana Economic Forum and in key directions of bilateral industrial and technological partnership. Three documents were signed with German Energy Agency (DENA), German Steinbeis Center and EMD GmbH on cooperation in energy-saving, development of renewable energy sources and creation of Kazakhstan-German Center for transfer of technologies in the framework of Kazakhstan’s preparation for the EXPO-2017.

FOREIGN MINISTER ATTENDS MUNICH SECURITY CONFERENCE 2/4/2013

Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov attended the 49th International Conference on Security Policy in Munich on February 1-3. In his speech at the session devoted to the issues of security and stability in South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, the Kazakh Foreign Minister said that "Eurasian security is an integral part of the new common global security." Idrissov said that "three years ago, the OSCE Summit in Astana adopted a declaration, which first touched upon the concept of the Eurasian security, as well as close relationship between the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security dimensions. "Kazakhstan, being at the center of Eurasia, is a very important connection between Europe and Asia, and we are pleased that our role in this regard is on the rise," Mr Idrissov stated. On the sidelines of the conference, the Kazakh diplomat held several bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Spain, Poland, Turkey, Israel, Italy, President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic and others.

PRESIDENT DISCUSSES DEVELOPMENT 2/4/2013

President Nazarbayev has held a sitting on the issues of Kazakhstan's development, the Presidential press service reports. The sitting was attended by Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, Head of the Presidential Administration Karim Massimov, Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov, Chairman of the Board of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund Umirzak Shukeyev, Minister of Oil & Gas Sauat Mynbayev. The status of the banking sector, pension reform, development of oil and gas industry, and implementation of the President's instructions outlined at the Government's session and in the Strategy "Kazakhstan-2050" were on the agenda. President Nazarbayev emphasized the need to continue efforts on reducing the country's external debt, improving the efficiency of the pension system, shaping further steps to address current issues in the oil and gas sector.

IDRISSOV: EU PLAYS ROLE IN HELPING KAZAKHSTAN ON THE ROAD TO DEMOCRACY 2/4/2013

Speaking in Brussels, Erlan Idrissov conceded that Kazakhstan was still an "evolving democracy" and needed to make progress in various areas. But he said the aim was to take the measures which will enable the central European country to become "one of the world's top 30 democracies" by 2030. He said, "We are trying hard to become a viable democracy and the EU has a vital role to play in helping us along this road." The EU, he said, was a "role model" for his country, adding, "Remember we are learning all the time and the EU is an important reference point for us in terms of democracy, human rights and good governance."

KAZAKHSTAN'S GDP PER CAPITAL MADE $12.100 IN 2012 2/4/2013

In Kazakhstan GDP per capital in 2012 has been initially estimated at 12 100 US dollars. Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov announced positive figures at the Government's meeting chaired by President Nazarbayev and dedicated to results of the year 2012 and the implementation of the "Kazakhstan-2050" Strategy. The PM also said that over the last year, active assets of the National Fund increased for 32% and amounted to 57.8 billion US dollars.

LIVING WAGE INCREASES 2/4/2013

The living wage per capita calculated on the basis of minimum standards of consumption of basic food products, increased by 1.7% to 16,983 tenge in January 2013 compared to the previous month, a $101 increase, Kazakh Agency for Statistics reported. The living wage increased by 7.4% compared to January 2012. In its structure the share of expenses for meat and fish was 23.6%, diary, oil and fat products, and eggs 16.3%, fruit and vegetables 10.2%, bread and cereal products 7.8% and sugar, tea and spices 2.1%.

IDRISSOV IN GERMANY 1/30/2013

Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov (above) visits Germany today (January 30th - February 3rd). Mr drissov is expected to hold a number of bilateral meetings with Foreign Policy and Security Aide to the German Chancellor Christoph Heusgen, Vice-Chancellor of Germany and Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Roesler, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, President of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations Eckhard Cordes, as well as representatives of the political and business circles of Germany. The main topics during the talks will be the strengthening of Kazakh-German bilateral relations aimed at reaching strategic partnership agreement, implementation of the intergovernmental agreement on partnership in the fields of raw materials, manufacturing and technology, and the issue of easing visa restrictions for the citizens of Kazakhstan.

KAZAKHSTAN BUYS CONOCOPHILLIPS STAKE IN OFFSHORE OIL BLOCK 1/30/2013

Kazakhstan's state oil company KazMunaiGas KMG.UL (KMG) has bought a 24.5% stake held by U.S. energy major ConocoPhillips in the Nursultan offshore oil block in the Caspian, KMG announced on Wednesday, disclosing no price. The block holds an estimated 270 million tonnes of recoverable oil reserves, and commercial production at the field – which is expected to start operations in 2016. With the acquisition of the stake, KMG will now hold a 75.5% share in the exploration and development project and Abu Dhabi state investment company Mubadala the remaining 24.5%, KMG said.

KAZAKHSTAN, RUSSIA TO CREATE AIR DEFENCE SYSTEM 1/30/2013

Kazakhstan and Russia will create a unified air defence system. A document was signed by defence ministers of the two countries Adilbek Dzhaksybekov and Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday, January 30th according to a statement made by the Kazakh Defence Ministry."The agreement was signed as a result of talks between defence ministers of Kazakhstan Adilbek Dzhaksybekov and Russia Sergei Shoigu (above), who is currently on his first visit to Kazakhstan. Entry of this document into force will create a basis for ensuring airspace security of Kazakhstan and Russian border areas," the statement said.

MODERNIZE LAW ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM - NAZARBAYEV 1/30/2013

At today's meeting with heads of law enforcement bodies President Nazarbayev emphasized the need to determine ways to further modernize the law enforcement system. "Stability and national security are the key provisions for the implementation of the new political course. Their priority is beyond all question. Today it is important to sum up the interim results of the comprehensive reform of the law enforcement system. It is needed to critically assess the progress, identify problems and find ways to further modernize the law enforcement system," Nazarbayev said.

NAZARBAYEV DECLARES JANUARY 31 A DAY OF MOURNING 1/30/2013

"Yesterday a plane flying from Kokshetau crashed near Almaty city. 20 of our citizens were killed. I expressed my condolences on this tragic incident. A special commission, which is investigating the incident, will provide support to the families and friends of the victims of our citizens. Let's hold a moment of silence in remembrance of the dead," the President said, declaring also January 31st a day of national mourning.

KAZMUNAIGAS ACQUIRES 100% OF N BLOCK B.V. 1/30/2013

Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company KazMunaiGas acquired a 100% stake in the N Block B.V., the company's press service reported on Wednesday, 31st January. 'On January 25, 2013, the national company KazMunaiGas JSC and Conoco Phillips Petroleum Holdings BV closed a deal on a full acquisition of the N Block B.V. Company', the statement said. As a result of this transaction, KazMunaiGas is the owner of 75.5% of the rights for subsoil use in project N and has a 75.5% stake in the N Operating Company. According to the signed contract for the use of mineral resources under the N project, its participants are KazMunaiGas with a share of 75.5% and MDK (Oil and Gas N Block Kazakhstan) GmbH with 24.5%. A new Board of Directors will be elected at KazMunaiGas on March 19th.

6.6-MAGNITUDE QUAKE STRIKES EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN 1/29/2013

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit the south-eastern region of Kazakhstan at 22:38 Monday evening local time (16:38:53 GMT), according to the Scientific Committee of the country's Education and Science Ministry. There has been no report of casualties. The epicentre was located 230 kilometers southeast of Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty, with a depth of about 10 km. Residents in Almaty could feel buildings and windows shaking. Some ran out to escape to the open area. After the first strong quake, there have been several smaller aftershocks. Earlier, the U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at 6.0 on the Richter scale. Almaty is located in a seismically active zone.

KAZAKHSTAN PLANS TO ISSUE $1 BLN IN BONDS IN H1 2013 1/29/2013

Kazakhstan plans to issue sovereign bonds worth 150 billion tenge ($996 million) in the first half of 2013, Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev (above) said on Tuesday.

PLANE CRASH IN KAZAKHSTAN KILLS 20 PEOPLE 1/29/2013

Twenty people were killed in a passenger plane crash near Kazakhstan's commercial capital of Almaty on Tuesday, January 29th.

MINISTRY OF OIL & GAS ANNOUNCES 2012 HYDROCARBONS FIGURES 1/29/2013

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Crude and condensed gas production in Kazakhstan in 2012 reached 79.2 million tons, the Oil & Gas Ministry’s Press Service reports. Exports of crude and condensed gas in 2012 totalled 68.616 million tons. Kazakhstan-based oil refineries processed a total of 14.2 million tons of crude, 3.6% up on 2011. Gas production output in 2012 made 40.1 billion cubic meters, 1.5% up on 2011. Gas exports made 8.8 billion cubic meters, 3.7% up on 2011. Plans exist to produce 82 million tons of crude and condensed gas, Kazakhstan’s Oil & Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev said at an extended sitting at the O&G Ministry. Crude gas production in 2013 will make up 40.5 billion cubic meters. In a separate statement Mr. Mynbayev said that this year, Kazakhstan would lift the moratorium on developing new hydrocarbons deposits.

KAZAKHSTAN & RUSSIA AGREE ON JOINT USE OF FREIGHT WAGONS 1/29/2013

KazTemirTrans and Federal Freight Company (Russia) signed a memorandum of cooperation in joint use of freight rolling stock, announced the press-service of KazTemirTrans. The memorandum of cooperation between KazTemirTrans and Federal Freight Company (FFC) was signed during the visit of the management of Federal Freight Company to Kazakhstan. According to the document, the parties agreed on a joint effective use of the freight rolling stock at the territory of Russia and Kazakhstan, holding mutual consultations, information exchange during exploitation of the freight wagons and arranging current uncoupling repair at the territory of both countries. According to the companies, the document was signed by president of KazTemirTrans Kanat Almagambetov and Director General of the Federal Freight Company Vitaliy Yevdokimenko. “Russian operators are actively participating in Kazakhstan market, including FFC that has the rolling stock of around 170 thousand wagons. However, the growing competition requires more effective measures helping implementation of long-term joint projects,” said Yevdokimenko on signing the MoC.

KAZAKHSTAN READY TO HOST TALKS ON IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAMME 1/25/2013

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Kazakhstan is ready to host the next round of negotiations of six international mediators on the Iranian nuclear program with representatives from Tehran upon the consent of all the participants of the negotiation process, says the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. “At the meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (in summer 2012) President Nursultan Nazarbayev made this suggestion in consideration of the consistent position that our country always had on non-proliferation,” said the deputy chairman of the International Information Commission of Kazakhstan Foreign Minsitry Zhanbulat Ussenov.

KAZAKHSTAN & RUSSIA WORK IN BAIKONUR IN NORMAL MODE 1/25/2013

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Kazakhstan and Russia continue to work in Baikonur cosmodrome in normal mode, said Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov at the press-conference following a meeting with his Kazakh counterpart Yerlan Idrissov. Kazakhstan has permitted Russia to launch 12 Proton-M carrier rockets from Baikonur in 2013 instead of the 17 requested launches. The Kazakh party explains the restriction by negative environmental impact of the launches. "There no scandal, sensation or break in the relations between Kazakhstan and Russia," Yerlan Idrissov said.

MINISTERS INSTRUCTED NOT TO COMPLICATE CITIZENS' LIVES 1/25/2013

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Kazakhstan Ministers were instructed by the President not to complicate the life of the citizens and stop working “the Soviet way”. “I have instructed to make a clear division of functions between the center and the regions, to strengthen the local authorities with personnel before the election of all village Akims, however, as far as I know, this work is being slowed down by our central authorities. Ministries and authorities are happy to transfer part of their responsibilities to the regions, but they don’t want to pass on their functions and money. Over the last 6 years the personnel of regional administrations has been decreased by 30 percent: from 47 to 37 thousand. At the same time the number of personnel in central ministries, authorities and their regional branches has hardly been decreased at all. They are working “the Soviet way”, he said. “What do we need a ministry for except for it being the center that works out all the policies in the area of its responsibility? All other issues can be resolved in the regions and oblasts. There are several departments, administrations and local central organs that are doing the same job.”

KAZAKHSTAN TO EXPAND GRAIN STORAGE FACILITIES 1/24/2013

Kazakhstan will construct more grain storage facilities, says Vice-Minister of Agriculture Muslim Umiryayev. "The plan is to expand the granaries by 1.5 million tons in 2012-2014, including 52.5 thousand tons for storage for seed of oil-bearing crops. 800 thousand tons of them will be expanded by KazAgroFinance at the expense of the national fund and additional 700 thousand tons will be acquired through ProdCorporation by means of construction, expansion and procurement of grain depots along the main directions of Kazakhstan's grain export,” said Mr Umityayev said. According to Vice-Minister the overall increase of the storage capacity will make 691 thousand tons this year, including 318 thousand tons at grain-collection stations and 373 thousand tons at agricultural producers' sites. According to him, Kazakhstan purchased 27,3 thousand units of agricultural equipment worth 278 billion tenge ($1.9 billion) in 2012, including 10.7 thousand units worth 123 billion tenge ($820 million) through KazAgroFinance.

TURKEY READY TO TAKE MUTUAL TRADE TO $10 BILLION 1/24/2013

Turkey is ready to take the commodities turnover with Kazakhstan to $10 billion. President Nazarbayev met with Rifat Hisarcklolu, president of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB),. Hisarcklolu stressed that the goal to bring the level of bilateral trade to $10 billion in the nearest time set by President Nazarbayev and Turkish Prime-Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be reached. He stated that a visit of representatives of Turkish business rounds to Kazakhstan had been scheduled to ensure implementation of several investment projects.

KAIRAT KELIMBETOV WILL REPRESENT KAZAKHSTAN IN DAVOS 1/24/2013

Deputy Prime-Minister Kairat Kelimbetov leads Kazakhstan’s delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Mr Kelimbetov will deliver speeches and hold meetings with presidents and representatives of major international businesses.

KAZAKHSTAN & AFGHANISTAN TO JOINTLY COUNTER TERRORISM 1/24/2013

Kazakhstan and Afghanistan must cooperate in countering terrorism, said the Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Jawed Ludin at the meeting with Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov during his visit to Kazakhstan. “We discussed countering terrorism. Terrorism is not exclusively a national problem of Afghanistan. This is a regional problem. The approaches to solving it should also be regional. Kazakhstan and Afghanistan have to closely cooperate in countering terrorism, as the countries are located close to each other and the security issues are linked. This means that their solutions have to be linked as well,” Afghanistan’s deputy Foreign Minister said.

GOVERNMENT REVIEWS «DOING BUSINESS» PROGRESS 1/24/2013

Kazakhstan intends to improve its position in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking. The Kazakh Prime Minister held a meeting, which reviewed the results of work done in this regard. Last year, Kazakhstan ranked 49th out of 185 countries, ahead of such countries as China, Turkey, Poland and Russia on the World Bank's list of most comfortable environments for doing business. Some recent measures taken in the Republic to reduce barriers for businesses include a 30% reduction in tax records, reformation of tax administration, and cancelation of one-time coupons in the sphere of commerce. Now, an entrepreneur engaged in export or import, has to receive permits from 14 different government agencies, and go through nearly 50 business processes. Within the next two years, all of these procedures are to be converted into electronic format.

KAZAKHSTAN IN TOP TEN FOR PRODUCTIVITY 1/24/2013

According to the World Economic Forum, Kazakhstan is ahead of Kyrgyzstan in the ranking of countries where salaries strongly influence labour productivity. The rating indicators range from 1 (indicating that salary is not related to labour productivity) to 7 (salary is strongly connected with labour productivity). The countries with strong connection between salaries and labour productivity are in first positions, while the countries where this connection is tenuous are in last positions. The top ten countries include Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, South Korea and Kazakhstan. Tajikistan is ranked 19th while Russia is in 65th position.

ECOLOGICAL STATIONS FOR ALMATY 1/24/2013

In the near future 13 ecological stations will be opened at the entrances to Almaty. Traffic jams and pollution are well known in Kazakhstan’s second city. At a meeting on improvement of the Almaty transport system, the mayor Akhmetzhan Yesimov (above) said that President Nazarbayev had approved the transport development program. A trolley bus park will be provided with another 195 vehicles. By the end of 2013, the municipal bus park will have another 400 buses running on gas. Thus, their number will triple. It is also planned to organize municipal taxis to regulate the market, compete with cab drivers, and to improve the quality of public transport.

OBAMA INVITED TO KAZAKHSTAN

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President Nazarbayev has invited his US counterpart Barack Obama to visit Kazakhstan. On January 14th Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the USA, presented credentials to the US President. During the talks the sides lauded dynamic development of the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the USA in a number of directions. President Obama expressed readiness to jointly strengthen global and regional security and further develop bilateral cooperation. When closing the talks, Mr. Umarov on behalf of President Nazarbayev invited Barack Obama to come to Kazakhstan on an official visit.

BROOD COWS TO BE SHIPPED TO KAZAKHSTAN 1/24/2013

Animal breeders plan to bring about 40 thousand brood cows to Kazakhstan. The purpose of such a plan is to arrange the export of inexpensive but good meat into the country. The discussion of this issue was held at the government teleconference chaired by the Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov. About 30 thousand of pure-bred cows were brought to Kazakhstan, 60 new breed livestock farms were opened over the past 2 years. Export- oriented dry feed lots are being constructed. Farmers take part in the “Sybaga” programme, most actively in Almaty, the East Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions.

SAMRUK-GREEN ENERGY JOINS EWEA 1/23/2013

Samruk-Green Energy became the first Kazakh Company to join the European Wind Energy Association. On a par with the world’s leading wind energy, “Samruk-Green Energy” has become a full member of the association, which is the most powerful wind energy network. EWEA is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting wind power in Europe and worldwide. It has over 700 members from almost 60 countries, including wind turbine manufacturers with a leading share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, contractors, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies, and consultants. Through the organization of numerous high-level events, EWEA offer unique opportunities to network with the other 700 EWEA members, the Executive Committee, Board, Secretariat and other key industry players.

KAZAKHSTAN RANKS 49TH IN THE WORLD BANK'S 'DOING BUSINESS 2013' REPORT 1/22/2013

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Kazakhstan gained 7 more positions in the World Bank annual ranking, being ahead of China, Turkey, Poland, Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.
In particular, the country rose to 30 positions, on the "Registration of companies" indicator, and 14 on the "Getting Credit" indicator.
The World Bank’s Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms in 185 economies.

FOREIGN INVESTORS INVITED TO CREATE FACILITIES AT EXPO-2017 1/22/2013

President Nazarbayev has urged foreign businesses and investors to take part in the construction of EXPO-2017 facilities in Astana. "I would like to take this opportunity to invite foreign businesses and investors to participate in the construction of EXPO-2017 facilities in the Kazakh capital," he said at a meeting with representatives of foreign diplomatic missions.

ASTANA IS AN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY CENTER - NAZARBAYEV 1/22/2013

Astana has become one of the centers of international diplomacy, said President Nazarbayev at a meeting with the representatives of the diplomatic missions of foreign countries and ambassadors on Friday in Akorda. "Astana hosts summits, world level events.” The Head of State noted that 65 of the 66 diplomatic missions accredited in Kazakhstan operate in Astana. All necessary conditions have been created for their work and the life of diplomats' families.

KAZAKHSTAN TO LAUNCH AN AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 1/18/2013

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Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, today announced the creation of a Kazakh Agency for International Development.
“We are turning Almaty, [the biggest city in Kazakhstan] into a centre of multilateral diplomacy in the region: the city is home to 16 representation offices of UN-related organizations, programs and funds. Now we are working to launch KAZAID, an Agency for International Development, to give technical assistance to neighbouring countries and other states. We are ready to accommodate such an agency in either Astana or Almaty”, the President said when meeting the diplomatic corps on January 18.
The President emphasized that “Kazakhstan’s leadership will be doing everything in their power to make sure Eurasia’s heart beats smoothly and to the benefit of the regional and global development”.

KAZAKHSTAN MAY JOIN WTO THIS YEAR 1/17/2013

According to the director general of the WTO, Pascal Lamy, Kazakhstan may join the World Trade Organisation in 2013.
"Kazakhstan is currently at a quite advanced stage of negotiations on entering the WTO and I would suppose that Kazakhstan's access to the WTO may be expected even this year," Lamy said on the sidelines of a Forum in Russia.
In September 2012 former Minister of Economic Integration, Zhanar Aitzhanova, announced that all relevant measures had been taken and that the negotiations were in a final stage.

MINISTER DOSSAYEV APPOINTED AS MINISTER OF ECONOMY AND BUDGET PLANNING 1/17/2013

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Budget Planning is now headed by Mr. Yerbolat Dossayev who formerly served as Minister of Economic Development and Trade, the Presidental press service announced

NEW CHAIRMAN OF EXPO-2017 1/17/2013

The former Minister of Tourism and Sports, Talgat Yermegiyaev, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of the Astana EXPO-2017 National Company yesterday. At the same time President Nazarbayev instructed to complete the design of the EXPO-2017 facilities rapidly and to start the construction in 2013.

MARAT TAZHIN APPOINTED AS SECRETARY OF STATE 1/17/2013

Mr. Marat Tazhin has been relieved of his duties as Aide to the President and Security Council Secretary and has been appointed Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State, replacing outgoing Mr. Mukhtar Kul-Mukhammed.

