Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham


US-Kazakh Relations to Grow Despite Many Changes in 2017, Says US Ambassador 0

Posted on January 18, 2017 by KazCham

Astana Times

The United States, one of the top foreign investors in Kazakhstan, is about to witness Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, as the 45th and probably one of its most controversial Presidents. Will policies under the new administration affect U.S.-Kazakh relations?

The Astana Times interviewed the current U.S. Ambassador in Astana, George Krol, in search of answers.

Numerous U.S. companies have invested more than $26 billion in Kazakhstan, making the country one of the top foreign investors, primarily in natural resources, manufacturing, and services, said Krol. Last year the trade turnover between the two nations totalled $1.4 billion, with more than 400 U.S.-Kazakh joint ventures created throughout the years. The U.S. also aided Kazakhstan during its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Kazakhstan began Jan. 1 as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, which Krol called an historic happening in the life of the independent, 25-year-old country.

“We are so pleased to begin working with Kazakhstan on the United Nations Security Council.  Kazakhstan’s membership on the Security Council is a historic opportunity and testament to the success of pragmatic ‘multi-vector’ foreign policy,” he said. “Over the past quarter century, we have worked together for the benefit of the peace, security and prosperity of our two peoples and the world and I am confident Kazakhstan’s tenure on the Security Council will be a productive one.”

The ambassador highlighted the country’s competitive edge in numerous sectors and spheres, such as the food industry, petro chemistry, metallurgy and agriculture.

“As an example, we are cooperating with the Ministry of Agriculture and grain producers to increase production of nutritionally fortified wheat. With U.S. investment and technology, crops from Kazakhstan could significantly improve the nutrition and health of people throughout Central Asia. We are also closely cooperating with the animal husbandry sector. Over 8,000 American cows and bulls have been imported into Kazakhstan to improve local stock,” he said.

Ten-Year Visas

Starting Dec. 29, the U.S. and Kazakhstan agreed on issuance of 10-year visas for their citizens, a step in bilateral relations that will facilitate travel and boost tourism and business ties, said Krol.

“The ties between our peoples are some of the most important links between our two countries and the introduction of 10-year visas will only strengthen those links. The introduction of 10-year-validity business and tourism visas lets Kazakh and American citizens spend more time planning their travel and less time worrying about visa forms. We strongly believe the 10-year visas will help more Kazakhs and Americans get to know each other better and do business together. Thousands of Kazakhs would be able to travel to the U.S. to obtain education or improve their professional qualifications. Here, in Kazakhstan, hundreds of Americans have worked as English teachers, some through U.S. government programmes like Fulbright or Peace Corps. American teachers would be able to continue to support Kazakhstan’s vision of becoming a trilingual society,” he added.

EXPO 2017

Kazakhstan’s major event of the year, EXPO 2017 in the capital Astana, will carve out the country’s image throughout the three-month exposition from June-September. Krol, the commissioner for the U.S. pavilion, praised the ongoing construction of the site.

“The U.S. is moving forward expeditiously with the required internal procedures to allow us to participate in EXPO 2017. The State Department has chosen a contractor for the U.S. pavilion, APCO Worldwide; architects and planners designated by APCO will be here in January to survey the pavilion and finalise the plans necessary for them to take possession,” he said.

“I want to commend Kazakhstan on the excellent preparatory work it has already done at the EXPO site and I believe EXPO 2017 will serve as a valuable platform for businesses, governments and other organisations to advance global cooperation on clean energy. Several U.S. companies including GE, Chevron and Fluor, have pledged to sponsor the U.S. pavilion,” he added.

Under the new administration, Krol noted the interests of the U.S. in “promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region and globally will not change, nor will our commitment to a vital partnership with Kazakhstan.”

“Relations between the U.S. and Kazakhstan will continue to grow and strengthen based on the firm foundation of mutual respect and shared interests built over the 25 years of Kazakhstan’s independence,” he added.

