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The Astana Times -60C


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

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Nazarbayev Addresses Regional Development in Government Reshuffle

Kazakhstan Cabinet Chaired Pursues by Akhmetov Significant Passes 100-Day Industrial Mark Growth By Galiya Nurzhan

President Nursultan Nazarbayev (c) confers with Karim Massimov (r), his Chief of Staff, Serik Akhmetov (l), the Prime Minister, and Bakhytzhan Sagintayev (far left), the newly appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development.

By George D. Gleboff ASTANA – On January 16 and 17, President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed numerous decrees reshuffling the Kazakh government and making several appointments in his administration and among regional governors. The reshuffle began with the creation of a new ministry – the Ministry of Regional Development – which incorporated two erstwhile agencies for housing construction and for land resources, as well as functions from other ministries. According to the presidential decree, the new ministry will take over the functions of the reorganized Ministry of Economic Development and Trade in formulating and implementing state policy on issues of regional development, supporting entrepreneurship and coordinating activities of socioentrepreneurial corporations. Experts believe the creation of the new ministry reflects the central government's growing focus on ensuring sustainable and interrelated

growth of regions in a country five times the size of France. Another issue that spurred the creation of the new ministry is believed to be the need to ensure sustainable development of the more than 40 single industry towns scattered across the country, including settlements such as Zhanaozen, Kentau and Rudny. “Such a ministry should have appeared earlier,” Dosym Satpayev, director of the Almatybased private consultancy Risk Assessment Group, told the Astana Times in a phone interview. He added that the new ministry should give an impetus to activities of the regions in attracting investment. “Even though many regions are different from each other with one being the donor to the national budget and another being a depressive one, all of them have one problem: lack of action in attracting investments.” Bakytzhan Sagintayev, 49, who used to be the akim (governor) of the Pavlodar region in 2008-12, as well as the minister of economic

Astana Begins EXPO 2017 Preps

By Yelden Sarybay Everybody gets excited when guests come to their home, and the hospitality of the Kazakh people has been legendary for ages. However, the hosting of the specialized international exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana will present new challenges in planning. More than five million visitors are expected to come. The event will last three months and be the greatest gathering of its kind Central Asia has ever seen. It will celebrate the emergence of independent Kazakhstan and the wider region as the energy and communications hub of Europe and Asia since the collapse of communism. EXPO 2017 will offer enormous new opportunities for the businesses and residents of Astana. For three months, Astana, which will mark its 20th anniversary as the capital in 2017, will take centre stage on the television screens of the world. No other country in the Commonwealth of Independent States has had this opportunity since the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev recognizes the EXPO and the global interest it generates will be beneficial for every region of the country. At a meeting with mayors and governors from around the country in Astana, he said, “For us, the EXPO has to become a mega-project which will benefit each and every region. This will give a powerful impetus to the innovative development of the country. But this does not entitle us to rest on our laurels. We have a historical responsibility for the fate of the country, for the future, and we need to mobilize all the resources of the state apparatus and the ruling Nur Otan party for the benefit of all citizens. “The people of Kazakhstan have not yet realized that this is the greatest achievement at the international level of Kazakhstan’s independence,” the president said. He noted that the vote by the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) in Paris to hold EXPO 2017 in Astana was overwhelming. More than 100 countries voted to choose Kazakhstan to host the exposition on alternative energy. Never before in the history of the BIE had there been such a large majority of almost 60 countries in choosing a host city. In November 2012, Belgian city of Liege, another candidate city, received 44 country votes as opposed to Astana’s 103. “This will be a turning point for Kazakhstan. It will start a whole new chapter in economic development,” the president said. The new complex that will be built to house the EXPO will then become a laboratory science park for the introduction of new technologies in Kazakhstan, he added.

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development and trade and first deputy chair of the ruling Nur Otan party in 2012, has been appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development. Also by the presidential decree, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade was reorganized into the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning. The reorganized ministry will receive new responsibilities for budget planning from the Ministry of Finance, as well as new responsibilities for formulating state policy for supporting investment and creating a beneficial investment climate from the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies, and acquire responsibility for formulating state policy in the sphere of domestic migration from the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning will also now be responsible for formulating state policies on issues of developing a green economy. Yerbolat Dossayev, who previously served as

minister of economic development and trade, was appointed the new Minister of Economy and Budget Planning. The Ministry of Environment Protection will take care of the implementation and monitoring of state policies related to developing a green economy. This institution will hold the functions and powers of the Ministry of Agriculture in protecting and supervising the management of natural resources, the formulation of water management policies, as well as the functions and powers of water management and fisheries development, except for issues of reclamation. The Ministry of Environment Protection will also be responsible for solid waste management, taking over these responsibilities from the disbanded Agency for Housing Construction. This ministry is also charged with formulating state policy in the field of renewable energy sources.

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ASTANA – On December 25, as part of the Industrialization Day a new wave of major investment projects around the nation were launched as President Nursultan Nazarbayev held a nationwide teleconference with senior officials and leading industrialists. The president inaugurated work on high-speed 4G LTE (fourthgeneration long-term evolution) networks in Astana and Almaty, which will launch a new era of telecommunications in the country, and discussed the most recent results in implementing the 20102014 State Programme for Accelerated Industrial-Innovative Development (PAIID). The event brought together leading businessmen, industrial executives, research scientists and technologists in the vanguard of economic diversification and innovative development. The president announced the winners of the Altyn Sapa (High Quality), Paryz (Duty) and The Best Product of Kazakhstan contests. The government is encouraging the rapid growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the private sector to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Kazakhstan’s entry into the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus and its upcoming accession to the World Trade Organization, Altai Abibullayev, official spokesman of the Central Communications Service (CCS), told a weekly briefing in late December 2012.

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By Maryam Turezhanova

ASTANA – On Sept. 24, 2012, President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree appointing Serik Akhmetov Prime Minister of Kazakhstan. His cabinet has now been working for slightly more than 100 days, the period traditionally taken as indicative of the initial performance and prospects of a government. Overall, Kazakh experts have positively assessed Akhmetov’s first significant period as prime minister and head of the cabinet. Experts noted the mobility of the new head of the cabinet. So far, he has made five working trips within the country, traveling to South Kazakhstan, Kyzylorda, Mangistau, Atyrau and Kostanay regions, where he visited a number of important enterprises, as well as healthcare, education and cultural centres. During these trips he discussed a wide range of socioeconomic issues, such as the implementation of projects like the Industrialization Map, Affordable Housing 2020, Business Road Map 2020, employment initiatives and other topics with local authorities. During his trips, Akhmetov visited Kentau, Rudny and Zhanaozen, all considered single-industry towns. The government places great importance on the development of small industrial towns. Developed regions are the foundation of the economic and social modernization of Kazakhstan. In general, the cabinet plans to increase funding to address issues of regional socioeconomic development, promote local initiatives and strengthen local economic potential.

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President Outlines Domestic, Foreign Policy Priorities in Meeting with Ambassadors to Kazakhstan

President Nazarbayev (right) hands apples and other goodies to foreign ambassadors at a reception following his traditional meeting with the diplomatic corps, which now includes 65 heads of missions in Astana and one in Almaty.

By Nadezhda Khamitova ASTANA – On January 18, President Nursultan Nazarbayev held his annual meeting with the representatives of the foreign diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to Kazakhstan in the Akorda Presidential Palace here. In his welcoming speech, President Nazarbayev expressed his confidence that the coming year would be successful and productive for the development of bilateral relations with other nations and international organizations. “Last year, I made nearly two dozen visits to foreign countries,” the president said. “Kazakhstan

was visited by the heads of nearly a dozen countries and international organizations. Meetings and talks were held with the leaders of world and regional powers such as the United States, China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.” “The Asian vector of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy has been strengthened,” the president said. “Kazakhstan’s first diplomatic mission in South America, its embassy in Brazil, was opened. The Fourth Congress of World and Traditional Religions was held in Astana with leaders on the highest level coming from around the world. I thank all the diplomats working in Astana for your contribution to the organi-

zation of all these fruitful meetings, visits and forums.” President Nazarbayev summarized the results of the nation’s diplomacy over the past year. He said 2012 had been one of the most successful years in the foreign policy of the country. Kazakhstan significantly strengthened its position in the region and the world, and attracted 20 billion dollars in foreign direct investment. At the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, Kazakhstan was recognized as a de facto leader of the global non-proliferation movement. 2012 was also the year when The ATOM Project petition campaign was launched, a project aimed at changing the world for the better

and making it a safer place for the living. Also during 2012, Kazakhstan’s economic and regional initiatives as a founding partner in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space were brought to full success. The president also discussed the most significant points of his recently announced “Kazakhstan 2050” strategy. “Now we have entered a new historical stage, opening fundamentally different possibilities and prospects,” he said. “In the annual address to the nation, which I announced on the 21st anniversary of independence,

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Personnel Assessment Spurs Reform Process for Law Enforcement Agencies Investments Reviltalize Zhanaozen Page A2

Kazakhstan on Fast Track to Join WTO Efforts to Promote Greener Economy, Solar Energy Under Way Pages A4 - А5

EDITORIALS A New Vision Lays Groundwork for Future Unified Professional Sports Club Will Seek More Victories Page A6

OPINIONS GENSCHER: Kazakhstan Earns Trust of Global Society WILSON: The Myth Of Nuclear Necessity Page A7

NATION & CAPITAL Getting Together on Fryday Global Shapers Community Opens Hub in Astana Pages B1-B8

US$1 = 150.67 KZT 1 Euro = 200.45 KZT 1 Rouble = 4.97 KZT

The Astana Times


Personnel Assessment Spurs Reform for Law Enforcement Agencies By Valentina Fironova ASTANA – In his state-of-thenation address in January 2012, President Nursultan Nazarbayev attached great importance to reforming the nation’s law enforcement bodies and special services. Part of that reform process is an assessment of the nation’s law enforcement services which took place over the year 2012 overseen by the so called Higher Assessment Commission (HAM). During that assessment, 100,000 personnel in all were assessed and 16,000 of them failed to meet the allotted standards for professionalism. Of those who failed the assessment, almost 5,000 were recommended for dismissal, 3,500 were recommended for demotion, 4,500 were transferred to other departments, while 2,300 refused to get tested. Altai Abibullayevy, the official spokesman of the Central Communications Service (CCS), told a weekly briefing in late December that on President Nazarbayev’s orders a new personnel policy was being developed to establish new and higher standards for law enforcement services. The interviewing and assessment programme was the first stage in modernizing the nation’s law enforcement system, Alik Shpekbayev, head of the law enforcement system department of the Presidential Administration, told the same press briefing. The assessment was held in three stages. The Central Assessment Commission first interviewed 4,971 personnel, of whom 879 (18 percent) subsequently left the service. Some 368 senior officers were also examined and 74 of them (20 percent) failed the examination. Another 28 senior officers were dismissed for their refusal to undergo the assessment. However, more than 3,000 officers were recommended for promotion by the commission, of whom 671 have already been appointed to higher positions. More than half of the total number of officers eligible for the interview did not pass the tests for firing their weapons and physical training. Some 10 percent of the personnel examined failed their law exams; 4,831 of those tested were identified as having low psychological stability. A special web page has been opened on President Nazarbayev’s official website to ensure the transparency of the assessment. So far, it has received 115 complaints about corruption, contempt of professional ethics and other offenses committed by officers undergoing assessment. In all, 185 documents alleging or recording compromising behaviour by 103 officers were

received and taken into account during the assessment process. Following the assessment, the government presented a package of reforms to address the deficiencies and improve the personnel policies of law enforcement bodies. Shpekbayev said the reform package was prepared following the HAC work. It has proposed raising the age limit for serving personnel and establishing common requirements to qualify for service, as well as changing eligibility requirements for law enforcement administration and creating a new procedure to govern non-competition appointments to higher positions.