BAKHYTZHAN SAGINTAYEV NEW MINISTER FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT 1/17/2013

The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, appointed Bakhytzhan Sagintayev as First Deputy Prime Minister and as Minister for Regional Development of Kazakhstan, according to the Presidential press.

GDP INCREASED BY 5% IN 2012 1/16/2013

According to preliminary results, the GDP in Kazakhstan grew by 5% last year.
"The exact figure will be announced in March. However, according to the preliminary estimates we can see that the GDP grew by 5% in 2012," the Chairman of the Statistics Agency Alikhan Smailov said yesterday.
"In nominal terms, it makes about 30 trillion 220 billion tenge or over 12 thousand dollars per capita," the head of the Agency stressed.

EBRD HELPS THE RECONSTRUCTION OF ROADS IN KAZAKHSTAN 1/15/2013

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will lend 147 million Euros to Kazakhstan to modernize 62 km of roads between Shymkent city and the Uzbek border. 37 other km will be financed by the Asian Development Bank. The project is part of the transport corridor renovation linking Western Europe and West China.

KAZAKHSTAN PLANS TO BRING DOWN HOUSING PRICES 1/15/2013

The Government of Kazakhstan has announced a new plan to reduce housing prices. According to Prime Minister Akhmetov the government intends to reduce housing prices within the "Affordable Housing-2020" State Program. The reduction of prices per square meter of housing will be achieved through reduction of costs for construction materials. To date the construction of 16 integrated house-building factories are under work, including 7 that are almost finished. 6 of these factories plan to use a large-panel construction technology, 4 factories will be using ready-made panels assembly method and 6 more will use a combined technology. Two large house-building factories will be developed in Astana. The prime cost of one square meter of their housing will be about $500-550.

BIE SECRETARY GENERAL IN ASTANA FOR EXPO-2017 PREPARATION 1/14/2013

Secretary General of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales will visit Astana on 15-17 January. He will meet during his visit President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, Vice Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov, Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov and Astana mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov to talk about the city's preparations for the EXPO-2017.
This is the official's first visit to Astana after it has been voted the host city of the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017. In line with the BIE rules, the host city reports to its General Assembly on the preparations for the expo twice a year.

KAZAKHSTAN FOREIGN MINISTRY COMMENTED ON THE SITUATION AROUND BAIKONUR 1/11/2013

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“Kazakhstan counts on the expansion of its participation in the space activities of Baikonur cosmodrome and on the development of its space potential. In this view it would have been unwise for us to lose the opportunity of a close cooperation with such an important space country as Russia, especially at our own cosmodrome,” press-secretary Ilyas Omarov said.
On December 19 the Presidents of Kazakhstan and Russia once again certified the importance of cooperation in space: the leaders of the two countries underlined the importance of saving Baikonur as a symbol of their successful bilateral interaction.

ALMATY TO BUILD SPORT AREA FOR 2017 WORLD STUDENT GAMES 1/11/2013

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Opening today a new comprehensive school in Alatau district of Almaty city, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev announced the construction of a special sport area for the 2017 World Student Games (Winter Universiade). "Alatau district is about to become the largest populated area with 300-400 thousand people residing in it. Manufacturing companies and all institutions providing services to population will concentrate there”, Kazakh President said.

PRESIDENT OKS TRANSIT OF FRENCH MILITARY EQUIPMENT VIA KAZAKHSTAN'S TERRITORY 1/9/2013

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Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed today the law ratifying the Protocol on amendments to the Agreement between the Kazakh and French Governments on the transit of military equipment and personnel via Kazakhstan in connection with the French Armed Forces’ efforts to stabilize and restore the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Agreement was signed on 6 October 2009 in Astana.

AGIP TO RETURN LAND LOTS IN ATYRAU 1/8/2013

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Italian oil and gas company Agip Kazakhstan North Caspian Operating Company N.V. will return two land lots to the state ownership in line with the ruling of specialized interregional economic court of Atyray oblast, says the Deputy Akim of Atyrau Adilbek Nurlyguzhiyev. "The decision to recall the land lots was made as part of a campaign initiated by Kazakhstan President to return the lands that are not being used for their intended purposes," Nurlyguzhiyev said. According to the Deputy Akim, if the land lot aimed for residential housing or other construction is not used for this purpose within 2 years, it is subject to recall in line with Kazakhstan Land Code.

GDP PER CAPITA FOR 2012 WILL EXCEED USD 12,000 1/3/2013

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GDP per capita for 2012 will exceed USD 12,000. According to Alikhan Smailov (above), the head of the Statistics Agency, Kazakhstan’s GDP for January-November 2012 rose by 5%. Capital investments for January-November 2012 were 3.1 times greater than for the previous year. Industrial production output was 0.4% greater than for January-November 2011. The official medium term inflation forecast is 6-8%.

MORE NEWS

KAZAKH LEADER VISITS CHILDREN'S PALACE IN UST-KAMENOGORSK

President Nazarbayev continues his working trip to East Kazakhstan region. Today, the Kazakh leader has visited Schoolchildren's Palace in Ust-Kamenogorsk. The President familiarized with the work of the palace that offers kids additional education. A presentation of children's research projects in the sphere of mathematical simulation, economics, ecology, physics and other disciplines was held during his visit. President Nazarbayev wished schoolchildren good health and success in their studies. Currently, 2500 children attend the Schoolchildren's Palace in Ust-Kamenogorsk.

SPIRIT OF GREEN BRIDGE PARTNERSHIP!

The national pre-conference to the Economic and Environmental Forum in Prague has been held in Astana today. Speaking at the event, Vice Minister of Environmental Protection Bektas Mukhamedzhanov said Kazakhstan calls on other countries to join the Green Bridge initiative. "Steps, initiated by Kazakstan within the Green Bridge Partnership Program, have won widespread support of the world," the Vice Minister noted. According to him, Kazakhstan offers its neighbours to follow its example. "We are ready to exchange ideas and technologies," Mr. Mukhamedzhanov added.

ASTANA ACCEDES COVENANT OF MAYORS IN BRUSSELS

An official signing of the European Union Initiative Covenant of Mayors between Astana and another 150 cities and regions was held at European Parliament in Brussels. According to deputy Governor of Astana city Vassily Krylov, sighing the document, entering the Covenant of Mayors means that we undertake obligations until 2020 on greenhouse gases emission abatement by 20 percent, increasing the share of renewable energy in the total energy supply system of the city by 20 percent and also reducing energy consumed by the city by 20 percent. The signed Agreement is in connection with the forthcoming International exhibition EXPO-2017 "EXPO- Energy of the future," where Astana will present the best projects on energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. The Covenant of Mayors is a European cooperation movement involving local and regional authorities. Signatories of the Covenant of Mayors voluntarily commit to increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By their commitment, they support the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective to be reached by 2020.

PM HELD MEETING ON PREPARATION FOR EXPO 2017

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A meeting of the State Commission for the preparation and holding of the international exhibition EXPO 2017 chaired by Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov has been held today at Ukimet Uyi. During the meeting, Chairman of the Board of JSC "NC "Astana EXPO-2017" Talgat Yermegiyayev reported on the participation of Kazakhstan's delegation in the 153rd session of the General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau. The draft comprehensive plan for the development of future energy for 2013-2017 was presented by Minister of Environmental Protection Nurlan Kapparov. Also, the State Commission approved the preliminary master plan of the territory of EXPO, considered issues of redesigning the logo of EXPO 2017 and launch of the project "Smart Astana".

SCO TO CREATE MEDIA COLLABORATION FORUM

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) may create a new structure - Media Cooperation Forum. The initiative to create a common mechanism of interaction of the media in the framework of the SCO members has been proposed today in Beijing Conference of the SCO cooperation in the field of broadcasting. According to the plan the forum should be an "open platform" for media mutual acitivity of member countries, observer countries and dialogue partners of the SCO. The Forum should adhere to "Shanghai Spirit", that is, cooperation will be based on "mutual trust, equality and mutual benefit, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development."

MONUMENT TO OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY UNVEILED

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The unveiling of a monument to the employees of the Interior Ministry troops who died in the line of duty has taken place in Astana. "Over the years of independence, when performing official duties, 703 police officers and 21 military servicemen of Kazakhstan have been killed." said the Minister of Internal Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kassymov at the unveiling ceremony. The event was attended by Akim of Astana Imangali Tasmagambetov, chairman of the Kazakh Council of Veterans of Internal Affairs and the Internal Troops Umirzak Bolsambekov, heads of law enforcement officers, deputies, representatives of Islam and Christianity, as well as relatives of those killed in the line of duty.

KAZAKH ARE TOP AT ASIAN SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIP

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A tournament of the strongest Asian swimmers is underway in Kapchagai. Professional swimmer Vitaly Khudyakov of Kazakhstan ousted most of his opponents and came second in a 10m race in open water. Another athlete from Kazakhstan Vladimir Tolikin took home bronze in the same race. Kazakh swimmers demonstrated good results throughout whole Asian championship; winning gold, silver and bronze medals in all types of races.

MYN BALA RELEASED ON DVD IN FRANCE

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The Kazakh film ‘Myn Bala, Warriors of the Stepper’ is released on DVD in France on July 3rd. Titled Myn Bala, les guerriers de la steppe in French, the film depicts Kazakhstan back in 1729, during the time of the Dzungars, the Mongol tribe that struck terror into the populations of every village it crossed. Directed by Akan Satayev the film has been consistently welcomed and praised on the film festival circuit throughout Europe.

WIND POWER STATION & MILITARY DRONE UNVEILED KHEGAI©

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Kazakh developers presented innovative projects in green energy and information technologies at the state science and technologies achievements fair ESI-2013 held in Almaty. The exhibition was part of the Forum called Kazakhstan-2050 strategy: Education, science, innovations. The developments in green energy are the most important projects since the EXPO-2017 fair is nearing. Researches of Al-Farabi Kazakh State University presented compact multi-storey wind power plants. It is made of a multi-layer block with wind turbines of different types installed on different layer. Pavlodar State University enveloped a hydro power plant working at weak river flows. IT and robotics sector was represented by special-purpose unmanned drones. According to the developer, Network Technologies Laboratory, the drone can cruise along a set route in autonomous mode. The drone is able to collect and transfer information while in the air. It is aimed for use in dangerous situations and hazardous conditions.

AIR ASTANA LAUNCHES ASTANA-BISHKEK FLIGHT

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Air Astana has launched regular flights between Astana and Bishkek. The first Astana-Bishkek was performed on April 23. Air Astana will now mount flights four times a week. This is an achievement that will promote development of our relations," Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldayev (above) said. According to Air Astana's website, the cost of the round-trip flight varies from 44 to 53 thousand tenge ($293-$353).

KAZAKH SINGER AND COMPOSER BECOMES FIRST GOODWILL

Kazakh singer/composer and founder of Kazakh ethno-pop group "Urker" Aidos Sagat has become the first Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Agency for Refugees in Kazakhstan. This honorary appointment took place June 5, 2013 during the II Ministerial Conference on Refugee Protection and International Migration - Almaty process and timed to coincide with World Refugee Day. The Kazakh singer was welcomed the High Commissioner of the Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres. Since November 2010 Aidos Sagat has cooperated with the UNHCR as honorary patron in Kazakhstan. The composer gave special attention to additional education in the field of music and art.

EXPERTS TO EYE JUSTICE ISSUES IN ASTANA

The second part of the international scientific and practical conference Administrative justice: specialization and simplification of judicial proceedings, improving the efficiency of juridical protection will take place tomorrow (June 21) in Astana within the framework of the fourth annual meeting of the parties to the memorandum of cooperation between the judges association of Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine and Estonia. The event is organized by the Supreme Court and Judges Union of the Republic of Kazakhstan in association with the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ), and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The meeting is aimed at deepening cooperation between the national associations of judges, strengthening friendly ties and exchanging experience in the professional sphere.

CIS ECONOMIC FORUM KICKS OFF IN ST PETERSBURG

St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), the main economic forum of the Commonwealth of Independent States, kicks off in the Northern Russian capital on 20 June. The three-day forum will gather over 5,000 representatives of the political and business circles, leading scientists, including 66 foreign delegations. The forum will be held under the motto "Prospects of Global Economy: Time for Decisive Actions". The forum will highlight several themes including the Global Agenda of Sustainable Economic Growth. The participants of the meetings will discuss the main factors defining the development of the global economy and measures for economic reorganization and promotion of sustainable growth.

KAZAKHSTAN 7TH IN WORLD BY VODKA CONSUMPTION

Kazakhstan is ranked 7th in the world by vodka consumption, according to the British International Wine & Spirit Research data. The total consumption of vodka made 4.44 billion litres in the world in 2012, while Kazakhstan consumed around 0.1 billion litres: 5.9 litres per capita. Russia is number one in the list. The country’s citizens consumed almost 2 billion litres of vodka: 13.9 litres per capita. The U.S. was ranked second with the total consumption of alcohol standing at over 0.6 billion litres: 1.9 liters per capita. Ukraine is ranked third, Poland is fourth, followed by Uzbekistan and Belarus.

TRACE PORTAL MACHINES INSTALLED AT ALMATY AIRPORT

Almaty Customs Control Agency announced that trace portal machines to detect explosives and drugs had already been installed at the international airport of Almaty.
The machine operates by releasing multiple puffs of air at a passenger who is standing upright within the machine. This will flush out any particles on the person inside the machine then analyze and identify them in seconds. This sample is analyzed to search for about 40 specific explosive or narcotic compounds. If a substance of concern is detected, the security personnel are notified by a visible and/or audible alarm. The capacity of the machine is 6 people per minute.

3 ASTANA TEAM RACERS INJURED BEFORE TOUR DE FRANCE

Three racers of the Kazakhstan cycling team Astana were injured in a crash during training in Tenerife. Dane Jakob Fuglsang, Ukrainian Andrei Grivko and Kazakh Assan Bazayev fell during a high-speed downhill. All three racers were hospitalized. Fuglsang injured his elbow and back and Grivko hurt his hand. Bazayev got a face injury so he had to stop his preparations for the Tour de France and return to mainland Europe for more medical consultations. Other racers of the team Russian Egor Silin, Swede Fredrik Kessiakoff, Belgian Kevin Seeldraeyers, and Kazakhs Dmitriy Muravyev and Alexey Lutsenko were able to break and stop in time and did not suffer any harm. This year's Tour de France starts on June 29th in Porto-Vecchio, Corsica and finishes on July 21st in Paris. The 100th Tour de France consists of 21 stages with the total distance of 3,404 kilometers.

KAZAKHSTAN'S INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE INTERESTS THE WORLD

Kazakhstan's approach to create a model of interfaith and inter-ethnic harmony and supported by the international community will be strengthened with new counter-proposals and ideas. This was the leitmotif of the discussion in Moscow as part of the "round table" on "Contribution of Kazakhstan and Russia to the inter-religious dialogue." Opening the discussion, the Deputy President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alexander Sudin highlighted Kazakhstan's key approaches to security architecture and harmonious co-existence of different religions and cultures. It was noted that the issue of inter-religious and inter-ethnic harmony today was of special interest to many nations and peoples. "The main imperative of the new era of peace and cooperation are instead of confrontation mutual understanding and trust instead of tolerance, openness instead of self-isolation", says the senator. "In Kazakhstan, where there are representatives of more than 130 ethnic groups and 17 religious denominations, that sort of approach is natural. Inter-ethnic and inter-religious tolerance and harmony is axiomatic construction of a stable state and the stability of our country."

SECRETARY OF STATE CHAIRS SESSION ON OFFICIAL AWARDS

Under the chairmanship of the Secretary of State Marat Tazhin there was a meeting of an advisory and consultative body under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Heraldic Committee on departmental awards. "In the formation of the new generations of Kazakhs who can adequately meet the challenges of the time, the important role is played by moral and material incentives. Departmental awards have become a huge social burden, and we need to take the issue seriously," said, Tazhin.

PRESIDENT SIGNED DECREE ON STATE SYSTEM'S PLANNING

President Nazarbayev has signed Decree on making amendments to the Decree "On the Planning system in the Republic of Kazakhstan from June 18, 2009" and the Decree "On some issues of the State Planning Systems" further functioning in the Republic of Kazakhstan from March 4, 2010."

REPS OF LOCOMOTIVE JSC TOOK PART IN EUROTRAIN CONFERENCE

Representatives of "Locomotive" JSC have taken part in the V International Partner Conference called «EuroTrain» themed «Modern rolling stock: priorities, innovations and prospects", which was held in Yalta (Ukraine), the press service of the company says. The conference, held from June 11 to 15, was organized by a specialized railway publishing house "Rolling" on the initiative of the State Administration of Railway Transport of Ukraine "Ukrainian Railways", supported by the Scientific and Technical Society of Railway Workers of Ukraine and with the assistance of the Yalta City Council. The event was attended by over 200 representatives of the railways of Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the United States and other countries, business leaders and private railway engineering related industries, leading scientists to education and research institutions of the participating countries. "There has been a productive exchange of views among the participants of the event. They debated the problem of rolling stock and solutions through the interaction of public and private sectors ", said the president of Locomotive JSC Marat Medeubaev (above).

CYCLING RACE KICKS OFF IN FRANCE

In Savoie (France) on June 15 started an unprecedented cycling race called «The Sun Trip: on the road to Astana EXPO-2017». The participants' bicycles are equipped with electric motors and solar-rechargeable batteries in support of the International specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 which is themed "Energy of the Future". Florian Bailly, the president of the "Journey to renewable energy" Association, is a master mind of the event. Florian and race partakers want to attract the attention of people around the world to renewable energy sources, energy conservation policy and energy access for all environmental problems. The experiment involves 33 people from Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, the Czech Republic and France. Askar Syzbaev, a member of the Cycling Association of Kazakhstan, will represent Kazakhstan. During the trip there are planned stops in the cities of Venice, Sofia, Bucharest, Odessa, Istanbul, Sochi, Baku, Atyrau and Aktobe. The end point of the journey is Astana.

HOLLAND WEEK IN ASTANA

Holland week in Astana ended with a festive concert. The organizers - the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Astana - have done their best to make the last day of this week especially rich. Artists from Holland entertained residents and guests of the capital. Performance of Dutch singers and circus artists have been prepared by the organizers for Astana residents. June 15 ended with a grandiose concert and an outdoor disco with the participation of a DJ from Holland.

ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER SAKA PRINCESS TOMB

The burial site of the high-ranking young woman was discovered during reconstruction of Taskesken-Bakty road in Urdzhar region of East-Kazakhstan oblast. An expedition made of professors and students of Semipalatinsk and Pavlodar pedagogical institutes discovered the stone tomb-chest with remains of the young woman at the depth of 1.7 meters under a burial mound. The things found in at the burial site certify that the woman was from a distinguished tribe. According to the archaeologists, the golden head wear that looks like Kazakh Saukele (national headgear of women) is the most valuable item for the research. According to the preliminary information, the tomb of the ‘Urdzhar princess’ is dated 4th or 3rd century B.C.

SLOVENIA OPENS ITS MARKET TO KAZAKHSTAN

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Slovenia opens its market for Kazakhstani businessmen, announced Vice Prime Minister - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia Karl Erjavec in Astana today. Some of the largest Slovenian companies have already branched out into the Kazakhstan market and established contacts with local business circles. In addition, Slovenian and Kazakh entrepreneurs are in the process of setting up joint ventures. "We are trying to attract mainly small and medium enterprises to cooperate with our Kazakhstani partners. By creating favourable business climate, we want to increase the inflow of direct foreign investments in order to create new jobs," noted Vice Prime Minister of Slovenia Erjavec. The Slovenian delegation to Astana numbers reps of 40 largest companies from various fields: construction, pharmaceuticals, medicine, food industry, IT technologies, etc.

GERMANY TO DEVELOP GREEN ECONOMY

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A delegation from Germany with representatives from the Promodis energy company visited southern Kazakhstan yesterday. The company is known for its extensive experience in the sphere of energy conservation. In South Kazakhstan region the German businessmen will play a significant role in a wide range of large projects. Ontustik Green Energy, for example, has been established in the region with 49% owned by Shymkent Innovation Ltd. and 51% owned by Promodis energy. The construction of a 100-megawatt photovoltaic station worth KZT 37.5 billion is expected to start in the region this year. The German investors are also planning to introduce energy-saving technologies in the social sphere. For instance, a solar station will be erected at one of local schools.

NEW SYSTEM OF ADVANCED TEACHER TRAINING ADOPTED

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Kazakhstan has introduced a new system of training teachers, said the executive secretary of the Ministry of Education & Science, Aliya Galimova (above). "The system of improving the quality of teacher training has been worked out by the Nazarbayev Intellectual School in cooperation with the University of Cambridge, and it meets international educational standards", said Ms Galimova. At the end of such new courses, teachers pass a qualifying exam and receive a certificate entitling them to additional payment of salary 30%, 70% and 100% - depending on the level of programmes. "In this way, the teacher, who is one standard rate (18 hours per week) With an average experience of 10 years, with higher education, having the highest category, depending on the level of training, will receive an average wage to KZT 122 286 " explained the Ministry official. According to the Education and Science Ministry in 2013 about 3 thousand of directors and head teachers of schools will enhance their skills. It is planned that this year such improvement courses will be attended by more than 10,000 people from all over Kazakhstan.

