Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham


CASA-1000 to be inaugurated in May 0

Posted on May 02, 2016 by KazCham

The Central Asia-South Asia electricity transmission project (CASA-1000) will be inaugurated on 12 May by top officials from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The project is supported by the World Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, US Agency for International Development (USAID), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

The inauguration ceremony will be attended by high-level government officials from the four participating countries and representatives of the donor countries and organisations.

CASA-1000 will provide a new electricity transmission system to connect all four countries involved. It will help them to make the most efficient use of Central Asia’s hydropower resources by enabling the countries to transfer and sell their electricity surplus during the summer months to the energy-deficient countries of South Asia.

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Kazakhstan at the NSS2016: Nuclear Security Summits should continue 0

Posted on April 11, 2016 by KazCham

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Although four nuclear security summits held at the U.S. President Barack Obama’s initiative since 2010 have produced remarkable legacy in strengthening the security of dangerous materials around the world, much more remains to be done to make the mankind safer in the face of a threat of nuclear apocalypse, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on April 1, 2016 at NSS in Washington, DC.

THE HILL

As national leaders completed their fourth Nuclear Security Summit, we can reflect on what has been accomplished. Three previous meetings have produced a new level of cooperation between nations to account for and control the circulation of dangerous nuclear materials. President Barack Obama’s leadership in calling for these summits has made real and lasting contributions to the cause of nuclear security.

As the summits conclude, however, the international community should recognize that nuclear risks are growing, not receding. The increasing sophistication of trans-national terror organizations and emerging regional conflicts pose new challenges that must be considered.

Ending the nuclear threat will be the work of generations. Ultimately, nations must adopt a new model of security; one that replaces the idea that nuclear weapons guarantee security with a more permanent system of mutual cooperation at the regional and global level.

A new path for nuclear security is not unrealistic. Indeed, recent history offers a guide. It is fitting, therefore, that we will meet in Washington twenty-five years after the creation of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. This effort, authored by Senator Sam Nunn and Senator Richard Lugar, has produced results that few thought possible in 1991.

The security cooperation undertaken in these last twenty-five years demonstrates what can be achieved when the threat is clearly recognized. Kazakhstan has first-hand knowledge of this. The higher purpose of securing dispersed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons allowed former adversaries to think anew about security.

Consider the experience of Kazakhstan. As a newly independent nation in 1991, in an unstable region, we inherited the world’s fourth largest arsenal of nuclear weapons. But Kazakhstan’s history as a testing ground for Soviet nuclear weapons, where 500 nuclear weapon tests exposed more than one and a half million citizens and contaminated large areas of our country, led us to a different conclusion about security.

With the support of the people of Kazakhstan, we closed Soviet-era nuclear testing facilities at Semipalatinsk and shortly thereafter renounced all nuclear weapons on our soil by transferring them to the Russian Federation.

Working under the U.S. Nunn-Lugar program, we secured and transferred large quantities of weapons-grade uranium out of Kazakhstan to Russia and further to the United States for secure disposal. Sites relating to biological weapons were also eliminated.

Eliminating stockpiles of nuclear weapons and materials has made our region safer and more stable . But lasting security will only be achieved through structures that offer mutual security to all parties.

In Central Asia, this began with implementation of confidence building measures. Over time, this cooperation developed into the declaration of Central Asia as a nuclear weapons free zone. All of Kazakhstan’s neighbors have now joined us in rejecting nuclear weapons and the region is more stable as a result. The link between nuclear weapons and national security has been cut in Central Asia.

Our experience has permitted a broader dialogue on nuclear weapons. Our unique history allowed Kazakhstan to facilitate the initial discussions between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, in search of a nuclear agreement, which included hosting two rounds of intense talks on the issue in Almaty back in 2013. Recently, a transfer of 60 tonnes of Kazakhstan’s natural uranium to Iran allowed Russia to receive enriched uranium from Iran as part of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. On this difficult issue, engagement has worked.

The agreement recognizes the sovereign right of all countries to develop nuclear power. At the same time, the cause of concern – uranium enrichment that could produce weapons – must be contained. For this reason, the International Atomic Energy Agency has established the world’s first Low Enriched Uranium Bank under international control in Kazakhstan. The bank will ensure a secure supply of low enriched uranium to any country, thereby eliminating the need for costly and destabilizing enrichment facilities.

Since the last summit two years ago in The Hague, we have also converted a research reactor in Almaty to use low-enriched uranium as a fuel. This step goes in line with our strong and sincere commitment to increase safety procedures in using nuclear technology for a peaceful purpose.

The international community must now consider the path forward after the Nuclear Security Summits. What structures can be created to solve the long-term problem?

Last September, I called on the United Nations General Assembly to set a clear goal to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2045, the centenary of the founding of the UN. The UN has responded by approving the Universal Declaration for the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World.

Reaching this goal will require work by those who support us. But we must advance with each small step.

