Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham



Kazakhstan first in, first out 0

Posted on August 30, 2010 by KazCham

Business New Europe, by Clare Nuttall and Ben Aris

Predictions that Kazakhstan would be first in, first out of the crisis have proved to be not far from the truth. The rise in commodity prices over the last year has boosted the natural resources sector, which has in turn dragged the rest of the economy, including the banking sector, along with it. Yet despite lessons learned from the crisis, many banks still have a lot of pre-crisis issues to deal with.

Kazakhstan has seen GDP growth of 8.3% in the first half of this year, according to official data, indicating a quick return to the heady days of the mid-noughties when growth averaged just under 10% a year. Even taking Visor Capital’s more modest forecast of just 3% growth in 2010, Kazakhstan is still outperforming most western economies, driven largely by healthy prices for oil and metals. As a result, optimism has returned to the economy as a whole. “Oil prices will determine the speed of Kazakhstan’s recovery,” says Michael Eggleton, chairman of Eurasian Bank. “At $60 per barrel, we will have to wait two years or more. At $75 upwards, everything will be accelerated.”

Healthy commodity prices are having a trickle-down effect to other parts of the economy, starting with companies connected to the natural resources sector. “Now that commodities prices have recovered, sectors linked to oil and metals are recovering in turn, which is being translated into income for SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] and individuals. The banking sector will capitalise on that,” says Anvar Saidenov, chairman of BTA Bank.

Yerzhan Shaikenov, chairman of Temirbank, forecasts that investors will return to Kazakhstan post-crisis with the same enthusiasm that they piled back into Russia after the 1998 crisis. “Kazakhstan has oil, minerals and wheat. The political situation is stable, and we expect the economic situation to rebound very quickly. Nobody should leave Kazakhstan out of their calculations,” Shaikenov tells bne.

However, he agrees that the recovery will be from the top down, only after time bringing benefits to small businesses and consumers. “When the corporates see their business increase, then SMEs who work with them will grow, and increase the salaries they pay, which will then increase retail spending,” he says.

At present, the companies in best shape are those working with major corporates especially in the oil sector, or on the “Roadmap 2020” and other government programmes.

Not so bad loans

The banking sector’s recovery might lag other parts of the economy, but the picture here is also looking brighter. The conclusion of the restructuring of BTA, Alliance Bank and Temirbank also sends out a strongly positive message to the market about the sector’s resilience and future stability. The restructured banks, along with others in the sector, still have to work through their overdue and non-performing loan (NPL) portfolios, but overall Kazakhstan’s banks are getting down to business.

The latest data from Kazakhstan’s financial regulator, the AFN, showed a significant fall in loans with overdue payments, NPLs and provisioning ratios, although Visor Capital points out in a research note that this seeming improvement was largely due to technical factors, in particular the loan write-offs at BTA and Alliance.

Since the collapse of the real estate bubble in mid-2007, and the government intervention into the “Big Four” banks 18 months later, there had naturally been some major changes in the sector. Among the largest banks, Halyk and BankCenterCredit in particular are performing well. Smaller banks have also managed to win new clients. Unencumbered with the debt burden of its rivals, Eurasian Bank, for example, has issued $600m in new loans since January 2010.

Following an outflow of deposits in early 2009, BTA, Alliance and Temir have since managed to win back a lot of customers. According to Maxat Kabashev, chairman of Alliance Bank, the speed of recovery in the Kazakh banking sector was “unprecedented”. “Even last year, the system was still stable and operational. There will be some changes on the regulatory side in the next couple of years, but overall the system is working and the population wasn’t hit by the banking sector’s problems,” Kabashev tells bne.

However, Eurasian Bank’s Eggleton warns of continued problems within the sector. “The crisis is nowhere near being over,” he says. “One symptom of this is the ratio of accrued interest to equity on banks’ balance sheets, representing uncollected earnings and a large overhang in the real estate sector.”

In the build-up to the crisis, he points out, “People stopped paying attention to fundamentals. Banks need to live within their means, offer better service, reduce expenses and overall learn how to be a low-cost provider. In short, to act like normal institutions.”

Bankers generally agree that some lessons have been learned from the crisis. Not only have the government, the National Bank and the financial regulator been working to ensure there is not another crisis, banks are also adopting a more cautious approach. Gone are the days when loans were handed out to any punter with a real estate plan. While being more cautious on the lending side, several banks have said they are building up their non-interest income, streamlining their operations, investing into better IT systems and – especially – into consumer service. “Service is sexy,” Temir’s Shaikenov sums it up.

Legacy issues

But while bankers say the lessons have been learned, there are some signs that the old pre-crisis problems with the Kazakh economy remain. The biggest issue for the banks at present is NPLs. In addition to the burden on banks’ balance sheets, the continuing indebtedness of many Kazakh companies means that potential clients, running otherwise healthy companies, are still bogged down with debt.

Several of the banks complain of too much liquidity and too few successful companies to lend it to. In effect, they have been caught between their own desire to be more cautious backed up with stricter regulation from the AFN, and government pressure to start pumping more money into the economy. This has been a particular problem for Halyk Bank, although the sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna is expected to withdraw its deposits, made through the anti-crisis programme, in the near future, which will go some way towards solving the problem. Eggleton says that too much liquidity is also Eurasian’s biggest problem. “The money in deposits is overflowing, and this is the biggest drain on our earnings. We are expending our credit portfolio, but this is slower than we would like, as it is not easy to find good creditors,” he says.

It was a similar situation in the run-up to the crisis when the absence of growing companies to lend to caused banks to turn to the real estate sector, with disastrous results. The of the lack of alternative instruments in Kazakhstan encouraged people to invest their money into real estate. “There were three drivers behind the real estate bubble: greed, a herd mentality and the sense of endless optimism,” says Kabashev. “This may have been the first crisis in Kazakhstan, but I don’t think it will be the last. We don’t yet have another bubble, but the banking sector has a problem with over-liquidity. We have also seen many companies that have recently recovered from the crisis, where the management is already thinking about real estate investment again. It’s very important that the regulator puts out some red flags to moderate investment in real estate.”

While the energy sector is growing, there are limited opportunities for banks to lend to companies within the sector, although they are keen to lend to sub-contractors of the oil and gas industry. “We need to find ways of developing businesses in Kazakhstan outside the energy sector,” says Kabashev. “For us, the government’s diversification programme is interesting. We will be happy to credit stable clients with understandable business models who are trying to raise money to set up something new.”

SOURCE:  Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States of America, No 24 August 26, 2010

Kazakhstan on Road to Recovery, But Banking System Still Weak 0

Posted on August 30, 2010 by KazCham

IMF.org

Higher oil prices and a large, timely stimulus program have aided recoveryBanks must address the rising stock of nonperforming loans Fiscal stimulus will need to be gradually withdrawn
Kazakhstan is recovering from economic crisis, but stagnant credit growth and banking sector troubles continue to weigh on economic activity, says the International Monetary Fund.

