Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

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Kazakhstan hosts CIS Summit and Supreme Eurasian Economic Council Meeting 0

Posted on October 26, 2015 by KazCham

Kazinform

On October 16 Kazakhstan’s resort Burabay hosted meetings of the CIS Heads of State Council and Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.

The CIS session was attended by the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan as well as Executive Secretary of the CIS, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan, Deputy Foreign Minister and European Integration of Moldova and other high-level officials.

During the talks in Burabay, the heads of states discussed the most urgent issues and prospects of the EEU development. In particular, they discussed the procedure of EEU interaction with third countries and international organizations. Thus, the decision to start negotiations with Israel on the agreement on free trade zone was made.

The participants also discussed the main aspects related to the accession of Kazakhstan to the WTO.

The 4th Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes 0

Posted on September 03, 2012 by Sergey Sek

The Conference will take place in Moscow, Russia on 21 September 2012 at Radisson Royal Hotel Moscow. It will bring together members of the global legal community for a full day of informative and substantive programs presented by world-class experts. Topics will include: Resolving Disputes with Russian Regulatory Agencies, Arbitrability: What the CIS Has to Offer the World, Insolvency Litigation, WTO Litigation and Treaty Arbitration, Calculating Damages in the CIS, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Russia, International Attorney-Client Privilege in the Digital Age, Moot Court Arguments.

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Witness: Picturing the sinking of the Soviet Union 0

Posted on January 04, 2012 by Alex

Reuters, Dec 15, 2011

The following story recalls the experiences of Reuters photographer Shamil Zhumatov when the leaders of the newly independent post-Soviet republics gathered in his home city of Alma-Ata in 1991. Zhumatov has been a Reuters photographer in ex-Soviet Central Asia for the last 17 years and has also covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He lived the first 20 years of his life in the Soviet Union and the second 20 years as a citizen of Kazakhstan.

By Shamil Zhumatov

ALMATY (Reuters) – The Soviet Union, we had always thought, was surely too big to fail.

We had all seen the bare shelves in the shops. We knew that many constituent republics had declared their independence. But this was still my almighty Soviet Union, the only country this 20-year-old photojournalist from Kazakhstan had ever known.

So why had 10 national leaders rushed to my capital city, Alma-Ata, on December 21, 1991? Who were these hordes of journalists and photographers jostling for position and shouting questions?

It was one of my first assignments for the Kazakh Telegraph Agency. The night before, I sat in the agency’s darkroom splicing 300-metre rolls of film and inserting it with great care into cartridges, 36 shots at a time.

We didn’t work with factory-made rolls of film; this was the Soviet Union. Painstaking preparation was part of the job, especially before any major event.

And this was certainly major. Even my seasoned colleagues had had few opportunities to photograph national leaders. Party congresses, military parades, even New Year celebrations: these happened in Moscow, events we watched on television.

Less than two weeks earlier, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus — the Slavic core of the Soviet Union — had signed the agreement that dissolved the country and created the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Although the alliance wasn’t closed to other republics, when we in Central Asia heard of it, we felt cast off and betrayed. Shouldn’t we also have a say in the fate of our country? The excitement and freedom of independence would come later; right now, we were frightened children clinging to the coat-tails of our parent.

WHAT IF?

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of newly independent Kazakhstan, mobilized quickly to ensure our country and a host of other newly independent republics were brought into the fold.

He met one leader after another at the snowbound airport as they arrived to sign the declaration that would bring the number of countries into the grouping to 11.

It seemed everyone who arrived was in a rush. Even now, when I edit my pictures, I can see the worry etched on the faces of the Kazakh statesmen of the time. What if someone were suddenly to change their mind, snatching away the security Moscow had always provided?

Two lonely protesters stood in the snow outside the hall where the signing would take place, holding posters decrying the end of the Soviet Union. “Shame on the Destroyers of the USSR!” said one. “Down with the CIS!”

Our shared Soviet heritage was all that bound us together. Even the name of the new alliance sounded strange. We could appreciate the idea of “independent states”. But a “commonwealth”? Between a set of ethnically divergent countries, two of which — Armenia and Azerbaijan — were already engaged in a brutal conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh?

