Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham


New Palace for Kazakhstan: Country’s top venue inaugurated in Astana 0

Posted on August 31, 2015 by KazCham

IIHF

Kazakhstan got its first modern large-scale arena with the opening of a new 12,000-seat venue for ice hockey in the capital of Astana, which is for now called New Ice Arena.

Among the guests for the opening on Sunday was IIHF President Rene Fasel, who congratulated Kazakhstan for its new arena before a symbolic face-off with Kazakhstan Ice Hockey Federation President Askar Mamin that opened the pre-season President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Cup tournament with the game between Barys Astana and KHL rival Metallurg Novokuznetsk.

The arena is a milestone for the Central Asian former Soviet republic. Until now the country’s top teams have been playing at ice rinks, old and new, with capacities limited to between 2,000 to 6,000 spectators.

Former NHL forward Dustin Boyd, who enters his fifth season with Barys, was the first goal scorer for the home team in the new arena when he netted the 1-1 goal after the opening marker from Metallurg Novokuznetsk’s Roman Berdnikov. The home team went on to achieve an auspicious result for their arena’s opening day with a 4-2 win.

Kazakhstan’s long-standing President Nursultan Nazarbayev inspected the arena the day before its inauguration and seemed happy with the outcome. For Kazakhstan’s KHL entry Barys Astana, the new arena will replace the Sports Palace Kazakhstan, which is good news for the club considering that the old rink was among the worst rated in the Russian-based cross-border league.

Having an arena that can now deservedly be called a palace, the Kazakhs hope to improve their international merits and inspire players to new heights in the future. The venue also includes an academy and a swimming-pool complex.

The new venue in Astana won’t be the only of one its kind in the country for long. In the old capital of Almaty the 12,000-seat Almaty Ice Arena is being built and will include two ice sheets and a swimming pool. It will be used for the 2017 Winter Universiade and was also part of the bid to host the 2022 Olympic Winter Games that lost to Beijing.

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Iran and Kazakhstan discuss launching energy trade zone 0

Posted on August 31, 2015 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm

Iran and Kazakhstan’s provincial officials have discussed their mutual ties, including the possible establishment of a free trade zone for energy, oil and gas.

Rabi’ Fallah Jolodar, the Governor-General of Iran’s Mazandaran province, and Rakimbek Amirjanov, a deputy Governor-General of Kazakhstan’s Mangystau province, have conferred over ways to further develop the bilateral ties between the two countries.

During the meeting the two sides focused on the establishment of a free trade zone for energy, oil and gas in the Caspian Sea. Jolodar also urged the directors of local companies to enhance relations with their Kazakh counterparts.

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Astronauts from Kazakhstan, Russia and Denmark to launch to orbital outpost 0

Posted on August 29, 2015 by KazCham

NASA

Three astronauts from Kazakhstan, Russia and Denmark are set to launch to the orbital outpost from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday, September 2.

Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency, Sergei Volkov of Roscosmos and Andreas Mogensen of ESA will travel in a Soyuz spacecraft, which will join the space station and dock two days later to the Poisk module.

NASA Television will start covering the launch at 11.45pm EDT on Tuesday and docking of the crew on Friday, Sept. 4.

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Astana International Financial Center 0

Posted on August 28, 2015 by KazCham

PwC Kazakhstan

In May a long-term action plan for the creation of the Astana International Financial Center was adopted by the government and National Bank. According to a Presidential Decree (No24, 19 May 2015) the National Bank will relocate from Almaty to Astana by 1 January 2017. The new center will have the following features:

  • regulation of relations between participants of the center will be based on
  • standards of the world’s leading financial centers;
  • legislative regulations will be based on the principles and rules of English law;
  • use of English in all document flow of the center, including legal proceedings.
  • foreign judges to hear economic and investment disputes;
  • exemption from corporate income tax on the revenue generated within the
  • center, from personal income tax at source on dividends and personal income
  • for all participants for ten years;
  • foreign staff will not require work permits

The National Bank has also established a regulatory committee for the Astana International Financial Center.

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Kazakhstan cancels currency corridor 0

Posted on August 28, 2015 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm

Kazakhstan has started implementing a new monetary policy based on a free-floating Tenge rate, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov has stated at a governmental meeting.

“The exchange rate will be based on the market supply and demand, taking into account the fundamental internal and external macroeconomic factors,” he said. “This means that the exchange rate can vary. This will be determined by the situation in the world economy and the domestic currency market.”

“The National Bank will not intervene in the formation of the market level of the Tenge exchange rate,” he added. “But it reserves the right to participate in the domestic foreign exchange market through the foreign exchange intervention in case of a threat of destabilizing the financial system.”

In mid-July, the National Bank of Kazakhstan expanded the corridor of fluctuations of the Tenge exchange rate from 170-188 Tenge to 170-198 Tenge per $1. The reasons given for this change were the deterioration of the external situation and, above all, the drop in oil prices.

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ADB ready to support TAPI project 0

Posted on August 26, 2015 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is prepared to continue to provide technical and financial support for the $10 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. This is according to Wencai Zhang, Vice-President of the ADB, which acts as a transactional advisor to the TAPI project.

He stressed the importance of the TAPI project implementation, which is economically beneficial to both the countries participating in the project and all countries in the region as a whole.

Zhang made this statement in Ashgabat at a meeting with the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

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Nine Kazakh Startup Teams to Receive Technology Training in Silicon Valley 0

Posted on August 25, 2015 by KazCham

Astana Times

Nine Kazakh tech startup teams have won the opportunity to receive training in Silicon Valley as a result of their performance in the Technation competition, which attracted startup groups from former Soviet Union countries, Europe and Asia.

