Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham


Kazakhstan News Bulletin

Posted on June 29, 2010 by KazCham

No 17 June 29, 2010
OSCE
Special Envoys to Travel to Astana, KazakhstanOSCE Centre helps promote international anti-corruption standards in KazakhstanOSCE Chairperson welcomes Turkmenistan’s role in promoting stability in Central Asia
POLITICS
Iran, Kazakhstan Discuss Development of Economic Ties
Iran-Kazakhstan parliamentary cooperation necessary: Tokayev
ECONOMY
Willis Opens New Representative Office in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan Operator Calls for 3G License Allocation
Kazakhstan leads way in managerial hiring
OTHER NEWS
“Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan” launched in New YorkForeign Impressions of Kazakhstan, Rendered on Film2010 Astana International Action Film Festival
OSCE
Special Envoys to Travel to Astana, Kazakhstan
US Department of State, Office of the Spokesman, Washington, DC, June 25, 2010
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal, and Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith will travel to Astana, Kazakhstan, from June 28-30, to participate in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) High-Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination. The U.S. delegation to the conference will be led by U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Hoagland. The conference will run from June 29-30 and aims to review implementation of OSCE commitments related to tolerance and non-discrimination. It also will allow participating States and civil society to present examples of good initiatives and discuss how OSCE institutions and other intergovernmental organizations have supported their efforts to combat discrimination and promote mutual respect and understanding. The conference will be preceded by a Civil Society Preparatory Meeting on June 28.
On the first day of the conference, June 29, from 1:15 to 2:30pm, Special Envoy Rosenthal and Special Representative Pandith will hold a side event entitled “The ART Initiative (Acceptance, Respect, Tolerance).” The goal of the ART Initiative is to present successful and easily adapted innovative approaches to combat intolerance and discrimination by involving interfaith, inter-ethnic youth and young adults. The event will highlight the best practices of several international NGOs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States that are involved in promoting respect and mutual understanding, particularly among young people.
OSCE Centre helps promote international anti-corruption standards in Kazakhstan
OSCE press release
BOROVOE, Kazakhstan, 24 June 2010 – A conference on international best practices and tools to combat corruption and enhancing Kazakhstan’s legal framework started in the resort town of Borovoe near Astana today.
The two-day conference brings together some 60 participants from European and Central Asian countries, including representatives of ministries, law enforcement agencies and other national institutions, civil society and international organizations, as well as diplomats accredited in Kazakhstan, to discuss best practices and review Kazakhstan’s practices and experiences in the fight against corruption.
“Kazakhstan has made noticeable progress in joining international anti-corruption networking initiatives, including the OECD Istanbul Action Plan in 2005, and it ratified the UN convention against corruption in 2009,” said Ambassador Alexandre Keltchewsky, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana. “Recently the country expressed a desire to join the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), and is prepared to ratify the Council’s anti-corruption conventions. The OSCE Centre in Astana welcomes and supports the host country’s efforts to build on its anti-corruption strategies and standards in line with best international practices and frameworks.”
During the conference, participants will discuss Kazakhstan’s progress in implementing the UN convention against corruption, practical steps and procedures to become a member of GRECO, which was established by an alliance of countries against corruption, and ratification of the Council’s legally binding anti-corruption instruments.
“We are committed to following and complying with international standards in our anti-corruption policy. We demonstrated this last year by ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption. By taking part in such initiatives and activities, Kazakhstan is committed to strengthening international co-operation, improving its anti-corruption mechanisms and providing and receiving mutual legal assistance from European and Asian countries,” said Kairat Kozhamzharov, the Chairman of Kazakhstan’s Agency on Fighting Economic and Corruption Crimes.
The conference is organized by Kazakhstan’s Agency on Fighting Economic and Corruption Crimes (Financial Police) with the support of the OSCE Centre in Astana, the UN Development Programme in Kazakhstan and the non-governmental organization Transparency International Kazakhstan.
