Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA


President Nazarbayev Meets Chinese President Xi Jinping 0

Posted on May 20, 2014 by KazCham


On May 19, 2014 Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Shanghai. They discussed prospects for cooperation in the trade and economic, financial and investments, transit and transport, and agriculture spheres. President Nazarbayev reminded that the plan is to bring the bilateral trade turnover figure to $40 billion a year by 2016.

“Back in September 2013 while in Astana, you voiced the initiative to put in place the Silk Road economic belt. Kazakhstan is ready to contribute to the large-scaled project (…) expected to play a major role in developing the entire region”, President Nazarbayev said.

The two sides have signed a total of 5 documents. Notably, the two foreign ministries have signed a joint declaration. Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) have signed a MoU to develop relations in the oil and gas sector and the mining industry.

Besides, the Development Bank of Kazakhstan and China’s Exim Bank have signed a memorandum to provide $1 billion to modernize Shymkent-based oil refinery. The investments are expected to help enable the refinery to start producing environment-friendly fuel and reach the projected capacity of 6 million tons of fuel a year.

Development Bank of Kazakhstan and China Development Bank (CDB) have signed a master agreement on a credit line of $500 million. The funds are to be used to finance joint projects outside the extraction sector. KazMunaiGas National O&G Company and China’s CNPC have signed a framework agreement to construct a plant in Almaty oblast to produce O&G pipes. The project to be implemented in 2014-2016 is expected to bring $150 million in investments

Shanghai will host the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) on May 20-21 0

Posted on May 20, 2014 by KazCham


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that Shanghai will host the largest ever Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in May. Delegations from nearly 40 countries and international bodies, including 14 heads of state, will attend the summit.

The fourth CICA summit will be held in Shanghai on May 20-21. The guest dignitaries will include Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said that China, as a founding CICA member and a positive participant in the conference’s development, has made its due contribution to enhancing cooperation, solidarity and trust between Asian countries.

China’s holding the summit and taking over as CICA host from 2014 to 2016 reveals the great importance the country attaches to the CICA, Cheng said.

He described the three targets of the Shanghai summit as promoting communication and trust among relevant parties, gathering consensus and wisdom, and discussing ways to solving pressing issues for Asia.

“Through the summit, we hope to offer a platform for countries to exchange views on Asian security and cooperation,” he said.

CICA member states are expected to issue a Shanghai Declaration elaborating on their common aspiration and commitments to strengthening strategic coordination and building an integrated security environment, according to Cheng.

The declaration will also expound on plans for CICA development in the next 10 years.

As the hosting country of the summit, China hopes to guide relevant parties to settle their disputes through equal consultation and peaceful manner within the CICA framework, Cheng said.

The vice foreign minister added, “We are confident we can work with other CICA member states to make new contributions to Asia’s peace and stability.”

The Shanghai summit is also expected to offer an important opportunity for China to show Asia its achievements in reform and opening up.

The CICA was established in 1992 as a forum for dialogue and consultations and promotion of confidence-building measures and now groups 24 member countries and 13 observers. The idea of convening the CICA was first proposed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev on 5 October 1992, at the 47th Session of the U.N. General Assembly.

President Nazarbayev Talks of Expanding Strategic Partnership with U.S. 0

Posted on May 14, 2014 by KazCham


Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns in Astana on May 8.  Burns told Nazarbayev that the U.S. is committed to a long-term strategic partnership with Kazakhstan. Nazarbayev, in turn, stated that Kazakhstan was ready to expand bilateral ties with the U.S. The President and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State discussed several key trade, economy, investment and security issues during their meeting, including Kazakhstan’s forthcoming entry to the WTO, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Burns also met with Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov. They discussed implementing the agreements reached between the two countries at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in March, noted the success of Kazakh-American bilateral structures like the Commission on Strategic Partnership, and talked of supporting sustainable development in Afghanistan. They also touched upon the Ukraine situation, stressing that the agreements reached in Geneva on April 17 should be observed by both parties.

Cameron inks $1bn deal in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on July 02, 2013 by KazCham

Courier Mail, July 01, 2013

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron signed a strategic cooperation agreement as well as $US1.0 billion ($A1.10 billion) in deals with Kazakhstan on Monday during his first visit to the energy-rich ex-Soviet state.