Changes will be made in the testing of officers’ legislative knowledge and in their combat and service training and departmental education by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Anti-Corruption Agency to bring these procedures in line with the best international standards. The second reform package will improve law enforcement cooperation with the institutions of civil society and establish a new commission for personnel policy in law enforcement bodies on the basis of the HAC. The third package of reforms will reduce the interval between successive assessments of the law enforcement agencies from three years to one year. It will establish criteria to assess individual departments in cases of corruption offenses and repeated crimes committed by law enforcement officials and employees. It will also develop criteria to independently evaluate prosecutions and mechanisms of civil control. Changes will be made in the testing of officers’ legislative knowledge and in their combat and service training and departmental education by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Anti-Corruption Agency to bring these procedures in line with the best international standards. Shpekbayev said all the above mentioned suggestions were approved by President Nazarbayev and would be implemented within the framework of Strategy – 2050, a programme announced by the president during his state-of-thenation address on December 14, 2012.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Nazarbayev Addresses Regional Development in Gov’t Reshuffle From Page A1

The recently established Agency for Atomic Energy has now been disbanded and incorporated as a committee in the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies. Also, on January 16, according to the presidential press service, Marat Tazhin was relieved of his duties as Advisor to the President and Security Council Secretary and was appointed Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Tazhin, 52, served as Kazakhstan’s foreign minister from 2007 to 2009 and has been the longest serving national security advisor to the president. Tazhin replaced Mukhtar KulMukhammed, 52, who was reappointed Minister of Culture and Information for the third time in his career. In turn, Kul-Mukhammed replaced Darkhan Mynbai, 49, who was dismissed as Minister of Culture and Information after one year and appointed Director of the new National Museum of Kazakhstan. The new huge museum is being built in Astana next to the Palace of Independence with completion expected later this year. Also on that day, Talgat Yermegiyaev, 43, who had been the head of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, which then was reorganized into the Agency for Sports, was appointed Chairman of the Board of the newly established Astana EXPO 2017 National Company. In mid-2012, Yermegiyaev oversaw the unprecedented success of Kazakhstan’s national team in the London Summer Olympics. Yermegiyaev's appointment follows President Nazarbayev's directive to the government and relevant

ministries to complete 90 percent of the design and construction of EXPO 2017 facilities by the end of 2013. Nazarbayev underlined that EXPO 2017 in Astana should become the impetus for the third industrial revolution. The president also instructed the government to transfer to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection the functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the areas of migration, implementation of inter-agency coordination and the development of measures for the regulation and monitoring of migration, except for the functions and powers of fighting illegal immigration. The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection will also assume the responsibilities of counting and registering foreigners and stateless persons, as well as the preparation of documents relating to their temporary and permanent residence, their leaving the country for permanent residence, and other documentation, recording and registration of citizens, including refugees. The head of state also instructed the government to ensure the establishment of the following: the Committee for Construction and Housing and Communal Services, the Business Development Committee, the Committee on Land Resources, all three at the Ministry of Regional Development; the Committee on Atomic Energy at the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies; the Committee on Migration at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection; the Fisheries Committee and the Committee of Forestry and Hunting at the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The reshuffle has also touched regional administrations. Krymbek

Kusherbayev, the former governor of the Mangistau and West Kazakhstan regions and until recently a deputy prime minister, was appointed Akim (Governor) of the Kyzylorda region in the southwest of the country. Political scientist Daniyar Ashimbayev, the editor and publisher of Who Is Who in Kazakhstan, believes the reshuffle overall reflects a “new style of presidential politics”, one moving away from “revolutionary changes” towards a gradual reform of the government apparatus. According to Ashimbayev, “the governmental reshuffle in the fall of 2012 was surprisingly smooth and was not accompanied by the upheaval of the ministries and their responsibilities.” “It was obvious that the new prime minister, Serik Akhmetov, with the support of the head of state, chose to work some time with the old structure and team in order to understand shortcomings and to find a new formula. This is what happened now,” Ashimbayev told the Astana Times. (For the full text of Ashimbayev’s opinion on the reshuffle, see the Opinions page). Elsewhere, Bauyrzhan Baibek, a former deputy chief of staff to the president, was appointed first deputy chair of the Nur Otan party, replacing Bakytzhan Sagintayev. Baibek, 38, is one of the early graduates of the Bolashak presidential scholarship programme and remains chair of the Bolashak association of graduates. On January 17, President Nazarbayev also announced he will outline specific priorities for the revamped government at its expanded session next week.

Investments Revitalise Zhanaozen By Yelden Sarybay

The small provincial city of Zhanaozen is attracting a massive amount of investments and attention from the central government, which is paving roads and constructing buildings. Houses and strategic venues built in western Kazakhstan are proving to be effective agents of social development. Significant investments are modernising production, constructing social centres and creating better working conditions. On the eve of the New Year, eight families of the Kyzylsay village celebrated the New Year in their new homes. The newly-opened Mereke kindergarten has taken in 320 children. In the villages of Kyzylsay and Tenge, a new cultural centre is hosting events. And KazMunaiGaz has spent 2 billion tenge to build the largest physical education centre and gymnasium in west Kazakhstan. An old modular cluster pumping station in the town is being replaced by a new complex. New housing complexes and cafeterias are being built, as well as an industrial complex for repairing tubing, rods and pumps.

A large auto-service centre with 1,000 units of special equipment is also under construction. Zhanaozen has been reinvigorated by the building boom. The city is constructing a large, 510 million tenge three-story social centre to hold weddings and other social engagements to open next year and a new large entertainment centre. The construction programme will continue through 2020. “In the near future, we plan to start the construction of a new Central Library and Art Centre for Pupils. In the summer, the city will have a musical fountain with colourful illumination,” Beknur Baliuly, the head of Zhanaozen’s Urban Planning and Architecture Department, said. “There will be a new ice rink, a children’s playground, new stores and a 150-seat movie theatre.” “I am even more in love with this city, it is much more beautiful than before. It now has landscaped streets, painted houses and even the lighting on the streets is brighter,” said local resident Saule Zhumalieva. “We stood in line for five years for an apartment. My husband works as an operator in Ozenin-

vest. We have three children. I am a housewife. We are grateful for such a gift for the New Year,” Almagul Konyrbaeva, the proud owner of a new apartment, said. “We did not have a cultural centre before and famous artists did not visit us. We now have great joy. Now the villagers can come for concerts and various celebrations,” pensioner Zhaksylyk Ali from Kyzylsay told the paper. Zhanaozen businessmen are flourishing and taking advantage of new opportunities. Serikbai Trumov, the mayor of Zhanaozen, said the city was attracting many new small and medium-sized businesses thanks to its low rents. “Business premises can be rented for only 50,000 to 60,000 tenge. Utilities are paid out of the state budget,” he said. New privately-owned companies are growing rapidly. In 2012, more than 7,000 of them opened in the city, a rise of 5 percent on 2011. OzenMunaiGaz plans to invest $300 million (around KZT 42 billion) in new infrastructure for the city and another 42 million tenge to improve conditions for workers over the next three years.

Cabinet Chaired by Akhmetov Passes 100-Day Mark From Page A1 One of the new directions in the government’s work toward establishing centres of economic growth is the development of urban agglomerations. “Systematic work in this area will create long-term poles of growth,” said Akhmetov at the Nur Otan party meeting on October 5. This year, a comprehensive plan for the development of 41 small towns is to be adopted. The programme on single-industry towns’ development for 2012-2020 aims to solve the urgent problems of those areas. It was designed to quadruple the number of small businesses, compared to 2011 numbers, and to launch about 50 anchor investment projects by 2015. Investment projects in the regions are already paying off. On December 25 of last year, President Nazarbayev launched new industrial facilities in such towns as Kentau, Shar, Stepnogorsk and Temirtau. “This is the first result of the initiative to adopt the programme

for single industry towns’ development,” said Nazarbayev. In general, for the three years of the Programme for Accelerated Industrial Innovative Development (PAIID), 537 new projects were commissioned, which manufactured products totaling 1.4 trillion tenge and created more than 110,000 jobs. The state allocated 2.1 trillion tenge for these purposes. In 2012, 162 projects were launched, including 53 projects in the first half and 109 in the second half of the year. The PAIID effectively contributes to the economic development of Kazakhstan and increases the prospects of industries. For example, in transport and communications the key project is the construction of the WesternEurope-to-Western-China international transit corridor. Last year, the finished coating was laid on about 846 km of the road, which is already much more than was originally planned. Among the tasks of the new government is the implementation of the three-year budget for 20132015, which according to the pres-

ident’s instructions is intended to effectively implement all approved programmes. Overall, total expenditures in 2013 will be more than 6.2 trillion tenge; in 2014, 6.46 trillion tenge; and in 2015, 7.12 trillion tenge. This national budget is clearly socially directed. An impressive proportion (40 percent) of public funds in the next three years will be spent on increasing employment, improving living conditions, improving the quality of human capital, developing key regions, developing industry and innovation, providing affordable housing and supporting existing businesses. The People’s IPO, the first IPO in Kazakhstan’s history, was also held during the first 100 days of the new government. Kazakhstan citizens were given an opportunity to invest in modern financial institutions. The first company to offer just under 10 percent of its stock was the national company KazTransOil. “This decision was preceded by major organizational, technical and financial efforts to prepare. A big set of questions was resolved with

the participation of foreign experts, consultants, banks and financial institutions,” said Akhmetov at a government meeting on October 30. Another no-less-significant international event for the country was its selection to host EXPO 2017. In a secret ballot at the 152nd General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau, the capital of Kazakhstan, outstripping the Belgian city Liege, won the majority of votes and was declared the venue for the next international exhibition. “First, it is the recognition of our capital as a worthy centre to host an event of international note. Second, the choice in favour of Kazakhstan speaks to the world’s appreciation of our success and highlights the prospects for the country’s development. Third, the relevance of the topic we proposed, “Future Energy,” helped this victory a lot. Finally, most importantly, the choice of Astana was the fruit of the efforts of all our people,” said President Nazarbayev in his address. “The task now is to hold EXPO 2017 at the highest standard. This is a challenge for the government

and the country. Now, not much time is left to implement such a large project,” said Akhmetov. “And the government must take clear organizational and preparatory measures.” Already, on January 15, an announcement was made that a new national company will be set up to prepare Astana for EXPO 2017. As for the international agenda of his first hundred days, Akhmetov paid one official and three working visits to foreign countries including Germany, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The prime minister held bilateral meetings with four heads of state and five heads of government: Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of the State Council of China Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich, Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Jantoro Satybaldiev and Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyayev. One of the main areas of the new government’s upcoming work is the implementation of a wide range of the president’s instructions from his Kazakhstan-2050 strategy.