“In 2016, the U.S. and Kazakhstan marked the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. This development highlights the strong partnership that our two countries have forged over the last 25 years and symbolises the United States’ commitment to friendship with the people of Kazakhstan in the decades to come. We look forward to new developments in our partnership in 2017,” said Krol.

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World Universiade 2017 Unveils Torch Relay Route 0

Posted on January 16, 2017 by KazCham

Astana Times

The World Universiade 2017 torch relay will begin its journey in Kazakhstan by lighting the flame Jan. 25 in Astana. The flame will then continue to Ust-Kamenogorsk, Pavlodar, Kokshetau, Petropavlovsk, Kostanai and Karaganda Jan. 26 and Aktobe, Uralsk, Atyrau and Aktau Jan. 27. The route then continues to Kyzylorda, Shymkent, Taraz and Taldykorgan Jan. 28 before the final lighting of the flame in the host city of Almaty Jan. 29.

The rehearsals of the torch light procession with the participation of top sports people of Kazakhstan was held in Almaty in early January. The ceremony unites the country that conducts the games, and outstanding sportsmen will take part in the torch relay.

According to plans, all the athletes will gather in Almaty, in the heart of the Universiade and participate in the opening ceremony. As a sporting event, Universiade attracts more and more young people, said the organizers.

“It is important that young people will be able to communicate and get to know each other as part of this project. We want to show that our students are talented, creative and strong,” said Winter Universiade Organizing Directorate Head Nail Nurov.

Read more

 

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In recognition of Ambassador Kairat Umarov 0

Posted on January 16, 2017 by KazCham

Hon. Dana Rohrabacher of California

in the House of Representatives

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Congressional Records

Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Speaker, Ambassador Kairat Umarov of Kazakhstan has faithfully served in Washington, D.C. for the past four years. His steady leadership and commitment to building the relationship between our two countries has resulted in stronger ties and raised the profile of Kazakhstan and President Nazarbayev in the West. As he now prepares to complete his time as Ambassador, I wish to mark the occasion by recognizing his many achievements and extending my personal thanks to

him.

The United States and Kazakhstan share a strategic partnership and a shared interest in preventing nuclear proliferation. Ambassador Umarov has fostered a close working relationship between our government and the Kazakh Embassy which has been a key ingredient for many positive steps. Although he will soon depart Washington, I must mention the Ambassador’s significant contributions to the EXPO 2017 event which

will take place later this year in Kazakhstan.

Over the course of Ambassador Umarov’s time in Washington, I can attest that he is the consummate diplomat, always gracious, even in trying circumstances. While I am sad that his term in our nation’s capital has finished he leaves behind a record of improved relations, not only between governments, but between the people of Kazakhstan and the United States.

Lastly, the Ambassador will celebrate his birthday on January 12th and I wish him the very happiest of celebrations.

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Kazakhstan to stop regulating gasoline prices at the state level 0

Posted on December 11, 2016 by KazCham

Centil Law Firm BI@centil.law

The Kazakh government will terminate the state regulation of AI-80 gasoline prices starting from 2017, according to the Kazakh Energy Ministry. There are plans to lift the ban on the export of light oil products by 2019.

In August 2016, Kazakhstan stopped regulating diesel fuel prices, and stopped regulating AI-92/93 gasoline prices even earlier in September 2015. Due to the decision to deregulate the price of AI-92 gasoline and diesel fuel, the risk of the deficit of petroleum, oil and lubricants decreased to a minimum.

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Kazakhstan’s Zhambyl region plans to build a ski base to develop tourism 0

Posted on December 09, 2016 by KazCham

Centil Law Firm BI@centil.law

Kazakhstan’s southern Zhambyl region is planning to build a ski base and recreation centre. These projects will attract tourists to the region, said the Director of the Regional Chamber of Entrepreneurs Karlygash Aralbekova at the International Investment Forum “TARAZ INVEST-2016” on 25 November 2016.