Cameron and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev also unveiled an oil and gas processing plant on the shores of the Caspian Sea which is intended to provide a new reliable source of energy for European countries.

The British PM played up the importance of Kazakhstan to regional security as he wound down a swing through the region that included visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Kazakhstan is on the rise … a country that wants to play a bigger role in the region and in the world. Not just an emerging market, but an emerging power,” Cameron said on Monday.

He also noted that the Kazakh government had recently ratified an air route agreement that offered Britain “a new northern route to bring our kit home from Afghanistan.”

Cameron added that the two countries “have opened a new chapter in our relationship” by signing a strategic partnership agreement that underscored the importance of their growing ties.

Plans to construct a European- and US-backed natural gas pipeline called Nabucco have already fallen through and Western powers are now seeking to hammer out a new strategy to establish closer contacts with nations such as Kazakhstan.

Officials said the deals besides energy also covered infrastructure projects as well as those in the IT field.

“Our country is interested in having close relations with Britain,” Nazarbayev said at a joint press appearance with Cameron.

“I am confident that the documents that we have prepared, as well as our negotiations, will give a new impulse to economic and political cooperation between our countries.”

Kazakhstan is seen as one of the more neutral Central Asian countries that enjoys equally good relations with Russia and China as well as the West — despite periodic criticism by Washington and Brussels of its human rights record.

Nazarbayev has also hired former British prime minister Tony Blair as the nation’s image consultant who has been tasked with improving Kazakhstan’s attraction to investors.

The British PM and Nazarbayev jointly unveiled the Bolashak on-shore oil and gas processing facility that operates with involvement from the Anglo-Dutch giant.

The plant is stationed on the Kashagan oil and gas field — one of the largest deposits found in Central Asia.

It is due to process 450,000 barrels of oil and 8.8 million cubic metres of gas daily by the time it becomes fully operational.

Astana: The world’s weirdest capital city 0

Posted on July 24, 2012 by KazCham

By Daisy Carrington, for CNN, July 13, 2012

Editor’s note: Each month Eye On takes you to a different country, highlighting the interesting places and innovative people transforming their country.

(CNN) — There is something mirage-like about Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.

Little surrounds the city for 1,200 kilometers, save a handful of provincial towns dotted across the world’s largest steppe, a flat, empty expanse of grassland.

Shooting up from this void is a mass of strangely futuristic structures. The newest of these is the Norman Foster-designed Khan Shatyr, a shopping mall that doubles as the world’s largest tent.

Foster was also the architect behind the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, a 60-meter-tall glass pyramid. There’s also the Central Concert Hall, which from above looks like a budding flower, a flying saucer-shaped circus, a presidential palace designed to replicate the White House, and Baiterek, a 100-meter-tall tower that has drawn comparisons to a giant lollipop.

Yet just 15 years ago the city didn’t really exist at all.

In 1997 Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev moved the capital from Almaty in the southeast of the country to the newly-named Astana (previously it was called Akmola), which was then an empty patch of land by the Ishim River best known as a former gulag prison camp for the wives of Soviet traitors.

Today the bulging, science fiction-like skyline has started to earn the country some international recognition.

Neil Billett, a managing director and partner at Buro Happold, the engineering consultants that partnered with Foster’s firm on the Khan Shatyr and the Palace of Peace, lauds the local architects’ progressive thinking.

“They do quite like a challenge, and they do organize themselves to get on with it in a way that’s quite refreshing,” he says. “These projects would have taxed the mind of many a high-end contractor, and in Kazakhstan, they have to address the same problems in a much harder climate.”

The capital’s climate does make construction much more complicated. In the winter months temperatures can fall to minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit), making it the second coldest capital city in the world. In the summer, the mercury can reach up to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

According to George Keliris, a structural engineer at Buro Happold, this temperature variance proved

particularly challenging when constructing the Palace of Peace.

“We had to allow a system that relieved the stress and let the structure breathe,” he says.

The solution they came up with was to lock down one corner of the pyramid, while placing the remaining corners on bridge bearings. Though common with bridges, such bearings are practically unheard of with entire buildings.

“Basically, it’s on roller skates,” says Keliris. “Because of the climate, (the structure) was bound to be futuristic.”