Domestic News in Brief ● The Government of Kazakhstan will hold an extended meeting chaired by President Nursultan Nazarbayev on January 23. The president will announce important changes in national policies in light of the new Strategy 2050 he announced in his state of the nation address in mid-December. The new measures are expected to focus on maintaining the pace of economic growth, developing the national transportation infrastructure, developing a green economy and accelerating innovative industrial growth. ● President Nursultan Nazarbayev has signed a new law on onomastics, the study of names and their origins. The law establishes new clear lines of demarcation between bodies charged with the power to name streets, buildings, monuments and institutions around the country and creates new legal mechanisms to coordinate their activities, the Presidential press service said. ● Genetic scientists in Kazakhstan have developed a new technology for transforming adult stem cells into embryonic ones. It is the first time such research has taken place in the country. The new technology involves extracting stem cells from an adult and transforming them into embryonic forms. Embryonic cells can be used to reconstruct different types of tissues, including skin, bone, cartilaginous and vascular. ● The first coronary artery bypass surgical operation in Kazakhstan has been successfully carried out in Pavlodar. The operation took place in November 2012 on a 63-year-old man in the city’s new cardio-surgical centre. The patient suffered from a major myocardial infarction. He remains in intensive care in stable condition. ● A new railway station will be built in Astana, Mayor Imangali Tasmagambetov said. “The new station will be built near the city’s international airport and the site has direct access to the entire necessary service infrastructure,” the mayor said at a meeting with visiting International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) Secretary-General Vicente Loscertales. The new rail station will be opened in time to serve EXPO 2017. Construction work will start in January 2014. ● A new railway service has been opened from Astana to Uralsk in west Kazakhstan to handle an increased volume of passenger traffic on the route. ● Drivers in Astana, Almaty and Atyrau are now receiving newlydesigned number plates. More than 1,000 cars received new number plates over the first working days in the new year, and about 300 are receiving them daily now. The Astana traffic police said the new number plates are only for private vehicles and will soon be available in all 16 regions of the country. ● Residents of the Saryagash and Sozak districts in southern Kazakhstan who suffered from flooding and a heavy storm last week are receiving assistance. Their electricity supply has been restored and damaged roads and bridges are being rebuilt. Local residents are now receiving food, clothes and coal. The disaster caused 200 million tenge ($1.327 million) in damage. Two houses were destroyed and four bridges, 26 roads, two pipeline service facilities and a school were badly damaged. ● Gabidulla Abdrakhimov, the former chairman of the Agency for the protection of competition, was appointed deputy chief of staff to the president on January 22. ● On the same day, Kairat Kozhamzharov, the former governor of the Akmola region and the erstwhile chair of the Agency on fighting corruption, was appointed assistant to the president and secretary of the Security Council. ● President Nursultan Nazar­ bayev has signed new amendments to laws on combating terrorism, the president’s press office announced January 4. The reforms expand the scope of preventive measures, including co-operation with religious authorities, antiterrorism education in schools and public information campaigns.

The Astana Times

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Eurasia and world

External News in Brief ● Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov will head Kazakhstan’s delegation and deliver his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Last year, Kazakhstan was not represented among participants due to the Presidential Address have been scheduled to the dates of the Forum. ● Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has invited his US counterpart Barack Obama to visit Kazakhstan. January 14 Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the USA, presented credentials to the US President. During the talks the sides lauded dynamic development of the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the USA on a number of directions. Barack Obama expressed readiness to jointly strengthen global and regional security and further develop bilateral cooperation, the Foreign Ministry Press Service reports. When closing the talks, Mr. Umarov on behalf of President Nazarbayev invited Barack Obama to come to Kazakhstan on an official visit. ● According to the World Economic Forum, Kazakhstan gets ahead of Kyrgyzstan in the ranking of countries where salaries strongly influence labour productivity. The rating indicators range from 1 (the salary is not related to labour productivity at all) to 7 (salary is strongly connected with labour productivity). The countries with strong connection between salaries and labour productivity are in first positions, while the countries where this connection is tenuous are in last positions. The top ten countries include Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, South Korea and Kazakhstan. Tajikistan is ranked 19th while Russia is in 65th position. ● Khadisha Onalbayeva, Kazakhstan pianist became the first Kazakhstan musician to be awarded with Steinway Artist Award. Prominent pianists like Sergey Rakhmaninov, Vladimir Gorovits, Yevgeny Kissin were awarded with the title earlier. The great Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein was engaged to play Steinway pianos during his American concert tour in 1872, with 215 concerts in 239 days. It was a triumph for both Rubinstein and Steinway. Thus, the Steinway Artists program was born. Today more than 1,600 concert artists and ensembles bear the Steinway Artist title, which means that they have chosen to perform on Steinway pianos exclusively, and each owns a Steinway. Kazakhstan’s Khadisha Onalbayeva became number 1601 in this list. ● More than 500,000 tourists visited Astana in 2012, reports the press-service of Astana administration. “522.9 thousand tourists visited Astana last year, including 117.5 thousand people from abroad and 405,400 of people from other regions of the country. For comparison, these numbers stood at 105,900 and 373,100 people, correspondingly, in 2011. This shows that the number of tourists increased by 43.9 thousand people in one year,” the department of tourism, physical culture and sport announced. The number of tourists traveling from Astana increased as well. They totaled at 27,300 people in 2012 versus 24,400 in 2011. ● Astana will host the 6th Astana Economic Forum on May 22-24, 2013. More than 8,500 delegates from 100 countries are expected to attend the gathering which has become a traditional meeting point for leaders, experts and business people to discuss the current challenges to economic development globally and ways to solve them. ● Almaty will host a conference of the Istanbul Process to focus on the regional approach to resolving the problems of Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Idrissov said Kazakhstan has made a significant effort to prepare for the event in April 2013. A total of 13 thirteen countries are expected to send their representatives. ● On December 24, 2012, a new station in the Moscow subway system opened bringing the total number to 188 and it was given the old name of the largest city in Kazakhstan, Alma-Ata.


President Outlines Domestic, Foreign Policy Priorities in Meeting with Ambassadors to Kazakhstan From Page A1 I listed the early achievement of most of the objectives stated in the nation’s development strategy up to 2030, which we have been implementing for the past 15 years. I have now approved and adopted a new strategy called ‘Kazakhstan 2050.’” “This move was made because Kazakhstan has become a different country to what it was 15 years ago,” the president said. “We are in a completely different, more powerful international position. This applies to the global economy and to geopolitics as well. Therefore, the new “Strategy 2050” corresponds to the completely different nature of the challenges and threats today compared to those which we faced at the end of last century.” “The strategy will build on innovative economic and social principles to develop the country and society. This is the main sense of Kazakhstan’s new policy until the middle of the twenty-first century. I have set the daunting task for Kazakhstan to become one of the 30 most developed countries of the world. This is the main objective of our strategy,” he said. President Nazarbayev also outlined the strategic goals and objectives of the country’s foreign policy for the next decade. He announced the start of work on the formation of the Regional Centre for Multilateral Diplomacy in Almaty. “There are 16 representatives of organizations, programmes, funds and specialized agencies including the United Nations with regional and sub-regional status,” Nazarbayev said. “Now we are working on the creation of the Agency for International Development Assistance (KAZAID). It will provide technical assistance to our neighbours and other states. In general, we will do everything required to keep the heart of Eurasia beating calmly and smoothly in unison to the benefit of stable regional and global development.” President Nazarbayev said that as a dynamic state Kazakhstan formed its own vision of an effective world order in the new century. He said the G-GLOBAL online discussion forum represented the

At the reception, President Nazarbayev talks to U.S. Charge d’affaires a.i. Elizabeth Millard as Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov looks on.

five principles of the world order in a multi-polar world. These included adopting the evolutionary approach to developing society and rejecting revolutionary changes in politics, and embracing the values of justice, equality, consensus, global tolerance and trust, global transparency and constructive multilateralism. The search for a possible solution for the majority of global problems was possible on this basis, the president said. The president said these values have all become part of the global dialogue. They have been discussed in the United Nations and other international organizations within the framework of Kazakhstan’s multilateral and bilateral negotiations with other countries. Nobel laureates, political leaders and global policy experts have supported the G-GLOBAL initiative. “I explained the initiative during the Astana Economic Forum and the Fourth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in the summer of last year,” the president said. “G-GLOBAL is a new format for global dialogue, which we offer to the world. In addition to the G-8 and G-20 gatherings of global leaders, it offers a comprehensive format, which is the highest form of geopolitical mathematics for the 21st century.” “A global community dialogue on all issues concerning issues of

the world economy and politics is a necessity,” the president said. “I proposed to convene a world crisis management conference in Astana to work out a global anti-crisis plan for the United Nations,” the president said. “It was agreed that the ongoing crisis has a global nature. But no one has made any global conclusions for dealing with it. The measures that are being taken look more and more like the burning of hundred dollar bills in search of one cent lost in the darkness.” “Finding a way out of the global crisis is not possible without the world taking steps towards creating an adequate and efficient financial architecture,” President Nazarbayev said. “This is what should be discussed, especially within the framework of the United Nations and the international financial organizations. Therefore, I invite our foreign partners to participate in the next Astana Economic Forum to be held in June this year,” he said. During the discussion with the ambassadors, the president said Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus “will continue to strive toward our common goal, and I want to stress once again that Eurasian integration, which is proceeding at my personal initiative, has never been, and never will be, a reincarnation of any political union, and particularly of the now-defunct Soviet Union.”

“Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus remain independent states with their own national interests,” the president said adding that any suspicions about the aims of the Eurasian integration process were groundless. The president also responded to questions about the reasons for the proposed switch of the Kazakh language from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet. Having recounted various reasons for the move of linguistic nature pertinent for the information age, President Nazarbayev also stressed that there were no geopolitical reasons for the change. The president then asked the heads of all the diplomatic missions in the country to inform the leaders of their countries about his call for them all to make a concerted effort to create a just world order, free of war and mutual suspicion. “In a short period of time, Astana has become one of the new centres of international diplomacy. It hosts summits and major events of a global scale,” President Nazarbayev said. “I remember that at the end of the last century, at such meetings I had to call your predecessors to boldly move to our new capital. Today, 65 out of the 66 diplomatic missions accredited in Kazakhstan work in Astana. We have created and keep on creating favourable conditions for work and for the lives of diplomats’ families.” “Kazakhstan is always attentive to your requests and needs, since the development of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and each of your countries depends on the quality of your work,” he added. Russian Ambassador Mikhail Bocharnikov, the dean of the Diplomatic Corps, responded to the president’s speech on behalf of all the diplomatic missions. “With hindsight, looking back at 2012 we should note the important stages in the life of this country and its achievements, which pleased all aspects of Kazakh society and strengthened the international prestige of the country,” Bocharnikov said. “A striking example of Kazakhstan’s success was its victory in winning the right to host the EXPO 2017 international exhibition in Astana.”

“For diplomats, it is clear that, despite the difficult financial and economic situation in the world, Kazakhstan’s continues to develop positively and dynamically. We all share your assessment that in global politics Kazakhstan is a responsible and reliable partner which enjoys an undisputed international reputation,” he said. Ambassador Bocharnikov said diplomats were familiar with the new tasks set out in the president’s "Kazakhstan 2050" strategy. He said the deep and thorough analysis of the world situation and current global challenges made by Kazakhstan deserved the greatest respect. “I am confident that all the heads of diplomatic missions will confirm that their work in Kazakhstan is very rich and interesting. In addition to bilateral negotiations, it includes participating in international and national events with leading personalities,” he said. President Nazarbayev also noted the active role played by foreign embassies in developing relations between Kazakhstan and international organizations. Then Ambassador Bocharnikov expressed his appreciation for the careful attention paid by the president and the government of Kazakhstan to the diplomatic corps. President Nazarbayev wished success to all the diplomats attending the event. “Our ‘Strategy 2050’ opens new horizons for cooperation and partnership between Kazakhstan and all interested countries,” the president said. “Together with you we are concerned that our interaction should be filled with valuable content. The friendship and trust between our nations is contributing to the strengthening of peace and security in Europe and the world at large.” “I ask you to convey my best wishes to your heads of states and governments, leaders of organizations that you represent. Once again, I want to thank everyone for their good feelings for our people, for your kind words and good wishes to us, and for your support for our country in those difficult moments that we experienced last year,” President Nazarbayev said.

What Awaits Afghanistan and Central Asia after 2014? By Asylbek Mendygaliyev The consequences of the withdrawal of the international coalition forces from Afghanistan, which is to be completed by the end of next year, cause concern in the international community. The expert forecasts on the situation in this long-suffering country and in the Central Asian region are leaning more towards pessimistic scenarios. The main expected problems include the possibility of a start of another civil war, the return to power of the Taliban movement, the growth of drug trafficking from Afghanistan, the infiltration of extremist elements into the bordering countries, etc. It is evident that the forecast will vary depending on the development of the situation, but today it is appropriate to consider a number of important factors and existing assessments. At the NATO Summit in Chicago in May last year, heads of state of the alliance decided to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. The reason was the fact that the war with militants that had been long lasting and having no future for successful end for the past 12 years. The final document of the summit set the day to turn over the control of security in the country to the Afghan security forces by the middle of 2013. The withdrawal of the coalition troops is to complete by the end of 2014. Earlier, in early May 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the leader of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, which aims to provide a comprehensive support to the Afghan government. According to the document, after the NATO forces withdrawal, the American troops will remain in the country, but in significantly reduced numbers. Their task will be to prepare units of national security forces to act independently to ensure security in the country. It is predicted that a contingent of trainers and advis-

ers to the Afghan army and police will be formed based on the NATO troops and six separate states, including Australia, Ukraine and Sweden. At a time when the western coalition of countries, led by the United States, has come to understanding of the need to withdraw and of the final decision on the withdrawal of the troops from Afghanistan, it is appropriate to recall the words of our President, Nursultan Nazarbayev from his state-of-thenation address “Towards Free, Effective and Safe Society”, presented as far back as in October 2000: “A special regional problem is Afghanistan… Kazakhstan has always kept a firm and realistic position: there is a need for the national dialogue of the Afghans themselves, and the role of all neighbours and international organizations should be to seek ways for the dialogue. In the Afghan mountains even the armies of the British Empire and military superpower, the Soviet Union, did not achieve victory. To hope that someone will be able to impose an external forceful resolution of the Afghan problem means to have limited knowledge of the history.” The foresight of the Kazakh leader on the possible effects of the introduction of foreign troops in Afghanistan proved to be truly prophetic. The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, following the

adoption of the UN resolution in 2001 on the introduction of troops in Afghanistan, taking into consideration the interests of the people of Kazakhstan and the international community, authorized the signing of a number of agreements with the states of the international coalition, especially with the United States. They were about flyover permits for NATO planes to fly through the airspace of our country and about landing rights for American planes at the Kazakh airfields in cases of extreme circumstances. At the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan has provided financial and other assistance to the Afghan people, particularly in the field of education such as for the training of 1,000 Afghan students in Kazakhstan, as well as for the building of schools, hospitals and roads in Afghanistan, the provision of flour, rice, military and other assets. Upon requests from the U.S. and other NATO member states, the leadership of our country gave permission legislatively for the passage of military cargo and personnel of the Alliance through the territory and airspace of the country in Afghanistan. The route of delivery of such cargo is called the Northern Distribution Network. President Barack Obama, during his meeting with Hamid Karzai in Washington on January 11, announced a new American strategy, which envisages a radical change of policy towards Afghanistan. At the negotiations, the American side stated their plans to withdraw the main contingent of troops ahead of schedule. This spring, the Afghan national security forces should take on a key role in ensuring security in the country. The terms of withdrawal of 66,000 contingent of U.S. troops and the goals of the remaining troops in Afghanistan will be specified in a bilateral security agreement. The two presidents came to the

realization of the need to establish a representative office of the Taliban movement in Doha for the process of reconciliation between Kabul and the armed opposition in the country. In general, the main outcome of the negotiations between the U.S. and Afghanistan was the confirmation of NATO’s previously taken decision on the withdrawal of the international coalition from that country. Meanwhile, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin believes NATO’s troops being in Afghanistan also helps solving the problems of the Russian Federation with regard to the stability and security of its southern borders and the boundaries of post-Soviet states of Central Asia and Afghanistan. He said as much during his working visit to Ulyanovsk in September 2012, stressing that the UN mandated international security assistance forces should not leave the country spontaneously, without implementing the goals prescribed by the UN Security Council. Last December, the session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization took place in Moscow. There, the forecast of development of the situation in Afghanistan until 2015 was considered, and concrete measures were proposed in case the situation develops negatively including a possible deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan, which can adversely affect the situation in Central Asia as a whole. The consequences of the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan may manifest themselves in the possible penetration of groups of militants and extremists into the countries of Central Asia. In addition, the volume of drug trafficking can significantly increase in our own and neighbouring countries. In general, the forthcoming withdrawal of coalition troops amid continuing instability and confrontation within Afghanistan, and the lack of real progress

in the revitalization of social and economic processes can have a very negative impact, especially on the situation in Central Asian countries, and more generally on the security of Russia. That is why on the eve of the withdrawal of troops of the international coalition from Afghanistan, all the states in the region should by joint efforts place a firm barrier to the penetration of extremist elements and drugs trafficking from the territory of Afghanistan, using the potential of the CSTO, and probably, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). In this regard, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) provides continuous duty of troops of the Collective Security Forces, which are located on military bases in Tajikistan (201st Division) and Kyrgyzstan (Kant Air Base) to respond adequately to any aggravation of the situation on the border with Afghanistan. If the need to strengthen these subdivisions arises, it would be appropriate to attract additional part of the collective forces of the CSTO. With an aim to combat drug trafficking, Russia and the Central Asian countries should strengthen cooperation with the forces of the international coalition and the Afghan government. To solve this problem it is important to strengthen an existing anti-drug operation “Channel” which is being conducted by the CSTO. It corresponds with the interests of the European Union, because the main flow of drugs goes to the Old World. In addition, it is necessary to continue to participate more actively in international efforts for the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan, supporting its security and ensuring political stability in this troubled country. The author is senior research fellow at the Institute of statehood, security and development issues of the Nazarbayev Center.

The Astana Times


Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Kazakhstan on Fast Track to Join WTO By Yernat Mukhamadiyev

ASTANA – Kazakhstan is close to joining the World Trade Organization. The road has been a long one. Kazakhstan’s accession negotiations with the WTO have now gone on for more than 16 years. The country first applied for membership in 1996 and it is still not a member. Long accession negotiations are not unusual in emerging market nations and former Soviet republics. Most of the nations in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have not entered the WTO yet, except for Armenia, which joined in 2003; Georgia in 2000; Kyrgyzstan in 1998; and Moldova in 2001. It took 15 years even for China to finally become a member in 2001. Russia applied in 1993 and after 19 years of tortuous stop-start negotiations, finally entered the WTO last year. Before the WTO was created, nations could join the previous global trade-promoting international organization, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades (GATT) more quickly. However, the WTO covers more policy areas than the GATT, and negotiations to join it are, therefore, far longer and more complicated. Also, the process to join the WTO is much more political: The issues that governments need to negotiate and reform are at the heart of domestic politics. Geopolitical considerations may also be involved. Finally, countries wanting to join the WTO are often in the process of transition from being a command economy to becoming a market economy. That transition requires a fundamental reorganization of economic and political structures. Kazakhstan is no exception to this rule. It was a keen reformer. As some other countries that emerged from the breakup of the former Soviet Union Kazakhstan immediately embarked on radical economic reform. Its reform programme quickly changed the nature of national economy. Helped by a boom in commodity prices, reform has succeeded and been rewarded by surging economic growth. Over the past eight years the size of the economy, measured in dollars, has quadrupled, improving the quality of life for everyone. Today, Kazakhstan is the largest economy in Central Asia. It has built a stable and prosperous economy that is rapidly catching up with the devel-

oped world. During 21 years as an independent nation, Kazakhstan has made significant progress in implementing complex political, economic and social reforms to establish a democratic state with a market economy. Since gaining its independence, Kazakhstan has achieved positive results in many economic sectors. Over the past two decades, Kazakhstan’s economy has shown steady growth, supported by increased prices on world markets for its leading exports of oil, metals and grain. In the same period, the country’s GDP growth rates were among the highest in the world. By 2016, Kazakhstan’s GDP per capita is expected to reach $15,000, compared with the current level of $12,200, and Kazakhstan will be classified as a “high-income economy” by the World Bank. “We have set a task to join the club of high income countries by 2016, increasing GDP per capita to $15,000. I believe we are entering the path of sustainable economic growth of 7 percent,” President Nursultan Nazarbayev told the Fourth Economic Forum in Astana last year. The president’s policies and the efforts of the government have enabled Kazakhstan to make a breakthrough in development and win the recognition of the international community. The country is now working hard to diversify its economy by expanding new industry sectors and to develop alternative income streams based on its wealth of natural resources. It aims to become one of the top 30 countries providing a favourable business environment by 2050, and to become one of the top financial centres in Asia by the same date. Kazakhstan has successfully overcome the difficulties caused by the recent global financial crisis. Thanks to the government’s anti-crisis programme and the strategy of the Samruk Kazyna National Sovereign Wealth Fund, Kazakhstan managed to avoid recession. The global financial crisis proved to be a real test that served as a good lesson for Kazakhstan. The country’s banking and real estate sectors were particularly exposed to the adverse impact of the global turmoil. However, the national economy endured these challenging times in a resilient manner and managed to retain positive growth. The recent creation of the Customs Union and Common Economic Space

