Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA


Archive for the ‘Democracy’

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


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.


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Russia and Kazakhstan to sign nuclear power agreement this year 0

Posted on March 19, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

Russia and Kazakhstan are preparing to sign an intergovernmental agreement on research and development cooperation in the nuclear energy sector. Vyacheslav Pershukov, the Russian state nuclear corporation’s head of design and innovation, led a delegation to Kazakhstan last week to discuss potential joint projects in the sector.

The two sides have also agreed to include in the agreement the possibility of Kazakhstan’s participation in the international research centre for the MBIR complex, which is under construction in Dimitrovgrad, Russia. MBIR is the Russian acronym for multipurpose sodium-cooled fast neutron research reactor.

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First National Geographic Kazakhstan edition hits newsstands 0

Posted on March 18, 2016 by KazCham


The first issue of the National Geographic Kazakhstan magazine has hit the stands. Kazakhstan has become the only country in Central Asia to publish the magazine.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev penned a foreword for the issue congratulating the magazine’s readership on yet another achievement of the Kazakh language on the world stage.

National Geographic Kazakhstan will promote the unique beauty of Kazakhstani nature, flora and fauna and support domestic researchers and scientists. The magazine plans to arrange a number of expeditions and photo exhibition this year.

The magazine has been published continuously since its first issue in 1888, nine months after the National Geographic Society was founded.

The National Geographic Society is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its global mission is to support scientific, research, educational and environmental programs.


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Posted on March 14, 2016 by KazCham


Political Parties Publish Pre-Election Platforms

Astana Calling

The slates have been set, as six parties drafted 234 candidates approved by the Central Election Commission (CEC) for the upcoming parliamentary elections, reported the CEC press service. Registration ended Feb. 20 for parliament and maslikhat (regional legislatures) candidates from Nur Otan Party, Ak Zhol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan, Auyl (Agrarians) People’s Democratic Patriotic Party, Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan (CPPK), Nationwide Social Democratic Party (NSDP) and Birlik (Unity) Party.

The same day, the six parties had their electoral programs published in the government-owned Egemen Kazakstan and Kazakhstanskaya national daily newspapers.

Campaigning will continue through March 18.

Read more on Astana Calling

More than 800 international observers expected to monitor Kazakh elections


Over 800 international observers are expected to monitor the parliamentary election in March in Kazakhstan, member of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of the Republic of Kazakhstan Tatyana Okhlopkova announced Feb.23.

“So far the CEC has accredited 40 observers from the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission and 12 observers from the CIS election observation mission upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” Okhlopkova said.

She added that over 400 observers of the OSCE/ODIHR mission, over 300 of the CIS mission and over 10 of the SCO mission are expected to arrive.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already accredited 99 representatives of foreign mass media.

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EXPO 2017 Participants Discuss Event Preparations in Astana 0

Posted on March 09, 2016 by KazCham


Astana Calling

The schedule of preparation for EXPO 2017 in Astana and the significance of the event were discussed at the second International Participants Meeting (IPM) in Astana Feb. 24–25. More than 270 representatives of expo working groups from more than 100 countries took part in the meeting, where presentations by government officials, International Bureau of Expositions (BIE) officials and the Astana EXPO 2017 National Company were made.

“EXPO 2017 will become a platform to demonstrate humanity’s achievements in the field of green energy and solutions to issues the rational use of energy sources,” said Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Dariga Nazarbayeva during the opening session of the IPM. She noted that Kazakhstan has stepped up its green energy efforts, implementing 14 renewable energy projects with an aggregate capacity of  120 megawatts, and that last year electricity generated from renewable sources reached around 700 million kilowatt hours.

BIE Secretary-General Vicente Loscertales, addressing the meeting, said “The significance of the theme – Future Energy – makes this specialized expo a very large one in terms of ideas, to display opportunities to make a real difference globally.” For Kazakhstan, he said, EXPO 2017 will be a chance to position itself as a country with a commitment to greening its economy and promoting renewable energy sources and green technologies; for participants, “Astana will be a unique opportunity to display their ideas and the vision.”

Chairman of the Astana EXPO 2017 National Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov and company’s team presented updated information on preparation for the exhibition, including technical details about expo architecture, pavilion structures, commercialization plans and methods of sales. During his speech, Yessimov noted that the Astana EXPO 2017 Company and the BIE secretariat are cooperating closely and that all schedules have been approved. According to Yessimov, the construction of international pavilions is underway and will be completed by November this year. “At this time we will be ready to hand over the spaces to the international participants,” he said.

To entertain the 2.3 million visitors expected to attend EXPO 2017, 3,517 different events outside the expo site and 3,296 inside the site have been planned for the duration of the event. These include conferences, fairs, concerts and other activities.

According to the government of Kazakhstan, more than 100 countries are expected to participate in the exhibition. So far, 75 countries and 14 international organizations have officially confirmed their participation in the event.