SUN TRIP - SOLAR POWERED ELECTRIC BICYCLE RACE FROM FRANCE

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The Sun Trip - a rider, a bicycle, a battery pack, an electric motor, solar panels, and a road trip from France to Kazakhstan. In June 2013 several teams will embark from Chámbery, France with such bicycles, and will finish after many weeks in Astana, Kazakhstan. The idea? To raise awareness of the possibilities of solar powered electric bicycles. The format is part eco-adventure, part advocacy, part bicycling, part solar energy, and part race. Anyone who can pass a physical exam and can build or buy a qualifying bike/trike can take part. There are two prizes - one is for the first to arrive in Kazakhstan. The other prize is for the one who has the best adventure, and will be judged by the content of their travel blog.

VIETNAM TO HOST DAYS OF KAZAKH CULTURE

Days of Kazakhstan Culture will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 11-13 June.A Kazakh delegation headed by Vice Minister of Culture and Information Askar Buribayev will meet with Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam Hoang Tuan Anh today. The Kazakh envoy to Vietnam Nurlan Yermekbayev is also expected to attend the meeting. A gala concert of Kazakh performers will take place in Hanoi as part of the event. Astana hosted the Days of Vietnamese Culture in Kazakhstan in September 2012.

DOCUMENTARY ABOUT BOXER GENNADY GOLOVKIN FOR HBO

A documentary about Kazakh boxer Gennady Golovkin will debut this Saturday, on US cable network HBO. The documentary centres ‘round two days of Golovkin's preparation for a bout against Gabriel Rosado in January, which Kazakh-born WBA and IBO champ won. The 14-minute documentary features comments from Gennady's coach, promoter and Golovkin himself. Golovkin will fight against Matthew Macklin of Great Britain on June 29tg.

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS TO BE LAUNCHED FROM TARAZ

Direct international flights will be launched from the Aulie-Ata airport of Taraz in 2014. "We plan to start operating flights to Moscow, Aktau, Antalya, Urumqi and other cities by the first quarter of 2014. We plan to launch summer charter tourist routes to Antalya and Dubai next summer," the airport's press-service said. According to the International Airport Aulie-Ata investment program, a new passenger terminal, which meets all modern requirements, will be built at the airport. On June 10th, the project on the construction of a new passenger terminal will be presented to Kazakh Transport Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev and the head of the Zhambyl region Kanat Bozumbayev. In addition, the airport's runway will be reconstructed.

5 DROWNED ACROSS KAZAKHSTAN - MINISTRY OF EMERGENCY

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On Sunday, June 9th, three young men drowned while swimming at a ‘No Swimming’ area in the Mangystau region. Six rescuers are still searching for both dies. A separate case happened in Zhambyl region where a 19-year-old man drowned while swimming. The body was removed from the water by five rescuers of the region's emergency department. One more accident occurred in South Kazakhstan region on June 8th; a 31-year-old man drowned in the Syrdarya River

SHVEDOVA MOVES 21 LINES DOWN IN WTA RANKING

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Tennis player Yaroslava Shvedova has moved 21 lines down in the latest Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Rankings. Shvedova dropped to the 52nd position in the ranking after disappointing results during Round 2 of Roland Garros in Paris.

SCHERZINGER TO PERFORM IN ASTANA

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The popular American singer and former Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger will be the headliner at a major concert celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Kazakh capital - Astana in early July. The organizers of the event have confirmed that the 34-year-old Honolulu-born singer will perform along with Kazakhstani stars, such as Luina, Ali Okapov, Son Pascal, K-Rim and others.

2000 CYCLISTS TAKE PART IN BIKE RIDE

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A bike ride led by Olympic Champion Aleksandre Vinokourov, winner of Giro d’Italia-2013 Vincenzo Nibali and Astana cycling team was held in Almaty. The ride involved around 2 thousand cyclists. Its purpose was to promote cycling throughout Kazakhstan.

TRAVEL FAIR BOASTS RECORD NUMBER OF DESTINATIONS

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Kazakhstan’s International Travel Fair (KITF) saw a 13% increase in represented countries from the previous year, with new displays from Cuba and the Philippines. Furthermore, companies from Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Latvia, France and Japan were welcomed back after a year’s absence. Collectively, 19 tourist boards made an appearance at KITF 2013. KITF hosted 500 companies in total, and witnessed a strong presence from international independent tour operators.

ART INSTITUTIONS THRIVING - SAYS HEAD OF NATIONAL ART UNIVERSITY

Aiman Musakhodjaeva, the Rector of the Kazakhstan National Art University (KNAU), says arts education is thriving in Kazakhstan. At the National Art University, she says, “we are expanding the list of specialties which are taught. Over the past three years, we have introduced courses in film and television, ballet, choreography, visual arts - painting and sculpture, design, pop and theatre. The Academy of Music conducted training in "performance art" - vocals, folk instruments, classical, brass, choral singing. The Art University is located in Astana and was set up with the support of President Nazarbayev, and now operates under his patronage for staffing art institutions of Astana and the republic as a whole. All these institutions, all orchestras in Astana, boast KNAU graduates.

KAZAKHSTAN TO PRODUCE PEUGEOT CARS

Production of Peugeot automobiles will start in Kazakhstan, the press service of the Ministry of Industry & New Technologies reported. "The signing ceremony of the memorandum of cooperation between PSA Peugeot Citroën, JSC 'AgromashHolding' and the Ministry of Industry and Trade will take place in Astana next week," said the statement released on Wednesday.
Peugeot automobiles will be situated in Kostanai - at the industrial site of JSC 'AgromashHolding'.

EVERY FIFTH PRISONER HIV-POSITIVE IN EAST KAZAKHSTAN

Over 2000 cases of HIV have been discovered over the first five months of 2013. 49 convicts have already died from AIDS. The number of new cases of HIV infection exceeds those of 2012 by 5%. The epidemiological situation with HIV in East Kazakhstan remains tense. The epidemiologist of the oblast Centre for Prevention and Countering of AIDS, Natalya Seleznyova, said that the figures were high. The majority of HIV positive people are under 40 years old. 47% of them got infected through sexual contact, another 50% are drug addicts. Convicts have always been a HIV risk group. Over 18,000 thousand HIV-positive people are registered in Kazakhstan as of May 2012. Over 3500 people have died of AIDS in Kazakhstan during the period since registration of the disease started.

HARMONY LESSONS AT SWISS FILM FESTIVAL

The Kazakh film Harmony Lessons, directed by Emir Baigazin (above), is taking part in the 3rd International Bildrausch Film Fest in Basel, Switzerland. The festival focuses on ‘auteur ‘and innovative films. Swiss director Vadim Jendreyko is the head of the jury this year. Visitors to the festival will see Harmony Lessons on June 1st. The film marks Emir Baigazin’s debut in the industry and was awarded with the Berlinale Silver Bear for Best Cinematography and with a prize from German newspaper Morgen Post at this year's Berlin Festival. The movie also won a special jury prize for Best Debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

VOSKOBOEVA & PUTINTSEVA OUSTED FROM ROLAND GARROS

Galina Voskoboeva (above) of Kazakhstan failed break through to Round 3 of Roland Garros in Paris. Voskoboeva was downed by Italian tennis pro Roberta Vinci in three sets 4:6, 6:4, 2:6. Italy's Sara Errani foiled another Kazakh tennis player Yulia Putintseva yesterday. The 5th seed Errani beat the Kazakh in two straight sets (6:1, 6:1).

JUDO STAR WINS WORLD MASTERS TOURNAMENT

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Kazakhstan’s judoka Sergey Lim (above in blue) has won the World Judo Masters tournament in Tyumen, Russia. Sergey Lim fought against Japanese Tomogumi Takajo in the final round of -66kg weight division. Both judokas were watchful and careful in the beginning of the match and were even given warnings (shido) for passive fighting. Then Lim attacked and two minutes before the end of fight he managed to use a submission lock on Takajo’s arm. Askhat Telmanov and Smetov Yeldos represented Kazakhstan in the -60 kg weight division. Both athletes reached the semi-finals but lost their fights for bonze medals.

DENIS TEN PROMISES ANNUAL ICE SHOW

Denis Ten, the silver winner of the recent Figure Skating World Championship, organized a spectacular skating event in Almaty with an international cast. Ten himself opened the show skating to the song Yapurai. Then a duo of Fiona Zaldua and Dmitry Sukhanov from Great Britain skated. Tomas Verner from the Czech Republic fired up the Almaty audience with his dancing to I'm sexy and I know it. Sergey Yakimenko, the only acrobat on ice, entertained the audience with his tricks. Ten says the show was the first in an annual celebration of skating that he intends to mount from here on in.

ECONOMY TO REACH $365 BILLION BY 2018 - LUCINTEL

Lucintel, a leading global management consulting and market research firm, has conducted a competitive analysis on the various risk factors associated with Kazakhstan and presented its findings in “PESTLE Analysis of Kazakhstan 2013”. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the economy of Kazakhstan. It includes the analysis of the country’s macroeconomy , political scenario, and social and technological analysis. According to the study, Kazakhstan is heavily dependent on oil exports. This overdependence may lead to economic instability due to frequently fluctuating oil prices in international markets. But the study reveals that the country’s unique geographic location at the crossing of Europe and Asia make it an important transit point for traffic moving between significant markets in Europe and Asia. The country has great potential for mining as it has rich reserves of oil, gas, uranium, zinc, tungsten, barium, silver, lead, chrome, copper, fluorites, molybdenum, and gold. The country’s economy is estimated to grow to $365 billion by 2018.

EXPO-2017 MAGAZINE PRESENTED IN ASTANA

A new publication presented at the national Academic Library will address the preparations for EXPO-2017. "Recently there has been held the VI Astana Economic Forum, which presented many interesting inventions and discoveries of our country, but we do not yet know about them", said the President of the Club of Editors of Kazakhstan Kenzhebolat Zholdybaev. The aim of the magazine is to introduce readers to EXPO-2017 and to promote national values, folk artisans, and report on economic development and tourism.

AIR ASTANA AMONG WORLD'S TOP 20 AIRLINES

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Kazakhstan national air carrier Air Astana is among the top 20 airlines in the world. The rating was made and published by Business Insider. Air Astana is ranked 18th, followed by Lufthansa and Etihad Airlines, in the 2012 "Best Overall Airline In The World" list. The airlines were evaluated on the basis of seat comfort, in-flight entertainment, cabin cleanliness and condition, quality of meals served, and service efficiency. “To find the best of the best for flying at a reasonable cost, we devised a ranking system based on the two most important factors for a pleasant trip: An enjoyable experience in the plane, and timely departure and arrival,” the magazine wrote. Passengers’ satisfaction score of Air Astana made 74 out of 100 and its punctuality scored 82 points. Singapore Airlines was ranked first in the rating - followed by Virgin America and Malaysia Airlines.

ICAO TO AUDIT KAZAKHSTAN AIRLINES BY AUTUMN

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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will audit Kazakhstan air companies this autumn, announced Kazakhstan Vice-Minister of Transport and Communications Azat Bekturov (above). “We want our companies to be removed from any blacklists. We are working with the ICAO and their experts” Bekturov told journalists on the sidelines of the 6th Astana Economic Forum.

BEST SCRIPT COMPETITION KICKED OFF IN ALMATY

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The best script competition kicked off in Almaty as part of the international action film festival named after Astana. The winner of the competition will get a chance to make a movie with Kazakhstan director Timur Bekmambetov. The contest's objective is to find and train new directors, producers and script writers, as well as boost the film industry in Kazakhstan. The best scripts will be presented in Astana during the film festival in July.

KAAS TO PERFORM ON ASTANA DAY

French singer Patricia Kaas, Turkish singer Tarkan and Russian stars will perform at a concert on Astana Day this year, Kazakhstan Prime-Minister’s website reports citing deputy head of the organizational commission for preparation and holding the 15th anniversary of Astana Talgat Kolbachayev. According to him, many foreign stars from different countries will be participating in this year’s celebrations. The solo concert of Patricia Kaas will be held on July 7. Her performance will be part of the Astana Day celebrations and will help to mark the Year of France in Kazakhstan.

CHINA DEFEATS KAZAKHSTAN IN MEN'S VOLLEYBALL

Chinese national men's volleyball team defeated Kazakhstan 3-0 at the China International Men's Volleyball Tournament here in Luohe, central China's Henan Province on Tuesday. China will play against Kazakhstan, India and one club of Chinese volleyball league Henan Tianguan in the Tournament which is being held between May 21 and 23.

DENIS TEN GIVES MASTER-CLASS IN ALMATY

Silver winner of the latest World Championship Kazakhstan’s figure-skater Denis Ten gave a master-class for beginners on May 19 in Almaty. Thirty young skaters gathered at skating rink of Baluan Sholak Palace of Culture and Sports. Ten showed simple and complex elements and gave individual time to every kid. “It is a great pleasure for me to hold these master classes, I can share my experience and knowledge. I think, we should hold such events more frequently as they are very useful both for children and for me,” Ten said. The Denis Ten and His Friends Ice Show will be held on May 24th in Almaty.

FIRST SPORT TV CHANNEL TO BE LAUNCHED ON JULY

The first Kazakhstan widescreen sport channel KAZSPORT will start broadcasting on July 1st. Kazakhstan residents will be able to watch sport events, championships and cups of Kazakhstan, international tournaments and games, live interviews with sportsmen and organizers of sport events, original standups and programs about famous sportsmen. Pilot broadcasting of the TV channel will start on June 15th. The list of areas that the channel will cover and the format of the broadcasting have not been unveiled yet. KAZSPORT channel will be broadcasting in two languages (Russian and Kazakhstan) 20-hours a day. It will be available in cable and satellite operators' networks and Otau TV satellite network”.

KAZAKHSTAN FREESTYLE WRESTLERS AMONG WORLD'S TOP TEN

Kazakhstan athletes Rasul Kaliev and Daulet Niyazbekov have been included into the international ranking of freestyle wrestlers made by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA). Their names are in the world's top ten in two weight classes. Rasul Kaliev won bronze at the Asia Championship and is ranked tenth in the 55 kg weight class of the global rating. Another bronze winner of the Asia Championship and Ivan Yarygin International Tournament Daulet Hiyazbekov earned the eighth line in 60 kg weight class of the ranking. The FILA ranking is calculated based on results of official continental championships and grand prix international tournaments in the period after the Olympics in London. Three Kazakhstan athletes were included into the ranking of the best world Greco-Roman wrestlers: Nurmakhan Tynaliyev (+120kg) was ranked third in his weight class, Yerulan Iskakov (96kg) was eighth and Yerbol Konyratov (66kg) was tenth in the ranking.

CULTURE MINISTER OPENED DAYS OF KAZAKHSTAN IN AUSTRIA

In Vienna, the Minister of Culture and Information Mukhtar Kul-Muhammed opened the Days of Culture of Kazakhstan in Austria with a concert in the Great Hall of the Konzerthaus. Speaking to the Austrian public, the head of the Culture Ministry congratulated the guests and friends of Kazakhstan with the opening of the Days of Culture of Kazakhstan in Austria. He said that over the 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Austria in our country under the leadership of President Nazarbayev held a bright path of development. In a short period of time Kazakhstan has successfully reformed its economy, political and social system and achieved a stunning achievement.. The concert included performances by the Kazakh State Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments named after Kurmangazy, ensemble of dombra players, honored republican artists - Alan Buribaev, Azamat Zheltyrguzov, Ajgul Niyazova, Bibigul Zhanuzak, Nurlan Bekmukhambetov, Talgat Musabayev, Gulziya Stambekov…

KAZAKH CYCLISTS WIN MEDALS AT MOUNTAIN BIKE CHAMPIONSHIP

Kazakhstan cyclist Galym Akhmetov has become the Champion of Asia in men's junior cross country biking. Kazakhstan's Kirill Kazantsev, 27, won silver for the second time in the men's elite cross country category. He finished 2 minutes and 1 second behind Japanese cyclist Kohei Yamamoto who won the champion title. And the track host China's Zhiqiang Duan took the bronze. 18 year-old Akhmetov had no equals on the track in the juniors' cross country category and won gold. He finished with a small advantage of mere 6 seconds ahead of his closest Chinese competitor Bigcheng Gu. Zhiqiang Wang, also of China, won bronze. The 19th Asian Mountain Bike Championships and the 5th Junior Mountain Bike Championships were held in Chengdu, Sichuan province in China on May 11 - 15. The event gathered 110 participants from 15 countries and regions including China, Korea, Iran, Japan and Hong Kong and Kazakhstan.

BASHKORTOSTAN TO INTENSIFY TRADE & ECONOMIC COOPERATION

At the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Moscow, there was a presentation of the economic potential of the Republic of Bashkortostan. At the meeting with Kazakh diplomats, a delegation composed of the heads of government and business circles of Bashkortostan and the administration of the republic's capital Ufa. The Deputy Prime Minister of Bashkortostan Salavat Sagitov noted that relations between Bashkortostan and Kazakhstan had a long history. "We are very pleased that the initiatives initiated and conducted by the national leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, and, in particular, the " Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy", suggests that Kazakhstan has a solid platform and a vision of how to develop," - said the deputy head of the government. The official added that the two republics had a positive experience of business co-operation, but its potential remains largely unexplored. In the total volume of foreign trade turnover of Bashkortostan Kazakhstan ranks 16th place with a weight of less than 1.5%, and among the CIS countries - 4th place. The volume of exports of goods exceeds the Bashkir share of imports from Kazakhstan. The export structure is dominated by mineral and chemical products, machinery and equipment from Kazakhstan, mainly imported metal. "We should be more active to deepen and expand cooperation in several areas, and areas of cooperation", said.Sagitov. "

DARIGA NAZARBAEVA WOWS PARIS

Last night in the French capital Paris, Mezzo-Soprano Dariga Nazarbaeva presented ‘La Valse du printemps’ with pianist Timur Urmancheev and the French Orchestre Lamoureux in the prestigious Theatre des Champs-Elysées.
Marking the opening of the ‘Season of Kazakhstan in France’, the concert wowed the audience of invited guests with a programme of popular songs from Kazakhstan including ‘Nazkonir’ and ’Ilgaï’. Supporting Ms Nazarbaeva were the folkloric ensemble Sazgen sazi, tenor Medet Chotabaev (from the Abaï Opera and Ballet Theatre of Almaty), baritone Sundet Baigozhin (from the Baiseeitova National Opera of Astana) and the Choeur Lamoureux.
The gala proceedings were conducted by the US-based Russian conductor Dmitrïï Yablonskïï. In addition to being a noted singer, Dariga Nazarbaeva is a parliamentary deputy, president of the executive committee of the Congress of Journalists in Kazakhstan and President of the Foundation of the First President of Kazakhstan. She is the daughter of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

WEIGHTLIFTING: KAZAKHSTAN JUNIOR WINS SILVER

Kazakhstan weightlifter Zhazira Zhaparkul won silver at the 2013 IWF Junior World Championship that was held in Lima, Peru. The athlete competed in the 69kg weight class. The Kazakhstan athlete was the junior world champion until the Peru tournament. Chinese Wang Xinyue was the main rival of Zhaparkul. The Chinese weightlifter won the first exercise by lifting 115 kilograms in snatch. Zhaparkul lifted 105 kilograms. But the Kazakhstan weightlifter showed the best result of 135 kilograms in clean and jerk. Xinyue lifted 130 kilograms in the second exercise, but it still was enough for her to secure the victory by the total score of two exercises. Ghada Hassin of Tunis got bronze. She lifted 222 kilograms in total (101+121).

TALDYKORGAN CITIZENS DO 24838 PUSH-UPS!

An unusual sport relay was held in Taldykorgan on May 9th; Vladimir Ugay, a local 8-grade schoolboy, was the author of the idea for the townspeople to carry out 24838 push ups to commemorate the 24838 days of peace since the end of the Great Patriotic War. There were no restrictions on age or social status for the participants and everyone was welcome to take part. 2000 people took part, including officials of Taldykorgan’s Akimat (municipal authorities). Every person, who participated in the relay, had to do at least 10 push-ups.

FIRST COMMERCIAL OIL AT KASHAGAN BY JULY 6TH

The first commercial oil at the giant Kashagan oilfield is to be produced early July 2013, according to insiders. “The first oil at Kashagan will be produced early July. To celebrate the birthday of the capital city, Astana (July 6). The city turns 15 this year. The country’s Oil and Gas Ministry has been pressing the project’s operator to have the first oil secured by then.

KAZAKHSTAN IS PROUD OF ITS ARMY – NAZARBAYEV

Kazakhstan is proud of its army and is doing its best to enhance it, said President Nazarbayev at the first military parade on the occasion of the Defender of the Fatherland Day today (May 7th). "We will continue to acquire new techniques and equipment for the armed forces of Kazakhstan," Nazarbayev declared.
The Head of State also mentioned new technologies that are being introduced in order to boost effectiveness of combat training.

ASTANA JOINS EU ENERGY SAVING INITIATIVE

Astana has joined a EU energy saving initiative, claims the website of the city administration. “Maslikhat (local executive authority) deputies have supported the idea of Astana joining the EU initiative called Covenant of Mayors – East that calls the global community to rational use of energy resources,” the message states.
According to chairman of Kazakhstan National Housing, Public Utilities and Construction Saltanat Rakhimbekova, the coming EXPO-2017 exhibition is increasingly finding supporters and international partners who are ready to aid Astana in becoming a capital of energy saving and efficiency. The European Union with its breakthrough initiative Covenant of Mayors – East is one of such partners.