Economic forecasts

with Russia and Belarus and Kazakhstan’s role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have confirmed Kazakhstan’s openness and commitment to being a responsible member of the global community. Over the past two decades, Kazakhstan has made significant progress in transforming its economy to a more transparent, less regulated, more market-driven business model attractive for foreign investment. Foreign investment plays a vital role in the economy. The government’s efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) have had a major impact on development. Kazakhstan has attracted large inflows of FDI. Its main trading partners are the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Baltic countries. The United States and Russia are its largest investment partners, followed by Germany, Turkey, Italy, China, Britain and South Korea. Kazakhstan’s favourable business climate and political stability have been major factors in encouraging the inflow of FDI. Since 1993, the country has attracted more than $147 billion into its economy. “Kazakhstan’s economy attracted $147 billion of direct foreign investments by 2011. The country’s trade turnover in 2011 was worth $125 billion, with the trade surplus standing at $50 billion,” said Economic Integration Minister Zhanar Aitzhanova. “We have completed all the bilateral negotiations with (the necessary) WTO member states. There are around 30 of those states. The negotiations were about access to the Kazakhstan’s markets for goods and about maximum customs duty rates applicable following Kazakhstan’s entry into the organization,” Aitzhanova said.

Kazakhstan is expected to complete its negotiations to join the WTO in the first half of 2013. However, Minister Aitzhanova who is also Deputy Chairman of the Interdepartmental Commission on Trade Policy and Participation in International Economic Organizations cautioned that it would probably take another six months to complete the full WTO entry process. “As for the timeframe, we plan to complete all the negotiations in the first half of 2013. The final dates will depend on agreements in agriculture and in some other industries,” she said. Aitzhanova said several issues have still to be resolved and the 2012 year-end deadline to complete the process created pressure on negotiators. However, the conditions of the agreement are of such importance for Kazakhstan that it is important to get them right, even if the talks have to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, she said. The history of CIS nations joining the WTO strongly suggests that support from Europe and the United States is a major factor in successful negotiations. As the entry processes for Georgia and Ukraine showed, more than domestic resolve is required. Support from major powers is also a crucial condition to accelerate the accession process. Ukraine enjoyed full support from the European Union for its entry process. Kazakhstan has been building strong bilateral agreements with WTO member states before joining the global trade body. In 2012, the United States Trade Representative office stated their support for their growing trade and investment relationship with Kazakhstan, noting the bilateral agreements on goods and services reached in 2010 and 2011. This meant that the United States gave its support to Kazakhstan’s bid to join the WTO. “We fully support Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO. In fact, the U.S. Trade Representative staff worked closely with Minister Aitzhanova and her staff to implement Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO as soon as possible,” Elizabeth Millard, the U.S. deputy chief of mission in Kazakhstan said. Millard said trade between Kazakhstan and the United States has always been a vital component of their bilateral relations. Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO would only increase it, she said. Millard said joining the WTO would make products from Kazakhstan more competitive in world markets, leading to increased domestic production and many new jobs. “At the same time, foreign products will become more competitive in Kazakhstan, which will significantly increase the choice of customers in Kazakhstan,” she said. When Kazakhstan created the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus, Russia announced that when it joined the WTO, it would support the entry of its two CU trading partners as well. On Aug. 23, 2012, after nearly 20 years of waiting, Russia joined the WTO and the head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry formally announced that Moscow would give its full support for Kazakhstan’s entry by the end of 2012. Therefore, the United States and Russia both now strongly support Kazakhstan’s entry into the WTO. This means the country is sure to become a full member-state by early next year. Kazakhstan applied for WTO membership in 1996, following the application of Russia in 1993. The two countries are bound together by geography, history, and more recently, by a common declared interest in forming the Customs Union and Common Economic Space. It was widely recognized that Russia would join the WTO first and that Kazakhstan would in due course follow. “For us, for Kazakhstan, it is very important that Russia enters first, as all our transport corridors to Europe go via Russia,” President Nazarbayev said. “If Russia does not enter, we will be in Kyrgyzstan’s position. Kyr-

gyzstan is surrounded by non-WTO countries,” the president said. “There is an agreement between Kazakhstan and Russia that as soon as Russia enters the WTO it will support our entry in all aspects. I consider it normal that Kazakhstan enters the WTO after Russia. And this will in no way affect our Customs Union.” Kazakhstan has completed its WTO accession bilateral negotiations with the European Union. The results of these negotiations have been sent to EU member states for coordination and a respective protocol is to be signed by the end of the first quarter of 2013. In 2012, President Nazarbayev hosted European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton in Astana for talks. They discussed prospects for strengthening trade and economic relations between Kazakhstan and the EU. Ashton said the EU supported Kazakhstan’s efforts to join the WTO and that it backed President Nazarbayev’s initiatives on regional integration. In 2012, the European Union was the main trade and investment partner of Kazakhstan for the sixth consecutive year. From 1993 to 2012, the inflow of direct investment from the EU in the economy of Kazakhstan amounted to $70 billion. Kazakhstan has already completed WTO bilateral negotiations on market access for goods and services with Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Pakistan, Turkey, China, Korea, Oman, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, the Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Egypt, Israel, Brazil, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, India, Ecuador, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina and Saudi Arabia. Because the accession process to join the WTO can be long and wearing, individual countries must decide whether the gains to them from WTO membership are worth the effort. Most experts agree the gains of WTO membership are worth the long process of joining it. However, Prof. Murat Laumulin, chief researcher at the Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Research disagrees. He argues that no CIS nation needs to enter the WTO at all. Laumulin claims WTO membership offers the former Soviet republics nothing more than political prestige and an improved image on the global scene. “All the major players stick to their own economic policies regardless of what they are required to do by the WTO regulations and obligations. The European Union shields itself with rate barriers and the United States conducts trade wars. If they had truly followed the WTO’s principles, the situation that we see today would not exist,” he said. Other experts disagree with this assessment. Kulyash Turkeeva, senior researcher on globalization at the Economic Institute of Economy of the Ministry of Education and Science said Kazakhstan will be unable to develop its trade relations independently unless it joins the WTO. “The prospects of WTO accession are based on the expansion of trade that will follow. WTO membership gives our businessmen the chance to strengthen their positions. The economy will develop in the competitive environment. State programmes must be involved in this process,” Turkeeva said. “It takes a long time to join the WTO,” she said. “We have been trying to do so for more than 16 years. WTO membership has both minuses and pluses. As a whole, I consider joining it to be positive. Many consider there is no need to join the WTO but we can’t exist separately from the whole world. We will be unable to develop our trade relations independently.” Vice-Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov said Kazakhstan would attract more investors after entering the WTO. “We expect to attract many investors when Kazakhstan joins the WTO thanks to a more attractive investment climate,” he said. Kazakhstan’s entry into the WTO will boost an already fast growing economy and help make Central Asia a world leader in trade and investment.

Business News in Brief ● The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. has announced the expansion of its luxury hotel chain in the CIS with the development of the first hotel in Kazakhstan, an oilrich post-Soviet republic in Central Asia. The 145 room hotel, owned by a subsidiary of Capital Partners L.L.C., is located in the 37 storey Essentai Tower within the mixed use Esentai Park development project in Almaty, the biggest city of Kazakhstan, which includes an extensive shopping mall, a Fitness Club and residential complexes. The hotel, located in the center of the city, will offer Club and Suite accommodation together with over 10,000 square feet of meeting facilities. ● The 10th session of the Kazakhstan-China Joint Commission on the use and protection of transboundary rivers was held in Astana, the press service of the Ministry of Agriculture reports. According to the department, during the meeting the sides highly appreciated the results of work performed for the further advancement of the Kazakhstan-Chinese cooperation in the use and protection of transboundary rivers. The sides noted the progress in the preparation of agreements on water sharing between the two countries. “Also, participants of the meeting discussed the joint construction and operation of hydropower on rivers. The 2013 joint plan of the Commission approved at following the meeting,” the statement said. ● In near future 13 ecological stations will be opened at the entrances to Almaty. Almaty traffic jams and pollution are well known. During the recent meeting the President instructed Almaty authorities to take measures to improve the environmental situation. At the meeting on improvement of Almaty transport system, the mayor Akhmetzhan Yesimov said the President had approved the transport development program. Other measures for improvement of the environmental situation are to be taken. A trolley bus park will be provided with another 195 vehicles. By the end of 2013, the municipal bus park will have another 400 buses running on gas. Thus, their number will triple. It is also planned to organize municipal taxis to regulate the market, compete with cab drivers, and to improve the quality of public transport. ● Agromash Holding comes to the final stage of preparation on welding and painting of cars, which is an important phase of the project of assembling the domestic Nomad SUV, the press office of the holding reports. This project is a part of the investment program of capacity utilization of the former Kostanay diesel plant. The company’s management is planning to launch a new line by the end of this year. The new equipment will increase the production of SUVs up to 25, 000 units per year. The plant representatives noted that the unique equipment for Kazakhstan will meet all requirements and quality standards. In February, the Agromash Holding plant JSC is expected the highly qualified specialists from South Korea, Italy, and Russia, who will control the process of installation and commissioning of high-tech equipment for welding and painting of Nomad cars. ● Russian airline S7 Airlines announces the opening of flights from Novosibirsk to Shymkent and back, the press service of the airline. The flights will start from April 5, 2013, flights will be conducted on Fridays. Flights to Shymkent will be performed on liners Airbus A320, designed to carry 158 passengers in economy and business class. It should be noted that the fifth city of Shymkent Kazakhstan, which flies S7 Airlines. The airline operates scheduled flights from Moscow to Pavlodar and Ust-Kamenogorsk, Novosibirsk and Almaty. ● The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved a loan of $196.5 million to Kazakhstan to rebuild and expand the road connecting Shymkent City to the Uzbek border. The expanded road will boost regional trade by facilitating the transit of goods and passengers. The project will also encourage the growth of private sector companies in carrying out related engineering and maintenance contracts.