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First test train China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran launched 0

Posted on February 26, 2016 by KazCham


The first similar container train launched on the China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway route proceeded from Turkmenistan to Iran, RIA Novosti reported Feb. 11.

The test journey is conducted for adjusting the regular transportation on this new railway route.

The train loaded with various goods left from the Chinese city of Yeiu at the end of January, passed the distance of 7,908 kilometers, crossed the territory of Kazakhstan and reached the Turkmen railway station of Serkhetyak (Border).

The Turkmen site of the new transnational railway route lies from Serkhetyak station to Serakhs on the Turkmen-Iranian border. This part is equal to 1,156 kilometers. As experts consider, the train will reach its terminal station in Iran’s capital – Tehran.

The total length of China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran route is about 10,000 kilometers, and the journey time is about two weeks.

The creation of such transport and transit corridor became possible after the construction of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran international railway route. The road was opened in December 2014 with the participation of Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani.

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Kazakhstan’s Gambling Regions Add a Touch of Vegas to the Steppe 0

Posted on January 31, 2016 by KazCham

Astana Times

Kazakhstan has its own Las Vegas and Atlantic City for people who want to try their luck, spend an unusual weekend or just observe the dynamic world of casinos. The country’s two main gaming areas, Borovoe (in the Akmola region) and Kapchagai (in the Almaty region), may be far from their American counterparts geographically, but they promise to provide visitors with a high level of service.

“I really like spending one or two weekends a year in Borovoe playing in casinos. Of course, you have to think sensibly and rationally. For me, it is just a possibility to have a good time with my friends and sometimes a way to test my luck. I never spend more money than I can afford. And I feel like I am somewhere abroad, not in Kazakhstan. I have been in casinos in a few countries. I think the level here is quite good. Maybe it is not Las Vegas, but it is still okay,” said businessman Aslan Rakhimbayev in a recent interview for this story.

Gambling has been a topic of discussion for a long time. Casinos were formerly in cities, but have since been banned by law and moved to two specially-designated resort areas.

Cash Ville Casino is located in Borovoe’s Rixos Hotel. It is operated by East Casino Management Company, which also owns Astoria and Bombay casinos in Kapchagai. Cash Ville is one of the biggest and most luxurious casinos in Central Asia, according to boora.info, promising to Еprovide European-level service. It has 50 gaming tables, where visitors can play American roulette, black jack, baccarat and the most popular forms of poker. The hotel provides discounts for casino visitors.

Imperial-M, which opened in Borovoe in 2009, provides more than 20 gambling tables including American roulette, black jack and five types of poker. It also has in excess of 50 slot machines including electronic roulette and the latest games. The casino has the first and only license in Central and Northern Kazakhstan to operate a slot machine hall.

Lafayette, with its different types of gambling tables, is another destination for people who sometimes like to try their luck. According to boora.info, “Casino Lafayette is an atmospheric place with excellent background music, bar and restaurant. Refreshing or hot drinks, light cocktails or heavy alcohol will help you relax and relieve the tension of the game. It provides an opportunity to rest and the restaurant offers Japanese and Kazakh cuisine.”

There are several other casinos on the resort territory. Eurasia and Diamond may not be as large, but promise to provide good service and a good time.

Kapchagai resort has its own gaming activities, such as Bombay Casino. “This modern entertainment complex in the southern playing area of Kazakhstan meets all modern trends of comfort and quality. Impeccable service, reliability, comfort and individual approach to each guest is guaranteed in Bombay Casino. The Victorian-style unique interior creates an atmosphere of comfort and luxury,” its website says.

The Bellagio invites visitors “to plunge into the world of excitement, fun and passions in one of the most respected casinos in Kazakhstan.” According to its website, the casino “guarantees each visitor impeccable service and reliability, as well as an unforgettable stay in an atmosphere of luxury and comfort. Each room in the hotel is designed in classic style and has everything you need for a comfortable stay.”

The resort has many other casinos, such as Astoria, Macao, Monaco and Ritz Palace.

Kazakhstan has a special law “On gambling business” signed in April 2007. Online casinos are prohibited and the law restricts the amount of gaming equipment in casinos, which must have at least 20 tables and not less than 50 machines. Citizens under the age of 21 are not permitted in the casinos and the taxes for gambling places are high.

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Kazakhstan approves list of state companies offered for privatisation 0

Posted on January 14, 2016 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

The government of Kazakhstan has approved a list of state companies to be offered for privatisation as part of its long-term privatisation plan for 2016-2020.

The plan approves a list of large state-owned companies and organisations that will be privatised, and includes the pharmaceutical company SK-Pharmacy, national space company Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary, state road enterprise Kazakhavtodor, Khorgos international centre of cross-border cooperation, the airport of Astana, the Almaty sanatorium, the Kazakh national film studio, the airports of Kostanai and Petropavlovsk, the Korkyt Ata airport in Kyzylorda, and the Duman entertainment centre in Astana.