From a distance, Astana’s architecture looks disparate, however a strong Kazakh theme runs through it all. Baiterek is meant to evoke the local legend of the “Tree of Life”; the story has a golden egg, and the building is topped with a golden orb. The shape of the Central Concert Hall was purposefully made to resemble a traditional Kazakh instrument, known as a dombra.

Since it became the country’s capital, Astana’s population has more than doubled to 750,000. Despite this urban growth the size of the new buildings can still seem excessively large. The Central Concert Hall is one of the largest in the world, and seats 3,500 spectators, while the Astana Arena seats 30,000.

However, according to Serik Rustambekov, a local architect, the reach of these projects matches the local way of thinking.

“You need to understand the Kazakh background to get a better picture of our world view. We’re a nomadic civilization that developed over thousands of years in the vast expanse of Eurasia. Free space is more impressive to the Kazakh mindset than the type of congestion found in many European centers.”

Numerous architects from across the world have had a hand in shaping the new capital’s skyline, but the one man who has had the greatest impact in the city’s transformation is President Nazarbayev.

Manfredi Nicoletti, whose Rome-based firm, Studio Nicoletti, designed the Central Concert Hall, confirms that Nazarbayev was very hands-on in the structure’s implementation.

“He used to joke that the building was right in front of his residence (the Presidential Palace), and that

the project’s construction site — and us, of course — were always under his control.”

In many ways, Astana looks like a vanity project for Nazarbayev. At the top of Baiterek, which grew from a sketch Nazarbayev did himself, visitors can touch his gilded handprint, and each year, the city’s anniversary celebrations happen to coincide with his birthday.

Nazarbayev’s advocates, however, argue that Astana isn’t a symbol of his ego, so much as his ambition for the Kazakh nation. One of Nazarbayev’s strongest supporters has come in the unlikely form of Jonathan Aitken, a former British politician, who wrote a recently published biography of the president based on 23 hours of personal interview, and a retrospective of the country.

“While I’m sure (Nazarbayev) does have a large ego, it’s more of an ‘I love the country’-centred ego, not an I-centred ego,” says Aitken.

Aitken equates Nazarbeyev with the type of patrons that dominated 18th century Europe, in particular, Louise XIV.

“Just as Versailles and parts of Paris were all created by one man’s vision, so too was Astana,” he says.

The city’s futuristic design shows Kazakhstan’s ambition and desire to distance itself from the Soviet legacy that has marred many of the surrounding Central Asian nations.

“Architecture always represents the development of the state, of technology and of culture,” notes Rustambekov. “As Astana is positioning itself as the center of Eurasia, a place where East meets West, a mixture of styles is quite appropriate.”

People’s IPO to be launched in September 2012 0

Posted on June 05, 2012 by KazCham

PM.KZ, May 25, 2012

The People’s IPO Program is aimed to provide citizens of Kazakhstan with an opportunity to hold shares of the leading national companies, make profit and participate in their development. The issues of floating the companies on the stock market were among the key topics for discussion at the 5th Astana Economic Forum held in Astana.

The People’s IPO Program was development by the Government on the instruction of President N. Nazarbayev and scheduled for 2012-2015.

“The People’s IPO Program will provide hundreds of Kazakhstanis with an opportunity to hold shares of the largest companies of the country and new investment instruments,” the President said at the 13th congress of “Nur Otan” Party.

The main idea of the People’s IPO Program is to attract people to participation in the local stock market proving them with an opportunity to buy shares of the national companies and ensuring equal access for all citizens.

The People’s IPO project is implemented in two main directions – preparation of people for investing in the shares and preparation of companies for the IPO.

The information campaign has a great positive impact on implementation of this project and promotes is successful realization. The network of Kazpost JSC will be used to embrace all people of the country. The network will render transfer, agent or brokerage services in all villages, towns and cities of the country.

Speaking at the 5th Astana Economic Forum, Deputy Chairman of “Samruk-Kazyna” Fund Kuandyk Bishimbayev said that the information campaign would be held in three stages: launch of the call-center and website, holding of lectures and seminars about the program and distribution of information about investors activity. All three stages are planned to be completed by August 2012.