The Astana Times

Wednesday, 23 January 2013



economy News in Brief ● Animal breeders plan to bring about 40 thousand brood cows to Kazakhstan. The purpose of such a plan is to arrange the export of inexpensive but good meat into the country. The discussion of this issue was held at the government teleconference chaired by the Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov. About 30 thousand of pure-bred cows were brought to Kazakhstan, 60 new breed livestock farms were opened over the past 2 years. Export-oriented dry feed lots are being constructed. Farmers take part in the “Sybaga” programme, most actively in Almaty, the East Kazakhstan and Karaganda regions. ● “Samruk-Green Energy” became the first Kazakh Company which has joined the European Wind Energy Association. On a par with the world’s leading wind energy, “Samruk-Green Energy” has become a full member of the association, which is the most powerful wind energy network. EWEA is the voice of the wind industry, actively promoting wind power in Europe and worldwide. It has over 700 members from almost 60 countries, including wind turbine manufacturers with a leading share of the world wind power market, plus component suppliers, research institutes, national wind and renewables associations, developers, contractors, electricity providers, finance and insurance companies, and consultants. Through the organization of numerous high-level events, EWEA offer unique opportunities to network with the other 700 EWEA members, the Executive Committee, Board, Secretariat and other key industry players. With many years of professional experience and capabilities of EWEA, “Samruk-Green Energy” has the opportunity to participate and represent the interests of Kazakhstan in the international arena of wind power. ● Kazakhstan won $1.8 billion in Chinese funding to build a naturalgas pipeline from its oil- rich west to the densely-populated south, and may ship supplies to its East Asian neighbor.The 1,475-kilometer (917-mile) pipe from Beineu to Shymkent will be built by China National Petroleum Corp. and state energy producer KazMunaiGaz National Co. The two companies agreed on plans for its construction in 2008 as China sought gas to feed its burgeoning economy. The line will ship as much as 10 billion cubic meters a year, Kazakhstan’s Oil and Gas Ministry said in September. The link may export gas to China once domestic demand is met, the ministry said. KazTransGaz, based in Astana, is a unit of KazMunaiGaz. ● The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), which office is located in Moscow, will open its offices in Belarus and Kazakhstan. The relevant draft decision of the EEC Council, approved by the decision of the EEC Board, has been published on the official website of the Eurasian Economic Commission. ● According to the draft provision, the office will secure EEC cooperation with the authorities of the hosting country, including in part of preparation of materials, draft decisions and recommendations of the commission regarding the formation and functioning of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space. The office will be also involved in activities falling within the province of the commission, provide assistance in organizing the sessions of the EEC Council and prepare analytical materials, BelTA has learnt. ● The conference was told that another 33 major projects worth 7.5 trillion tenge are being built under PAIID. They include an integrated chemical complex, the modernization of the Atyrau oil refinery, the Western Europe-Western China motorway, the Zhezkazgan-Beineu railway to provide direct cargo access from central Kazakhstan to the west of the country and to Europe, and the Arkalyk-Shubarkol railway, which will reduce the travel distance between the north and centre of the country to 700 km (420 miles) and optimize traffic flows.

Kazakhstan Pursues Significant Industrial Growth From Page A1 “A main goal of Kazakhstan’s economic policy is to change to an absolutely new level of development in business relations, create competitive businesses, and also produce a favourable business and investment climate to generate competitive qualitative domestic production and strengthen socially responsible business,” Abibullayev said. “In this regard, the annual Altyn Sapa, Paryz and Best Product of Kazakhstan competitions are an important tool of national policy to support and stimulate domestic producers, businessmen and national exporters,” he said. Kazakhstan State Railways (Kazakhstan Temir Zholy) won the 2012 Industrial Breakthrough award. It completed and opened five new factories and started work on building four more during the year. The Kazatomprom National Atomic Company, one of the leading uranium mining companies in the world, won the Innovation award, including for its launch of the solar panel plant near Astana. The Kentau Transformer Plant in southern Kazakhstan won the Altyn Sapa award as Best Production Company among large businesses. TREI Karaganda in the Karaganda region, a company that makes measuring and computing devices, won the Altyn Sapa award for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). LG Electronics Almaty Kazakhstan won the award for the best company producing retail goods in the large enterprises category. Its executive director, Sabit Sartbaev, said LG Electronics’ Kazakhstan plant made the highest quality products among the South Korean corporation’s subsidiaries worldwide for 2011-2012. KazAzot in the Mangistau region won the Best Investment Goods award. ASIA AUTO in East Kazakhstan won the Best Goods for the Population award. And Ordabasy Kus in southern Kazakhstan won the Best Food award. KazTransOil (KTO) won the Paryz Grand Prix national award for corporate social responsibility. KTO financed the construction of $4.1 billion in social facilities and sponsored activities worth 2.6 billion tenge. The Eurasian Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), won the Best Social Project of the Year award for financing the construction of the Imanzhusup Kutpanuly Sports

A dam on the Syr Dariya River helps regulate the water flows and subsequently improve the social and economic situation of the region.

Palace in Aksu city in the Pavlodar region, costing more than one billion tenge. During the national teleconference, President Nazarbayev also inaugurated work on three chemical industrial plants and a new metallurgical complex, including the KazAzot Company’s programme to expand production of ammonia, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate in the Mangistau region. The new plant will cost 5.61 billion tenge and will boost national ammonia and ammonium nitrate production by 50 percent. It is expected to improve labour productivity by 150 percent and to provide the domestic market with its full demand for nitrate fertilizers while producing more for export. ArcelorMittal Temirtau in the Karaganda region has built a new factory complex to make industrial gases financed by the Linda Group in Germany. It will increase the production of oxygen, nitrogen and argon in Kazakhstan and end the need to use older types of industrial gases in the country. The Sareco Company in the Akmola region is building a new 4.43 billion tenge factory to make hightech products from rare-earth metals. It will be designed to the highest environmental safety standards and have an annual production capacity of 1,540 tons. President Nazarbayev also approved the building of the Vostokmashzavod steel car castings factory in the East Kazakhstan region, the Shu shunting locomotives factory in the Zhambyl region, the Kazakhtsement dry method cement plant in the East Kazakhstan region, the Zenchenko K wind

power plant in north Kazakhstan, a factory making particle boards from cotton stalks in the Zhetysay district of South Kazakhstan and the Korday-Shu Company’s high pressure gas pipeline in the Zhambyl region. As part of the Industrialization Map, 162 new industrial factories were commissioned in 2012. On Dec. 26, 2012 the Bekarys Company opened a plant to produce artificial quartz stone in Aktobe with a production capacity of 84,000 square meters per year. The factory cost is 247 million tenge and created 22 jobs. It is based on Italian technology designed by the Bretonstone company with equipment provided by Ruston, a leading Chinese company. The factory is the first of its kind in Kazakhstan and its finished products will be delivered to customers in the Atyrau, Mangistau and West Kazakhstan regions. In his state of the nation address on December 14, President Nazarbayev stressed the need to expand and develop the PAIID programme through the new Strategy-2050 plan, which will create a powerful national industrial sector that does not depend on oil and gas resources to generate jobs and wealth. To fulfill the national plan, new factories and industrial complexes are being systematically built in different regions. “In the Aktobe region in 20102011, 51 new industrial projects worth 183.8 billion tenge were commissioned and over 4,000 new jobs were created. In 2012, 13 projects worth 4.5 billion tenge were launched and 451 new jobs were created,” Aktobe Mayor Er-

han Umarov told the teleconference. Ardager Akzhigitov, chief of regional business and industry management, said more than 20 Industrialization Map projects were opened in the Kyzylorda region in 2011-2012. The Munaimash company is building a new factory making machinery for use in the oil industry in Petropavlovsk. “We have implemented a unique and innovative project in our enterprise, which has no parallels in the Commonwealth of Independent States,” Munaimash Chairman Sergey Grigorenko told the teleconference. “Twelve units of new machine equipment manufactured in Japan, Brazil and the United States have been purchased for the plant, which will increase the proportion of the equipment manufactured in Kazakhstan to 70 percent.” “The new factory will improve its product quality to international standards, expand the range of products for exports, reduce production costs by 20 percent and also cut energy costs,” he said. A new milk processing plant has opened in the Almaty region. “The plant is equipped with modern Italian equipment meeting international standards for the production of dairy products of more than 50 items - milk, cream, butter, cheese and other,” said Serik Bekeshev, deputy head of the Almaty Regional Business and Industry Department (ARBID). The ARBID said 43 factories costing 319.4 billion tenge are being built in the region. In 2010-2011, 22 factories worth 216.2 billion tenge were opened and 3,635 new jobs were

created. In 2012, 14 projects worth $19.5 billion were opened. Halillula Gran Aka, director of Kaztorgtrans, said a major flour production factory making 39,000 tons of flour per year has opened in the Kostanay region. “The total cost of the project is over 450 million tenge. We plan to export flour to the Central Asian countries, including Afghanistan,” he said. The Kostanay mayor’s office said nine new factories opened in the area in 2012 and more than 1,000 new jobs were created. He said another 14 new projects costing 8 billion tenge were opened in agriculture in 2012, creating 329 new jobs. Amantai Zhussupov, director of the Investor Services Centre, told the teleconference that a new oil refinery will be built in the north. “An alliance of investors from China, Kazakhstan and Slovenia was formed. The plant will be constructed in Bulaevo in the North Kazakhstan region, where the Russian oil pipeline and railway line are located,” he said. “Investors are currently choosing the plot of land for the plant and concluding their feasibility studies, which will be ready in January 2013.” “The new plant has no parallels in Kazakhstan because it will have the most modern equipment. The project will cost $2.4 billion and it will process five million tons of oil per year. The foundation stone for the new plant will be laid by the end of 2012,” Zhussupov said. The KazMunayGas (KMG) Corporation announced at the teleconference that it had received government approval for its feasibility study on constructing a new gas-processing plant in the West Kazakhstan region in partnership with the Italian oil major Eni. The two companies signed a cooperation agreement for the project on Nov. 5, 2009. Design work and budgetary planning for the project will be carried out in 20132014. Kazakh companies will participate in the design work. “The enterprise will be of great importance in developing the region and all the oil and gas networks of Kazakhstan. At the construction stage, about 3,500 people are slated to be involved, which will become an essential contribution to the employment of the population of the region. At an operational phase, the number of the personnel will be about 700 people,” Nurlan Balgimbayev, director general of KMG Construction Enterprises, told the teleconference.