Start by banning all nuclear testing. The United Nations has declared August 29, the date of the closure of the Semipalatinsk test site, as the International Day against Nuclear Testing. The ATOM (Abolish Testing. Our Mission) Project that we initiated seeks to tell the world of consequences of nuclear weapons testing and calls for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). People in more than 100 countries have already supported the project’s calls. Eight countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Israel, North Korea and the United States must sign or ratify the CTBT, signed by 183 and ratified by 164 nations, for progress to be made. As co-chair of the CTBT Review Conference, along with Japan, Kazakhstan intends to work hard to achieve that progress and I call on all states, especially those on whose signature and ratification the CTBT entry into force depends, to show wisdom and responsibility and do the needed.

The test ban will not be a solution in itself. But putting it in force is one more step toward the ultimate goal of eliminating nuclear weapons in our world.

 

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Record number of countries to participate in Almaty Winter Universiade 0

Posted on April 05, 2016 by KazCham

Astana Calling

Fifty-four countries have signed up to participate in the Winter Universiade 2017 in Kazakhstan, a new record high for participating countries.

“The largest number of countries taking part in the International Student Games was registered in 2011 in Erzurum – 52 countries. We expect 2,000 athletes from 55 countries at the Winter Universiade in Almaty. Currently, 54 countries have been registered online,” noted head of the Organising Committee for the Winter Universiade Asset Abdualiyev.

Abdualiyev noted that the venues are 60 percent complete. For the first time, an athletes’ village is being built specifically for the Winter Universiade. He added, “After the experience of holding the seventh Asian Winter Games, the visa requirements for guests will be simplified. There will be 500 transport vehicles designated for the guests to get around the city, for which main and alternative routes have been developed.”

Almaty will become the first city to host the Winter Universiade in the Commonwealth of Independent States. This year, seven test events are going to be held to test the venues of the Winter Universiade 2017. (astanatimes.com)

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Chevron-Sponsored Audiobook Application Brings Kazakh Literature to Smartphones and Tablets 0

Posted on April 02, 2016 by KazCham

Astana Times

Chevron and Wikibilim Public Foundation presented its Audiokitap (which translates as Audiobook) mobile application at the Nazarbayev Intellectual School in Almaty recently. The application, unique for Kazakhstan, provides a convenient access to an online library of Kazakh language audiobooks.

Zhanbolat Ussenov, who represented Chevron at the ceremony, said: “This innovative and technologically advanced project was sponsored by the company to handle multiple tasks, including preservation of Kazakhstan’s cultural heritage, promotion of Kazakh language and introduction of modern information technologies to make literature and book-reading more popular with the younger generation.”

Alibek Kisybai, President of Wikibilim Foundation, added: “In the digital age, content adaptation to mobile technologies is of paramount importance. Kazakhstan is actively developing a culture of gaining knowledge through audio media. Audiokitap is a contribution to bridging the digital divide. Initiatives, like ours, will support the further development of Kazakhstan’s cultural and educational environment.”

So far, Audiokitap’s ever-growing online library provides access to almost 2,000 audiobooks, including academic publications, fiction and foreign books translated into Kazakh. The audiobooks are split into four categories: national literature, foreign literature, kid’s literature and fairy tales.

More and more Kazakhs give preference to audio means of learning and exploring the world. Available through App Store and Play Market, the Audiokitap application has been downloaded 3,500 times in the very short time span since its launch. The organisers expect this number to grow over 10,000 listeners soon.

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Kazakh Secretary State Shares Country’s Gender-Sensitive Policies with UN Commission on Women 0

Posted on March 30, 2016 by KazCham

Astana Times

Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State Gulshara Abdykalikova told the March 14-15 60th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women that her country’s women-oriented and gender-sensitive policies enable women to succeed at the national level.

Abdykalikova said during the session, dedicated to “Women’s empowerment and its link to sustainable development,” that President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev pays great attention to the political leadership of women, their contribution to the economic growth and prevention of gender violence.

Kazakhstan, as a member of the UN, advocates for gender equality and empowerment of women throughout almost all of the issues and processes on the agenda of the organisation. Kazakhstan has been a member of the Commission on the Status of Women several times and is a member until 2018.

Abdykalikova addressed the commission in her capacity as Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under the President, focusing on the structural causes of gender inequality and discrimination, putting forward gender-responsive state policies and programmes. In light of the newly adopted 2030 development agenda, Abdykalikova shared the goals of the country’s gender-sensitive policies.

The Kazakh delegation also met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Under-Secretary-Generals, Executive Director of the UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Administrator of the UN Development Programme Helen Clark. The delegation also met with Executive Secretary of Inter-American Commission on the Status of Women Ambassador Carmen Moreno, as well as Ban Soon-taek, spouse of Ban Ki-moon, who is an advocate for the protection of women’s rights and their empowerment. The sides expressed a desire to expand cooperation.

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THE EARLY PARLIAMENT ELECTION 0

Posted on March 29, 2016 by KazCham

Six Kazakh Parties Meet in Electoral Debate Broadcast Nationwide

Astana Times

Representatives of the six parties running for seats in Kazakhstan’s lower chamber of Parliament took part in an electoral debate March 16 shown on one of the country’s national TV channels.

Led by two hosts, the debates had three rounds. During the first round, each speaker had two minutes to share his party’s view on the theme “the new reality of the world economy: problems and perspectives.”