OSCE Chairperson welcomes Turkmenistan’s role in promoting stability in Central Asia
Press release
ASHGABAT, 23 June 2010 – The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, in his meetings today with the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, and Speaker of the Parliament Akdja Nurberdiyeva, commended the Government of Turkmenistan for promoting stability in Central Asia and the whole OSCE area.
They discussed the situation in Kyrgyzstan, environmental security, engagement with Afghanistan and ways to work together in all three dimensions of security, the politico-military aspects, the economic and environmental and the human aspects.
Following the meetings Saudabayev said: “The Kazakh OSCE Chairmanship is committed to preventing escalation of tensions in Kyrgyzstan, and is ready to help the country with post-conflict rehabilitation. The OSCE is working together with the international community to help Kyrgyzstan.”
Energy security is an issue which concerns all Central Asian countries and Turkmenistan has taken an important role in advancing the OSCE dialogue on energy security, hosting a conference on this subject in Ashgabat in May 2010.
Engagement with Afghanistan and a stronger OSCE role in stabilizing this country is an initiative of Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship. “I welcome Turkmenistan’s support and constructive co-operation between Turkmenistan and the OSCE to improve border security between Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and foster cross border co-operation.” said Saudabayev.
Saudabayev thanked Turkmenistan’s side for their support for Kazakhstan’s priorities during its Chairmanship, especially holding an OSCE Summit this year. He also thanked them for fruitful co-operation with the OSCE Centre and offered to work together on new proposals for expanding this co-operation.
Tomorrow, Saudabayev will address a high-level international conference on disarmament in Central Asia and the Caspian region, discussing the international legal framework for disarmament, the role of international organizations in addressing disarmament issues in global and regional dimensions.
These issues will continue to be high on the agenda of the OSCE and Central Asian countries and will be part of the informal meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers in Almaty on 16 and 17 July. “Kazakhstan will continue to play an active role furthering OSCE’s contribution to ensuring stability and security in our region, and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposal to hold an OSCE Summit this year is an important initiative in this regard,” concluded Saudabayev.
The OSCE, with its Centre in Ashgabat, which has been working in the country since 1999, is committed to working with Turkmenistan on all aspects of the security spectrum.
POLITICS
Iran, Kazakhstan Discuss Development of Economic Ties
Fars News Agency
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and his Kazakh counterpart Kanat Saudabayev in a meeting in Ashgabat on Thursday conferred on ways to bolster economic relations between the two Asian countries.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of an international conference on Disarmament in the Central Asia and the Caspian Sea region that was inaugurated this morning in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, by Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
Underscoring the importance of expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries, the two sides discussed the railroad project in the Caspian region.
Meanwhile, the Kazakh foreign minister called for further expansion of Tehran-Astana economic and agricultural cooperation.
The two foreign ministers also underlined the need for nuclear disarmament across the globe, in the region in particular.
Iran-Kazakhstan parliamentary cooperation necessary: Tokayev
Tehran Times
TEHRAN – Kazakh Senate Speaker Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev has called for an activation of Iran-Kazakhstan Parliamentary Friendship Group.
There is great potential for cooperation between Astana and Tehran, Tokayev said in a meeting with Qurban Seyfi, the Iranian ambassador to Kazakhstan.
He also welcomed efforts, which are aimed at increasing regional cooperation through regional organizations such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Seyfi, for his part, insisted on the expansion of parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.
He also described Iran and Kazakhstan as two important and influential countries in the region, saying the two nations should increase their bilateral, regional and international cooperation.
ECONOMY
Willis Opens New Representative Office in Kazakhstan
Business Wire
LONDON, Jun 21, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Willis Group Holdings plc, the global insurance broker, today announced that it has received official approval from local authorities to open a representative office of Willis Limited in Kazakhstan. This is the third such office Willis has opened in the former Soviet Union, in addition to branches in Russia and the Ukraine.