In its annual health check of the oil-rich Central Asian economy, the IMF projects that the economy will grow by 4 percent in 2010, mainly driven by higher exports, increasing commodity prices, and foreign direct investment. But Kazakhstan must resolve bank weaknesses exposed by the crisis, the IMF stressed.

“A comprehensive strategy to reduce nonperforming loans is urgent and should be accompanied by a full assessment of recapitalization needs for systemically important banks,” the IMF assessment said, noting that the country would also need to upgrade the banking system’s regulatory and supervisory frameworks.

Rapid growth, then sudden stop

Kazakhstan, the largest landlocked country in the world, is the site of the most significant new oil discovery in recent years. The oil sector dominates the economy, accounting for one-fourth of GDP, 60 percent of total exports, and 40 percent of total budget revenues. Major foreign investment in this sector helped fuel strong GDP growth between 2000 and 2007, averaging about 10 percent a year.
At the same time the economy was experiencing rapid growth, Kazakhstani banks borrowed heavily from abroad, amassing external debt amounting to roughly 44 percent of GDP to fund a rapid expansion of credit, largely concentrated in construction and real estate. When the global financial crisis hit and capital stopped flowing into the country, credit growth ground to a halt, and property prices slumped. With oil prices plummeting, Kazakhstan faced a drop in the value of its exports from $76.4 billion in 2008 to $48.2 billion in 2009.

The combination of weak economic growth, currency-induced credit exposure, and increased uncertainty led to significant difficulties in the banking system. Four Kazakhstani banks were forced to restructure their external obligations, and nonperforming loans—that is, loans that are either in default or close to it—began to rise sharply.

Swift crisis response

Owing to the government’s ample resources and low public debt, the authorities were able to respond swiftly to the crisis. Drawing upon savings in the National Oil Fund—a nest egg established by the government in 2001 to save oil income for future generations and to reduce dependency on the budget when shocks arise—the authorities helped stabilize banks with a large-scale policy package. The government took equity stakes in four large distressed banks; public entities transferred deposits from elsewhere into the troubled banks; and sectors where nonperforming loans were concentrated (mainly real estate and construction) received funding on preferential terms.

Because public debt is less than 20 percent of GDP, the government was able to use fiscal measures to counter the crisis impact, increasing budgetary outlays for pensions, public sector wages, and social benefits. Monetary policy was likewise supportive in 2009, with low interest rates and easy access to liquidity contributing to an improvement in bank liquidity. And the tenge, Kazakhstan’s currency, was devalued by 20 percent in early 2009, easing pressures on reserves and restoring competitiveness with Russia, its large neighbor and key trading partner.

Next steps for promoting growth

Kazakhstan’s 2010 economic assessment discussions focused on the need to take action in three main areas in order to sustain the country’s recovery:

• Comprehensive and transparent resolution of nonperforming loans in the country’s banks. Nonperforming loans on a 90-day overdue basis have risen to 26 percent of total loans—up from 3? percent in mid-2008—demonstrating Kazakhstan’s urgent need for a strategy to resolve bank weaknesses. In parallel, the macroprudential framework should continue to be strengthened to address the key vulnerabilities that led to the deterioration of bank credit portfolios, including excessive reliance on foreign funding and risky lending practices. On the difficult trade-off between imposing enhanced regulations to strengthen banks’ balance sheets and promoting credit growth through directed lending policies, the restoration of banking system health should take precedence.

• Fiscal consolidation based on increased savings of oil revenue. Withdrawal of government support for Kazakhstan’s troubled banks—removal of the public entity deposits and the divestment of government equity stakes in banks—and the winding down of stimulus spending should be gradual. Official support is still critical in the near term, but such support should be couched in a medium-term plan for fiscal consolidation, centered on maintaining the quality of public spending and increasing savings of oil revenues for future generations and in case of future shocks.

• Domestic financial market development to discourage dollarization (that is, the widespread use of a foreign currency instead of the domestic currency). With lower external funding and increased savings of oil resources, Kazakhstan needs to strengthen domestic deposits over the medium term to finance productive activities. This should be supported by efforts to deepen domestic money markets, promote long-term liquidity in the domestic currency, and foster good risk management practices.

Over the longer term, the Kazakhstani authorities plan to reduce their dependency on oil and advance diversification of their economy by improving the business environment, modernizing enterprises, creating new high value-added export-oriented sectors, and providing support to industries such as telecommunications and transport. The government’s development strategy for the next decade, announced earlier this year, provides a strong basis for the economy’s gradual diversification—but its success hinges on the support of a well-capitalized and well-regulated financial system, IMF economists say.

SOURCE:  Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States of America, No 24 August 26, 2010

Кazakhstan – U.S. Investment Forum 2010 0

Posted on July 27, 2010 by Sergey Sek

The Embassy of Kazakhstan will be hosting the third annual Kazakhstan – U.S. Investment Forum 2010
on November 8-9 in New York.
The forum, an official Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan event in partnership with Newsdesk Media Inc, is entitled: ‘Program of Accelerated Industrial-Innovative Development of Kazakhstan’.
This year’s event will highlight the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s initiatives to increase the productivity
and competitiveness of the economy in order to provide sustainable and balanced development. Following a teleconference address by H.E. Karim Massimov, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, the forum’s agenda will provide in-depth analysis across the designated sectors of Agriculture, Construction and Metallurgy, Oil & Gas and Petrochemicals, Machinery, Transport and Telecommunications, Energy, and the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry.
A high-level delegation from Kazakhstan led by H.E. Asset Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies, will participate along with H. E. Richard Hoagland, United States Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan. The forum will also host the formal launch of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce representative office in the United States.
For further information, please visit: www.kazakhinvest.com

Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – July 19, 2010 0

Posted on July 19, 2010 by KazCham

HEADLINES:

Kazakhstan opens criminal case against Tengizchevroil
(SRI) – Kazakhstan’s financial police said on Thursday it had opened a criminal case against Tengizchevroil (TCO), a Chevron-led joint venture, accusing it of illegally producing $1.4 billion worth of crude oil.

Oil consultant Giffen returns to court in delayed Kazakhstan bribery case
(Bloomberg) – Oil consultant Jim Giffen was told by a U.S. judge six months after his 2003 arrest in an international bribery scheme that he would go on trial in the fall of 2004. He’s still waiting.

Confusion surrounding Tristan Oil deal
(SRI) – Kazakhstan’s Oil and Gas Ministry said last week it had received an official letter from Cliffson Company Ltd informing the authorities that it intended to withdraw from the planned acquisition of Kazakhstan-focused oil company Tristan Oil.