Four tourism projects are included in the Regional Map of Business Development: the ‘Kazakh Auli Koksai’ recreational tourist base worth 935 million tenge, the ‘Apple Orchard’ recreational tourist centre worth 85 million tenge, as well as projects for the construction of roadside services in the Zhualynsk and Merke districts of the Zhambyl region, worth 402 and 700 million tenge respectively.

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Kazakh and Dutch companies to cooperate in agro production 0

Posted on December 08, 2016 by KazCham

Centil Law Firm BI@centil.law

Kazakhstan’s Holding Group Almex and the Netherlands’ Staay Food Group have signed a memorandum on developing projects in the agricultural and food industries and the joint venture Astana Fresh.

In the first phase, the parties will establish cooperation with local farmers by creating a distribution system of fresh fruit and vegetable products in Kazakhstan and neighbouring countries. This initiative will give further momentum to the existing support provided to local agricultural producers engaged in growing fruit and vegetables in greenhouses and on open ground. The parties hope that their joint company Astana Fresh will bridge the gap between farmers and the consumers of agricultural products.

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EIB provides €200m to support green projects in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on December 05, 2016 by KazCham

Centil Law Firm BI@centil.law

Long-term funding for SMEs in Kazakhstan and finance projects involving climate change adaptation and mitigation and environmental protection are set to be available as the European Investment Bank (EIB) signs two financing contracts for €150 million and €50 million.

The EIB funds will help to implement the “Concept for the Transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to a Green Economy”, as climate action and environmental protection are Kazakhstan’s key policy objectives. This will contribute to the improvement of industrial competitiveness by fostering cleaner and greener production investments, renewable energy generation, resource efficiency and climate-resilient infrastructure projects.

The EIB is joining forces with a well-established partner, JSC DAMU Entrepreneurship Development Fund (DAMU), a state-owned development institution created by the government to support the development of Kazakhstan’s SME sector that will on-lend the EIB funds to selected financial intermediaries.

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Japanese steel plant launched in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on November 28, 2016 by KazCham

Centil Law Firm BI@centil.law

The Tokyo Rope Almaty plant launched in Almaty on 7 November 2016 will produce a variety of metal products, including heavy-duty grids for the further production of gabion systems used for the prevention and elimination of emergency situations.

The projected capacity of the plant is 5,000 tonnes of metal products per year during the first phase, a capacity that is set to increase. It is expected that the company’s output will not only be utilised in Kazakhstan, but will also be supplied to CIS states and other countries.

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Swiss businesspeople to invest in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on November 26, 2016 by KazCham

Centil Law Firm BI@centil.law

Swiss businesspeople have met with local counterparts in search of new cooperation options and discussed plans for expanding partnerships. In particular, foreign investors have proposed a number of interesting projects related to banking, transport logistics, construction, healthcare and tourism. They are interested in Kazakhstan because it provides them with a link to the Chinese market. From there, they are also ready to enter the Russian market.

One of the outcomes of these meetings has been the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Kazakh Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-Russia/CIS.

During the course of the negotiations, a Swiss construction company offered to build a brick factory in Kazakhstan. As noted by investors, a special combination of cement and wood will enable homes to retain heat better. One of the advantages of the project, according to business officials, is the low cost of products. In addition, there will be no need to import building materials from abroad.

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Saudi signs nuclear deal with Kazakhstan 0

Posted on November 24, 2016 by KazCham

Centil Law Firm BI@centil.law

Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan have signed a nuclear deal as part of a new deal to improve bilateral relations between the two countries.

A cooperation agreement relating to the peaceful use of nuclear energy was signed by the president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, Dr Hashim Yamani, and Kazakhstan’s Minister for Energy, Kanat Bozumbayev.

Memorandums of understanding were also signed in the fields of agriculture, livestock, water, the extradition of wanted persons, and the transfer of prisoners.

Saudi Arabia is one of several Middle Eastern states looking into setting up a nuclear power programme. Although its nuclear programme is in its infancy, the Kingdom has plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years. A 2010 royal decree identified nuclear power as essential to help meet growing energy demand for both electricity generation and water desalination, while reducing reliance on depleting hydrocarbon resources.

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