In opening the new office, Willis also announced that Simon Aubrey-Jones, Executive Director, Willis Eastern Europe, will lead its Kazakh venture. Aubrey-Jones, who is based in London, has extensive knowledge of the region and has been involved with Willis’ Russian and Ukrainian representative offices since their establishment in the 1990s.
The new Willis operation is located in Almaty, the financial centre of Kazakhstan. As a representative office, all local contracts and policies will be issued through Willis’ existing network partner in the country, CIS Risk Consultants, a Kazakh brokerage that provides a full range of insurance services.
In addition to commercial insurance, the new Willis office will support both domestic and international clients with optimum reinsurance solutions delivered through the local insurance market and relying on Willis’ global placement capabilities.
Kazakhstan is best known as an oil and gas producer, with all major international oil companies having a presence there. The country’s target oil production is 150 million tonnes per annum by 2015, equal to three million barrels a day, which would rank it among the top 10 oil-producing nations in the world. Kazakhstan is also a major exporter of grain and is the world’s largest exporter of uranium.
Among its recent assignments in the Kazakh market, Willis was appointed by Halyk-Kazakhinstrakh AO, a local provider of insurance services, to arrange reinsurance for two subsidiaries of Kazakhstan’s state-owned oil and gas company: KazMunaiGas Exploration and Production and Trade House, its sales operation.
“Formalising Willis’ representation in Kazakhstan underscores Willis’ commitment to this country and its future growth and development,” said Aubrey-Jones. “We are confident that our investment in Kazakhstan, an area so rich in natural resources, will yield many rewards and we look forward to becoming a leading player in its insurance and reinsurance industry.”
Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global insurance broker. Through its subsidiaries, Willis develops and delivers professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 400 offices in nearly 120 countries, with a global team of approximately 17,000 employees serving clients in virtually every part of the world. Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.
SOURCE: Willis Group Holdings plc
Kazakhstan Operator Calls for 3G License Allocation
Cellular News
Earlier this month, representatives of the Kazakhstan government stated the need to amend the Tax Code to be able to set the license fees for 3G services. However, the mobile network operator, GSM Kazakhstan (Kcell) has now stated that it believes that the current tax laws already allows the government to set the annual fee for the 3G licenses.
“Today our company is ready to invest tens of millions of dollars in building a third-generation network, and believes that the size of the annual fee should not delay the investment in the economy. Kcell proposes to amend the tax code and run parallel to the introduction of 3G , moreover, that the company had no objection to increasing the annual license fees to a reasonable rate” notes Veysel Aral, CEO of Kcell.
However, the company added that the license fees should take into account the cost of building the 3G networks and the existing tax burden on the companies.
TeliaSonera’s CEO, Lars Nyberg recently held talks with the Kazakhstan President, Nursultan Nazarbayev on the issue. TeliaSonera has an indirect 25% holding in Kcell through its Fintur Holdings subsidiary.
Kazakhstan leads way in managerial hiring
Recruiter, Jun 23, 2010
A global survey by Antal Russia has revealed that companies are continuing to actively hire middle and senior managers.
Kazakhstan has really come to prominence with a 74% of respondents actively recruiting. Natasha Kurkchi, country manager for Antal Kazakhstan in Almaty, says: “Kazakhstan is one of the few genuine frontier markets on the planet. It’s a major market in its own right and many companies seeking to diversify from traditional markets are opening up there.
“Demand for good staff is growing, not just in the traditional oil & gas and related service industries but also in FMCG, pharma, retail and business-to-business. Our clients are actively recruiting sales, marketing, HR, finance, legal and general management experts.”
Despite continuing uncertainty in global financial markets, the survey of about 9,700 companies across 55 countries showed that Russia, with 66% of the 220 polled companies currently hiring at managerial level, compared favourably with the rest of Europe.
Germany is still refraining from ambitious hiring with only 41% of employers actively recruiting managerial positions. The UK is less bullish than Russia at hiring at this level, with a hiring survey response of 60%.