Inside, the grandiose ceremony had begun. Never before had I seen so many KGB officers gathered in one place. Its 9th Department, which was responsible for guarding dignitaries, had a lot of people to look out for.

And so many journalists! Some photographers had brought ladders to climb above the crowds — a device I would use countless times over the next years, but something I’d never seen before that day.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin was the most charismatic of all the leaders present. His words — and he spoke a lot — were accompanied by animated hand gestures. People shouted questions at him on the move. For a photographer, he was a great subject.

Yeltsin’s individual style contrasted sharply with that of the ranked officials around him. Even the Trilby he wore was at odds with the thick fur hats of other leaders.

After the signing ceremony, the leaders stood for a group photograph. One journalist shouted to Yeltsin: “How are you feeling?”

He grinned and gave the thumbs-up. With a single click of my mechanical Nikon F2, I realized that a new time was upon us. I was recording history.

STRANGE FILM

Before writing this article, I was scanning my old black-and-white negatives in a photo store in Almaty, as Alma-Ata is now called. The other customers were printing out pictures taken on their mobile phones.

“What a strange film! I can’t even see any picture numbers along the perforations,” said the curious sales assistant, too young to recall the 300-metre rolls with which I once worked.

At 40, I have now spent half of my life in the Soviet Union and half in independent Kazakhstan. The second two decades have brought changes unimaginable during the first.

The Soviet Union gave me much for which to be thankful: an education which could not be bettered today, and the well-built apartment blocks that my parents still call home.

But gone are the fear and uncertainty — my own and Kazakhstan’s — I remember from that day in December 1991. They have been replaced by a maturity and an independence that comes from facing and overcoming your challenges.

We have both grown up.

(Writing by Robin Paxton; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=823&cntnt01origid=90&cntnt01category_id=6&cntnt01returnid=90

Enhanced links boost trade opportunities 0

Posted on December 25, 2011 by Alex

By building stronger economic relations with other countries, both near and further afield, Kazakhstan is attracting more foreign direct investment and positive growth. By Tim Gosling

Before independence, Kazakhstan’s trade of mainly metals and ores, wheat and a modest quantity of oil was dictated from Moscow, with most roads leading north. The border with China was sealed. Twenty years later, with commodities powering economic growth of eight to nine percent each year, the Kazakh government is working to diversify the economy, and the country now offers a spectrum of opportunities for investment and trade in non-energy sectors.

Trade surplus

Apart from a temporary setback in 2009, provoked by the global economic crisis, Kazakhstan has seen its foreign trade expand aggressively every year since 2000, when total exports were just $9.86 billion, according to the United Nations. By 2005, that figure had leapt to $30.5 billion, and then to $60 billion in 2010. That year, Kazakh exports and imports of merchandise totaled $90 billion – illustrating the strong trade surplus that the country enjoys.

Due to Kazakhstan’s rapid development of its oil and gas deposits – as well as the infrastructure to export it – energy leads the country’s trade ties. Oil and oil products accounted for 59 percent of exports in 2009.

The country’s traditional role as a supplier of metals and ores remains strong, too, with this sector making up 19 percent of exports. However, the government’s efforts to boost the chemicals industry are paying off, with the sector accounting for five percent of the export market. Foreign sales of machinery are weighing in at three percent, while grain is becoming a staple of foreign trade.

Widening the net

Powering this boom in foreign trade is Kazakhstan’s widening economic relations with countries both Asian and European, on top of the strong ties it retains with the other members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

China is a leading light, and last year for the first time became the number-one export destination for Kazakh goods. Kazakhstan’s eastern neighbor absorbed 17.1 percent of Kazakh exports, as it looked to Astana to help build the Xinjiang region into an industrial hub. The same year, Italy took 16.2 percent of Kazakh exports, with Russia the third biggest importer at 8.1 percent.

However, there are many other countries increasing trade with Kazakhstan, as Astana looks to forge stronger commercial ties with Asian powerhouses such as India (0.4 percent of foreign trade in 2009) and South Korea (0.7 percent). Reflecting this strategy, Grigoriy Marchenko, chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK), said in January that the country was close to signing a currency swap agreement with China to ease ? nancial transactions and trade between the two countries, and a similar deal with South Korea was in the works.