ENERGY:

Kazakh leader says EU should do more on Nabucco (Reuters)

Uranium One recommends stake sale to Russia’s ARMZ (Reuters)

Central Asia pipeline brings 2 bcm of gas to China (Reuters)

OVL turns down Mittal offer to buy stake in Kazakh oil company (Economic Times)

Kazakhstan-based subsidiary of Rumania’s Petrom pays 59.8 ml tenge in fines for associated gas flaring above limits (Interfax)

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Tobacco company makes changes after Kazakhstan child-labor report (AFP)

National Bank of Kazakhstan: Exchange rates July 17-19, 2010 (Kazakhstan Today)

METALS AND MINING:

Assaubayev family says Polyus is diverting attention from government probe (Bloomberg)

POLITICS:

Kazakhstan wins right to bring world’s leaders to Astana (Telegraph)

Astana fencing off Kyrgyzstan (EurasiaNet)

OSCE summitt must examine Astana’s poor rights record – press watchdog (EurasiaNet)

SOCIETY:

Kazakhstan to invest $50 million in Afghan education project (RIA Novosti)

On architecture: The big top comes to Kazakhstan (EurasiaNet)

REGIONAL:

U.S. says Kyrgyz must act now to stop more violence (Reuters)

Kyrgyzstan forms new government (AP)

Uzbeks tortured by Kyrgyz police – rights group (AP)

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2010/07/19/kazakhstan-daily-news-roundup-july-19-2010/

Russian energy projects in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas sector 0

Posted on May 17, 2010 by KazCham

(SRI) – Russian oil and gas companies have begun to expand into Kazakhstan in late 1990s, as they started to implement strategic plans to grow production capacity beyond Russia’s borders.

Russian companies, most prominently LUKOil, Rosneft, and Gazprom, are participating or planning to take part in at least eighteen major oil and has projects. They include participation in two of Kazakhstan’s largest projects, Tengizchevroil and Karachaganak, in both of which Lukoil is a shareholder.

Rosneft and Lukoil have been active in exploration work on prospective areas Kurmangazy and Zhambai, which contain up to 1.8 billion and 6.5 billion crude oil equivalent, respectively. Gazprom and Lukoil also participate in the development of prospective primarily gas fields Khvalynskoye, Tsentralnoye, and Imashevskoye, which could contain up more than 450 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 230 million tons of liquid hydrocarbons.

Russian investments in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas sector have been estimated at $4.5 billion, including $1.3-1.4 in direct investment. Nonetheless, Russian activities have so far been relatively limited, especially compared to Chinese companies which had consistently increased their share in Kazakhstan’s oil and gas sector.

The prospects for increasing the share of Russian companies will depend largely on whether new offshore projects, including Kurmangazy, Khvalynskoye and Tsentralnoye, will indeed prove commercially viable. Should those fields, in which Russian companies hold significant interests, fulfill their promises, Russian companies’ share in Kazakhstan’s oil production could reportedly rise to 25 percent while its share in natural gas production could exceed 50 percent.

Their combined crude oil output could reach 6-7 million tons in 2010, 10.8 million tons in 2015, and 14-36 million tons in 2020, analysts expect. Meanwhile, their combined gas production could grow from about 3 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2010 to 3-4.5 bcm in 2015 to 9-24 bcm in 2020.

However, Russian ambitions in Kazakhstan have been hampered by the global economic crisis which had led to postponement of investment and by the growing uncertainties about the once promising fields like Kurmangazy. Kazakhstan’s portion of the Caspian Sea, once heralded as one of the world’s most promising unexplored areas, has largely fallen short of expectations, easing enthusiasm of international oil companies to engage in difficult offshore projects.

Production agreements between Kazakh and Russian companies have so far reflected this uncertainty, as high-profile projects like Kurmangazy and Khvalynskoye have been put on hold and are not functioning as originally envisioned.

Last month, Lukoil started commercial production at the Korchagin deposit in Russia’s portion of the Caspian Sea. Russian leaders expressed hope that the launch of the country’s first major Caspian offshore energy development project will help revive the drive to develop deposits in the Russian and Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea.

SOURCE: http://silkroadintelligencer.com/2010/05/12/russian-energy-projects-in-kazakhstans-oil-and-gas-sector/

It’s time to change the oil-Borate image of Kazakhstan in America 2

Posted on April 26, 2010 by KazCham

United States has been successful trade and economic partner for the countries of Central Asia for many years. However, this partnership was limited mostly to work of U.S. energy companies upon requests of Washington to hand in the operations of coalition forces in Afghanistan. From the other side, it’s extremely difficult to enter the US market for the Central Asian States due to many obstacles.

It’s symbolic that the first country of Central Asia, which opened a representative office of its Chamber of Commerce in the United States (New York City), was Kazakhstan. The head of the representation, Yuliya Daurova, is going to tell about main activities of the chamber and how it is going to revive the Kazakh-American business cooperation.

According to Yuliya Daurova, ROI in Kazakhstan reaches 150%.

– Promotion of the political interests of Kazakhstan has been doing actively for a long time. It includes the current chairmanship of the OSCE and the Organization of Islamic States the next year  – as vivid examples. What about intentions of foreign countries to develop the business and economic cooperation with Kazakhstan? And how can Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce promote that?


– During the crisis, the interest of American companies to developing promising markets increased. It includes Kazakhstan. The introduction of industrial-innovative strategy by the Government of Kazakhstan has intensified the interest of investment companies and banks in the United States to the country. Thus, major part of requests in our representative office comes from them.

For example, one of the largest U.S. private equity companies believes that its best investment over the past 10 years was a project in Kazakhstan, where the internal rate of return of these investments amounted to 150%, which is a high rate. However, many U.S. companies just want to know more about the economic situation in our country, since they are still afraid of the political and financial risks. Yes, U.S. companies now show interest in Kazakhstan, for example in the agricultural sector and the chemical production, but in my opinion, they are still very cautious.

Thus, we plan to hold regular seminars and conferences which are tailored to target audiences in individual sectors on issues of doing business in Kazakhstan. Seminars are supported by Grata Law Firm (New York), auditing company PricewaterhouseCoopers Kazakhstan, Broad Street Capital Group and, of course, the Embassy and the Consulate of Kazakhstan in the United States.

We have already launched social networks marketing and plan to hold a series of activities to promote the business image of our country in America, because we are often told that  it is very difficult to learn about Kazakhstan. So, we’ll try to change this attitude.

I want to stress once again that there is the interest – both by U.S. companies and by Kazakhstan firms – to conduct joint business. Basically, it’s about joint ventures and export-import operations. But it’s very difficult to contact the right people in Kazakhstan for American companies. They do not know how to do this and fall into an information vacuum.