“More than 20 experts in the U.S. will teach our young members of the startup teams. We have many good ideas, but our marketing, business plans and design aren’t developed well. The project is partially financed by the Kazakhstan government, partially by Kazakhstan investors,” said Deputy Chairman of National Agency for Technological Development Zhumatai Salimov, reported Bnews.

The competition was organised by the Ministry for Investment and Development of Kazakhstan in cooperation with the National Agency for Technological Development and Happy Farm business accelerator.

An expert panel examined 345 startup concepts. Of those, 41 percent were related to mobile technology and 33 percent involved e-commerce. The remainder involved media and cloud-based technology ideas.

Kazakh startup teams were the most numerous and submitted 262 projects, which is 76 percent of all the ideas submitted. Forty-six startup teams from Ukraine presented ideas and 14 came from Russia.

Submissions were also received from Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Kyrgyzstan, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, the U.K., the U.S., and Uzbekistan,

Experts and mentors of the Technation programme selected the best 80 teams, which took part in working seminars where they created business plans, presentations for investors and businessmen and worked on networking.

The Technation panel then chose the 40 best teams, which were then provided the opportunity to participate in interactive workshops as well as to study how to create startups and how to analyse the investment attractiveness of commercial projects.

Ultimately, nine Kazakh teams were selected to participate in the education programme in Silicon Valley, United States. The panel announced the names of the winning teams in Almaty on July 26. The Kazakh teams are Crystal, Greedy, FastCallManager, Indybo, Mobile CRM, Mangust, AlmaSales, picVpic and BIZMO.

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Kazakh military Students on Familiarization Tour at West Point, USA 0

Posted on August 25, 2015 by KazCham

Kazinform

Nine military students of the Military Institute of Land Forces of Kazakhstan arrived at West Point Military Academy in the USA for familiarization purposes, the press service of the Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan informs.

They live with the cadets at West Point, familiarize with their routine, physical preparation and military training. West Point, in its turn, sent nine cadets to the Military Institute of Land Forces of Kazakhstan in June.

This program is arranged every year within the cooperation between the US Department of Defense and the Kazakh Defense Ministry.

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DBK finances export of Kazakhstan titanium to European markets 0

Posted on August 25, 2015 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm

The Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK) has provided a loan for up to 5 years to Ust-Kamenogorsk Titanium Magnesium Plant (UKTMP) for the procurement of crude materials and processing for the production and sale of titanium sponges, alloys and ingots used in the aerospace industry.

All of UKTMP’s products are exported to industrially developed countries. In fact, Kazakhstan titanium accounts for around 11% of the world titanium market, as well as for over 17% within the aerospace industry.

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Drop Irrigation Technology to Develop Kazakh Farms 0

Posted on August 24, 2015 by KazCham

Astana Times

The Kazakh Fund for Financial Support of Agriculture (FFSA) started recently implementing a drop irrigation program under the Agrobusiness-2020 state branch program. Equipment for 40 projects in a territory of 440 hectares will be installed this year.

“Kazakhstan has a large area which is suitable for farming and drop irrigation technology can help increase the volume of agricultural production several times. The drop irrigation technology solves the main problem of farming in the state – arid climate,” said head of the FFSA press service Aliya Ensebayeva in a July 21interview.

As of July 16, the fund has already financed 24 projects inthe amount of 135.8 million tenge (US$726,200), which enables the installation of drop irrigation equipment on 300 hectares. Thirteen requests for installation of drop irrigation equipment on 100 hectares are also currently being considered and three contracts for installation of the equipment on the remaining 40 hectares will be registered soon.

“In 2015,the fund plans to spend 675 million tenge ($US3.6 million). The program operates in all regions of Kazakhstan and all farmers who want to use drop irrigation can approach the offices of the fund, which are situated in every region of the state,” said Ensebayeva.

The issue of water and the difficulty and expense of acquiring it was reviewed by Kenzhetai farm head Gulnara Saramsakova. The farm raises vegetables and the need to pump water from a river using three or four engines which consume a lot of fuel is a costly proposition.

“We haven’t used drop irrigation technology yet, but I am sure that this technology will help us. The equipment is very expensive and I thought for a long time before I made the decision to install it. I visited other farms which use the technology. I spoke to farmers and experts, saw the results of their work and I made the corresponding conclusion for myself,” she said in a July 20 interview.

Saramsakova considers this technology to beperfect for Kazakh farmers, because the crop is several times higher and water consumption is several times lower.Kazakh banks don’t give such loans, because they don’t accept farms as pledged assets, butthe fund does. As a result, farmers have the opportunity to get a loan.

Saramsakova is one of the fund’s first loan debtors under the drop irrigation program.

“Drop irrigation enables us to provide water directly to a plant’s roots constantly using special tubes with microscopic holes. Such plants get water only to the necessary place drop by drop. As a result,the soil around the roots isn’t too wet and isn’t too dry. It has air access. All the above-mentioned factors create optimum conditions for the life activity of plants and saves water,” she said.

Saramsakova secured afive-year FFSA loan inthe amount of 4.45 million tenge (US$23,739) with 14 percent interest. As such, theannual interest rate is not higher than 16.32 percent.

The equipment is being installed in Shariptogai village in the Kokpekty district, East Kazakhstan region. The farm has all the necessary equipment and tools, a heat-insulated warehouse and refrigerationsystem for long-term crop storage.

Saramsakova plans to create five new work places at her farm and is sure implementingthe new technology will make her life easier and her business more profitable. She has a very ambitious development plan.

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