At the same time, trade with the developed world is growing. The United States was Kazakhstan’s ? fth largest partner in 2009, accounting for three percent of imports and exports, according to the European Commission, while as a bloc, the European Union is by far Kazakhstan’s biggest trade partner, with 32 percent.

Investment shadowing trade

Not surprisingly, this boom in trade has sparked a similar dynamic in foreign direct investment (FDI) ? ows into Kazakhstan over the past decade, as investors have rushed to pump cash into the country’s developing sectors. In 2006, FDI in? ows totaled $6.3 billion, according to the UN, but had swollen to $15.8 billion by 2008, with the uplift being particularly driven by oil and gas investments. According to the NBK, 2010 saw a huge rebound after a disappointing 2009, with FDI of $20 billion.

By far the largest slice of those in? ows ($8.1 billion) originated in the Netherlands, although a large percentage can be traced to corporates around Europe. Investments of? cially originating in the Netherlands include those by PricewaterhouseCoopers, AT&T and Unilever. In addition, Royal Dutch Shell has a large investment in the Kashagan oil? eld, while Dutch banks such as ABN Amro also made signi? cant commitments.

France leads investors from outside the Netherlands – a trend sealed by a meeting in October 2010 when French president Nicolas Sarkozy visited Astana to agree $6 billion in trade and investment deals with Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev. Among the 24 deals announced were contracts with aerospace group EADS, engineering group Alstom and energy ? rm Areva, which will build a nuclear materials assembly plant in Kazakhstan.

SOURCE: Invest in Kazakhstan, 2011, p. 38-41

OSCE Centre in Astana promotes customs risk management 0

Posted on November 02, 2011 by Alex

OSCE Press Release

ASTANA, 24 October 2011 – A three-day workshop on risk management for the customs administrations of CIS countries began in Astana today.

The event was organized by the OSCE Centre in Astana in co-operation with the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union’s Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA) and Kazakhstan’s Customs Control Committee.

The workshop will raise awareness of Customs Risk Management (CRM) principles and mechanisms, which aim to optimize customs control operations, reduce the bureaucratic burden and facilitate international trade exchanges. Workshop participants will enhance regional co-operation by defining common approaches to CRM, and facilitating the introduction of a common professional language and methodologies by the different customs administrations, as prescribed by key WCO documents and decisions.

“Although progress has been achieved, there is a need to further implement consolidated measures to improve customs procedures and bring them in compliance with international standards,” said Ambassador Alexandre Keltchewsky, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Astana, n his message to the participants. “The continued reliance on traditional procedures of documentation and total customs control and a lack of interaction and co-operation between customs services in the region remain the main impediments for harmonization of customs procedures.”

“Kazakhstan is a transit country for goods, and its priority is to increase these flows. This can not be accomplished without modern customs procedures that make use of risk management tools. I hope that today’s workshop will contribute to increased co-operation and more effective risk management for the CIS countries’ customs administrations,” said Nurzhan Ashikhanov, the Deputy-Chairman of the Kazakh Customs Control Committee.

Some 50 professionals from the customs administrations of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as international experts are taking part in the workshop.

The workshop is designed for managers overseeing port operations and border control posts, as well as for other senior managers responsible for risk management programmes and risk assessment. The new OSCE-UNECE publication on Best Practices at Border Crossings: a Trade and Transport Facilitation

Perspective will be presented to the participants.

For PDF attachments or links to sources of further information, please visit:

http://www.osce.org/astana/84286

For further information contact:

Andrew Offenbacher

Political Officer

OSCE Centre in Astana

10 Beibitshilik Street

010000 Astana

Kazakhstan

Office: +7 7172 580070

Fax: +7 7172 328304

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=784&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201

Armenia will participate in CIS anniversary summit 0

Posted on August 19, 2011 by Alex

Times.am , August 13, 2011

Leaders of the CIS countries will meet in the summit on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), spokesperson for the Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry Davlatali Nazriyev announced about this, Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency informs.

According to the source, seven CIS leaders have already accepted the invitation to attend the summit. “The governments of Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova have already confirmed that the leaders of these countries will attend the Dushanbe summit”. Tajikistan’s Foreign Ministry official said the leaders of Belarus, Uzbekistan and Ukraine are also expected to accept the invitation.

The CIS anniversary summit will take place on September 3, 2011.



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