Our embassy in Washington has been working on this problem over years, but it is over workloaded. So, we hope to become the “business bridge” between our two countries and to provide operational information about projects, legislation and investment climate in Kazakhstan.

– United States companies have been actively working in the republic in the energy industry since Kazakhstan proclamation of independence. What do they do now in this area? And what is the approximate ratio of involvement of U.S. businesses in other areas to oil production involvement in Kazakhstan?

– The United States have invested in Kazakhstan’s economy 14.3 billion (from 1993), mostly in oil and gas industry and commensurate services. Now, U.S. exports to Kazakhstan has fallen to 2005 levels and totaled $ 600 million in 2009, although there was a time when it reached a billion. It includes 40% for equipment for the oil industry, 25% for transportation equipment, and the rest for computers, telecommunications, electronics and chemical industries.

Despite the fact that today some American agriculture, medical equipment, and educational firms are very interested in Kazakhstan market, it seems to me that the current ratio of investment into O&G complex comparing to other areas will not change. Probably, it’ll be the same 65% of U.S. investments on oil, gas and associated transport lines development.

– Do you think that the image of “business background” of Kazakhstan in America has been changed compared to the times when the cooperation just began? Do not you think that Americans, despite their nearly twenty-year presence in the country, are still very poorly informed about Kazakhstan and its real business potential?

– Kazakhstan, oil , Borat – that’s the image of Kazakhstan for the majority of Americans, still. Many U.S. investors react vigorously with the word “oil” in relation to Kazakhstan, but they are still completely unaware of the fact that Kazakhstan is, for example, one of the world’s largest exporter of copper, uranium and grain.

When you tell them that, it is a real discovery. Therefore, the change of country’s image will take a lot of work. I need result as follows: the word “copper” should be associated with the company “Kazakhmys”, aluminum with ENRC and so on.

So far, the general business relations between the United States and Kazakhstan has not been changed. Oil is still in the first place. The Kazakh exports to the U.S. for the crisis year declined only  by $ 65 million and amounted to 1,545 billion dollars. Of course, that was mostly oil. Everything else is mainly ores and metals.

– Energy and its development is the priority area for the United States regarding the cooperation with Kazakhstan. But today Kazakhstan needs money for the development of agriculture, small business and transport industries from U. S. What has been done to bring U.S. companies of non-energy sector to Kazakhstan over the years?

– You know, this is a difficult question. Judging by the fact that most American companies which come to us are investment companies, they are, in principle, interested in launching projects in Kazakhstan. However, the U.S. firms are interested in public-private partnership or joint ventures with local partners. U.S. investors need sound guarantees to work in Kazakhstan.

As I see, American companies usually submit projects to Kazakhstan ministries, and then hope to get any response over the years. I think that if U.S. investors were more knowledgeable about our country, they would contact partner companies directly, and it would certainly accelerate the process. But today American companies get into the information vacuum.

– What are the interests of Kazakhstani business in America? And how representation of your Chamber of Commerce can help Kazakh businessmen to work in the U.S. market?

– Officially our Kazakhstani business in the United States represented by only one company – Wimpex (vodka). However, our oil companies have strong business ties with our American partners, they have their kind of rep. offices, plus Astana airlines reside in New Jersey.

I have met several private investors from Kazakhstan in America. For example, a Kazakh young man opened a glass factory and resold it then. There is a company owned by one beautiful Kazakh lady, which deals with the import of caviar from Kazakhstan to the United States. Our young guys here opened an advertising agency, created a design studio and a model agency.

If we talk about the prospects of Kazakhstan’s business in the United States, there are great opportunities to work with mining companies and grain producers. In America, there are potential buyers of Kazakh uranium, gold and grain. I mean there is a potential for mutual cooperation.

And I think that it exists for small businesses from Kazakhstan too. For example, in such a huge city like New York, there is no a Kazakh restaurant while there are about 10 thousand Kazakhs living here plus two million Russian-speakers. Add here a very active go-out population of other nations, it’ll be approximately 10 million of inhabitants. Here you have an opportunity for our Alasha or Tubeteika.

With specific regard to our work, we are ready to help in finding partners, customers, and co-financing in the United States. Also, we help with registration, immigration and other issues.  So, if you have a good business proposal and a partial funding, it is possible to organize the Kazakhstani business here in the United States.

– What, in your opinion, are the main problems which have prevented the Kazakhstan and American entrepreneurs to interact so far? Is there only problem of the lack of adequate information about each other, or it is more mentality, lifestyle, cultural differences?

– In general, people face several problems: the absence of proper information, the different languages, and the distances between the countries. On the other hand, Chinese and Russian companies work successfully in the United States regardless these problems. Some of them even do not speak English at all and work here for years.

I agree that it happens partly due to the differences in mentality. In my opinion, there are purely social and cultural aspects in the relations between the two countries. For example, the Kazakhs live patriarchal structure, derived from the ancient times, and it is much harder for them to adapt to specific American culture. Americans are, by nature, more open and assertive in their behavior, and it is easier to do business for them. The same dress code, for example, is pretty simple, but something may be unacceptable in the same clothing for Kazakhs. But since we talk about business and not well-established family relations which have thousands years of tradition, so, perhaps, there should be more flexible and less formal relations. Still the main constraint in enhancing the bilateral relations is the lack of timely and reliable information about each other.

– Given the fact that a centralized bureaucracy in the U.S. is extremely strong and it does not solve problems of small business operationally, isn’t it more profitable for you to contact senators of individual states in the country directly, since they are much more flexible in making decisions and will be more interested in helping US companies with investments and projects in Kazakhstan.

– Unfortunately, the bureaucracy stifles business development not only in the United States, but in Kazakhstan as well. Definitely the situation has improved with the arrival of young and dynamic vice-ministers in the Kazakh government, who are easier to reach. They are more open to contact and react more quickly to certain requests.

Yet, the situations with the bureaucratic obstacles remain severe. For example, government people there sent me approved scanned, signed and stamped answers on official forms to my email requests. Businessmen barely do that. They will email me back within 48 hours as usual.

There is also a significant difference in the affairs of government agencies of both countries. For example, in the United States a businessman will receive an answer for an request, sooner or later. It usually takes a couple of weeks, sometimes, two months. Still, the answer will there. Moreover, the higher the rank, to whom you are applying, the more assurance that you’ll get a prompt response in U.S. In Kazakhstan a businessman finds himself in the Bermuda Triangle.

As for senators of states and their interest in cooperation with Kazakhstan, you are absolutely right. We have already established connections with the state of Louisiana in the south of the USA; Nebraska – an agricultural state; Washington on the Pacific coast. We are now working to expand our business ties in California, and also plan to enter into agreements with local business associations in New York.