UN / KAZAKHSTAN EYE COOPERATION IN HUMAN RIGHTS

The Chairman of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan Igor Rogov received Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Central Asia Armen Harutyunyan and the sides exchanged views on the state and prospects for cooperation between the United Nations and Kazakhstan in human rights and freedom. Mr. Rogov briefed his guest on the activity of the Constitutional Council and basic directions of the state policy of Kazakhstan in the field of modernization of the national law-enforcement system. Photo (above) shows President Nazarbayev and UNSG Ban-Ki Moon.

BALKHASH THERMAL POWER PLANT AGREEMENT BETWEEN KAZAKHSTAN AND KOREA RATIFIED

President Nazarbayev signed the Law "On Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Government of the Republic of Korea in the field of development financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Balkhash thermal power plant", the press-service of the President reports.

ALMATY WELCOMES EUROPEAN CINEMA WEEK

The European Cinema Week will kick off in Almaty on 12-19 May. Ten European countries are expected to present their movies within the framework of the event. The European Cinema Week is organized by EUNIC together with the Cinema Club of Oleg Boretsky, the embassies of Switzerland, Latvia, Sweden and consulate general of Poland in Kazakhstan with the support of Almaty municipal administration.

OECD: KAZAKHSTAN CAN BOOST AGRICULTURE WITH INVESTMENTS AND INNOVATION

Greater investment in transport infrastructure, agricultural research and food safety systems is needed to help Kazakhstan boost the long-term competitiveness of its farm sector and meet wider economic diversification objectives, according to a new OECD report.
"Kazakhstan's farm sector offers tremendous opportunities, but realizing this potential requires a new policy approach,", "Public investments in people, through education, training and advisory services, in innovation systems, in transportation infrastructure, and in human, animal, and plant health protection systems can make a huge difference," said OECD Trade and Agriculture Director Ken Ash.
After the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, agriculture in Kazakhstan experienced a transition from a planned to a market economy. A gradual recovery began in the early 2000s. In the second half of that decade, it became one of the world's top grain exporters.

KAZAKH BOXERS WIN XXX FELIX STAMM TOURNAMENT

Kazakhstan boxers Alexei Sevastyanov and Zhayna Shekerbekova have won the XXX Felix Stamm international tournament, which was held from April 23 to 26 in Warsaw (Poland).
Marina Volnova won a silver medal in the weight category up to 75 kg, in the semi-finals defeating three-time world champion Canadian Marie Spencer, but in the final battle she lost to the equal owner of the ring.
Our athletes have won first place in the team, and Zhayna Shekerbekova (51 kg) has been recognized as the best female boxer in the tournament program, including three Olympic weight categories - 51 kg, 60 kg and 75 kg.
In the men contests Kazakhstan achieved "gold" of Alexei Sevastyanov (91 kg), "bronze" went to Asset Azat Makhmetov (52 kg), Gani Zhailauov (60 kg) and Meyirima Nursultanova (69 kg).

EU TO REMOVE TAX PREFERENCES OF KAZAKHSTAN EXPORTERS

Duties on all Kazakhstan-made goods will be introduced at the territory of the EU starting from January 1, 2014.
Kazakhstan had achieved the average level of profits per capita and was taken off the list of countries that had preferences together with Russia and several Latin American countries according to the World Bank. Consequently, duties will be introduced according to size.
Being an export-oriented company with major volumes of export to the EU, we are seriously concerned about this problem,” Director of Sales and Marketing Department of KazPhosphate Kseniya Semenikhina said during the 8th meeting of the Exporters Council.
Kazakhstan exporters are recommended to negotiate directly with their consumers in the EU, involving Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies.

13TH INTERNATIONAL TOURISM FAIR KICKED OFF IN ALMATY

550 companies from 43 countries of the world participated in the 13th International Tourism Fair (KITF-2013) in Almaty, amongst them are Kazakhstan, Turkey, the UAE, China and Malaysia.
For the first time, Cuba will present itself to Kazakhstan's growing outbound tourism market - predicted to grow by 17% from 2011-2016.An increased presence from independent tour operators, hotels, and service providers is expected. Leading tour operators Natalie Tours and Pelagos Tours and Travel will showcase for the first time, provide tutorials and discussions on industrial challenges.
The show will also welcome exhibitors from Dubai, Korea, Morocco, India, Hungary, Catalunya, Georgia, Dominican Republic and several other countries.

NEW TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PLAN PRESENTED

The Kazakhstan Institute of Industry Development presented a new concept at the Tourism Council intending to develop tourism in Kazakhstan by 2020.
According to the document, tourism in Kazakhstan will be divided into several regional, starting with Astana, the center of the first cluster, including Borovoye resort area, Korgaldzhin, Karkaraly, Kokshetau and Bayanaul. In this area city tourism, conferences and exhibitions will be paramount.
New modern resort areas at the territory of Katon-Karagai, Bukhtarma and Western Altai mountains in East-Kazakhstan region will be created.
“Regarding West Kazakhstan. We plan to develop beach and adventure tourism here with the main center in Kenderli beach resort,” Mr. Akhmerov, Charimon of the Industry Development Institute said. City tourism and ski resorts will be developed in Almaty.
South Kazakhstan is the “Heart of the Silk Way”. The tourism there will be mostly based on tours to interesting cultural sights.The concept is waiting to be approved by the President.

CIS TO HARMONIZE PROGRAMS IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY DRIVE

The harmonization of national programs of the CIS member states in energy efficiency and energy saving with a view to strengthening energy security was high on the agenda of the session of the managing committee of the Energy Efficiency 21 Program which was held in Geneva on April 18th, said the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Belarus Andrei Savinykh.

ASTANA HOSTS FORUM DEVOTED TO EXPO-2017

The III scientific-practical forum "Achievements and role of the young generation in the formation of sovereign Kazakhstan" dedicated to the 15th jubilee of Astana and the International specialized exhibition "EXPO-2017" kicked off at the Kazakhstani-Russian University in the Kazakh capital last Friday. The forum aimed to raise the new generation of people proficient in advanced technologies and to work for the benefit of sovereign Kazakhstan, raised in the spirit of patriotism, tolerance and respect to universal human values. 106 schoolchildren and students from 34 schools and colleges of Astana city gathered for the forum.

KCELL Q1 EARNINGS RISE

Kazakhstan's largest mobile phone phone operator KCell said last Friday that its net profit grew by 2.5% year-on-year in the first quarter to 13.7 billion tenge ($90.4 million). Its revenue increased by 4.0% to 43.05 billion tenge.

KAZAKHSTAN TO LIMIT USE OF NON-LETHAL WEAPONS

The Interior Ministry proposed a buy-back programme and harsher penalties to curtail inappropriate use of non-lethal weapons. About 36,000 Kazakhstanis own more than 40,000 non-lethal weapons, according to the government. The Kazakhstani government is considering initiatives to take non-lethal weapons out of circulation, including restrictions on ownership, a buy-back programme and harsher penalties for violators. The MVD in February introduced an initiative to parliament to change the legal status of such weapons to military use only. Lawmakers are currently debating the issue.

FIRE DESTROYS BOUTIQUES IN EKIBASTUZ SHOPPING MALL

A fire broke out at Saule shopping mall in Ekibastuz, Pavlodar region, on Thursday morning. According to the Ministry for Emergency Situations, it covered an area of 120 square meters. The fire completely destroyed eight boutiques and damaged another five, but was extinguishedt in an hour and a half by local firemen. No casualties were reported.

KAZAKH STUDENTS TOOK PART IN ‘EUROMATH-2013’

Kazakh students took part in the European Student Conference in Mathematics "EUROMATH-2013" on 10th-14th April in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Conference was organized by the European Mathematical Society in association with the Republican Scientific Practical Center "Daryn" (Kazakhstan). The conference consisted of seminars and sessions that covered multiple mathematical topics. According to the center, the event brought together 510 students from 19 countries of the world, including Kazakhstan, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Indonesia, Iran, Spain, the UAE, Uganda.. In addition, mathematicians such as the President of the European Mathematical Society Marta Sanz-Sole, President of the Cyprus Mathematical Society and the Thales Foundation Gregory Makrides, member of the Union of Bulgarian Mathematicians Sava Grozdev, representatives of the Berlin University (Germany), University of Crete (Greece), Chalmers Technological University and Gothenburg University took part.

UN TO JOIN ANTI-CRISIS CONFERENCE IN ASTANA

The United Nations will participate for the first time in the World Anti-Crisis conference within the VI Astana Economic Forum (AEF) in May this year, announced the President Nazarbayev within the Kazakh – Finnish economic forum discussing the issues related to “green” economy and modernization in Astana. "The event will jbring together heads of states, ministers, leaders of central banks and world-renowned economists", said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

KEGOC ANNOUNCE INCOME & PROFIT INCREASE

KEGOC, the System Operator of the Unified Power System (UPS) of the Republic of Kazakhstan, announces the preliminary unaudited performance and operating indicators for the 1st quarter 2013. According to preliminary data, the income for the 1st quarter 2013 increased by 14.2 % and reached KZT 22 billion that KZT 2.73 billion higher than in the 1st quarter 2012. KEGOC's profit for the stated period amounts to KZT 3.8 billion that 69% higher than in the last year.

KAZAKHSTAN'S CINEMA WEEK

The opening ceremony of Kazakhstan's Cinema Week was held in Beijing’s Broadway Cinema on Wednesday evening (April 17th). Zhang Pimin, Deputy Secretary of the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of PRC, La Peikang, Deputy Director of the Film Bureau of the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of PRC, Kazakhstan Ambassador to China Nurlan Ermekbaev, President of Shaken Aimanov Kazakhfilm JSC Ermek Amanshaev, and cast members of six Kazakhstan films attended the ceremony. The appearance of Kazakhstan film stars brought sparkle to the opening ceremony. Chinese actor Wang Xuebing was selected as the ambassador for the Kazakhstan's Cinema Week.

KAZAKHSTANIS SPENT $1.5 BILLION ONLINE LAST YEAR

Kazakhstan residents spent $1.5 billion on the Internet in 2012. “Kazakhstan residents made online purchases worth almost $1.5 billion, but only $60 million fell on the local Internet market. The remaining amounts went abroad. 9 out of 10 of online transactions were made via foreign websites.

KAZAKHSTAN JOINS THE UN GLOBAL COMPACT

The national company Kazakhstan Engineering JSC has become part of the UN Global Compact, one of the fundamental international documents regulating commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), the press service of the institution reports. Implementation of international CSR standards in Kazakhstan based on the principles of the Global Compact is one of the key objectives stated by the Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev in his Address "Kazakhstan-2050 " Strategy. Joining the international instrument means the company's commitment to be guided in its work by the ten principles of the UN Global Compact.
These principles are formulated on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization, "on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work" and the Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development.

SAMRUK-KAZYNA ASSIGNS KZT 70 MILLION FOR PARALYMPICS COMMITTEE

Today in Astana a memorandum on cooperation for support of athletes with disabilities and the promotion of physical culture and sports among the disabled has been signed by "National Welfare Fund" Samruk-Kazyna" JSC and the Paralympic Committee of Kazakhstan. The Fund will provide the Paralympic Committee of Kazakhstan with KZT 70 million (tenge). "We hope that the fund’s support will encourage the growth of Paralympic movement in Kazakhstan” said Darkhan Kaletaev, MD of Samruk-Kazyna. “We will make every effort to ensure that our athletes have been key participants in the world of Paralympic activity”, he said.

KAZAKHSTAN FASHION WEEK KICKS OFF

Eight designers demonstrated their collections on the first day of Kazakh Fashion Week. Gulzhanat Baygunakova and Zarina Balfanbayeva showed a very ladylike collection. Keti Chkhikvadze (from Georgia) presented a classic black and white collection. Kamila Kurbani emphasised colour and material such as wool, quilted velvet, soft velour, knitted fabric and cotton. Two foreign designers – Dennik Li from Latvia and Andra Turkanu from Romania also presented their collections on the first day. Denis Konchalovsky-Li, founder of the Dennik Li brand, is an alumnus of London College of Fashion and London-based Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. His collection titled Soul focused on a simple silhouette for everyday life. Sherlock Holmes and Scotland appeared to have inspired Lariya Jakambayeva create her autumn-winter 2013/14 collection which included deer-stalker hats and tartan style fabric. The audience was impressed with the combination of modesty and elegance. The designer also used tweed, linen and silk while the Ukrainian singer and model Kristina Mezhinskaya closed the presentation of Jakambayeva’s LaRiya’s brand.

KAZAKH AMBASSADOR TO HUNGARY NAMED

By decree of the Head of State, Nurbakh Rustemov has been appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Hungary.

POPULATION INCREASES BY 42,000

As of March 1st, 2013 the population of Kazakhstan increased by 42,000 - making 16 953 900 people, said the Head of the Statistics Agency Alikhan Smailov. It was noted that the increase was due to natural increase, which in January-February 2013 was 41,400 people. Also, Smailov reported that in January-February 2013 the number of births was 66,400 - 0.8% more than in 2012. The number of deaths in January-February 2013 was 25.6 thousand people, which is 2.3% less than in January-February 2012.

KENES RAKISHEV AMONG TOP 10 WORLD'S PRIVATE INVESTORS

Kazakhstan’s Kenes Rakishev who invested millions of dollars in foreign projects has made it into the Top-10 private investors of 2012. The millionaire is ranked 8th with $72 million of investments. The first place in the rating was given to founder of PayPal and major investor of Facebook Peter Thiel: he invested $393.7 million in different projects. He is followed by Gordy Crawford who invested $275 million in Legendary Entertainment. Co-owner of Mail.ru Group Yuri Milner and co-founder of Paypal Mac Levchin are ranked 3rd and 4th. Milner is known for his investments in Internet projects and technologies, while Levchin is the founder of Slide company that develops applications for Facebook. Kenes Rakishev invested $13 million in Russian Internet and $20 million in a startup competitor of Instagram.

KAZAKH AGRARIAN UNIVERSITY SIGNS UP WITH TURKISH UNIVERSITIES

In Almaty, the Kazakh National Agrarian University (KazNAU) signed an MoU in the field of academic mobility of students and teachers with Turkish universities,in particular, said T. C. Mehmet of Akif Ersoy University and ORDU University. As reported by the Professor Tariq Yarilgash, the Rector of the ORDU University, it is expected that the new academic year at Turkish universities will admit110 foreign students.

KAZAKH PRESIDENT TO HOLD TALKS WITH PRESIDENT OF FINLAND

On April 17th, President Nazarbayev will meet with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto who arrives in Kazakhstan on his first state visit. "The focus of the visit will be on discussing the status and prospects of Kazakh-Finnish relations and some regional and international issues," said Altai Abibullayev, the Central Communications Service (CCS) spokesperson.

KYRGYZ PRESIDENT TO PAY A STATE VISIT TO KAZAKHSTAN

President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev is expected to pay a state visit to Kazakhstan. Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov announced the visit on Friday (April 12) following negotiations with his Kyrgyz colleague. "Since Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are the closest neighbours and cooperate in many spheres, there is a lot to be discussed," Minister Idrissov said. According to him, a session of the Interstate Council with the participation of Kazakh and Kyrgyz PMs will take place this June. A regular session of the bilateral commission is to be held prior to it.
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Photo courtesy of dic.omgpu.ru
The EU funding of Tempus program in Kazakhstan has made 37 million Euro since 1995, says the coordinator of Tempus National office in Kazakhstan Shaizada Tasbulatova. The plenary meeting of the consortium of Tempus European project was held in Almaty on April 4-5. 35 Central Asian and 14 European universities participated. The program promotes the improvement of the country's higher education system, harmonizes it with the international requirements and promotes improvement of the quality and competitiveness of Kazakhstan's education. Kazakhstan students are able to study in Europe thanks to Tempus program.

HUB FOR TECH. EXCHANGE BETWEEN EUROPE & ASIA FOR KAZAKHSTAN

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Kazakhstan should become a regional hub for advanced technology exchange between Europe and Asia, Minister of Environmental Protection Nurlan Kapparov stated. "We want Astana to be considered a regional center of technological, scientific and cultural exchange between Asia and Europe," Kapparov said.
According to him, at present Kazakhstan is developing a strategy for transition to a "green" economy that will solve many economic and environmental problems.

GOLOVKIN & BRITISH MACKLIN TO FIGHT

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A fight between sportsman Gennady Golovkin and the British boxer Matthew Macklin has been confirmed. The fight will take place this year on June 29 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino arena in Mashantucket (Connecticut, USA). It will be the main boxing night event on HBO channel within Boxing After Dark series. For the Kazakh boxer this fight will be the third the current year and the eighth defense of the WBA belt.

YOUNG DESIGNER ON THE UP!

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An 18-year-old from East-Kazakhstan oblast took part in an important fashion design competition – winning 4th place among 35 participants selected from among 120 candidates. A jury from Turkey, China, Spain and Sri Lanka found his designs both interesting and original. "The jury said that my designs were very different from all the others" he said. A vocational training teacher from Ust-Kamenogorsk Service College Galiya Karagayeva said that there was too little time for Yaroslav to prepare for the contestHe drew the sketches for the contest in one night and made the outfits in one week," Karagayeva said. The young designer said that he first touched the needle at the age of eight when growing up in an orphanage.

AL-FARABI UNIVERSITY JOINS INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION

The President of the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Galym Mutanov has become a member of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP). The Al-Farabi Kazakh National University represented by its president is the first third-level institution in Kazakhstan and Central Asia to join this prestigious association. "The Al-Farabi Kazakh National University has proved to be an active participant of the United Nations Academic Impact Program and earned an international recognition," IAUP President Dr. Neal King wrote in a letter. By accessing the IAUP, the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University will become a full-fledge participant of all events conducted under the auspices of the association in the field of sustainable development, science and innovations, human capital and many more. The International Association of University Presidents is a non-governmental organization with the highest consultation rights at the United Nations and formal consultation rights with UNESCO. It was founded in 1964 with headquarters in New York.

NEW HOUSING DISCUSSED

Astana hosted a meeting of "Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund" JSC with "Kasіpkor" holding employees. The meeting deliberated on a matter of fund housing estate implementation arrangements. This During the meeting the Director of Asset Management (sales) of "Samruk-Kazyna” Timur Kaldybayev informed the employees on the development of rules and procedures for housing acquisition for rent and lease-purchase. There was a demo version that allows people to apply for participation in the distribution of apartments online.

FOREIGN EXPERTS TO CHECK QUALITY OF ROADS

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has prepared a draft law providing for participation of international expert companies in acceptance of Kazakhstan roads into service. “The draft law reforms the whole road construction process,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry.

KAZAKHSTAN BACK IN THE GAME FOR DAVIS CUP

Kazakhstan’s hopes for a place in the Davis Cup semifinals have returned as Andrey Golubev and Yuriy Schukin beat Czech Republic’s Jan Hajek and Radek Stepanek to reduce the deficit to 2-1. After winning both rubbers on the opening day in Astana, the defending champions went up an early break and served for the first set. But the Kazakhs hit back and prevailed 76(2) 64 63 in two hours and 21 minutes. The hosts will now hope they can win both singles rubbers on the final day which would be a remarkable comeback. Mikhail Kukushkin takes on Lukas Rosol and Golubev plays Hajek, although both captains could decide to make a change with Evgeny Korolev and Stepanek waiting in the wings if required.

KAZAKHSTAN WOMEN TO BECOME SURROGATES

Kazakhstan women are ready to become surrogate mothers to carry and give birth to a child for childless couples for $10 to $30 thousand plus additional monthly payments. This subject is being discussed at probirka.kz with posts from those willing to have a child or become a surrogate mother. Around 60 families get children thanks to surrogacy in Almaty every year. Surrogacy is the only option for the families where women cannot carry foetus to term. Director of the Reproductive Medicine Institute Tamara Dzhussubaliyeva explained that according to Kazakhstan Law on Marriage and Family adopted in December 2011, an absolutely healthy woman not older than 35 years old. and having at least one child of her own can become a surrogate mother.

KAZAKHSTAN & FINLAND TO FOCUS ON RELATIONS DURING AVISIT

The President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and his wife (above) will make an official visit to Kazakhstan on 16th-18th April.. President Niinistö will hold l talks with President Nazarbayev on 17 April. Discussion will involve bilateral relations between Finland and Kazakhstan, regional and international affairs, and relations between the EU and Kazakhstan. During the visit President Niinistö will also meet other political leaders, as well as National Ombudsman of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Shakirov and Chairman of the Human Rights Commission Kuanysh Sultanov. The delegation will also include Minister of Economic Affairs Jan Vapaavuori and a group of business leaders.

CONDOLENCES ON RAKHMADIEV'S DEATH

The President of Kazakhstan sent a telegram of condolences to the family on the death of composer, prominent statesman and public figure Yerkegali Rakhmadiyev (abobve),. The letter states that Rahmadiev has made an enormous contribution to the development of national music and culture. He was the author of well-known operas, songs and ballads, was the Minister of Culture, led the major institutions of art in our country and headed the Union of Composers. His work will not be forgotten, and the writings will always live together with our people," President Nazarbayev’s telegram reads.