Efforts to Promote Greener Economy, Solar Energy Under Way By Galiya Nurzhan ASTANA – In the years of national independence, Kazakhstan has made significant economic and social progress and has positioned itself as a leading state in addressing national, regional and global environmental problems. The initiatives of on closing the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, establishing a national policy of nuclear non-proliferation, destroying the country’s nuclear weapons and efforts to save the Aral Sea have proved of great importance for sustainable development and global security. At the Rio Plus 20 World Summit on Sustainable Development, Kazakhstan launched the Green Bridge Interregional Partnership Programme (GBIPP) and the Global Energy Strategy (GES). These programmes seek to close the technological gap between countries through technology transfer. They are also creating a practical mechanism for greening the economy through the development of new ecologically friendly industries and businesses. The GBIPP and the GES share the goal of meeting the needs of all nations in energy and other natural resources by the middle of the 21st century, including the active use of renewable energy sources. In his annual state-of-the-nation address, President Nazarbayev said all nations needed to develop new technologies to improve energy efficiency and conservation. An international conference including leaders from Europe, Asia and the Pacific region will be held in the first half of 2013 to review draft documents on establishing a new international organization to implement the GBIPP. Kazakhstan has unique opportunities to make the change to a green

economy thanks to its favourable geopolitical position, sustainable technological development, potential to develop renewable energy resources and its financial reserves. There are huge opportunities for green businesses in the energy sector of Kazakhstan. Renewable energy development is one of the priorities in the State Programme for Accelerated Industrial-Innovative Development (PAIID) for 2010-2014. Experts believe Kazakhstan may produce 20 percent of its electricity from natural gas by 2030 and 40 percent by 2050. The country has 3.5 trillion cubic metres of proven gas reserves, among the 10 largest reserves in the world. The country also has the potential to produce 1 trillion kilowatts of electrical power per year from wind energy, or 25 times the amount of oil and natural gas used per year. There is also great potential for solar energy development, which could also produce 1 trillion kilowatts of electrical power per year if effectively utilized. Kazakhstan has 200-250 sunny days every year, and as many as 300 sunny days per year in its southeastern regions. The solar radiation energy reaching the country is estimated at 1,300 – 1,800 kilowatts per square metre every year. The most favourable locations for solar electric installations are the Aral Sea and the southern regions, which currently suffer from a lack of electricity. President Nazarbayev has set the task of creating innovative and advanced industries and solar energy may be one of them thanks to its geographical location in the global “sun belt.” Solar water heating systems are an innovation in Kazakhstan. So it is practical and profitable to open new businesses in solar energy.

Solar collectors are easy to install individually and as systems.. Winter systems to collect solar power are also practical. They require circulation pumps, controllers and a specially equipped storage tank, and use antifreeze as a coolant. The Joint Kazakh-German Solar Roof project was launched in Astana in September 2012 when 42 solar panels were installed on the roof of Gumilyov Eurasian National University. They already provide part of the university with electric power. Kazakhstan’s first solar power station capable of generating 52 kilowatts was launched in June 2012 in the village of Sarybulak in the Almaty region. It provides lighting in homes and drinking water supplies using only renewable energy sources. The project was directed by the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies and aid from South Korea with the support of the UN Development Programme in the framework of the Green Village project. The Samruk-Energo Company has started building a solar power station in Kapchagai 75 kilometers (45 miles) north of Almaty with a capacity of 2 megawatts. It will be the first commercial-scale project in Kazakhstan in solar energy and is scheduled to start operating in 2013. Oral Karpishev, head of the Samruk-Energo press-service, said the Kapchagai project will be the first large solar power station in Kazakhstan. It will use photovoltaic panels of single-crystal silicon, which convert solar energy into electrical energy with minimal loss. The Astana Solar plant, launched on December 25, 2012, manufactures photovoltaic modules (solar panels) which are used to convert solar energy into electrical energy and to create solar or hybrid (wind,

Workers install solar panels. Kazakhstan has launched the production of solar panels near Astana as part of its industrialization drive.

solar, diesel generator) power systems. It is a part of a joint project implemented by Kazatomprom, the National Atomic Company working with the Atomic Energy Commission and alternative energy companies in France. Astana Solar plans to develop new solar energy technologies and create a fully integrated production line for renewable energy products. Kazatomprom also plans to produce solar and wind power stations in 2015. Solar energy is recognized as one of the most promising types of alternative energy and is being widely developed in the United States, China, Japan, Germany and Israel. The production of photovoltaic wafers in Kazakhstan will be able to fully provide electricity throughout the country, including its most remote regions. Kazakhstan is selfsufficient in raw quartz required for this. The country’s reserves are estimated at 267 million tons. Kazakhstan is also rich in rare earth elements necessary to make solar cells including gallium, ar-

senic, germanium and cadmium. Kazatomprom and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation launched the Summit Atom Rare Earth Company (SARECO) to mine and process these elements in November 2012. So far, 300 research projects have been started to make semiconductors, batteries and solar cells and develop the desalination of salt water and build new solar plants. Solar cells produced in Kazakhstan are expected to be environmentally friendly and much cheaper than their foreign equivalents. The transition to a “green” economy using renewable energy sources is expected to maintain long-term economic growth and make Kazakhstan an industrial leader in Central Asia and Eurasia. Such a transition also falls perfectly in line with the country’s preparations for EXPO 2017 in Astana under the theme of “Future Energy.” Astana won the right to host an expo on this theme after a vote by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris in November 2012.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Astana Times editorial

A New Vision Lays Groundwork for Future

2012 was one of the most fruitful years in the history of Kazakhstan in almost every sphere. A successful start was made by an event that was historic in its scale for the young Republic. In the beginning of the year, a multi-party Parliament was elected as a new step towards a more developed and representative democracy. Since then, Kazakhstan’s Parliament has included representation from three parties, including the ruling Nur Otan Party, the Ak Zhol Democratic Party and the Communist People’s Party. In 2012, the nation’s law enforcement agencies completed their re-certification process, after which onethird of their senior staff was replaced. Last July, President Nursultan Nazarbayev introduced the “20 Steps Towards a Society of Universal Labour” programme, based on the principles of social justice. The programme was designed to motivate citizens of the country to work for the common good of the society. In the summer of 2012, Kazakhstan’s surgeons became the first in Central Asia to carry out a successful heart transplant. Earlier artificial hearts had been implanted. At the end of July and August, the nation eagerly watched its athletes compete in the Summer Olympic Games in London. It was a moment of unprecedented triumph and revelation as the national Olympic team took 12th place overall with 7 gold medals. Celebrations were held nationwide and united the people of Kazakhstan. The year’s chain of remarkable events were capped at the end of the year when the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) in Paris approved Astana’s bid to host EXPO 2017 over the Belgium city of Liege by a majority of votes. EXPO 2017 will be the first expo held in Central Asia. Preparations for it are already underway and its theme of “Future Energy” is expected to positively influence the socio-economic, scientific and technological development of the region and beyond. The year ended on a high note when President Nazarbayev outlined the new “Kazakhstan 2050” strategy. In his annual state-of-the-nation address on December 14, the president announced a series of reforms and laid out a new long term strategy for the country. He called for the improvement of governance, welfare, the economy and development of the national infrastructure. The strategy will shape the direction of the country’s development for the coming decades and will build on the results of the “Kazakhstan 2030” strategy. The “Kazakhstan 2030” strategy was aimed at including the country in the top 50 most developed states of the world and that goal has almost been achieved as the country now ranks No. 51. President Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan should next strive to be listed among the top 30 nations around the world by 2050. This longterm goal is comprised of smaller segmented aims and success in reaching them will advance the nation’s overall development. Since gaining its independence, Kazakhstan has introduced a number of strategic programmes covering a wide range of issues. The Bolashak programme provides scholarships for students to study abroad. The State Programme for Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development and the 2020 Business Road Map are major programmes that are stimulating great industrial development and wealth creation around the country. The global financial and economic crisis of 2008-9 had a negative impact on the economy of Kazakhstan. In order to overcome the crisis, the government introduced a number of amendments in economic policy allowing it to intervene in economic affairs. In 2009, the President of Kazakhstan said adjustments were made to adapt to changes in external economic circumstances. But he underlined that these changes did not alter the strategic development of the country. In 1997, President Nazarbayev addressed the people of Kazakhstan and presented them with the ambitious strategy “Kazakhstan 2030.”At that time, its successful implementation appeared doubtful. By that moment, the country had only recovered from the collapse of the Soviet Union and from the failure of the old Soviet economic system and the survival of the state was still in question. Kazakhstan, like most former Soviet republics, was suffering from overall shortages, as well as high levels of unemployment and instability. Nevertheless, setting defined goals and matching available resources with the strategic course of the country’s development allowed Kazakhstan to reach the phase of stable economic growth. Then the“Kazakhstan 2030” strategy was introduced in 1997 and although its target date for fulfillment was 2030, it could be said that the majority of its goals have been achieved already today. In his December address to the nation, President Nazarbayev recalled the uncertainty and instability of the early days of sovereignty following the declaration of independence in 1991, and reviewed the achievements reached already under the “Kazakhstan 2030” strategy over the past 15 years. The new “Strategy-2050” long-term development programme takes into account the realities of modern world civilization, and finds support among the general public in Kazakhstan and abroad. President Nazarbayev noted the central features of modern state development, especially the need of countries to adequately and timely respond to the new challenges of a rapidly changing world. He, therefore, identified in his address the following 10 challenges on the global agenda: 1. Acceleration of historical time. 2. Global demographic imbalance. 3. Threat to global food security. 4. Acute water shortage. 5. Global energy security. 6. Exhaustible natural resources. 7. The third industrial revolution.