We are open and glad to various forms of bilateral cooperation, we actively try to help companies to enter and work in both markets and look forward to successful implementation of our plans to strengthen trade relations between the U.S. and Kazakhstan.

SOURCE: Delovaya nedelya Kazakhstana. Yuriy Sigov. 2 April 2010.

The Caspian corridor 0

Posted on April 25, 2010 by KazCham

AFTER SO MANY years of dependence on foreign  ! goodwill for the export of its oil, gas and mineral: the Kazakh government is insisting on a control stake in the new Kazakhstan Caspian Transport System (KCTS). This is designed to carry export pipelines south to a new port at Kuryk, south of Aktau, entirely through Kazakh territory.

New high-capacity pipelines within this corridq will run south for hundreds of kilometres from tilt giant, city-sized processing plant for Kashagan oil gas at Eskene, 30km north of the oil capital Atyrau, to a new port at Kuryk. From there oil and gas will be transported across the Caspian Sea to Baku. The new trunk pipelines running down the corridor will also be linked up to the many smaller fields being  developed either side of the route.

The oil companies, which are expected to foot  most of the bill for this multi-billion dollar project,  however, are still smarting from their loss of control  over the CPC pipeline through Russia, which they also financed and initially operated. As the main financiers and big future users of the KCTS, the international oil companies want to ensure that they retain as much  influence as possible over future managements.

A conclusion to months of hard bargaining between -government and the oil companies had not been  reached at time of writing, but a compromise deal is  expected shortly.

The main purpose of the KCTS is to ensure that  western Kazakhstan has the export capacity to cope  with the expected doubling of oil and gas production  when the Kashagan field comes on stream in four  years’ time. It will ensure that rising oil and gas  production from the country’s three biggest fields  – Kashagan, Karachaganak and Tengiz – as well as  dozens of smaller fields in western Kazakhstan will  flow down pipes, ports and railways under Kazakh  jurisdiction and not require transit payments to  foreign governments.

The KCTS will constitute a major strategic  resource for Kazakhstan, which used to be totally  dependent on transit through Russia to reach export  markets but is now rapidly developing into a major  transit country in its own right, with high-capacity  pipelines running 3,000km east to China and hopes  of developing further routes south through Iran –  international politics permitting.

The new corridor will not only carry Kazakh oil  and gas to Kuryk. It is also expected to accommodate  up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of gas flowing  north from Turkmenistan to Russia. But building  this northbound pipeline is conditional on  implementation of an agreement signed in 2007  between Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.  This was to enable Russia to raise gas imports from  Central Asia. But Moscow seems to be reviewing this  agreement in the light of a sharp decline in demand  for gas from Gazprom’s recession-hit domestic and  European consumers.

On past performance, the end result of current  negotiations between the Kazakh government and  oil companies over how the KCTS corridor is to be  managed is likely to be a compromise that leaves both sides reasonably satisfied. The expected benefits from  the new corridor are, after all, huge for all concerned.

From the Eskene processing plant, equivalent  in size to the city of Amsterdam, the corridor will  terminate at Kuryk, a sheltered, relatively deep-water  site chosen for the large new oil and gas export  facility. From there a fleet of oil tankers will ferry oil  some 700km across the Caspian Sea to new importing h facilities south of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijans

At some point in the future, gas may also be  transported under the Caspian in pipelines and  President Nazarbayev has also expressed his interest  in a possible liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility to  freeze natural gas and transport it in special LNG  ships across the Caspian to a de-freezing plant on the  Azeri shores.

Eskene, which is some 35km north of Atyrau,  will process oil from the offshore Kashagan field,  and three other smaller fields in the concession are  currently being developed by Exxon-Mobil.

The complex will start operating when the first  oil comes from Kashagan around the fourth quarter  of 2012. Production will then build up rapidly as  Kashagan alone is expected to produce some  1.5 million barrels a day before the end of the next  decade. The hot, corrosive oil which forces its way  to the surface from the Skm-deep deposits needs to  be stripped of deadly hydrogen sulphide and other  poisonous gases as well as foul-smelling mercaptans  and other pollutantss

These involuntary by-products of making the oil  and gas safe for transport will be used as feedstock for a proposed $6.5 billion petrochemical plant, which  the government is discussing with deep-pocketed  investors from the Gulf States.

Invest in Kazakhstan An official publication of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2009. Pages: 52-53.

Oil and gas developments head south 0

Posted on April 22, 2010 by KazCham

AS NEW FIELDS are developed in the northern Caspian  over the coming decades, they will be connected to  the main trunk lines running south through the  Kazakhstan Caspian Transportation System (KCTS)  corridor. All three of Kazakhstan’s giant fields lie in the prolific ‘Pricaspian basin’, which extends beyond  the Kazakh-Russian border to Astrakhan in the  west and Orenburg in the north-east. But the bulk  of future discoveries is expected from offshore oil and gas wells further down the Caspian Sea, where  seismic and other surveys have revealed hundreds of  potentially commercial deposits.

The biggest and most prospective of the southern  blocs is the ‘N’ block currently being developed by a  consortium led by KMG with Conoco-Phillips, which  owns 20 per cent of Russia’s Lukoil, as its main partner. It is still not clear how much oil or gas lies in the  ‘N’ block. Hopes are high for another Kashagan-type  giant field. But, even if some of the more optimistic  expectations prove to be just that, there is little doubt h that the hydrocarbon potential of the central part of  the Caspian Sea justifies the KCTS strategy.

Thanks to the new energy corridor, and future  investments in improved road and rail links with  China and across the Caspian Sea, formerly isolated  Aktau expects a bright future as the future transport hub and administrative centre of the Caspian oil  industry, with Kuryk, 100km south of Aktau, as the  main port for oil and gas exports across the Caspian. Current plans call for the construction of a fleet  of 60,000 dead weight tonnes (dwt) tankers capable  of carrying up to 20 million tonnes of oil a year  across the 700km stretch of sea between Kuryk and  Baku. This should be sufficient for several years. But  recent confirmation by independent UK-based oil and gas auditors Gaffney and Cline, that Turkmenistan  has world-class gas deposits both onshore near its  southern border with Afghanistan and offshore,  coupled with growing interest by some European  Union members in the Nabucco gas project, have  revived plans for a trans-Caspian gas pipeline under  the sea.

Further offshore gas discoveries in the Kazakh  sector of the Caspian, particularly in the ‘N’ block,  which many oilmen suspect has more gas than oil,  would further increase demand for such a line, or  alternatively, an LNG facility.