BERLIN WELCOMES KAZAKH HISTORY, CULTURE & ARTS

An event celebrating the history, culture and arts of Kazakhstan took place in Berlin. The screening of Ilyas Yesenberlin's trilogy ‘Nomads’ in German was held during the reception arranged by Kazakhstan's embassy in Germany. The "Willkommen in Berlin" event generated much public interest. In his speech of welcome, Kazakh Ambassador to Germany Nurlan Onzhanov touched upon the rich history and culture of Kazakhstan. In his words, in ancient times Kazakhstan bridged West and East, playing an important role on the Great Silk Road. "We want to revive its historical role and become the largest business and transit hub in the region," said the diplomat.

ATOM PROJECT - A STEP TOWARDS GLOBAL DISARMAMENT

On April 8th, the Kazakh Embassy to Turkey in cooperation with the leading "USAK" Turkish Analytical Center of International Strategic Research (ACISR) held a ‘round table' where the ATOM and G-Global projects were presented. The event united representatives of the scientific and academic community, public and political figures, the head of "USAK" ACISR, Kazakh Ambassador to Turkey Z.Tuimebayev and the heads and representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Ankara. Kazakh Ambassador Z.Tuimebayev informed the participants about the achievements of Kazakhstan in the social and economic, cultural, humanitarian and foreign policy through the prism of the President's Address "Kazakhstan-2050 Strategy": new policy of the successful state." The Ambassador also shared information about international perspectives of initiatives suggested by the Head of Kazakhstan called "ATOM" and "G-Global", outlined the priorities of our country in forming the international dialogue. "USAK" Centre Vice-president Kamer Kasym said that the ATOM Project is an unprecedented example of Kazakhstan's decisive step towards global nuclear disarmament. The ideas contained in the "ATOM" and "G-global" projects are not only timely, but also weighty reasoned and justified" he said.

PRESIDENT TO CHAIR ENTREPRENEURS MEETING

The Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev will chair the session of the Entrepreneurs Council of Kazakhstan, announced the spokesperson of the Central Communications Service Altai Abibullayev at a Monday briefing in Astana. "According to president's press service, mr Nazarbayev will hold the session of the Entrepreneurs Council on 10th April in Astana?" The session will be dedicated to the improvement of business climate in Kazakhstan and enhancing competitiveness of Kazakhstani business within the ‘Kazakhstan-2050’ Development Strategy.

VAN DAMME TO PLAY IN HISTORICAL MOVIE

Belgian action film star Jean-Claude Van Damme is planning to work in Kazakhstan. The organizers of Van Damme's trip, former head of Karaganda oblast department of physical culture and sport Nurgazy Zharylgapov and businessmen Erik Kulkeyev announced that the star would come to Kazakhstan to shoot his new movie. The script for the movie was written by a Kazakhstan scriptwriter. According to Zharylgapov, "Van Damme is very interested in boxing and Kazakhstan. He is fond of Asia in general and when he visited the film festival in Astana several years ago, he was impressed with our country.”

MASTER PLAN FOR KAZAKHSTAN

Kazakhstan has developed a Master Plan for the organization of the country, according to the Kazakh Scientific-Research and Design Institute of Civil Engineering & Architecture" (KazSRDICEA). The Master Plan provides a clear definition of population distribution, distribution of productive forces, the development of social, engineering and transport, recreational, industrial infrastructure, as well as environmental conditions and environmental protection. "Most of the work of this year has already been completed. As you know, the basis of the project was taken from the experience of such countries as Belarus, Russia, France, Australia, UK, Norway, the Netherlands, South Korea, Canada, China," said the deputy director of the Astana branch of KazSRDICEA, Askar Ermagambetov.

EMIR KUSTURICA TO STAR IN KAZAKH-RUSSIAN MOVIE

Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica will take part in the Russian-Kazakh historical drama Zhangir. Big Game. The winner of two Cannes Golden Palms will play the role of count Mikhail Miloradovich. The movie tells of the journey of the Kazakh ruler Zhangir-Kerei khan to Saint-Petersburg prior to the Decembrists revolt. Kazakh filmmaker Roza Orynbassarova is the author of the movie and the script was written by poet Olzhas Suleimenov.

‘ENERGY EFFICIENT MICRO-DISTRICT’ TO BE LAUNCHED

Kazakhstan’s National Chamber of Housing and Public Utilities has proposed to implement the project "Energy efficient micro-district" in the framework of the modernization of housing and utilities sector, Chairman of the Chamber Saltanat Rakhimbekova announced in an interview. The project will test a new model of effective infrastructure management in a micro-district, which will reduce the cost of energy. This system involves the optimization of the resources for reconstruction of the heat supply systems through the formation of micro-districts. At first, it is planned to test the project in the Almaty district of Astana.

AMBASSADOR TO GEORGIA APPOINTED

President Nazarbayev decreed to relieve Yertysbayev Yermukhamet from his post of President Advisor due to the transfer to another appointment as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Georgia.

ACCREDITATION TO ASTANA ECONOMIC FORUM

Accreditation to the VI Astana Economic Forum and the World Anti-Crisis Conference, to be held from 22 to 24 May 2013 in the Independence Palace and the Palace of Peace and Accord in Astana, has been announced. This forum is annually held on the initiative of President Nazarbayev and is recognized as an important international meeting, bringing together the best minds to find solutions to the economic, financial and social challenges. The forum will be attended by 8500 delegates from 100 countries, including heads of states and governments, prominent political and public figures, heads of international organizations and business corporations, leading researchers and Nobel Prize winners, as well as representatives of the media. This year the agenda will focus on the outlook for global economic growth and commodity prices in 2013, infrastructure and innovation, international competitiveness and the social aspects of economic growth, financial systems, global risks and measures for their prevention.

ABU DHABI PLAZA FOR 2016

ALDAR Properties PJSC, the real estate development, management and investment company with headquarters in Abu Dhabi, plans to complete the construction of Abu Dhabi Plaza in Astana by November 2016. The Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Arab Emirates Askar Mussinov announced the completion date to UAE-based Gulf NEws. The Kazakh diplomat added that the project will be put into commission prior to EXPO-2017. The developers will use only 'green' technologies in the construction of what will be the tallest building in Central Asia. Abu Dhabi plaza was designed by Norman Foster.

EXPO GREEN BLOCK TO COVER 100 HA

It is expected that 'the green block' in the Kazakh capital will cover an area of one million square meters. The Green Block ecological village is a pilot project related to preparation for EXPO-2017. According to Mukan Zholdassov, MD of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, the residential complex of the green block will cover the area of at least 300 thousand square meters. "The Astana local administration has already allotted nearly 100 ha for the project along Kurgaldzhin motorway," Mr. Zholdassov said in the capital on Friday. In his words, the sum of investments will be determined only after the feasibility study is made. Samruk-Kazyna and private investors are to finance the construction.

KAZAKHSTAN BEAUTY IS TOPS!

Aleksandra Satarova, a model from Almaty got into the Top 15 models at the international competition TOP Model of the World 2013. 17-year-old Satarova also won the title of the 2nd Vice-Miss Europe Queen. Caribbean model Monica Palasios Mora won best top model. Victory in the pageant opens new horizons for Satarova: who hopes to strike deals with global brands and major international fashion editorial and advertising.

KAZAKHSTAN & TURKEY STEP UP CUSTOMS COOPERATION

The Kazakh delegation headed by the deputy chairperson of the Customs Control Committee of Kazakh Ministry of Finance Amaniyaz Yerzhanov visited Ankara in March. The delegation also included the leaders of customs structures of Astana city, Karaganda, Aktobe, Mangystau regions and also the Central Customs Laboratory of Kazakhstan. The purpose of the visit was to study the working principle and the applicable standards of Turkey. As part of a five-day visit, the customs service of Kazakhstan held a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Customs and Trade of Turkey Ziya Altinyildiz, reviewed the work of the customs services of Turkey, got acquainted with the functioning of a "single window" system security and customs regime of the customs authorities of Ankara.

NEW EMERGENCY WARNING SYSTEM TO BE LAUNCHED

Kazakhstan is planning to modernize the system of emergency warning on the basis of the experience of other countries; Vice Minister of Emergencies Valery Petrov told a briefing in the Central Communications Service. The experience of Israel, the U.S., Europe, Asia, China has already been studied. This process gradually starts to take shape, and we hope that in 2-3 years we will get a whole new warning system," Petrov said. According to him, the SMS-based emergency alert system will be functioning all over the country in several months. In addition, it is planned to use TV and radio channels for warning.

IT’S SPRING - AND FIELD WORK STARTS!

Kazakhstan is starting spring field work. Efficient implementation of seed is of national importance. Its success largely depends on smooth, continual activity of transport and on ensuring maximum safety, the press service of the Interior Ministry of Traffic Police Committee of Kazakhstan reports. In order to prevent accidents with agricultural transportation the road police departments are planning to carry out a series of activities aimed at maintaining discipline among transport drivers engaged in the planting season. It is planned to conduct a survey of roads along the route of vehicles involved in the spring field work and the adoption of measures to improve traffic management.

SHISHA BAN ANNOUNCED

Kazakhstan Healthcare Ministry introduced a ban on smoking shisha in public places, including night clubs, restaurants, cinemas and any indoor public entertainment facilities on March 14, 2013. The ban was based on the results of a sanitary-epidemiological check of hookahs, shisha, liquids and their vessels that showed presence of coliform and blue pus bacteria, aurococcus, yeasts and fungi harmful for people’s health.

LUXURY CARS IN UST-KAMENOGORSK

Ust-Kamenogorsk car-assembling plant Asia Auto has launched production of executive sedan KIA Quoris, the plant’s website announced. The cost of the luxury car produced in the eastern Kazakhstan city will vary from $70 to $85.5 thousand, depending on the grade. The first KIA executive car is equipped with a 294 HP 3.8-liter V6 petrol engine and 8-speed automatic transmission with electronic control and modes selection option. The car can accelerate to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and its maximum speed reaches 240 km/h. SCC radar system regulates the speed depending on the distance to the vehicle ahead and AVMS around view monitors inform the driver about what is happening 360 degrees around the car.

AMBASSADOR APPOINTED

Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov (above) has been appointed as Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Lithuania. From December 2011 until January 2013, Mr Mukhamedzhanov served as the Governor of Mangistau Region. He was previously Interior Minister and Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration.

3-D FILM BREAKS RECORDS

The first full-length animated film made in Kazakhstan, ‘Er Tostik’ and ‘Aydakhar’, took over KZT 31 million in the first weekend that it was available to rent. The film, which started out as a 2D production but was then transformed into 3D, is based on Kazakh folk-tales, and tells the story of the warrior Er Tostik and his battle with the forces of evil, represented by the dragon, Aydakhar. Despite this success on a take-me format, Director, Rustam Turaliev, recommends that the film is best watched on the big screen, as many of the effects were created for the cinema.

KAZAKHSTAN SWITCHES TO LATIN SCRIPT

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Kazakhstan plans to form a committee that will monitor the switch of the state language to the Latin script. Majilisman Aldan Smaiyl told a session of the Committee for Social and Cultural Development on Thursday that the panel will be appointed by September 2013. Kazakhstan will attract highly skilled experts in philology to replace Cyrillic with Latin and make the move as smooth as possible.

MACEDONIA KEEN TO COOPERATE IN OIL / GAS & PHARMACEUTICALS

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Macedonia welcomes investments of Kazakhstani companies into its oil and gas industry. The non-resident ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia Darko Angelov told a briefing in Astana on Thursday after presenting credentials to Kazakhstan's Secretary of State Marat Tazhin.
"The all-round cooperation between Kazakhstan and Macedonia has gained momentum over the last couple of years. President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov visited Kazakhstan in July 2012 at the invitation of Nursultan Nazarbayev. During the visit, the sides signed the basic agreements, including agreements in the economic sphere. In addition, Macedonia cancelled visa regime for Kazakhstani citizens.” Mr. Angelov said.

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER IN ALMATY

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ARU Jewellery Fair has kicked off at Atakent exhibition center in Almaty today. The organizers of the event are KAZEXPO International Exhibition Company, BM EXPO Ltd. with the support of Economy and Budget Planning Ministry of Kazakhstan and Almaty authorities. ARU jewellery fair is a unique international exhibition project for jewellers from Central Asia held twice a year in Astana and Almaty. This year it has brought together 120 jewellery companies and distributors from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, India, the United Arab Emirates, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Japan and Kazakhstan. The fair will be open until Sunday (March 31st).

EURASIAN MEDIA FORUM FOR ASTANA

The 11th conference of the Eurasian Media Forum (EAMF) will take place in Astana on 25th and 26th April 2013. This will be the Forum's second meeting in the capital of Kazakhstan. It moved here for the first time last October, after a decade of annual conferences in Almaty, the country's commercial hub. Dariga Nazarbayeva (above), the Forum's founder and chair of the Organizing Committee, will welcome delegates old and new - political analysts, economists and media specialists – for to two days of debate on the most pressing issues affecting East-West relations. "We hope the discussions in the Forum will make a fresh contribution towards shaping the global intellectual answer to the challenges of the 21st century," Dr Nazarbayeva declared. The full list of speakers will be announced closer to the event. Registration for the 11th Eurasian Media Forum conference and more detailed information can be found on the website http://www.eamedia.org

BAIKONUR MAY BECOME ONE OF EXPO-2017 CENTERS IN KAZAKHSTAN

The Baikonur complex that includes Baikonur town and the Baikonur cosmodrome will be involved in EXPO-2017. Several delegations have already visited Baikonur to size-up using the cosmodrome for the exhibition and the possible amount of funding required to take the town's infrastructure to exhibition level. The exhibition's organizers have not yet made the final decision on the involvement of the world's biggest cosmodrome, but the subject of EXPO-2017 - Energy of the Future - can be easily linked with space technologies, in particular with solar batteries used by the spacecrafts and other industries.

ASTANA 2013 MODERN CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY EXPO OPENS

The 14th international exhibition of modern building technology titled Building Industry - Astana 2013. It is being attended by companies from Kazakhstan and from near and far abroad: Russia, Germany, China and Ukraine. The exhibition takes place in complex "Korma" for 3 days until March 29th. Visitors are presented with modern construction techniques, finishing materials, ventilation, heating and sewerage systems, gas, water and energy conservation, construction machinery and equipment, construction and road materials, and more.

AMBASSADOR TO LITHUANIA NAMED

Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov has been appointed as Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Lithuania by the decree of thre President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

MONITORING OF TEACHERS NEEDED – PM

Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov proposed a system to monitor the efficiency of pedagogical work. "We should pay attention to the psychological work in schools, " said Akhmetov, speaking at a government meeting.

ALMATY TO WELCOME JAPANESE CULTURE

Almaty will host the Day of Japanese Culture on 31st March. Within the framework of the event, the residents and guests of Almaty city will experience the visual art, the music, dance, cuisine and traditions of Japan. In addition, the event offers master classes in origami, calligraphy, national cuisine, martial arts and tea ceremonies. The Day of Japanese Culture is being organized by the Embassy of Japan in Kazakhstan and the Kazakh-Japanese HR Development Center with the support of Almaty authorities. The event will take place at the Palace of Schoolchildren.

PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY TO CONVENE ON APRIL 24TH

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the decree "On the convocation of the 20th session of the People's Assembly of Kazakhstan. The session is to take place on 24 April 2013.

ZHOSHYBAEV IN BEIJING

The Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rapil Zhoshybaev (above), paid a working visit to Beijing. Mr Zhoshybaev discussed foreign policy protocol issues, including questions of visas, with officials from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, and also discussed tourism with Beijing’s Tourism Development Committee. Mr Zhoshybaev is also the Commissar of EXPO-2017, which is due to take place in Astana in four years’ time. He thanked the Chinese side for their support of Astana’s successful bid and said that Kazakhstan was very interested in learning from the Chinese experience of organizing such huge events.

ROUND TABLE IN MOSCOW

The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Moscow organized a round table to discuss the program, “The ‘Kazakhstan-2050’ Strategy”. The round table was led by the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the Russian Federation, Galym Orazbakov (above). Also taking part were the Director of the Kazakhstan Presidential Institute for Strategic Research, Bulat Sultanov, Russian political scientists and specialists, political commentators and the leaders of research centers and think-tanks. After explaining the key points of the Strategy, Ambassador Orazbakov stressed the importance to Kazakhstan of the friendly strategic relationship with Russia, saying that cooperation in the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space are priorities in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy.

PRESIDENT TO ATTEND BOAO FORUM

President Nazarbayev has confirmed that he will take part in the 12th session of the Boao Forum for Asia. This will take place in China from April 6-8 on the topic of “Asia Seeking Development for all: Restructuring, Responsibility and Cooperation”. Kazakhstan was one of the 28 signatories of the founding document of the Forum, which is aimed at improving economic integration and mutual development of the Asian states.

KAZAKH AMB IN IRAQI KURDISTAN

The Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Jordan and Iraq, Bulat Sarsenbayev (above), visited Iraqi Kurdistan last week. At a meeting with Akhmed Dezzi, Rector of the region’s main university, “Salakhaddin”, Ambassador Sarsenbayev awarded the Rector the CICA jubilee medal, “20 years of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)”.

KAZAKH DELEGATION IN TURKEY

A business delegation from the South Kazakhstan Region visited the Turkish cities of Istanbul and Izmir last week. The city of Shymkent has been twinned with Izmir since 2004. The Mayor of Izmir, Aziz Kocaoğlu, congratulated Astana on the awarding of EXPO-2017 and informed his guests that Izmir is a candidate city for the holding of EXPO-2020.

FIRST HIGH-SPEED LINE

Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) has awarded a contract to Systra to oversee the design and construction of the country's first high-speed line. Systra has already conducted a feasibility study for the project. The 1011km line will link the capital Astana with Almaty, which with a population of 1.4 million is the largest city in Kazakhstan. The 1520mm-gauge single-track line will have a maximum speed of 250km/h. It will include a 10km viaduct across Lake Balkhash and will have a desert section of about 300km. The railway will have to cope with a temperature range of up to 75oC between winter and summer. KTZ plans to operate six round trips a day with a journey time of 5h 30min. It plans to procure the trains for the new line through the Tulpar-Talgo joint venture in Kazakstan. KTZ is currently procuring 220 coaches from the joint venture. These will be introduced between Almaty and Atyrau on the Caspian Sea in June and from Astana to Atyrau in November. "These specific technical issues and a tight four-year deadline for completion of the design and construction phases present a major challenge," says Systra. The line is due to be in use by Spring 2017 to coincide with Expo 2017 in Astana.

KAZAKH-JAPANESE COOPERATION DISCUSSED

The Chairman of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament Kairat Mami received the Ambassador of Japan to Kazakhstan Yuzo Harada, the press service of the chamber informs. During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the status and prospects of Kazakh-Japanese cooperation and gave a special attention to strengthening of parliamentary relations, trade, economic and investment cooperation..Mami highlighted significant potential of cooperation, especially in the context of preparations for the specialized international exhibition "EXPO-2017" which will be held in Astana.

KAZAKHSTAN RANKED E-GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT INDEX

The E-government of Kazakhstan has been ranked 38th place in the world by the E-Government development index, said the Kazakh Minister of Transport and Communications Askar Zhumagaliyev at a government session. "15 million of services were provided through public service centers last year, that is a 31% increase in comparison with 2011," the Minister added. "According to the UN, today Kazakhstan has established a system of "electronic government."

KAZAKHSTAN & SPAIN TO COOPERATE IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

The Minister of Environmental Protection of Kazakhstan Nurlan Kapparov paid a working visit to Spain on March 14-17. Within the framework of the visit, Minister Kapparov met with Spanish State Secretary for Environment Federico Ramos de Armas. The sides discussed the problems of bilateral cooperation in the sphere of environment, effective water resources management, wastes collection and utilization, development of "green economy" and renewable energy. In addition, Mr. Kapparov traveled to the city of Zaragoza in order to familiarize with the experience of holding of the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2008.

FIGURE SKATING: DENIS TEN WINS SILVER

Kazakhstan figure skater Denis Ten won the silver medal of the man's World Figure Skating Championship in Canada. The 19-year old Kazakh .was second after the short program and won the free skating finals with 174.92 points. His total points were 266.48 and put him in the second place overall, only a little over 1 point away from the gold. He yielded the first place to three-time world champion Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan, who scored 267.78 points. Spanish figure skater Javier Fernandez scored 249.06 points and became third.

GOVERNMENT TO DISCUSS HEALTHCARE & E-GOVERNMENT

The issues of development of healthcare and electronic government will be discussed at the session of the Government tomorrow, said the official representative of the Central Communications Service Altay Abibullaye. "On March 19th, the Government is planning to discuss the progress of implementation of "Salamatty Kazakhstan" Healthcare Development Program for 2011-2015," Abibullayev said.
The issues of e-government development are on the agenda as well. The Minister of Transport & Communications Askar Zhumagaliyev, Education & Science Minister Bakytzhan Zhumagulova, Internal Affairs Minister Kalmukhanbet Kassymov will make reports on this theme. Zhumagaliyev is slso expected to present a mobile application "egov.kz"

3 GOLD MEDALS & 1ST PLACE WON BY KAZAKH BOXERS AT GRAND PRIX

Three gold medals and the first place have been won in the team-up performances of the Kazakh boxers at the 44th International Tournament Grand Prix, which ended on March 16th in the town of Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic. The winners were Ilyas Suleimenov (52 kg), who won the final of the Chinese athlete, Adilbek Niyazymbetov (81 kg), who snatched victory from the Dutch boxer, and Ivan Dychko (+ 91 kg), who crushed the representative of Armenia. Niyazymbetov was deemed the best boxer of the tournament, which was attended by 82 sportsmen from 16 countries, and Nurbek Batyrov was considered to be the best judge - international referee of AIBA "3 stars" category. The team has been led at the tournament by the coaching staff with the head coach of Kazakhstan boxing team Myrzagali Aitzhanov and the coaches Marat Dzhakiev and Marat Eleusinov.