The list for priority privatisation also includes the national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (through IPO), national oil and gas company KazMunayGas (IPO), national atomic company Kazatomprom (IPO), national post service Kazpost (IPO), airlines Air Astana (IPO) and Qazaq Air, national telecommunications operator Kazakhtelecom, the airports of Aktobe, Atyrau and Pavlodar, the Aktau international seaport, and the national agricultural holding KazAgro.

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Reviving the North Aral Sea 0

Posted on December 15, 2015 by KazCham


In October 2014, the us National Aeronautic and Space Administration (nasa) released images of the Aral Sea taken by its Terra satellite. These were among the first to show the South Aral Sea’s entire eastern basin as bone-dry—a dramatic difference from a similar image taken in August 2000. “This is the first time the eastern basin has completely dried in modern times,” said geographer and Aral Sea expert Philip Micklin of Western Michigan University. “And it is likely the first time it has completely dried in 600 years, since the medieval desiccation associated with diversion of Amu Darya to the Caspian Sea.”

Aral, population just above 30,000, is the largest town on the northeast shore of the North Aral Sea, and some 73,000 people remain living in the surrounding region. Here, explained Darmenov, the Kazakh government and World Bank must work together with the Syr Darya river to save the sea. The river is the sea’s sole source of replenishment, and its fate is still largely determined by cyclical rainfall patterns, as well as snowmelt from the distant Tien Shan Mountains.

In 1976, according to a historical marker at the once-thriving port, Aral shipped 5,000 metric tons of wool, 340 furs, 3,000 sheepskins, 1,500 pairs of woolen gloves and 1,200 pairs of woolen trousers. Now, the tourists who stop by here can climb aboard the Lev Berg, a fishing boat painted bright blue, and look out over the desertified lakebed. Two rusting cranes that have not been used since the early 1980s hulk above the otherwise flat horizon.

But the waters that by the early 2000s had retreated 100 kilometers from Aral are now only 20 kilometers away, and they are coming closer.

“We inherited the problem of the Aral Sea from the Soviet Union, but as soon as we became independent, we adopted special programs,” said Zhanbolat Ussenov, director of the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs and former spokesman at Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry.

“We of course understood that we wouldn’t be able to save the sea on our own— from neither a financial nor an expertise point of view—so we created an International Save the Aral fund,” Ussenov explained. “We invited the World Bank and individual countries to help us with this environmental catastrophe. And I’m happy to say that today the Aral Sea is slowly returning to its original boundaries.”

The dream of saving the entire Aral Sea – both North and South – is unrealistic, said experts who know the region. But everyone seemed to agree that the first phase of the project Ussenov alluded to – officially known as the Syr Darya Control and Northern Aral Sea Project, or synas-1 – has been a success so far.

Ahmed Shawky M. Abdel-Ghany, a senior water-resources specialist with the European and Central Asian region of the World Bank’s Water Global Practice, has managed the project from his Washington office since late 2010. He said synas-1 cost $83 million, and it included a subproject for restoration of the North Aral Sea.

“We’re not talking about the whole Aral Sea, just the northern part that fully lies in Kazakhstan,” said the Egyptian civil engineer, who’s worked in 20 countries during his 12-year career with the World Bank.

He said that one crucial element of synas-1, construction in 2005 of the 13-kilometer-long Kok-Aral Dam, increased the volume of water in the North Aral Sea by around 50 percent in three years.

“The northern Aral Sea was initially [in 2005] 38 meters above sea level. Now it could reach around 42 meters,” said the engineer. “As a consequence, salinity in the NAS has been reduced by around half, but all these numbers are subject to the hydrological variables that change every year.”

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Largest Kazakh national holdings may be liquidated 0

Posted on December 15, 2015 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm BI@colibrilaw.com

The Samruk Kazyna, Baiterek and KazAgro national holdings will be featured in the new privatisation programme, after which they will either be transformed into lean organisations or liquidated, according to the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The assets of the Samruk-Kazyna national welfare fund include: the KazMunaiGas national oil and gas company, the Kazakhstan Temir Zholy railway operator, Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), Kazakhtelecom telecommunications operator, and the Kazatomprom national nuclear company.

The Baiterek national management holding includes: JSC Development Bank of Kazakhstan, JSC Investment Fund of Kazakhstan, JSC Housing Construction and Savings Bank, JSC Kazakhstan Mortgage Company, JSC KazExportGarant, JSC Entrepreneurship Development Fund Damu, JSC National Agency for Technological Development, JSC Kazakh Fund of Mortgage Guarantees, JSC Kazyna Capital Management, JSC Baiterek Development, and JSC Public Private Partnership Advisory Center.

The KazAgro National management holding includes: the National company Food Contract Corporation JSC, KazAgroProduct JSC, KazAgroFinance JSC, Agrarian credit corporation JSC, Fund for Financial Support of Agriculture JSC, KazAgroGarant JSC and Kazagromarketing JSC.


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