Four years ago, a US-backed project to build a  trans-Caspian pipeline from Turkmenistan to Baku  was scuppered by Russian pressure. But times have  changed. Russia remains a big player in the region  and Kazakh diplomacy never forgets this. But China  is the new factor in Central Asian energy demand,  while the EU is seeking to establish direct energy  links to Central Asia and reduce its dependence on  supplies from and through Russia.

Supporters of the EU’s Nabucco project say that  a pipeline through Turkey and the Balkans to the  heart of Central Europe would be able to attract  sufficient gas from Central Asian and Middle Eastern  gas suppliers to fill a 30 billion cubic metre (bcm)  pipeline to a new hub near Vienna. Sceptics argue  that for Nabucco to move forward, the EU collectively will have to put up money to underpin private  funding from its Central European supporters, which, in turn, will only be forthcoming once guaranteed  supplies of gas are signed up for by potential Middle  Eastern and Central Asian producers.

While EU countries continue this ‘chicken and  egg’ debate on the relative merits of Nabucco or the  two alternative projects proposed by Russia, China is  pressing ahead with construction of a 3,000km-long  gas pipeline from Turkmenistan, through Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan, to the Chinese border,  the first lObcm capacity stage of which is due for  completion later this year.

China has demonstrated that it is serious about  increasing energy and other imports from the region, but Germany and Italy, which have both renounced  nuclear power and are heavily dependent on gas and  other imports, remain supporters of Russia’s rival  plans for a Nordstream gas line under the Baltic Sea  to Germany, along with the Southstream proposal  for a gas line under the Black Sea from Russia to the  Balkans and beyond.

Both projects were conceived when oil and gas  prices were high and Russia was flush with dollars.  In the light of the huge cost overruns at Kashagan,  however, there is growing scepticism about  Gazprom’s technical and financial capacity to develop the ambitious Shtockman gas field in the Barents Sea, 500km offshore from Murmansk, and the willingness of the international oil companies to commit to such h a risky venture.  Despite Russia’s own ambitious plans for sub-sea  pipelines across the Baltic and Black Sea, Moscow,  together with Teheran, remains opposed to any cross- Caspian pipeline, partly on ecological and legalistic  grounds, but mainly for political and economic  reasons. Both argue that nothing should be done  until the legal status of the Caspian Sea is settled.

Kazakhstan has bilateral agreements with both  Russia and Azerbaijan regulating oil, gas and related  issues in their respective sectors of the sea. But in the ^ absence of an international agreement on the legal  status of the Caspian as a whole – which hinges on its characterisation as a large lake or an internal sea –  building trans-Caspian pipelines across the southern  Caspian remains a problematic issue.

A possible face-saving formula, if one were needed,  would be to link a line from the eastern shore of the  Caspian to the existing pipelines that already carry  oil and gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz, and other  offshore oil and gas fields, to the Azeri coast south  ofBaku.

Even without a trans-Caspian pipeline, however,  full development of the KCTS corridor’s potential  requires massive matching investment on the

western side of the Caspian. Existing port facilities  in the Baku area need further development and  extra capacity will be needed in the existing export  pipelines. These include the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil line and the parallel gas pipeline, which carry oil  and gas through Georgia and Turkey. Other proposals h include raising capacity of the smaller oil pipelines  running from Baku to Supsa and to Batumi, Georgian ports on the Black Sea.

Plans for a large Kazakh-owned refinery in Batumi  and other Kazakh investments in Georgia have been  put on hold since the conflict between Russia and  Georgia erupted in August 2008. But Houston-based  KBR is quietly exploring the technical feasibility of an undersea pipeline between Kuryk and Baku, which  would cross some of the deepest sectors of the world’s largest inland sea.

The great attraction of such a pipeline is that, once constructed, its operation would be in the hands of  the two states which see most clearly the benefits  of cross-Caspian co-operation – Kazakhstan and  Azerbaijan. But the wider political obstacles remain  large – despite strong support from Washington and  growing interest in Brussels.

Invest in Kazakhstan An official publication of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2009. Pages: 55-58.

Нефте-Боратовый имидж Казахстана в Америке пора менять 0

Posted on April 19, 2010 by KazCham

Соединенные Штаты давно уже являются привлекательным и выгодным торгово-экономическим партнером для стран Центральной Азии. Однако партнерство это сводится главным образом к работе в регионе американских энергетических компаний да просьбам Вашингтона подсобить в осуществлении операции сил коалиции в Афганистане. А вот самим центральноазиатским государствам на рынок США пробиться крайне сложно, да и разного рода препон на этом пути остается более чем достаточно.
Поэтому весьма символично, что первой страной Центральной Азии, которая открыла в Соединенных Штатах (город Нью-Йорк) представительство своей Торгово-промышленной палаты, стал именно Казахстан. О том, чем оно занимается и каким образом намерено оживлять казахстанско-американское деловое сотрудничество, рассказывает руководитель представительства Юлия Даурова.

По словам Юлии Дауровой, коэффициент рентабельности инвестиций в Казахстане доходит до 150%

– Продвижение политических интересов Казахстана уже давно ведется Астаной весьма активно, и нынешнее председательство в ОБСЕ, а на будущий год – в Организации Исламских государств – тому яркое свидетельство. А как обстоит дело с убеждением зарубежных стран развивать с Казахстаном деловое и экономическое сотрудничество? И как в этом плане способствует этому механизм работы за рубежом казахстанской Торгово-промышленной палаты?
– За последнее кризисное время усилился интерес американских компаний к развивающимся перспективным рынкам, к которым относится и Казахстан. Благодаря внедрению индустриально-инновационной стратегии правительством Казахстана активизировались в нашем направлении инвестиционные компании и банки Соединенных Штатов. Поэтому неудивительно, что большая часть запросов в наше представительство приходится именно на них.
Так, один из крупных фондов США считает, что лучшими инвестициями за последние 10 лет для них оказался проект именно в Казахстане, где коэффициент рентабельности этих инвестиций составил 150%, что является весьма высоким показателем. Вместе с тем многие американские компании просто хотят поподробнее узнать об экономической ситуации у нас в стране, поскольку все еще опасаются политических и финансовых рисков. Да, к Казахстану сейчас проявляют интерес американские компании, представляющие агропромышленный сектор и сферу химического производства, но, на мой взгляд, они все еще очень осторожны.
Чтобы как-то расшевелить их, мы планируем проведение постоянных семинаров и конференций, сориентированных на целевые аудитории по отдельным секторам развития экономики и торговли, а также по вопросам ведения бизнеса в Казахстане. В этом нам активно содействует юридическая компания Грата, аудиторская компания PricewaterhouseCoopers Kazakhstan, Broad Street Capital Group и, конечно же, Посольство и Консульство Казахстана в США.
Мы уже запустили механизмы маркетинга социальных сетей, а в ближайшие недели планируем провести целый ряд мероприятий по продвижению делового имиджа нашей страны в Америке, потому что нам по-прежнему часто говорят, будто о Казахстане очень трудно узнать. Вот и постараемся такое отношение как-то изменить.
Хочу еще раз подчеркнуть, что интерес – как со стороны американских компаний, так и казахстанских, к ведению совместного бизнеса есть. В основном он касается инвестиций и импортно-экспортных операций. Но при этом тем же американским компаниям очень трудно связаться с нужными людьми в Казахстане, они не знают, как это лучше сделать, попадают в своего рода информационный вакуум.
Все прошедшие годы этим занималось наше посольство в Вашингтоне, но оно сильно загружено работой по другим направлениям. Поэтому теперь именно мы надеемся стать тем «деловым мостиком» между нашими двумя странами и обеспечивать оперативной информацией американцев о проектах, законодательстве, инвестиционном климате в Казахстане.