The first companies will be floated in September 2012. This will be the shares of the national oil pipelines operator KazTransOil. Later, the shares of KEGOC, KazTransGaz, Samruk-Energo, Kazmortranslfot, Air Astana, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, KazMunaiGaz and Kazatomprom will be available in KASE.

The People’s IPO will be based on several principles. Thus, the shares will be sold at Kazakhstan Stock Exchange. Only Kazakhstan citizens and local pension funds will have the right to buy shares within the People’s IPO. Primarily, minority stakes of not more than 15% will be placed at the market.

World leading specialists are involved in the work on the People’s IPO. They consult companies taking into consideration the global financial practices.

The People’s IPO Program is aimed to provide citizens of the country with an opportunity to make profit from development and growth of the national companies. This project will allow companies to invest gain profit in their further development, modernization and production expansion.

President of Kazakhstan Chaired a counter-extremism meeting 0

Posted on November 16, 2011 by Alex

On November 14, 2011 President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev chaired a meeting on combating extremism and terrorism, which was attended by Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Secretary of State Kanat Saudabayev, Assistant to the President and Secretary of Security Council Marat Tazhin and heads of law enforcement agencies.

While reviewing the terrorist attack in Taraz, the President paid tribute to the ultimate sacrifices made by the officers of law enforcement agencies who demonstrated high example of serving the Motherland and true heroism.

President Nazarbayev said that “the state has all the capacity, power and professionalism to suppress any manifestation of terrorism against Kazakhstan…We will fully investigate what happened and double our efforts on all fronts.”

Following the meeting, he gave a number of concrete instructions.

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=794&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – August 24, 2011 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by Alex


No deficit of petroleum products in Kazakhstan – Mynbayev (SRI)

No talks with Korea on building nuclear power plant – Minister (SRI)


People’s IPO to raise up to $500 million; slated to begin in 2012
(SRI) – Kazakhstan could raise up to $500 million in its “people’s IPO” as it plans to start floating shares in several national companies in the second or third quarter of 2012, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Kairat Kelimbetov said on Tuesday.

Indicators – August 23, 2011 (Reuters)


Kazakh central bank to buy more gold to boost reserves
(SRI) – The National Bank of Kazakhstan plans to fully exercise its preemptive right to buy all refined gold produced in Kazakhstan to replenish its gold reserves, Interfax reported on Tuesday, citing a statement issued by the central bank.

Central Asia Metals: A mine developer with laser-focus on cash generation (Proactive Investors)


Succeeding in Kazakhstan
(bne) – When Nursultan Nazarbayev won April’s Kazakh presidential election with a resounding majority, the issue of who would suceed the septuagenarian appeared to have been put on the backburner for the time being. But three months later, Nazarbayev’s visit to Germany for medical treatment has put it firmly back on the agenda.


Independent Kazakh TV claims government is behind a slew of disrupting audits (SRI)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/08/24/


Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – March 30, 2011 0

Posted on March 30, 2011 by KazCham


ConocoPhillips mulling exit from Kazakhstan – analyst
(SRI) – ConocoPhillips is considering selling its oil and gas interests in Kazakhstan as part of a planned sale of assets worth up to $17 billion, Reuters reported citing an oil analyst.

Kazakhstan says growth in uranium production will slow next year
(Bloomberg) – Kazakhstan, the world’s biggest uranium producer, plans to increase production of the nuclear fuel by about 2% in 2012, compared with 10% this year, according to state-owned company Kazatomprom.


Kazakhstan considering increasing reserve requirements for banks (SRI)

National Bank of Kazakhstan: Exchange rates March 29, 2011 (Kazakhstan Today)

Indicators – March 29, 2011 (Reuters)


Kazakhmys full-year profit jumps 74%
(Reuters) – Kazakhmys, the world’s 10th largest copper miner, said on Tuesday full-year profit jumped 74%, boosted by higher metal prices.


Successor question looms after Kazakh election (Reuters)

Fair election key to Kazakhstan’s future (World Politics Review)

Nazarbayev pledges to modernize Kazakh political system (RIA Novosti)


Respublika: The news weekly that won’t be silenced (EurasiaNet)

Respublika: Keeping the presses rolling (EurasiaNet)


Tajik land deal extends China’s reach in Central Asia (Reuters)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2011/03/30/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-march-30-2011/

A Bright Future 0

Posted on January 01, 2011 by KazCham

Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

We are working to create a most attractive environment in Kazakhstan for investors, with Special Economic Zones, and public-private partnership

A DIFFICULT PERIOD in the development of our country in the history of the 21st century is coming to an end. The world financial and economic crisis affected our economy’s growth rate, but failed to stop our development. We avoided recession because we knew what had to be done, and we did it fast.