In terms of the new reality, it is necessary to support employment, continue the quality transformation of the economy and lower its dependence on the external factors, noted Nur Otan Party First Deputy Chairman Askar Myrzakhmetov.

During his speech, Ak Zhol (Bright Path) Democratic Party Chairman Azat Peruashev noted the importance for Kazakhstan not to rely on natural resources and raw materials, but to make its own products. The pro-business party’s leader indicated the necessity to support domestic producers.

Auyl People’s Democratic Patriotic Party Chairman Ali Bektayev talked about the country’s agricultural sector and the significance of developing export potential.

Vladislav Kosarev, honorary secretary the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan (CPPK), said the economy should be restored on the principles of “social justice, truth and humanity.”

Nationwide Social Democratic Party (NSDP) representative Zauresh Battalova insisted Kazakhstan is in the midst of a crisis due to internal rather than external factors. She called for ensuring a decent standard of living and the total eradication of poverty.

Birlik (Unity) Party member Roza Kuanyshbayeva talked about the country’s environmental problems and deficit of water resources. Her speech was based on implementing the principles of a green economy, stressing the rational use of natural resources and greening of industrial production.

The first round was completed with a series of questions posed by the representatives to one another. Each could ask only one opponent and answer only one query. They had 20 seconds to ask and one minute to answer. The questions included the electoral programmes, measures to overcome world crises, steps to support the country’s people and the green economy.

The second round was dedicated to the topic “infrastructure, transport, logistics and modernisation in modern conditions.” Party representatives shared their views on the topic and answered the hosts’ questions about the innovative solutions the parties proposed in order to develop the infrastructure.

During the third round, the participants had the opportunity to once again appeal to voters and reiterate the main reasons why they should cast ballots for their particular party. Most asked people to follow their hearts and make the decision they feel is right.

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Kazakhstan may take back some nuclear assets from JVs 0

Posted on March 29, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

Kazakhstan may take back some assets from the joint ventures it has set up in the nuclear sector, according to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Nazarbayev explained that some joint venture partners of the state nuclear firm Kazatomprom “are not meeting their obligations”.

“In this regard it is necessary to either ensure that they meet their obligations or look into reclaiming those assets in the interests of our state,” Nazarbayev is quoted as saying.

Kazatomprom has joint ventures with France’s Areva, Canada’s Cameco, Japan’s Sumitomo Corp and Kansai Electric Power, several Russian firms including Rosatom, and a few Chinese companies.

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Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of Kazakhstan on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters 0

Posted on March 28, 2016 by KazCham

White House

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of Kazakhstan on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, signed at Washington on February 20, 2015.  I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Treaty.

The Treaty is one of a series of modern mutual legal assistance treaties negotiated by the United States to more effectively counter criminal activities.  The Treaty should enhance our ability to investigate and prosecute a wide variety of crimes.

The Treaty provides for a broad range of cooperation in criminal matters.  Under the Treaty, the Parties agree to assist each other by, among other things:  producing evidence (such as testimony, documents, or items) obtained voluntarily or, where necessary, by compulsion; arranging for persons, including persons in custody, to travel to another country to provide evidence; serving documents; executing searches and seizures; locating and identifying persons or items; and freezing and forfeiting assets or property that may be the proceeds or instrumentalities of crime.

I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Treaty, and give its advice and consent to ratification.

BARACK OBAMA

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DBK-Leasing finances first deal under Islamic leasing terms 0

Posted on March 24, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

JSC DBK-Leasing, a daughter company of the Kazakhstan Development Bank, opened a 10-year leasing financing for a project involving the delivery of tank cars for a railroad cargo transportation organisation of LLP Eastcomtrans.

The 1.1 billion-tenge deal became the first project financed by DBK-Leasing under the “Ijara” Islamic leasing terms.

Elena Kogay, the Vice Chairperson of the DBK Board, issued the following statement: “This deal is of paramount importance for Kazakhstan’s economic sector, since our opportunities on the attraction of foreign investment expand. In order to boost Islamic financing in our country, we need to use these instruments in active financial operations. In this regard, I would like to highlight that DBK-Leasing became the first company to finance the project on Ijara terms.”

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Kazakhstan to start refining gold from Iran 0

Posted on March 22, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

Last year Kazakhstan’s three gold refineries produced more than 30 tonnes of refined gold, an increase of 15% compared to 2014, according to Meiramgali Tleuzhanov, director of the Tau-Ken Altyn gold refinery.

Tleuzhanov said that a few years ago, Kazakhstan refined its gold abroad, but now the country imports raw materials. By the end of this year, Kazakhstan plans to refine around four tonnes of Iranian and Russian gold.

“This year we will start refining gold from Iran,” Tleuzhanov said, adding that in the past Iranian gold was refined in the United States. “Part of Iranian (gold) companies has decided to cooperate with us.”

There are three gold refineries in Kazakhstan: Tau-Ken Altyn, a precious metals plant owned by the Kazzinc metallurgical complex, and a gold refinery owned by the Kazakhmys Corporation.

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