– Соединенные Штаты с самого момента провозглашения Казахстаном независимости активно работали в республике в области энергетики. Как в этой сфере американцы действуют в Казахстане сейчас? И каково примерное соотношение участия бизнеса США в области добычи нефти в Казахстане и всеми другими проектами?
– За годы развития двусторонних экономических отношений Соединенные Штаты инвестировали в экономику Казахстана 14.3 миллиарда (это с 1993 года) – причем в основном именно в нефтегазовую промышленность и сопутствующие ей услуги. Однако сейчас экспорт из США в Казахстан упал до уровня 2005 года и составил 600 миллионов долларов за 2009 год, хотя было время, когда он доходил и до миллиарда долларов. Замечу, что из этой суммы 40% приходится на оборудование для нефтяной отрасли, 25%-на транспортную технику, а все остальное – на компьютеры, телекоммуникации, электронику и химическую промышленность.
Несмотря на то, что сейчас в области развития сотрудничества с Казахстаном активизируются американские агропромышленные компании, а также фирмы, занимающиеся поставкой медицинского оборудования, плюс образовательные учреждения из США, которые хотели бы инвестировать в проекты на территории Казахстана, мне кажется, что существующее процентное соотношение инвестиций в нефтекомплекс и другие области экономики Казахстана не изменится. Наверняка все те же 65% американских инвестиций в нашу республику будут и в будущем приходиться на нефть, газ и сопутствующие транспортные магистрали.

– Как вы считаете, насколько в целом изменился общий «деловой фон» Казахстана в Америке по сравнению с тем, когда это бизнес-сотрудничество только начиналось? Не кажется ли вам, что американцы, даже несмотря на свое уже почти двадцатилетнее присутствие в республике, все же очень плохо информированы о Казахстане и мало представляют себе его реальный бизнес-потенциал?
– Не хочу показаться банальной, но Казахстан для большинства американцев – это все еще нефть и Борат. Вот и весь имидж нашей страны для среднего американца. Те же американские инвесторы бурно реагируют на слово «нефть» применительно к Казахстану, однако они по-прежнему совершенно не знают о том, что Казахстан является, к примеру, одним из крупнейших в мире экспортеров меди, урана и зерна.
Когда им об этом говоришь, то для них это целое открытие. Поэтому можно констатировать, что для изменения положения потребуется большая работа по продвижению имиджа нашей страны с участием крупнейших американских и казахстанских компаний. Чтобы слово «медь» в той же Америке ассоциировалось с работой компании «Казахмыс» например, а производство алюминия – с ENRC и так далее.
Пока что общий деловой фон во взаимоотношениях Соединенных Штатов и Казахстана не особо изменился. На первом месте по-прежнему остается нефть. При этом казахстанский экспорт в США за кризисный год сократился всего лишь на 65 млн. долларов и составил 1,545 млрд. долларов. Конечно, это в основном нефть, а все остальное – это главным образом руды и металлы.

– Энергетика и ее развитие для США применительно к сотрудничеству с Казахстаном остается приоритетной сферой – в том числе инвестиционной. Но вот самому Казахстану от Соединенных Штатов нужны деньги и на совсем другое – развитие сельского хозяйства, малого бизнеса, транспорта. Что удалось сделать за эти годы для привлечения из Америки в Казахстан компаний не-энергетического сектора?
– Знаете, это сложный вопрос. Судя по тому, что большинство американских компаний, обращающихся к нам за советом и информацией, инвестиционные, то они, в принципе, готовы сотрудничать со своими партнерами в Казахстане по самым различным проектам. Однако все американские партнеры заинтересованы приоритетно в государственно-частном партнерстве в Казахстане или хотя бы в организации у нас в республике совместных предприятий. То есть все американские инвесторы хотят для работы в Казахстане серьезных гарантий.
Насколько я понимаю, эти американские компании обращаются в наши министерства, подают свои заявки на проекты, а потом годами надеются получить из Казахстана какой-либо ответ. Думаю, что если бы американские инвесторы были более осведомлены о нашей стране, то обращались бы в Казахстане напрямую к компании-партнеру, и это бы наверняка ускорило процесс. Но в результате эти американские компании попадают в информационный вакуум, и никакого дальнейшего развития партнерство не получает.

– А каковы интересы казахстанского бизнеса в Америке? И насколько те же представительства вашей Торгово-промышленной палаты могут помочь казахстанским предпринимателям работать и найти партнеров на американском рынке?
– Пока официально наш казахстанский бизнес в Соединенных Штатах представлен только одной компанией – Wimpex. Однако у наших нефтяных компаний есть прочные деловые связи с американскими партнерами, они имеют свои представительства, плюс есть партнерство и на уровне авиакомпаний.
Я встречалась в Америке с несколькими частными инвесторами из Казахстана. Так, одна казахстанская компания здесь открыла стекольный завод, а потом его выгодно перепродала тем же американцам. Есть еще компания, принадлежащая одной казашке, которая занимается импортом икры из Казахстана в Соединенные Штаты. Еще наши молодые ребята открывают здесь рекламное агентство, создали дизайнерскую студию и модельное агентство.
Если же говорить о перспективах казахстанского бизнеса в Соединенных Штатах, то большие возможности имеются для работы у горнорудных компаний и наших производителей зерна. В Америке есть потенциальные покупатели казахстанского урана, золота и зерна, так что в этом направлении потенциал для взаимного сотрудничества есть неплохой.
Думаю, что и для малого бизнеса из Казахстана тоже есть в Соединенных Штатах свои ниши. К примеру, в таком огромном городе, как Нью-Йорк, нет ни одного казахстанского ресторана, а казахов здесь живет примерно 10 тысяч плюс русскоговорящих здесь почти два миллиона. И это не считая весьма активного остального населения города, достигающего примерно 10 миллионов жителей. Вот вам и возможности для наших Алаши или Тюбетейки.
Что касается непосредственно нашей деятельности, то казахстанским компаниям мы готовы помочь и в поиске партнеров в Соединенных Штатах, и покупателей, и совместного финансирования, регистрации, иммиграционных вопросах и других вопросах. То есть если есть хорошая идея и частичное или полное финансирование с нашей стороны, то вполне возможно организовать казахстанский бизнес здесь, в Соединенных Штатах.