We protected the financial system of the country, saved major banks, rendered unprecedented assistance to the agricultural sector, and undertook expenditures to complete mortgaged housing construction. We didn’t leave behind small and medium businesses. We attained unheard of growth in Kazakhstan’s share in public purchases of national and transnational companies. More than 400,000 jobs were created, and the unemployment rate decreased from the pre-crisis period to 6.1 percent (April 2010).

Additionally, we have fulfilled all of our goals outlined for the first decade of the 21st century. As of 2008, two years ahead of schedule, we doubled the size of our economy from 2000 and effectively fulfilled the social commitments of the state. Average monthly salaries increased fivefold. The share of citizens with substandard income decreased fourfold, from 50 percent to 12 percent. In one decade, 350,000 families received new housing. A total of 32,000km of roads were built and repaired – one third of all roads in Kazakhstan.

The health of the population has improved. Life expectancy increased from 65 to 68 years. Maternal mortality decreased twofold, and the birthrate increased by one and a half times. A total of 652 schools and 463 healthcare facilities were built. Today, we have world-class medical centers – the Maternal and Child Health Center, and the Institute of Neurosurgery – and will commission the Cardiac Surgery Center this year.

My key task in the forthcoming decade is to provide further economic development for the country and open up new opportunities. For this task, the expertise, technology and human resource capital of foreign investors are needed.

Accelerating the diversification of the economy and increasing its productivity and competitiveness will provide sustainable and balanced development. In Kazakhstan, one worker manufactures products worth $17,000 annually; in developed countries, this index exceeds $90,000. In the agricultural sector, productivity is approximately $3,000 per person, compared with $50,000-$70,000 in developed countries. Therefore, we need to increase efficiency and introduce innovations in industrial, agricultural, and scientific sectors.

We need new equipment, new technologies and new approaches. It is necessary to use world experience. We must also realize our export potential, primarily in the markets of Central Asia,the Caucasus and the Middle East, as well as those of the new Customs Union.

For this reason, attracting investment to Kazakhstan is a high priority. We have attracted $20 billion worth of investments from China, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, France, Italy, and Russia for the non-raw materials sector, allowing for the commissioning of dozens of facilities. We have also attracted approximately $3 billion in investment for the “Western China-Western Europe” highway, and $2 billion dollars for a gas pipeline from the west to the south of the country. This is notwithstanding foreign investments in the materials sector of more than $10 billion.

We are working to create a most attractive environment in Kazakhstan for investors, with Special Economic Zones, industrial parks and public-private partnerships.

We also need regional development and centers of economic growth. In the west of Kazakhstan, it is necessary to develop the oil and gas sector, the chemical industry, equipment production and transport capacities. In the center, north, south and east, priorities include mining and smelting, nuclear, chemical, and agricultural industries.

We need to develop sectors based on domestic demand along with traditional industries, as well as in the cities of Almaty and Astana, which possess powerful human resources. Special importance will be attached to further development of our capital, Astana, making it attractive for citizens of our country and tourists.

To prepare the economy for the global recovery and for increasing its resistance to outside challenges, we have a three-pronged task:

1. significantly improve the business climate;

2. ensure stable functioning of the financial system;

3. continue to build a reliable legal environment.

We are working to reduce operational business expenses related to registration and operation by 30 percent by 2011 and by another 30 percent by 2015.

By 2020, Kazakhstan should enter the ranks of the top 50 countries with the most favorable business climates in the world, be the regional center of Islamic banking, and become a top 10 financial center of Asia.

As you see, we are ready to reach a new stage of development of our country.

We know what difficulties we will face. The global crisis is not over yet, but its critical stage has passed. Having united for the sake of achievement of our strategic objectives defined by the Development Strategy to 2030, we successively carry out our mission: We are building an independent, prosperous, politically stable Kazakhstan. We require the support of foreign investors to achieve it.

SOURCE: Invest in Kazakhstan, 2010.

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