KAZAKHSTAN TO HOST WORLD CHESS OLYMPIAD IN 2018

Kazakhstan will host the World Chess Olympiad in 2018. The Head of Kazakhstan's Chess Federation Aliya Mukazhanova announced at a press conference on Tuesday.
Kazakhstan was expected to play host to FIDE Grand Prix in 2014. However, during the latest meeting of the President of Kazakhstan's Chess Federation Asset Issekeshev with the President of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) Kirsan Ilyumzhinov it was decided that the FIDE Grand Prix would take place in 2017. And in 2018 Kazakhstan will welcome the World Chess Olympiad. The President of FIDE thinks that the EXPO-2017 infrastructure in Astana may be used to host the biggest chess event in the world.

HR CONFERENCE IN ASTANA

An international conference titled "Human resources monitoring: HR trends of the 3rd millennium" has begun in Astana. According to the organizers, the conference is an opportunity to demonstrate an experience of Kazakh and foreign companies with the most effective model of labour relations. Issues of salary and motivation, corporate culture, social responsibility in business management will be discussed at the event.

ASTANA CYCLIST WINS GOLD

An Astana cyclist took "gold" at the Asian Championship.The cyclist, Dmitry Rivet (above), a graduate of the Astana Cycling Sports School 6 , became the Asian Champion in the individual race on the road ahead of his nearest rival from Japan for 12 seconds. Dmitry will now fight for the medals in the road race on March 15th. It is worth noting that the 18-year-old athlete is the reigning champion of Kazakhstan. The competition on the highway began March 13th.

MISS MILITARY KAZAKHSTAN SELECTED

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Miss Military Kazakhstan, a beauty contest for female officers of armed forces and military departments of Kazakhstan, has announced a winner in Astana. She is Bibigul Sauytova, a sergeant of the National Guard. Sandy Smagulova, sergeant of the Military Department No.68665 of the Airmobile Forces of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense, became the first Vice-Miss. Saltanat Baizhumanova, Junior Sergeant of the National Guard was awarded with the title of the Second Vice-Miss.

NAZARBAYEV UNIVERSITY TO WELCOME POST-GRADS

Nazarbayev University will be accepting its first 100 post-graduate students on four different courses in 2013. The first will be studying on the Executive MBA course, Business Administration for Leaders, from 25 March. There are 25 students on the course and they will study for 21 months. The other three programs start later: the Master of Science in School Leadership and the Master of Science in Higher Education will start in August and accept a total of 50 students. A further 20 students will take part in the Master in Public Policy course, a two-year course which starts in September.

TOURISM ATTRACTIONS PRESENTED IN BERLIN

lmaty is set to become a regional hub for the training of diplomats. This was announced by the Head of the Center for Foreign Policy of the Presidential Administration, Yerzhan Ashikbayev. Not only will this raise the effectiveness of the 19 representations of the United Nations in Almaty, but it will also improve the international standing of Kazakhstan, both regionally and globally

BEST INVESTMENT BANK VOTED

Kazkommerts Securities, a daughter company of Kazkommertsbank, was awarded the title of Best Investment Bank in Kazakhstan 2013 by Global Finance magazine. In the April edition of the journal the Bank was listed among the world’s best investment banks, especially for the social nature of its projects.

TRANSFER TECHNOLOGY CENTRE OPENS IN PARIS

In Paris the Kazakhstan-France Centre for transfer technology has been opened. This will see an exchange of specialists in the field between the two countries, and should lead to greater access for French companies to the Kazakhstan market.

TOURISM ATTRACTIONS PRESENTED IN BERLIN

The Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan, Bakytzhan Zhumagulov (above), held a meeting in Astana with the Rectors of a number of foreign arts institutes. Mr Zhumagulov spoke enthusiastically about the growing cooperation between higher education institutes in Kazakhstan and the rest of the world, pointing out that an increasing number of students from Kazakhstan are studying abroad and that 1500 foreign teachers are coming to Kazakhstan each year to give lectures.

KAZYKHANOV’S ESSAYS ON KAZAKHSTAN

On 6 March in the National Academic Library of Kazakhstan in Astana, there was a presentation of the book, “Kazakhstan in the International Community (Essays in Multi-Faceted Diplomacy)”, by the former Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, Yerzhan Kazykhanov. The book covers the first 20 years of Kazakhstan’s post-Soviet diplomacy.

AFTER EXPO-2017 NEW TECHNOLOGIES WILL ENTER OUR LIFE- ZHOSHYBAYEV

Last year Astana as chosen as a venue for international exhibition EXPO to be held in 2017. By vote of the General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau Astana was far ahead of the Belgian city of Liege, collecting more than twice as many votes - 103 to 44. As a direct result of staging EXPO, Kazakhstan Expo Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev said that after the event that new technologies will enter the lives of every Kazakh.

KAZAKH PM TO HOLD A SESSION ON ALMATY DEVELOPMENT

The Central Communications Service has announced today this week's working schedule of Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov. According to official spokesman Altai Abibullayev, the Kazakh Premier is expected to chair a session on the issues of implementation of the Employment Roadmap today. "A regular session of the Economic Policy Council on March 12 will focus on the problems of socioeconomic development, improvement of the pension system, new monetary and a concept of the new fiscal policy. On Wednesday, March 13, Prime Minister Akhmetov will chair a government session in order to discus the problems of entrepreneurship and ways to better business climate in the country. In the course of a working trip to Almaty on March 14, Mr. Akhmetov is to visit a service centre for entrepreneurs, meet with local businessmen and hold a session on the development of the city. The first service center for entrepreneurs was opened in Almaty on 1 October 2012.

WINNERS OF OLYMPICS’ LETTER TO PRESIDENT

The winners of the Olympic Games in London have sent a letter to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The letter reads that Kazakhstan has become successful sports power thanks to the policy to the President during the years of independence. The country ranked 12th place in the overall standings at the Olympics in London. The letter highlights the words of the President that success at the Olympics will lead to hundreds of future champions “We are all one team under the flag of Kazakhstan. Only the strong and united team will be a success," the letter reads.

STAFF CHANGE AT NATIONAL SECURITY COMMITTEE

By President’s decree, Samat Abish and Nurgali Bilisbekov were today designated as the deputies of the chairman of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

AIR ASTANA & TURKISH AIRLINES FOR CODE SHARING DEAL

Air Astana and Turkish Airlines have signed a letter of intent to enter into a code sharing Agreement, the press service of Kazakh airline reports. The parties have taken the first step toward full cooperation, which includes code sharing agreement on the routes served by both carriers between Kazakhstan and Turkey. The corresponding letter of intent was signed in Istanbul by the heads of both airlines.

THE GOOD LIFE FOR KAZAKHS IN LONDON

Two Kazakhstan citizens are among еhe owners of London’s most expensive apartments in the One Hyde Park residential complex.The widow of the chairman of TuranAlem bank Yerzhan Tatishev, singer Anar Aitzhanova (above) and president and major shareholder of Kazakhmys corporation Vladimir Kim own apartments neighbouring those of supermodel Naomi Campbell and her boyfriend Russian tycoon Vladislav Doronin. The cost of one square meter of these apartments reaches $100 thousand. Only 17 out of 76 apartments have been sold so far. Apartments in One Hyde Park are also owned by Prime-Minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, founders of Candy & Candy, Nick and Christian, and the richest person in Ukraine, Rinat Akhmetov. The complex has a 21m swimming pool, cinema, wine cellar, golf simulator, gym and banquet room. Room service is provided by the five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel next door. The building’s first floor has Rolex and McLaren Automotive stores.

TOURISM ATTRACTIONS PRESENTED IN BERLIN

Some Kazakh tourism companies are presenting the country's attractions at ITB Berlin 2012 exhibition, the Kazakh National Agency for Export and Investment Kaznex Invest under Industry and New Technologies Ministry reported on Thursday. Six Kazakh tourism companies including Sayat, Kochevnik, Nomadic Travel Kazakhstan, Complete Service, and Hotel Rixos Lake Borovoe (above) got an opportunity to present their inbound tourism to foreign consumers at the exhibition. Their participation, rental, travel and accommodation expenses were paid by Kaznex Invest.

KAZAKHSTAN WILL MARK ‘DAY OF FAMILY’

President Nazarbayev signed the amendments to a Decree which makes the second Sunday of September henceforth the ‘Day of Family.’

KAZAKHSTAN TO JOIN BELARUSIAN-RUSSIAN TRADING SYSTEM

Kazakhstan intends to join the Belarusian-Russian electronic system of government purchases as of 1st January 2014. The information was released by Mr Nurlan Aldarbergenov, Minister for Competition and Antimonopoly Regulation of the Eurasian Economic Commission, at the international forum Digital Trade: Eurasian Integration Challenges in the city of Ufa, the press service of the Eurasian Economic Commission has announced.

SAMRUK-ENERGY STRATEGY APPROVED

The Board of Directors of Samruk-Energo (or Samruk Energy) have approved the long-term development strategy for 2012-2022. The new strategy is aimed at improving long-term assets of the company by increasing the efficiency of its activities, participation in the diversification and modernization of the national economy, and strategies to the highest standards of corporate governance and social responsibility. The main strategic directions of the Strategy are as follows:
1. Ensuring energy security of Kazakhstan.
2. Increase in the cost of equity capital.
3. Social responsibility.

KAZAKHSTAN HAS 4 EXTRA DAYS OFF IN MARCH

Kazakhstan residents will have 4 additional days off in March. According to Article 3 of the Law on Holidays in Kazakhstan, the International Women’s Day (March 8) is a bank holiday and a day off in Kazakhstan. Nauryz is also a state holiday and is celebrated from March 21 to 23, inclusively. March 23 is Saturday this year, so, the day off is moved to Monday March 25. “In case a holiday falls on a weekend, the next work day after the holiday shall be considered the day off,” the law states. So, Kazakhstan residents will have 4 additional days off in March.

KAZAKH MINISTRY OF EMERGENCIES ON ALERT

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In the light of unfavorable weather conditions, the Ministry for Emergency Situations of Kazakhstan is on high alert, Minister Vladimir Bozhko twitted. He also informed via his official Twitter account that he had a videoconference with the regional emergency departments and Astana and Almaty emergency units as regards fire safety.

A SAT NAV FOR KAZAKHSTAN

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By 2015, Kazakhstan plans to deploy in its territory the GLONASS satellite navigation system. The Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov and his Kazakh counterpart Kairat Kelimbetov spoke on Tuesday abut cooperation between the two countries to develop in Kazakhstan a navigation system based on GLONASS. Called ERA-GLONASS the system will locate Kazakh road accidents and promptly inform the authorities.

SCIENTISTS INVENT SPACE WATER CLEANING SYSTEM

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Kazakhstan scientists have invented a system for cleaning water from contaminants and salts in space. To define whether there is life on any of the planets of the Solar system besides Earth, scientists must study whether water might have organic substances. Water analyzers can very accurately study the organic fragments when the water is free from salts. The system's prototype, the first pilot sample, is currently working and we are recording its data," the inventor Boris Pilat said. The Kazakhstan invention may be tested in 5-6 years at the Jupiter orbiter Europe that has ice on its surface. "It (the unit) will sample the ice, melt it and transfer it to the system that removes contaminants and desalts. The liquid will then be transferred into an analyzer for analyses of the organic substances if any," Pilat explained. The invention might also be sent to Mars on board of the Russian space unit Fobos-Grunt-2 in 2020.

ARMENIA TO FACE KAZAKHSTAN AT QUALIFIER

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On Jan 31, UEFA headquarters in Nyon hosted a draw for the 2015 European Under-21 Championship qualifier, with Armenia included in Group 10. Armenia’s rivals have been announced as follows: France, Belarus, Iceland, Kazakhstan, with Armenia U 21 team to face off against Kazakhstan in the second round, due August 13. However, an agreement was later reached to shift Armenia vs Kazakhstan to August 11, the official website of RA Football Federation reported.

VICE FM AT CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT IN GENEVA

Vice Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Alexey Volkov (above) participated in the plenary session of 2013 Conference on Disarmament and high level segment of the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva,. In his speech at the Conference, Mr. Volkov said that it was necessary to adopt a balanced program of work of the conference and comply with the principles governing the peaceful activities in exploration of space. The head of Kazakhstan's delegation also stressed that Kazakhstan was committed to signing legally binding instrument in the field of elimination of the nuclear threat, hailed President Obama's decision to go for the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty by the U.S. Senate and expressed his concerns over the nuclear test recently conducted by North Korea in violation of the resolution of the UN Security Council.

ARTS FORUM TO BE HELD IN ASTANA

The Kazakh National University of Arts turns 15 this year and the Head of the Kazakh National University of Arts Aiman Musakhodzhayeva announced that a press conference will be held in Astana from March 5 to16, dedicated to this event. The event will include a recital, which will take place at the Kazakhstan Concert Hall on March 6th. The main guest of the event will be the Head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev. The idea of the University opening was originated by the President. The concert programme will be performed in Milan, Turin, Washington, Paris, and Los Angeles after the forum ends.

WEST KAZAKHSTAN REGION IMPLEMENTS 2020 BUSINESS ROAD MAP

Last year the implementation of the Business Road Map 2020 programme in the West Kazakhstan region was worth 1.5 billion tenge. Privileged loans allowed modernization of the equipment of enterprises, introduction of modern technologies, and an increase in the quality of products. Moreover, the region established 2000 new jobs. The Uralsk construction plant (above) is one of the enterprises participating in the program. This plant is producing almost 700 items of construction materials. Thanks to the privileged 100 million tenge loan the enterprise managed to increase the production capacity. Specialists of the plant have developed a unique formula due to which the building block made of expanded clay has become 2X lighter.

POLTORANIN & CHEBOTKO WIN BRONZE AT VAL DI FIEMME

Kazakhstan’s skiers Alexei Poltoranin and Nikholai Chebotko came third in the men’s team sprint of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships held in the Italian ski resort of Val di Fiemme. Russian skiers Alexei Petukhov and Nikita Kryukov won first place as the Swedish duo arrived second. Americans Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall claimed gold in the women’s team sprint. Kazakhstan’s Anna Stoyan and Oksana Yatskaya did not qualify for the final stage of the competition.

RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS AGENCY TO RECEIVE 1 BILLION TENGE

Kazakhstan’s Agency for Religious Affairs will receive almost 1 billion tenge ($6.7 million) in 2013, announced the Agency's executive secretary Malik Murzalin (above). "The budget for 2013 has made 760 million tenge ($5.07 million). We will receive additional 132 million tenge ($880 thousand) under the 006 Program from the Foreign Ministry for the Agency to hold 4 international events. Last year this amount equalled to only 4 million tenge ($27 thousand). So the Agency's budget for 2013 grew 1.5-fold larger than in 2012," he said. According to Murzalinov, the increased funding is intended for development of international cooperation, opinion surveys, researches and analysis in religion.

AIR TRANSPORTATION MARKET INCREASES

The International Air Transport Association believes that in 2016 airlines of the world will transport 3.6 billion passengers, which is 831 million people more than in 2011. The organization’s communiqué states that the forecast proceeds from the fact that every year the amount of passengers’ transportations in the world will be increasing by 5.3% and mainly due to domestic flights. Experts of IATA assume that the increase in the passenger’s flow will mainly fall at the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America and Middle East. China will take the leading role. According to the reports of the organization by 2016 the top ten actively developing markets of passenger transportations, five will be from the CIS. In general the top ten countries will involve Uzbekistan, Sudan, Uruguay, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Cambodia, Chile, Panama, Russia and Kazakhstan.

SMES DOMINATE ASTANA ECONOMY

Small and medium businesses constitute 60% of Astana’s economy and are the most important sphere of the city development. Today active subjects amount to 48 thousand units in the small and medium enterprises, the number of the employed has increased by 9% says Astana’s Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov (above).

KAZAKHSTAN AMONG MOST INVENTIVE COUNTRIES

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Kazakhstan is one of the most inventive country in the world: 30 000 inventions were patented in the last 20 years alone, said Abzal Yestayev chairman of the Intellectual Property Law Committee of the Justice Ministry. “About 30 thousand patents have been issued to the citizens of Kazakhstan over the past 20 years of Kazakhstan's independence. However, many patents have already expired. An innovation patent term is limited to three years,” Yestayev said on the sidelines of a round-table discussion dedicated to improvement of Kazakhstan’s Intellectual Property Law. “Taking into account the number of our population, our scientific potential is no worse than those of Russia or Japan. Kazakhstan is one of the world leaders by the number of inventions.” The inventions of Kazakhstan’s originators are mostly concerned with chemistry, agriculture and metallurgy that are the leading fields of industry.

KAZAKHSTAN SPENT KZT 8.1 BILLION A YEAR ON ORPHANAGES

"Supporting orphanages in Kazakhstan costs the state KZT 8.1 billion a year," Vice-Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan Sayat Shayakhmetov announced at a joint board meeting of the General Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Health. "KZT 8 133 million a year is expended for the support of all children's homes. This is the most updated figure," Mr Shayakhmetov stated. The Vice Minister said half of this amount is spent on food and clothes for the children, about 15% for the utility costs, and the remaining is the salary of employees.

ASTANA WRAPS UP 2008-2010 HOUSING CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM

The Akimat of Astana, plans to finalize the Housing Construction State Program for 2008-2010 this year, according to Astana mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov. 5,086 apartments or 230 thousand square meters of housing have already been built in line with the program. "The construction of 16 residential complexes (3 496 apartments or 206 thousand square meters of housing) is underway in the capital. Those residential complexes will be put into commission before June 2013.

KAZAKHSTAN TO BECOME FULL-FLEDGED IRENA MEMBER

The Kazakh Senate passed the bill ‘On ratification of the Charter of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)" on Thursday (Feb. 21st). Vice Prime Minister - Minister of Industry & New Technologies Asset Issekeshev who presented the bill said its ratification would allow Kazakhstan to become a fully-fledged member of the agency with a voting right and a free access to necessary information. IRENA's annual fee amounts to 12 thousand US dollars. In line with the Charter, the International Renewable Energy Agency promotes widespread and increased adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. IRENA facilitates access to all relevant renewable energy information, including technical data.


140 CITIZENS OF KAZAKHSTAN EVACUATED FROM SYRIA

More than 140 citizens of Kazakhstan have been evacuated from Syria, announced Zhanbolat Ussenov (above), a senior spokesperson of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry. "The ministry continues to evacuate citizens of Kazakhstan permanently or temporarily residing in Syria due to unstable situation and security threat in the country. To date, more than 140 citizens of Kazakhstan have been evacuated.

KAZAKH MUSLIM SPIRITUAL ADMINISTRATION - RECOGNIZED

According to President Nazarbayev, "Today in our country there are different movements that want to be seen as ‘real Muslim.’ Some young people listen to the preachers who are foreign to us. We will not allow ourselves to be lead astray. The only recognized structure of traditional Islam in our country is the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan," said the President during a meeting with representatives of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims.

KAZAKHSTAN & UZBEKISTAN TO COOPERATE

On Monday, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan's ambassador to Tashkent, Boribay Zheksembin discussed practical issues surrounding the implementation of agreements reached during the official visit of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to Astana in September of last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan said. During the visit of President Islam Karimov to Kazakhstan, the two leaders agreed to continue consistent adherence to the Economic Cooperation Strategy for 2007-2016, and contribute to the further development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

RETAIL TRADE VOLUME INCREASED BY 11.2%

In Kazakhstan, the retail trade volume increased by 11.2% in January 2013 compared to the same period last year. According to the State Statistics Agency, the volume of sold consumer goods amounted to over 360 billion tenge. The largest share amounting to almost 63 percent belongs to non-food products. Experts also note the increase in the number of supermarkets, which currently account for 57.6% of the retail market. The State Statistics Agency reports that the wholesale trade volume increased by 13% and totaled 811.5 billion tenge during the recounting period. The volume of public catering increased by 5.4% and reached 14.7 billion tenge. According to the experts, the growth in population’s consumption stimulates representatives of retail chains to compete for customers and improve customer service.

VOLUNTARY PERSONAL INSURANCE MARKET TO INCREASE

Referring to the report by management of one of Kazakhstan’s insurance companies, the Kapital.kz business portal reports that there will be an increase in voluntary personal insurance sphere in 2013. The tentative estimates are 20-30%. Experts forecast that the market of compulsory civil liability insurance will develop and increase by 10-15%. In 2013, the volume of comprehensive insurance premiums will grow and reach about 7.4 billion tenge with a 15 percent increase. Insurance companies will continue diversifying the insurance portfolio. According to the management of an insurance company, the increase in all kinds of insurance volumes, except for compulsory ones, will be the most profitable for insurers. There was an increase in demand for voluntary health insurance on the market in 2012 in comparison with 2011. Increase in premiums in 2012 amounted to 33%. In 2011, the increase in premiums was 18% higher than in 2010. Experts say that the voluntary health insurance market rose by a third in 2012. Today approximately 2%of Kazakhstan’s population has voluntary health insurance.