– В чем, на ваш взгляд, состоят главные проблемы, которые на сегодня мешают казахстанским и американским предпринимателям успешно взаимодействовать? Только ли здесь проблема в отсутствии должной информации друг о друге или помехи есть больше в менталитете, образе жизни, культурных различиях?
– По большому счету, проблем несколько: они заключаются и в отсутствии должной информации, и в том, что мы говорим на разных языках, и в дальних расстояниях между нашими странами. С другой стороны, работе китайских и российских компаний в Соединенных Штатах это ведь никак не мешает. Тут есть такие представители зарубежного бизнеса, которые даже на английском не говорят ни слова, а зато годами успешно работают на американском рынке.
Согласна, что, возможно, это частично связано с проблемой различия в менталитете. На мой взгляд, есть такие чисто социальные и культурные моменты во взаимоотношениях двух стран. К примеру, казахи издавна живут своим укладом, патриархальной структурой и им намного труднее адаптироваться к весьма специфической американской культуре. Американцы по своей натуре более открыты, напористее в поведении, и в чем-то им проще вести бизнес. Тот же дресс-код, например, у них очень конкретен, а для нас что-то может быть в той же одежде неприемлемо. Но современный бизнес – это ведь не устоявшиеся веками семейные отношения, поэтому, наверное, здесь надо быть гибче и менее формальными. Но все же основной фактор, мешающий активизации наших двусторонних связей, – это отсутствие своевременной и надежной информации друг о друге.

– С учетом того, что централизованная бюрократия в США крайне сильна и в оперативном решении бизнес-вопросов мало-поворотлива, гораздо выгоднее было бы для вашей палаты затаскивать в Казахстан представителей и руководителей компаний отдельных штатов страны, которые гораздо более гибки в принятии решений и будут намного больше заинтересованы в тех же инвестициях и проектах в Казахстане.
– К сожалению, засилье бюрократии душит развитие бизнеса не только в Соединенных Штатах, но и у нас в Казахстане. Однозначно ситуация улучшилась с приходом молодых и динамичных вице-министров в казахстанском правительстве, до которых все же легче «достучаться», они более открыты к контакту и намного быстрее реагируют на те или иные запросы.
Но все же ситуация с бюрократическими препонами остается тяжелой. Например, мне на мой электронный имейл присылают уже согласованные отсканированные ответы на официальных бланках. В американской бизнес – среде до этого не додумались, а отвечают, как это принято по международному деловому этикету, по почте в течение 48 часов.
Есть еще и существенная разница в ведении дел государственными учреждениями двух стран. К примеру, в Соединенных Штатах на любой запрос рано или поздно бизнесмену все равно ответят – обычно это происходит в течение максимум пары недель, иногда, бывает, тянут и по два месяца – но ответ все равно будет. Причем в Америке чем выше чин, к кому вы обращаетесь, тем больше гарантий, что вам дадут скорый ответ. А в Казахстане с запросами-ответами бизнесмен попадает в настоящий Бермудский треугольник.
Что касается представителей американских штатов и их заинтересованности в сотрудничестве с Казахстаном, то тут вы абсолютно правы. У нас уже налажены связи со штатами Луизиана на юге США – это нефтяной и портовый штат; Небраска – по сельскому хозяйству; штат Вашингтон на Тихоокеанском побережье. Сейчас мы работаем над расширением наших деловых связей в Калифорнии, а также планируем заключить соглашения с местными бизнес-ассоциациями в Нью-Йорке.
Американцев мы убеждаем, что открыты и рады различным формам двустороннего сотрудничества, пытаемся помочь им активно работать на обоих рынках и надеемся на успешную реализацию наших планов, на укрепление торговых отношений между США и Казахстаном.

Источник: Деловая Неделя Казахстан. 2 апреля 2010. Юрий СИГОВ.

Kazakhstan Mining Report Q2 2010 0

Posted on April 15, 2010 by KazCham

Kazakhstan’s robust mining industry has weathered the global economic storm and should demonstrate strong growth within the next few years. Rising commodity prices helped pull the country out of the recession in 2009.
Rallying copper prices were particularly influential in this achievement, as Kazakhstan is currently the world’s 10th largest producer of copper.

The recovery of prices has been a chief factor in attracting FDI and the government is keen to capitalise on interest in the mining industry. In January 2010, it was reported that the government wanted to offer tax incentives for foreign investors looking to exploit the country’s rich mineral resources.

Businesses willing to produce materials within the country could enjoy concessional financing of projects, required infrastructure funding, and tax incentive measures in addition to exemption from land tax, corporate income tax, value added tax on import of goods and property tax.

As well as attractive tax incentives, Kazakhstan is also taking steps to improve its current legislation. The country recently received EUR500,000 from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) to analyse the current legislation governing the country’s mining sector.

The CEO of the ERBD stated that the international expertise available would be invaluable to improve the country’s current regulations.
Gold naturally continues to attract investors on the back of positive developments regarding exploration and drilling in Kazakhstan.

In November 2009, Central Asia Resources upgraded its drilling program at the Atlyntas project after more than 500,000 ounces (oz) of near surface gold were discovered in a section covering only around 10% of the entire prospect area. The project will now receive a further US$1.6mn investment to enable additional drill programs in 2010.

Kazakhstan continues to establish itself as a key figure in the uranium mining sector. It finally fulfilled its ambition of overtaking Canada and Australia to become the world’s leading supplier of the material in 2009. Last year, Kazakhstan produced 13,900 tons, a 63% increase in output.

This accounted for 30% of global production. Kazakhstan is now confident it can increase production a further 29% in 2010 to reach 18,000 tons. There was also speculation in December 2009 that Kazakhstan and Iran were in the midst of talks which would see Kazakhstan supplying the country with 1,350 tons of uranium in a US $450 million deal. Both countries’ governments have denied the rumors.

Strong growth is anticipated for Kazakhstan’s mining industry. The country is well positioned to take advantage of expanding demand from nearby China and India for metals and energy resources. Growing interest in cleaner burning fuels like uranium also means that Kazakhstan is going to be a key figure within this sector.
As metal prices continue to improve, more investment into the sector is anticipated, bringing with it new expertise and technology to accelerate growth within the industry, according to OfficialWire.

SOURCE: Kazakhstan Newsline #1005 – April 15, 2010



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