In previous surveys, Russian employers’ have led the confidence survey, often in joint position with the other BRIC countries [Brazil, India and China]. BRIC countries have crept ahead of Russia recently, however, with India scoring 73% and China 72%. Brazil comes in just behind Russia at 65%.
OTHER NEWS
“Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan” launched in New York
On June 23, 2010 “Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan”, first biography of Kazakhstan’s President published in the West, was launched at the Harvard Club of New York.
Guests were welcomed to the event by the book’s author, award-winning biographer and former British MP Jonathan Aitken as well as Kazakhstan’s Ambassadors to the United States Erlan Idrissov and United Nations Birganim Aytimova.
A keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Jack Matlock, former US Ambassador to Soviet Union, who has had personal experience of dealing with a number of political leaders described in the book. Ambassador Matlock mentioned that he remembered President Nazarbayev since his posting to Moscow and was impressed by his strategic vision for Kazakhstan’s development now eloquently described in Jonathan Aitken’s book.
Ambassador Idrissov said that “the history of a nation cannot be separated from its leader and a leader cannot be separated from the history of his nation.” So, the current biography is essentially a chronicle of independent Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador believes.
The book published by the Continuum is now on sale at online and regular book stores throughout the United States
Foreign Impressions of Kazakhstan, Rendered on Film
Eurasia Net
UK-based artist Ruth Maclennan has just wrapped up shooting her latest short film in Kazakhstan. Set in the desert outside Almaty, it tells the story of two people, a prospector and an archaeologist, who happen to be in the desert but looking for entirely different things, inhabiting the same space but viewing it in divergent ways.
This is the fourth film that Maclennan has shot in Kazakhstan. Her first visit to Almaty in spring 2006 resulted in Valley of Castles (Hunting Eagles), a film which followed eagle hunters from Nura, in Almaty Region. Later in 2006 she shot Capital on location in Astana, where she explored her her impressions of Kazakhstan’s new capital. 
In 2007 she made the video Estate, which presents a dream-like sequence of images of ‘ideal homes’ taken from magazines, publicity material and websites in Kazakhstan.
Her current work is inspired by the epic desert landscapes of Central Asia, which she first encountered in 1990. While studying for a year in Moscow, she visited Bukhara. On the return, her group took the 85-hour train journey back to Moscow across endless steppe and desert.
2010 Astana International Action Film Festival
Crave Online, by Silas Lesnick, Jun 23, 2010
June 27th will see the start of the very first Astana International Action Film Festival in Astana City, Kazakhstan. Running for five days, the festival is planned for as an annual event and his been pulled together by Producer/Director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) as a celebration of international action films.
Special guests for the inagural year include Harvey Weinstein, Mike Tyson, Lawrence Bender, Sharlto Copley and Dolph Lundgren, among others. Screening events include special gala premieres of Shanghai, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Monsters, District 9, The Last Airbender, Inhale, Countdown to Zero, Karate Kid and many more. A full list of guests and films is available at the festival’s website.
“Our aim is for the festival to become a cultural bridge of discovery,” Bekmambetov has announced, “as well as an effective and productive pipeline for producers, investors and prospective partners to foster growth and opportunity for the filmmaking community of Kazakhstan.”
In addition to the events, the festival is designed to spotlight Kazakhstan’s place in the world of film. The event will host numerous press conferences and other informational panels, including a screenplay competition that will present five finalists from the USA, Spain, France and Kazakhstan. One winner will be selected to win a cash prize and given the chance to develop their script with Timur Bekmambetov’s company Bazelevs.
The Astana International Action Film Festival is a joint project from the production company, Bazelevs and The Astana City Hall. If you’re an action fan, now’s the time to book some last minute tickets to Kazakhstan.

SOURCE: Released by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States of America
1401 16 Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel.: (202)232-5488 Fax: (202)232-5845
E-mail: washington@kazakhembus.com
Web-site: www.kazakhembus.com

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