LAW ON DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS WITH UKRAINE SIGNED

President Nazarbayev has signed a law ‘On ratification of the protocol between the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on amending an agreement on the accommodation of diplomatic missions of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Ukraine and Ukraine in the Republic of Kazakhstan, dated September 14, 2010.’

SPECIAL FREE ECONOMIC ZONES COME INTO LAW

President Nazarbayev has signed a law ‘On amendments to the law of Republic of Kazakhstan on special free economic zones in Kazakhstan.’ The law aims to increase the investment attractiveness of the special free economic zones of the country.

GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING TEAM WIN 6 MEDALS

Kazakhstan Greco-Roman wrestlers took part in the Dave Schultz Memorial International wrestling tournament that was held in Colorado Springs, USA. The Kazakhstan’s team coached by Tanat Sagyndykov advanced into the final of the tournament in six weight groups out of seven possible and won a total of 6 medals. They were ranked first in the overall ranking of the tournament. Nursultan Kalmyrzayev, the 2012 Kazakhstan Wrestling Cup champion, fought in the 55kg weight division matches. The wrestler from South Kazakhstan Oblast suffered an injury during the USA-Kazakhstan match. In spite of his injured tooth he managed to advance into the final, but could not take part in the decisive match. The second finalist -- China’s Aven Fan automatically won the match. Kazakhstan’s Almat Kebispayev, 60kg weight division wrestler, won the first gold for the Kazakhstan team.

MISS KAZAKHSTANGETS READY FOR MISS WORLD

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Zhazira Nurimbetova, who won the Miss Kazakhstan-2012 title, sat for Danil Oleynik, one of the most famous photographers of Kazakhstan. These pictures will appear in all advertisements and social campaigns that the Kazakhstan beauty will participate in. The pictures will be also sent to the international Miss World-2013 beauty pageant that will be held in Indonesia in September 2013. Miss Kazakhstan-2012 changed two dresses during the two-hour long photo shoot. According to Nurimbetova, this was her first professional photo shoot and that’s why she lacked confidence in the beginning. Zhazira has already started preparing for the Miss World-2013. 21-y.o. Zhazira Nurimbetova promised she would bring the Miss World-2013 winner’s crown to Kazakhstan after she won the Miss Kazakhstan-2012 pageant.

KAZAKHSTAN TO EXPORT 6.5 MMT OF WHEAT

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The Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Agricultural Department (FAS USDA) forecasts that Kazakhstan will export 6.5 MMT of wheat this season (September 1, 2012 – August 30, 2013) that is far less than in 2011/2012 (11.394 MMT). Kazakh wheat exports to Russia (Ural and Siberia) revive in the first half of the current year. The FAS USDA estimates that 1 MMT of Kazakh wheat will be supplied to the Ural and Siberian federal districts this year.

PREPARATIONS FOR EXPO-2017 EYED AT AKORDA

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Prime Minister Akhmetov has briefed the Head of State on the preparations for the international specialized exhibition 'EXPO-2017' in Astana today (Friday, 15th February).

KAZAKHSTAN RANKED 74TH IN WHERE-TO-BE-BORN INDEX

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Kazakhstan was ranked 74th in the where-to-be-born index for 2013, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. The rating includes 80 countries. It was made based on factors like the country's GDP, average life expectancy, political freedom, employment and gender equality. The experts also considered the feelings of the countries' residents and their satisfaction with life. As a result, Switzerland was elected the 2013's best country to be born in. This country is able to provide the best conditions for giving birth to children and raising them in 2013. The top five countries to be born in also include Australia (2nd place), Norway (3rd place), Sweden (4th place) and Denmark (5th place). They are followed by Singapore, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada and Hong Kong. Last position in the index was given to Nigeria.

KAZAKHSTAN GUIDE TO CLIMB MEXICAN VOLCANO

An international climbing expedition kicked off on February 9th with Almaty traveller and mountain guide Andrey Gundarev as one of the members of the expedition.
The Almaty citizen climbed his first volcano in February 2012. He chose Orizaba volcano (the highest North American volcano, 5636 meters) as his next goal. Gundarev is the first person from Kazakhstan, who is taking part in the popular climbing program 7 Volcanoes and is going to climb the highest volcanoes of seven continents in the foreseeable future. Kazakhstan's Andrey Gundarev and Russia’s Yury Sukhanov, two members of the expedition, have already taken part in several successful expeditions. These were the expedition to two 7-thousanders of the former Soviet Union - Lenin peak in Kyrgyzstan and to Korzhenevskaya peak in Tajikistan, the expedition to Aconcagua peak, highest peak in South and North America and also the expedition to McKinley peak situated in Alaska.

KAZAKHSTAN CITIZEN INVITED TO MEN’S BEAUTY PAGEANT

Arsen Turgambayev from Ust-Kamenogorsk will take part in The Best Asian Man-2013 beauty pageant that will be held on February 22nd in Moscow. Turgambayev, a burgeoning poet and singer, studies International Management and Business in Moscow State University of Means of Communications. “It is the first time I will participate in a beauty contest. But I have taken part in vocal, poetry and intellectual contests before,” he said. A young man from Kalmykia won the contest last year.


LESSONS OF HARMONY TO BE SCREENED AT BERLINALE

Lessons of Harmony movie directed by young Kazakhstan filmmaker Emir Baigazin has made it into the official selection of the Berlin Film Festival and will be screened on February 14th. A red-carpet event will be arranged for the shooting crew of the movie,” producer Anna Kachko said. Films Distribution Company, one of the leading French film companies, is the international sales agent of Lessons of Harmony movie – which tells the story of a 13-year-old schoolboy named Aslan, who suffers indignity in front of his classmates and this starts a personality disorder in him. After that the boy starts to strain after cleanliness and perfection and becomes obsessed with controlling everything around him. In his debut full-length movie, Kazakhstan’s filmmaker Baigazin shows the opposition between an individual and the marginalization mechanisms in the society. He tells a story of a teenager who tosses a dangerous challenge to the world risking to destroy himself by doing this.

TALENT SHOW FOR KAZKAH TV

The Kazakh talent show will be called Zhuldyzdy set (Hour of Triumph in Kazakh). It will be broadcasted by Kazakhstan national TV channel in March 2013. The organizers have already held a series of castings for the show in December 2012. Citizens of Almaty, Astana, Karaganda, Atyrau, Aktau, Shymkent, Taraz, Aktobe, Ust-Kamenogorsk and Semey all took part. The project consists of 24 episodes and will give a chance to common people irrespective of their age or occupation to demonstrate their unique abilities and to dance, sing or display acrobatic stunts on stage. A three-man jury will judge the acts.

TOYOTA FORTUNER TO BE ASSEMBLED IN KAZAKHSTAN

Within one year Kazakhstan will start assembling Toyota cars. The Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov has met with the Senior Managing Director of Toyota Corp. Didier Leroy in Astana. During the meeting, its attendees discussed the issues of organization of Toyota Fortuner production. Local plants will be engaged in painting, welding and completely knocked-down assembly of the SUV. The Kostanai plant, which is currently assembling Ssang Young cars, will be also assembling Toyotas. At the preliminary stage, it is planned to produce 3000 cars per year and in the future the production volume will be increasing. The prime minister of Kazakhstan noted that the country was the member of the customs union and it had an access to a large market. Officials from the corporation share the optimism of Kazakhstan’s government but do not talk about the prospects.

KAZAKHSTAN TO PRODUCE NEW SKODA CARS

Kazakhstan will produce new Skoda cars. Ust-Kamenogorsk will rearrange its greater production cycle to replace the ongoing assembling of ready-made parts. A corresponding statement was made during a meeting featuring the Deputy Prime-Minister of Kazakhstan, Asset Issekeshev, and the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, Martin Cuba. Currently, Kazakhstan is home to 80 joint enterprises, while the trade turnover between the two countries has increased by 67,5 % over the past year. However, this rate may rise higher due to some new projects, which are to be established by Kazakh and Czech entrepreneurs. The priority sectors include tourism, machine-building and alternative energy.

SAIDENOV RESIGNS FROM BTA BANK'S BOARD

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LA SCALA & MARIINSKI FOR ASTANA

Kazakhstan’s Minister of Culture & Information has said that La Scala and the Mariinsky Theater will come on tour to Astana’s National Opera and Ballet Theatre.

NEW APPOINTMENTS

Under presidential decrees, new appointments have been made in Astana: Abzal Nukenov became a chief of the Situation Center of the Kazakh Security Council. Samat Ordabayev was named Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan. Arystan Kabikenov was appointed Executive Secretary of the Kazakh Ministry of Regional Development

AMBASSADOR TO AZERBAIJAN APPOINTED

According to President's Decree, Amangeldy Zhumabayev (above) has been appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan, the Presidential press service said.

PRESIDENT SIGNS LAW ON LOAN AGREEMENTS ON CAREC CORRIDOR

President Nazarbayev has signed the law "On ratification of Loan Agreement on the East-West Roads Project (Almaty-Khorgos section): the International transit corridor Western Europe-Western China (CAREC 1b) between Kazakhstan and Asian Development Bank", Kazinform has learnt from the press service of the Akorda.

12TH OIC SUMMIT CONVENES IN CAIRO

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A delegation from Kazakhstan, led by Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov, took part in the 12th summit of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which opened on February 6th in Egypt’s capital, Cairo. The summit was attended by 26 heads of state and government representatives from countries including Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who discussed a range of issues and challenges facing the Islamic world.
Minister Idrissov presented a report and held bilateral meetings with OIC Secretary General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and with colleagues from other OIC member states.

ERNST & YOUNG LAUD TAX ADMIN

Kazakhstan’s Ernst & Young have noted the success of Kazakhstan’s system of tax administration. Peter Reinhardt, Tax and Law Leader, said that progress was being made in Kazakhstan, notably through electronic filing of tax returns and other innovative processes.

KAZAKHSTAN BEATS MOLDOVA

Kazakhstan’s soccer team beat Moldova 3:1 in a friendly played in Turkey on February 6th. Kazakhstan wet 2:0 up before conceding a goal. At one stage it looked as if Moldova might salvage a draw but Kazakhstan scored again shortly before the final whistle to seal the victory.

TRADE UNIONS SUPPORTING STABILITY

Kazakh trade unions support stability, the basic element of socio-labor relations, the President said at a meeting of the General Council of the Federation of Trade Unions. During the meeting, Abelgazy Kussainov (above), former Governor of the Karaganda region, was elected as the new head of the Federation. The President expressed his gratitude for the Trade Unions’ contribution to the social development of the country.

HEARING IMPAIRED DANCERS WIN COMPETITION

Dancers from Petropavlovsk with hearing impairments have won an international competition in Sochi. The pupils from the boarding school in the north of Kazakhstan took part in the 9th International Festival-Competition of Children and Young People in Sochi without disclosing their impairment. Despite the announcement of their triumph, the girls only knew they had won when their coach made a victory gesture. Petropavlovsk’s Mayor, Bulat Zhumabekov, said they were worthy of representing the country at international level.

KAZAKH MUSIC ON VIOLIN

The renowned violinist, Yerzhan Kulibayev (above), says that Kazakh music played on violins is gaining acceptance and growing in popularity on the world stage. He recently played a classical music concert in Astana, following a period of playing a Stradivarius in Berlin for a year. He plans to continue to make traditional Kazakh music acceptable when played on the violin.

GOLD RESERVES SNOWBALL

The Deputy Chairman of the National Bank has said that Kazakhstan is ranked 32nd in the world in terms of national gold reserves after buying around 21 tones of gold over the past 18 months.

KAZAKH INSURANCE COMPANIES INTRODUCING ‘IT’ IN BUSINESS

Kazakhstan insurance companies are optimistic about 2013 and expect the development of business processes due to introduction of information technologies. The introduction of mobile application to insurance brokers is planned. In addition, it is planned to decrease expenses and arguments between brokers and servicing stations. The development of retail types of insurance and aggravation of competition at the market prompt Kazakhstan insurers to boost business processes, introducing information technologies.

KAZAKHSTAN FACES GREAT BRITAIN IN BOXING

The British Lionhearts have a chance to win a place in the knockout stages of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) when they put their unbeaten home record on the line against Group B leaders Astana Arlans Kazakhstan this Thursday, 7th February 2013 (20:00 local time) at York Hall in London.

ALMATY HAS GREAT POTENTIAL SAYS BRITISH AMBASSADOR

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Almaty has great potential for further development as a financial center of the Asian region, said the Ambassador of Great Britain to Kazakhstan Carolyn Browne during a meeting with Almaty Mayor Akhmetzhan Yessimov. The British diplomat congratulated the Mayor and all Almaty residents on winning the right to host the 28th World Winter Universiade in 2017. Akhmetzhan Yessimov said that Almaty is not only the largest city in the country, but also its business, financial, cultural, innovative and educational hub. This is the largest contributor to Kazakhstan's budget and the most attractive region for foreign investment.

KYZYLORDA DEVELOPING FISHING INDUSTRY

Four years ago the Aral district in the Kyzylorda region opened a fish processing plant under the support of the state. To date, 100 employees of the plant are processing 1 thousand tonnes of different species of fish per year using modern equipment. Additionally, the plant salts, dries and assorts the fish. The plant receives orders from Canada, Denmark, Poland, Turkey and, of course, the local population. Currently, it is necessary to increase the amount of raw material, which will allow reaching the production capacity of 6 thousand tonnes of produce per year and increase the number of employees to 600.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE TO ADD KAZAKH THIS YEAR

The Kazakh language will be added to Google Translate by the end of 2013, announced Rauan Kenzhekhanuly at the presentation of Google Translate+Kazakh. “We are presenting the project called Including Kazakh language to Google Translate. All these projects are supervised by Head of the Presidential Administration Karim Massimov. We are doing everything possible to get this service up before the end of 2013,” said Kenzhekhanuly, who added that Google Translate is currently one of the most popular online translators in the world, as it is free of charge and translates words and sentences instantly. Kenzhekhanuly explained that Google does not include any languages into its permanent list on its own. The language speakers and those interested in making it part of the service have to take the initiative and supply service with Kazakh words and texts. “To make the system work, we have to upload a large number of texts with exact translations from English or from Russian to Kazakh into the system. The more high-quality texts there are, the faster the engine will learn the algorithm of the Kazakh language, understand its structure, grammar and word-building and the sooner the Kazakh language will become an official part of the service,” concluded Wikibilim.

BULGARIA TO FACE KAZAKHSTAN IN FRIENDLIES

Bulgaria's national football team will head for Asia at the end of May to play ‘friendlies’ in Japan and Kazakhstan, the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) announced on Thursday. The match against Japan is due on May 30th in Tokyo and against Kazakhstan on June 4th in Astana. Lyuboslav Penev's side ranks second in Group B in the World Cup qualification matches with six points from four matches, four points behind leaders Italy. The coach's initial plans were for a match against Kazakhstan only, but Japan's attractive offer made him extend the team's Asian tour.

AUSTRIA & KAZAKHSTAN IN DAVIS CUP OPENER

Austria and host Kazakhstan will face each other for the first-time ever in Davis Cup play this weekend in a best-of-five opening-round tie at Astana's National Tennis Centre. Friday's opening singles rubber will pit the hosts' Andrey Golubev against Austrian Andreas Haider-Maurer, while the second bout will see Austrian left-hander Jurgen Melzer take on Evgeny Korolev. Saturday's doubles match on the indoor red clay will pit a Kazakhstani tandem of Golubev and Yuri Schukin against an Austrian pairing of Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya, while Sunday's reverse singles call for Golubev to face Melzer and Korolev to battle Haider-Maurer. Team Austria is captained by Clemens Trimmel, while the Kazakhstanis are led by Dias Doskarayev (above). The winner in Astana will move on to face either the Czech Republic or Switzerland in the quarter finals.

GERMANY, FRANCE & KAZAKHSTAN TO MARK 50 YEARS OF TREATY

Germany, France and Kazakhstan will jointly celebrate the 50th anniversary of Franco-German friendship - the Élysée Treaty (see signing of same above), the press service of the Embassy of Germany in Kazakhstan said. A gala reception with representatives of the Kazakh Government, the diplomatic corps and honoured guests will be held on February 4th at the invitation of the embassies of France, Germany and aviation group EADS on the territory of the LLP ‘Eurocopter Kazakhstan Engineering’.

COIN DEDICATED TO ASIAN GAMES SOLD FOR $60,000

Kazakhstan's Taraz Football Club has signed a one-year contract with Portugal’s Manuel Curto. The 26-year-old midfielder has been training in S.L.Benfica where he played as part of a youth squad. He was caped for Estrela Amadora and played for little-known Portuguese clubs, such as Torreense, Pinhalnovense, Rio Maior and Estoril. He spent his last season in Naval FC. Curto has also played for Portugal’s national team since he was 17 and took part in the 2003 European Football Championship where he scored one goal. Curto’s team won the European Cup then by winning over Spain’s team.

KAZAKH SKIERS WIN TEAM SPRINT IN QUEBEC

Kazakhstan’s Nikolay Chebotko and Denis Volotka won the Men's Free Team Sprint at the Third Cross-country World Cup in Quebec, Canada. Russia’s skiers came second and Norway’s team was in the third place. Kazakhstan's other team - Sergey Cherepanov, Mark Starostin - were ranked 15th.

KAZAKHSTAN'S TARAZ FC SIGNS-UP CURTO

Kazakhstan's Taraz Football Club has signed a one-year contract with Portugal’s Manuel Curto. The 26-year-old midfielder has been training in S.L.Benfica where he played as part of a youth squad. He was caped for Estrela Amadora and played for little-known Portuguese clubs, such as Torreense, Pinhalnovense, Rio Maior and Estoril. He spent his last season in Naval FC. Curto has also played for Portugal’s national team since he was 17 and took part in the 2003 European Football Championship where he scored one goal. Curto’s team won the European Cup then by winning over Spain’s team.

KCELL’S EARNINGS FALL 7.5%

Kazakhstan's largest mobile phone operator Kcell, fresh from a $500 million stock market flotation in London, reported a 7.5% fall in full-year net profit as it adjusted tariffs amid increased competition. Net profit totalled 61.8 billion tenge ($410 million), down from 66.9 billion in 2011, on revenue of 182 billion, the company announced. "Kcell felt the impact of increased competition in the Kazakh mobile telecommunications market. As a result ... we saw a slight slowdown in our financial performance in 2012," said KCell Chief Executive Veysel Aral.

TETHYS DOUBLES GAS PRICE IN KAZAKHSTAN

Tethys Petroleum Limited, the oil and gas exploration and production company focused on Central Asia, today announced that it has effectively doubled the net price of the gas which it is selling in Kazakhstan.

11.9 TONNES OF URANIUM MINED LAST YEAR

In 2012, Kazatprom mined 11.9 tonnes of uranium- more than 20% of all global production. The total amount of uranium mined in Kazakhstan was 20.9 tonnes, thus securing Kazakhstan’s position as a world leader, providing about 37% of the global production of uranium last year.

ASTANA-ALMATY: HIGH SPEED RAIL LINK PLANNED

As part of “Strategy 2050”, work is due to begin this year on a high sp eed rail link between Astana (where a new station will be built) and Almaty that will cross a bridge over Lake Balkhash, the President said. Not only will this help to increase tourism to the area but it will shorten the travelling distance between the two cities by 300-400kms. It is believed the project will take five to six years to complete. (nur.kz)

WIND POWER IN MANGISTAU

At the ‘EXPO 2017- Regional Initiatives’ Forum, it was announced that the Mangistau Region is to develop wind power. The company Energy Holding Worldwide will initially build two wind farms in the region with a capacity of 250MW. The larger of the two will be sited on a 2000 ha area in the Karakia district and account for 150MW of the total capacity. Kazakhstan has prioritised the development of renewable energy sources which it is hoped will replace the use of coal in power stations.

DONOR DAY MARKED

In Taldykorgan a charitable initiative has been set up, in response to the President’s “Donor Day” initiative, part of the Kazakhstan 2050 strategy. By law every donor gets two day o! work and KZT435 to cover lunch costs. The objective is to draw as large a group of donors as possible from across the population.

GREEN WEEK 2013 IN BERLIN

A Kazakh delegation led by Vice Minister of Agriculture, Gulmira Isayeva and the Chairman of the Majilis Committee on Agrarian Issues, Romin Madinov, attended the 78th International Exhibition ‘Green Week 2013’ in Berlin in January. Established in 1926, Green Week is a one-of-a-kind forum for the food, agricultural and horticultural industries, where producers from all over the world come to present and test-market products.

KAZAKHSTAN ON CZECH LIST

The Czech Ministry of Industry & Trade has included Kazakhstan on a list of twelve of the most promising countries with which it plans to establish active cooperation. The Czech Ambassador, Bedrich Kopecky (above), said “The forthcoming International Exhibition EXPO 2017 will provide a real impetus for the use of Green energy.”

KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER TO MEET WITH EU, NATO & CE LEADERSHIP

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerlan Idrissov has arrived in Brussels on two-day visit. He will meet the leadership of the European Union, NATO and the European Council. Idrissov is expected to negotiate with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, Secretary General of the Council of the European Union Thorbjern Jagland, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Vice-President of the European Parliament Othmar Caras, head of the European Parliament's delegation for Central Asia and Mongolia Paolo Bartolozzi. In addition, the Kazakh Foreign Minister will give a briefing for media at the «Brussels Press Club Europe».

KAZAKHSTAN: DRINK BEER, SAVE EAGLES

One of Kazakhstan’s major breweries is donating two tenge (about 1.3 US cents) to the protection of golden eagles with the purchase of each souvenir can of its Karagandinskoye Pivo. Since July, a campaign has raised more than 2.6 million tenge ($17,220) to support the activities of the Almaty-based Sunkar Raptor Sanctuary and the Institute of Zoology of Kazakhstan, the company says. The distinctive, limited-edition cans are decorated with a colorful golden eagle, the endangered bird of prey that has iconic status in Kazakhstan. An eagle adorns the national flag and eagle hunting is an important Kazakh tradition. The golden eagle is also the symbol of the Karaganda-based brewery behind the promotion. The campaign's proceeds are helping the Institute of Zoology identify existing eagle habitats and pinpoint why numbers are declining.

KAZAKHSTAN RANKED 2ND IN REAL ESTATE GROWTH IN CIS

Kazakhstan occupies second place among the four largest countries of the CIS according to growth rates of housing construction and third place on the amount of housing. KazRielt Real Estate reports that Ukraine was inferior to Kazakhstan on the growth rates of construction but was superior on its amount. Kapital.kz noted that in Belarus figures are worse. In 2012 Kazakhstan commissioned 6.742 million square metres of housing, including 3.336 introduced by the population. The total amount of housing construction was 3.2% more than the year before. The total number of constructed buildings reached 25192.

BUDGET IS MORE TRANSPARENT

Kazakhstan has improved residents’ access to budget information over the past two years, says Director of Sandzh Research Centre NGO and member of the national budget network Zhanar Dzhandossova at a press-conference in Astana. “The research made by independent experts once every two years has found that Kazakhstan increased its level from 38 to 48 points out of 100 possible (the index showing the level of openness of the local budgets). This improvement means that Kazakhstan citizens have received greater access to information, when the Finance Ministry started publishing the civil budget jointly with the community.

NEW MD FOR EXXONMOBIL KAZAKHSTAN INC

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Bruno Jardin was appointed as Managing Director of ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Inc. in December 2012, the press service of the Kazakh Office in Astana announced."In this position, Jardin replaced Michael Crews," the press service said. Since October 2010 Jardin served as senior project manager of ExxonMobil Development, responsible for projects within the PSA on Northern Caspian. Prior to his appointment, he was a project manager under operatorship of other companies in the central project group of ExxonMobil Production.

NO COMMISSIONS OR FEES FOR ISSUANCE & SERVICING OF LOANS

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The National Bank of Kazakhstan intends to achieve a legislative ban on charging any commissions and fees related to the issuance and servicing of loans, except the interest rate by commercial banks. The only condition for the issuance of the loan will be the interest rate charged on the outstanding principal balance.

KAZAKH OFFICIALS AT ENA

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Six officials from the Academy of Public Service of Kazakhstan have arrived in France to follow a year of specialized training in International Governance and Development.
The year begins with an intensive training period of three months in the French language at CAVILAM Vichy. They then pursue a high level course at the prestigious Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) in Strasbourg. The course is funded entirely by the presidential scholarship program Bolashak, which - since 1993 – has helped train a Kazakh elite.

EEC OFFICE TO OPEN

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) will open offices in Belarus and Kazakhstan. The relevant draft decision of the EEC Council, approved by the decision of the EEC Board, has been published on the official website of the Eurasian Economic Commission. According to the draft provision, the office will secure EEC cooperation with the authorities of the hosting country, including in part of preparation of materials, draft decisions and recommendations of the commission regarding the formation and functioning of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space. The office will be also involved in activities falling within the province of the commission, provide assistance in organizing the sessions of the EEC Council and prepare analytical materials, BelTA has learnt.

KAZAKHSTAN & CHINA TO CONSTRUCT ANTI-AVALANCHES FACILITY

Kazakhstan and China have agreed to jointly construct a facility at the transborder Khorgos River to prevent avalanches coming down from alpine glacial lakes, according to the country’s Agriculture Ministry. The agreement was reached during the 10th sitting of the Kazakh-Chinese Committee for Transborder Rivers. In addition, the parties have agreed to construct a number of waterworks facilities at some mid-sized and smaller transborder rivers. The two parties have agreed to complete the joint research work on evaluating water resources of the two nations by 2014. The findings will lay foundation for an Agreement on Water Division between Kazakhstan and China by 2015.

KAZAKHSTAN MOVIE FOR BERLINALE FILM FESTIVAL

A Kazakh movie has been listed in the official selection of Berlinale Film Festival for the first time, announced Shaken Aymanov from KazakhFilm Studios press-service. The debut movie Lessons of Harmony, directed by Emir Baygazin (above), will be demonstrated at the 63rd Berlinale Film Festival in February. The movie receive first place in the 18th International Sarajevo Film Festival in the special Work-in-Progress category.

NEW PRESIDENTIAL AIDE APPOINTED

A new presidential aide has been appointed in Kazakhstan, the president's official website reported. By Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev's decree Kozhamzharov Kairat Perneshovich has been appointed as Presidential Aide - Secretary of Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan and has been dismissed from the post of governor of Akmola region. Perneshovich served in the financial police bodies in various posts from July 1999 until his new appointment.

SKI VICTORY FOR POLTORANIN

At the cross-country World Cup races on Saturday at La Clusaz, Kazakh skier Alexey Poltoranin won the men's 15-kilometer classical-style mass start race in a sprint finish, clocking 37 minutes, 11.6 seconds to beat Russia's Alexander Bessmertnykh by .01 seconds. Switzerland's Dario Cologna was just behind in third. Alexander Legkov of Russia, who was fifth, leads the overall standings with 867 points. Cologna is second with 826.

GENETIC SCIENCE TRIUMPH

Genetic scientists in Kazakhstan have developed a new technology for transforming adult stem cells into embryonic ones. It is the first time such research has taken place in the country. The new technology involves extracting stem cells from an adult and transforming them into embryonic forms. Embryonic cells can be used to reconstruct different types of tissues, including skin, bone, cartilaginous and vascular.

CORONARY ARTERY BYPASS OP A SUCCESS

The inhabitants of Central Kazakhstan will all be able to receive cheap, high quality medicines thanks to the opening of a new specialized logistics centre for storing them. KZT 1.37 billion was spent on this project, which is part of the “Business Road Map-2020”. The centre has an automated management system which will guarantee a consistent high quality of medical products from manufacture to delivery. 42 new workplaces have been created as a result.

NEW STATION ANNOUNCED

A new railway station will be built in Astana, Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov (above) said. “The new station will be built near the city’s international airport and the site has direct access to the entire necessary service infrastructure,” the mayor said at a meeting with visiting International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) Secretary-General Vicente Loscertales. The new rail station will be opened in time to serve EXPO 2017. Construction work will start in January 2014.

NEW RAIL SERVICE OPENS

A new railway service has been opened from Astana to Uralsk in west Kazakhstan to handle an increased volume of passenger traffic on the route.

NEW NUMBER PLATES FOR DRIVERS

Drivers in Astana, Almaty and Atyrau are now receiving newly designed number plates. More than 1,000 cars received new number plates over the first working days in the new year, and about 300 are receiving them daily now. The Astana traffic police said the new number plates are only for private vehicles and will soon be available in all 16 regions of the country.

FLOOD VICTIMS RECEIVE AID

Residents of the Saryagash and Sozak districts in southern Kazakhstan who suffered from flooding and a heavy storm last week are receiving assistance. Their electricity supply has been restored and damaged roads and bridges are being rebuilt. Local residents are now receiving food, clothes and coal. The disaster caused 200 million tenge ($1.327 million) in damage. Two houses were destroyed and four bridges, 26 roads, two pipeline service facilities and a school were badly damaged.

ABDRAKHIMOV APPOINTED CHIEF OF STAFF

Gabidulla Abdrakhimov (above), the former chairman of the Agency for the protection of competition, was appointed deputy chief of staff to the president on January 22.

KOZHAMZHAROV: SECURITY COUNCIL

On, January 22nd, Kairat Kozhamzharov (above), the former governor of the Akmola region and the erstwhile chair of the Agency on fighting corruption, was appointed assistant to the president and secretary of the Security Council.

DATES FOR AEF 2013 ANNOUNCED

Astana will host the 6th Astana Economic Forum on May 22-24. More than 8,500 delegates from 100 countries are expected to attend the gathering which has become a traditional meeting point for leaders, experts and business people to discuss the current challenges to economic development globally and ways to solve them.

ISTANBUL PROCESS CONFERENCE FOR ALMATY IN APRIL

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Almaty will host a conference of the Istanbul Process to focus on the regional approach to resolving the problems of Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Idrissov said Kazakhstan has made a significant effort to prepare for the event in April 2013. A total of 13 thirteen countries are expected to send their representatives.

RITZ-CARLTON TO EXPAND IN ALMATY

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has announced the expansion of its luxury hotel chain in the CIS with the development of the first hotel in Kazakhstan. The 145 room hotel, owned by a subsidiary of Capital Partners L.L.C., is located in the 37 storey Essentai Tower within the mixed use Esentai Park development project in Almaty,. The hotel, located in the centre of the city, will offer Club and Suite accommodation together with over 10,000 square feet of meeting facilities.

TATAR, BASHKIR GROUPS JOIN ATOM PROJECT

The Tatar and Bashkir cultural groups in Kazakhstan are backing The ATOM Project, a global initiative to abolish nuclear weapons testing, and ultimately, abolish nuclear weapons. Taufik Karimov, president of the Association of Tatar and Bashkir National Cultural Centres (ATBNCC), said his organisation recognized the importance of the project and was giving it full support. “The contribution of Kazakhstan to strengthening the regime of nuclear weapons non-proliferation is a definitive contribution to world stability, order and security,” Karimov said. “

NORTHERN ARAL PROJECT CONTINUES

The ambitious project, Regulation of the Syr Darya River and Preservation of the Northern Aral (known as RRSSAM), initiated by President Nazarbayev, has brought hope for a more prosperous tomorrow to residents of the Aral Sea region. This year, Kazakhstan will launch the second phase of this project, which will recover the Kazakh part of the Aral Sea and create conditions for socio-economic development in the region. The total cost of the work is approximately KZT 22.2 billion, 85 percent of which will be provided as a loan from the World Bank. The rest of the funds will be allocated from the national budget. Experts and locals hope that in the near future, Aralsk City, with a population of more than 40,000 people, will return to its status as a successful resort town

TRANSLATION CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED

In the National Academic Library, the youth wing of the Nur Otan political party, Zhas Otan, has announced the launch of a nationwide Internet campaign among the nation’s youth to identify 100 books they’d like to have translated into the state language. According to statics, young people make up about 70 percent of readers; however they generally read textbooks or other educational books. Great efforts are being made to promote further reading. However, instead of Shakespeare, Balzac and Tolstoy, young people ask for translations of Murakami or the Harry Potter series.

IMPROVEMENTS AT SHYMBULAK

A new ropeway opened at the Shymbulak Ski Resort near Almaty city in December. The new aerial ropeway is just one kilometer long, but it was a significant event in developing the infrastructure of this resort. The slopes of the Left Talgar Mountains are being developed in the Shymbulak Resort area. The new ski routes that were opened are designed for beginning-level skiers and snowboarders. Shymbulak traditionally attracts good skiers to its demanding slopes and trails and 80 percent of visitors who use them fit into this category. Shymbulak’s skiing trails are rated as among the 10 most difficult ski runs in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

ARTISTS TO PRESENT THEIR WORKS FOR EXPO 2017

Artists will present work at Expo 2017. Rza Tursynzada from Astana will show work at EXPO – demonstrating to foreign guests typically Kazakh crafts such as pillows, blankets, curtains in national style. According to her words, people from France, Italy and Sweden are the best admirers of Kazakh culture. Hereditary potters, masters of sewing and sculptors are among the other artists expected to present their wares.

KAZAKHSTAN PIANIST GOT STEINWAY ARTIST AWARD

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Khadisha Onalbayeva became the first Kazakhstani musician to be awarded with the prestigious Steinway Artist Award. Prominent pianists like Sergey Rakhmaninov, Vladimir Gorovits, Yevgeny Kissin were awarded the title.
The pianist said that Steinway Artist Award title “is also a merit of Kazakhstan’s authentic culture, Zhubanov Musical School and the Kurmangazy Conservatoire professors, who taught me.”
It is expected that the official Steinway Artist Awarding Ceremony will be held on January 22.

KAZAKHSTAN HOPES TO JOIN UN SECURITY COUNCIL AS NONENTITY MEMBER

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Kazakhstan’s President told heads of foreign diplomatic that Kazakhstan banks upon support of its international partners in the hopes of becoming a nonentity member of the UN Security Council.
"We will help eliminate even the slightest manifestations of a conflict in the region, develop integration and build up pragmatic economic cooperation with all our partners. I kindly ask you to bring to your governments' notice that Kazakhstan aspires to become the pillar of stability and cooperation between the nations. This is the idea behind Kazakhstan's wish to join the UN Security Council as its nonentity member," the President stated.

IMPORTANT PARTICIPATION EXPECTED AT EXPO 2017

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Representatives of more than 100 countries would participate in EXPO 2017, according to Secretary General of the International Exhibitions Bureau Vicente Loscertales, at a press conference held on Thursday 17th in Astana. “The more countries take part in the EXPO-2017, the better it will be for the international relations, the more the network of Kazakhstan's partners will be expanded. The subject of the energy of future is important as well,” Loscertales said.

KAZAKHSTAN’S POPULATION ROSE BY 2.6%

According to figures for January - November 2012, the number of people in Kazakhstan increased by 221.5 thousand people, the Chairman of the Statistics Agency Alikhan Smailov informed yesterday.
"The number of people in Kazakhstan made up 16.897 mln people in December 2012, including 9 mln 254.7 thousand urban residents and 7 mln 642.2 thousand rural residents.. This is 2.6% more against the corresponding period of 2011.

KAZAKHSTAN UNVEILS EXPO-2017 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Vice Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov will chair the EXPO-2017 Organizing Committee set up by the Kazakh Government.
According to Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov the organizing committee will coordinate the activities of eight task groups responsible for preparation of the exhibition.
"It is high time to mobilize our efforts and take strong measures to effectively and timely implement the national plan on preparations for the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 ," Mr. Akhmetov said on Tuesday in a Government session.

MORE THAN HALF A MILLION TOURISTS VISITED ASTANA IN 2012

According to the Astana Tourism, Physical Culture and Sport Department 522.9 thousand tourists visited the capital in 2012. 117.5 thousand came from abroad.
The steady growth in tourism triggers Astana’s hotel occupancy: in 2009 it was 28.5%, in 2010 - 31.2%. In 2011 it rose to 42%, and in the first half of 2012 - 49%. To date Astana proposes 172 hotels totaling 5124 rooms.
The tourism boost has been achieved through the joint work of local executive bodies and non-governmental organizations. At present, the city has 169 travel agencies to promote Astana on international tourist markets and fairs.

In 2017 the capital will host the international exhibition EXPO-2017. This will give a new impetus to the development of tourism not only for Astana, but for the whole country.

THE RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL COMPANY TO OPEN ITS FIRST HOTEL IN KAZAKHSTAN

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has announced the expansion of its luxury hotel chain in the CIS with the development of the first hotel in Kazakhstan. The 145 room hotel will be located in the 37 storey Esentai Tower within the mixed use Esentai Park development project in Almaty. The hotel, located in the centre of the city, will offer Club and Suite accommodation together with over 10,000 square feet of meeting facilities.

KAZAKHSTAN GENETICS GROW EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS

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Kazakhstan genetics have developed a technology for transforming adult stem cells into embryonic ones, Gaziza Danlybayeva, an expert in immunochemistry and immunobiotechnology with the National Biotechnology Center of Kazakhstan announced. Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka received the Noble Prize in medicine and physiology for a similar development in 2012. This is the first time such research is performed in Kazakhstan. The technology includes extracting stem cells from an adult and returning them into the embryo form.

TEACHERS RAISE QUALIFICATION LEVELS

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Over 3,000 teachers from Kazakhstan have raised their qualification levels in line with the Cambridge system, according to the education organization “Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools”. The courses began in April this year. 3,278 teachers in 17 cities passed the qualification examination. The courses are a result of the Government’s efforts to develop teacher training programs.

GOLD & FOREIGN CURRENCY RESERVES INCREASED

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Kazakhstan’s net gold and foreign currency reserves increased to $29.1 billion as of Nov. 30 from $28.5 billion on Oct. 31, data published by the Central Bank shows. Total international reserves stood at $86.6 billion at the end of November, the Bank said in a statement. This total includes $57.5 billion in the National Fund, which collects windfall revenues from oil exports.

KAZAKH WINS ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR PRIZE

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Serikbay Bisekeyev from Kazakhstan has won the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” prize in Russia. Serikbay, who lives in St Petersburg, set up a business that offers its services to companies in the Forbes list. He began selling mobile phones, then went on to supply control room equipment for large industrial enterprises such as Lukoil, Novatek, Rosneft, Gazprom and Sibir. In 2005 he created his own brand of control equipment which became competitive not only in Russia but the world over. Recently he set up two joint enterprises in Frankfurt and Delhi. He believes that Kazakhstan is capable of creating high-technology products and dominating the global market.

MEDICINE STORAGE CENTRE LAUNCHED

The inhabitants of Central Kazakhstan will all be able to receive cheap, high quality medicines thanks to the opening of a new specialized logistics centre for storing them. KZT 1.37 billion was spent on this project, which is part of the “Business Road Map-2020”. The centre has an automated management system which will guarantee a consistent high quality of medical products from manufacture to delivery. 42 new workplaces have been created as a result.

CONSUMER ACTIVITY IMPORVES SAYS STATISTICS AGENCY

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Kazakhstan’s Statistics Agency has gathered data on consumer activity. 32% of respondents said that they had noted an improvement in the country’s economic situation over the past year, while 13% said that they had noted deterioration. The “economic climate index” increased by 1% from the previous month (to 19%). The “willingness to buy index” decreased by 1% from the previous month. 33% of respondents in November 2012 remarked on an improvement in their financial situation and 14% said that their financial situation had worsened.

KING OF JORDAN SENDS CONDOLENCES OVER PLANE CRASH

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The King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein (above) has sent a telegram of condolences to President Nazarbayev in connection with the death of 27 people in a the plane crash near Shymkent last week. On behalf of people of Jordan, King Abdullah extended his deepest condolences to the victims' families and friends, according to the telegram. On December 30, the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Amman lowered the flag and opened a condolence book for people wishing to record their condolences in connection with the An-72 plane crash in Kazakhstan.

KAZAKHSTAN CO-CHAIRS OECD INITIATIVE

Kazakhstan has become co-chairman of Central Asian Initiative of OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). The Organization’s deputy Secretary General Richard A. Boucher praised Kazakhstan’s role in the region and its active participation in the Initiative’s work. Established in 2008, the Central Asian Initiative is a part of the OED Eurasian Competitiveness Program and aims to help create a sound business climate for investment, enhance productivity, support entrepreneurship, develop the private sector, and build knowledge-based economies to render this region more competitive and attractive to foreign investment.

REMISSION OF EMISSIONS TAX INCREASE

Large industrial enterprises can be granted a remission of increase of the emissions tax due to implementation of the Complex Plan on Energy Efficiency, said First Deputy Minister of Industry &New Technologies Albert Rau at a presentation of the Kazakh-German centre of energy efficiency today. The Deputy Minister noted that this measure would be an incentive for enterprises for the period of implementation of the Complex Plan. Presently, 15 largest industrial enterprises in Kazakhstan consume about 35% of all electric energy.

KARAGANDA TO HOST EXPO OF INNOVATIVE PROJECTS

In 2013, the city of Karaganda will host an international exhibition of innovative projects aimed principally at young people. The Governor of Karaganda region Abelgazi Kussainov is behind the idea. The expo will be organized to support the Expo-2017 event in Astana and will encourage talented youth to develop innovative ideas. Young innovators from Kazakhstan and foreign countries are expected to showcase their developments at the event.


‘KAZAKHSTAN'S 2013 DREAM TEAM’ PRESENTED IN ASTANA

The Saryarka Velodrome in Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, was host to the 2013 Astana Team presentation. New team manager Alexander Vinokourov, rider Vincenzo Nibali, General Manager Guiseppe Martinelli and the rest of the Astana team were all present at the event.
"Goal number one this year is to win the Giro d'Italia," said Alexander Vinokourov. "With Vincenzo Nibali leading a squad of strong, motivated riders in May, we know we have the pieces in place and a plan in motion to get us there."
The 2013 Astana roster includes 29 riders from 10 countries was labelled by Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov, who is president of the national cycling federation, as "Kazakhstan's Dream Team".
"Not only is it an international dream team, but it's also a chance for Kazakhstan's own riders to be a part of a great squad and prepare for other events over a longer time horizon," Mr. Kelimbetov said.
Vincenzo Nibali signed in August with Team Astana for two years.