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8. Increasing social instability. 9. The crisis of the values of ​​ our civilization. 10. The threat of a new global destabilization. The new economic course that the president announced is based on comprehensive economic pragmatism and on the principles of economic feasibility to develop the global competitiveness of Kazakhstan. As part of a radical liberalization of the economic system, state participation will be reduced to a minimum in the regulation of business and the role of the private sector in all spheres of activity will be increased. The head of state announced a transition to new personnel, budgetary, fiscal and monetary policies and to new ways to manage the public external debt. This will seek to create the best conditions for foreign investment across Eurasia. The development of mineral resources and their export to world markets will be accelerated in exchange for access to advanced technologies and the creation of new industries within our country. The president also tasked the government with increasing the contribution of agriculture to the country’s GDP by 500 percent by 2050 through a series of measures, including government stimulus packages. Kazakhstan, as before, will be an active participant in regional economic integration, which should be based on the principles of mutual benefit and common solutions for pressing social and economic problems. A special programme called “Global Infrastructure Integration” will be developed in the frames of this strategy. Great attention will be given to the development of innovation in national infrastructure. An important element of innovation should be the development of alternative energy sources with a focus on sustainability. As part of social security policy and in line with the principle of personal responsibility, every citizen will be guaranteed minimum social standards of quality of life, health and education. The president defined key measuring marks of modern systems of education, training and re-training, knowledge and skills. He said a major task in this area was involving the selfemployed, the unemployed and low-income citizens in active forms of employment. The “Employment Programme – 2020” will be implemented to achieve these goals. The president also stressed the importance of paying more attention to protecting mothers and children and to supporting large families. The fostering of a strong and proud patriotism is fundamental to the success of the country’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, the president said. He said the country’s children and grandchildren should prefer life at home because it is much better than in a foreign country. Kazakhstan is firmly committed to the further progressive development of democracy with a focus on decentralization, anti-corruption, and gender equality. The president has also approved sweeping government reforms. They will include a massive civil service reform, the decentralization of management, the introduction of new local government systems and the election of district mayors of cities and rural districts. Starting in 2013, 2,533 village and town mayors, or 91 percent of all mayors, will be elected. The new system of government will be based on the principle of publicprivate partnership. Kazakhstan should become a model of increased tolerance and stability. Any ethnic group living in the territory of Kazakhstan is and will continue to be regarded as an integral part of the Kazakh nation. However, the preservation of the secular state with full respect for the great world religions remains a major challenge for our society. Kazakhstan will also move forward with the switching of the Kazakh language from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet before 2025. Kazakhstan’s foreign policy will continue to be founded on the principles of balance, consistency and predictability. Kazakhstan is fully aware of its responsibility for regional security and intends to contribute actively to the strengthening of security in Central Asia and beyond. President Nazarbayev pledged to support “progressive international initiatives,” including political reconciliation in Afghanistan and reconstruction programmes in that country. The president emphasized twice in his speech that the country’s political sovereignty will not be infringed by the creation of a Eurasian Economic Union. Kazakhstan remains committed to maintaining global stability and will be in the forefront of efforts to strengthen the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, promote the principles of ethnic and religious tolerance and combat extremism and terrorism around the world. Great importance in the implementation of strategic priorities is given to the international partners of Kazakhstan. The country counts on them for support and cooperation in the implementation of these tasks, which will foster further cooperation between our countries and peoples. By the year of 2013, Kazakhstan has become a globally recognized state and a dynamically developing nation that contributes to shaping global. Its young capital Astana serves as the meeting place for prominent experts at such major international events as the nuclear disarmament conference, the Congress of World and Traditional Religions, the Astana Economic Forum, the Eurasian Media Forum and other major annual and regularly-held events. Kazakhstan is recognized as a modern, forward-looking and confident nation and responsible partner in the international arena. The country is seeking to become one of the world’s30 most developed and prosperous nations by 2050, and its main national goal is to continue radically improving the quality and standard of living of its people. In President Nazarbayev, his new strategy Kazakhstan-2050 and the new generation of citizens of a 21year-young country, Kazakhstan has a leader, a vision and a people in order to achieve these high goals.

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Reshuffle Marks Transition to Gradual Change By Daniyar Ashimbayev First, it should be noted that the current reorganization of the government and related personnel changes demonstrate the new style of presidential politics. Its essence lies in the rejection of the “revolutionary change” and demonstrates the transition to a gradual restructuring of the governmental apparatus. The change of government in Kazakhstan in the fall of 2012 was surprisingly smooth and was not accompanied by an upheaval of ministries and their responsibilities. It was obvious that the new prime minister, Serik Akhmetov, with the support of the head of state, chose to work some time with the old structure and team in order to understand shortcomings and to find a new formula. This is what happened now. A new Ministry of Regional Development was established, which aims to strengthen the control of the centre for the implementation of economic and administrative reforms in the country. As is known, for various reasons, 14 Kazakh regions are at quite different levels of economic and social development. For comparison, according to the government, the difference in per capita income between certain regions is almost four times! Coordination of the work aimed at addressing these and other issues will be conducted by a new ministry headed by experienced civil servant Bakhytzhan Sagintayev, who will also hold the rank of the first deputy prime minister of the country. Powers of the Ministry of Economy (Minister – Yerbolat Dossayev) and the Ministry of the Environment (minister – Nurlan Ka-

pparov) were strengthened. Both officials are experienced managers, with know-how both in government and in the business. The appointment of Marat Tazhin as Secretary of State seems to be to strengthen the level of implementation of the new state programme “Kazakhstan2050”. Tazhin repeatedly served as Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration and Secretary of the Security Council. Nevertheless, he is known primarily as a leading strategist of the presidential team. Moreover, his new role suggests that Nursultan Nazarbayev intends to seriously raise the level of implementation of his recently announced programme. With regards to the former Deputy Prime Minister Krymbek Kusherbayev and former Secretary of State Mukhtar Kul-Muhammed, their new positions can be considered a demotion in name only. Kusherbayev now heads the Kyzyl Orda region, a region with great potential, including a major oil production, but one which is in the doldrums, and Kul-Muhammed again became Minister of Culture and Information, which has an important role in the implementation of the new political course. It comes as a new model for the formation of Kazakhstan patriotism, and also the transfer of the Kazakh language to the Latin script. It appears that President Nursultan Nazarbayev has dropped and threw his old allies on a new front, where their expertise will be extremely demanded. The author is a political scientist and the editor and publisher of Who Is Who in Kazakhstan.

Unified Professional Sports Club Will Seek More Victories By Aidar Makhmetov

The Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund has long funded various sports projects. This funding has been provided either directly by the Fund, such as the funding of the Astana cycling team, and through the national companies included in the structure of the Fund, such as when Kazakhstan Temir Zholy has financed the Barys hockey club and the Astana football club, and when KazMunaiGas and Samruk-Energo has financed the Astana Arlans boxing club, etc. Since the Fund is a strong supporter of the corporate governance practices, as well as due to changes in the policy of sponsorship and charity fund provision, and within the decision to streamline financial flows directed at financing professional sports projects, it was decided to create the Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club (PPSC).

This initiative was supported by the President. Ten most successful sports projects financed by the group of the Samruk Kazyna companies such as the Astana cycling team, the Barys hockey club, the Astana football club, the Astana water polo team, the Kazakhstan Barysy project on the development of the Kazakh Kuresi wrestling, the Astana Dakar Team, the Astana Arlans boxing club etc. were brought under the roof of the Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club. As the special project, the club included the Foundation of Ilya Ilyin, who had become the Olympic champion in weightlifting twice and. His foundation has received the support from the Fund for the implementation of systematic preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Management of these projects will be among the functions of the Astana PPSC, which will ensure professional sports management.

All funds allocated for the clubs will be distributed through the Astana PPSC. Image making policies, currently implemented by each club individually, will also be streamlined. Management of the PPSC will make decisions on key management positions of the clubs. The work of the Astana PPSC will focus on the best practices of corporate governance in sports. The best examples for this are well-known world clubs like Spanish Real and Barcelona, Bayern in Germany. These clubs bring together football, basketball, handball, water polo, etc. The management of the PPSC consists of a president, who will provide overall management of the club and a general manager, whose functions will include operational management. The author is the general manager of the Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club.

Kazakh National University and Ural Federal University Join Forces By Aliya Bekalaeva

Two leading universities in Kazakhstan and Russia have joined forces to upgrade their facilities and programmes to become global leaders. This is an ambitious task set by the management of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU) and Yeltsin Ural Federal University (UrFU). The heads of the two institutions met after the cross border cooperation forum between Russia and Kazakhstan, which took place in September 2012 in Pavlodar city. UrFU Rector Viktor Koksharov said his university had chosen KazNU as its partner on the recommendation of the QS International Ranking Agency in Britain and by taking into account the achievements of the university. “Al-Farabi Kazakh National University is one of the leading universities within the former Soviet space and it occupies 390th place in the ranking of world universities according to the QS Agency. The university demonstrates a confident and very dynamic growth,” Koksharov said. Over the past two years, KazNU has made spectacular progress, rising 250 positions in the QS World University rankings to enter the list of 400 best universities in the world in 2012. In some disciplines, the university already ranks among the top 200. It is the only university in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Central Asian region to receive a three-star excellence rating from QS. KazNU officials have presented their experience in modernizing and building a research university recently at three international conferences in Taipei, Prague and Bali. They received positive responses from global research and education institutions and rating agencies. KazNU is the only higher education institution of does not consider copies the size of over 5 printed pages, does not review and does not return the materials not ordered by the newspaper. Guest opinions do not necessarily reflect the newspaper’s opinion. For reprinting, permissions must be sought and obtained first from The Astana Times, and reference must be made to “The Astana Times”. The Astana Times is printed at “Prosper print” LLP, 51 Ak Zhol Street Astana.

Kazakhstan included in the UN Academic Impact programme that was established at the initiative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The university was the only institution in the CIS countries with departments especially devoted to Global Energy-Ecological Development Strategy and the Green Bridge that were presented at the Global Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro. KazNU launched its new MDP Global Classroom, a Master’s degree programme in 2011 with the support of Columbia University in New York City. In 2012, the Hewlett-Packard Company from the United States opened its first research and education centre in Central Asia at the university.

Reaching Global Standards President Nazarbayev has set the goal of having two of Kazakhstan’s universities entering the ratings list of the world’s leading universities by 2020. Five Russian universities are expected to enter the top 100 world by then. “Our university has been ranked among the QS just recently,” Koksharov said. “We now occupy global positions between numbers 450 to 500. The experience of cooperating with neighbouring friendly universities in other countries is very important and valuable for us.” “Our president and the government have set us the task of making our institution the best university not only in the country, but also internationally. In other words, we have to become a world-class university,” he said... Full article is available at The author is a lecturer at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. The Astana Times is registered by the Ministry of Communications and Information of the Republic of Kazakhstan under the registration number N 11208-G of 1 November 2010. The newspaper is typed and made into pages at the computer centre of “Kazakhstanskaya Pravda”. Published monthly, the size of 8 pages. Order: 63

The Astana Times

Wednesday, 23 January 2013



The Myth of Nuclear Necessity

By Ward Wilson This article first appeared in print on January 13, 2013 in The New York Times with the headline “The Myth of Nuclear Necessity” and is reprinted in The Astana Times with the permission of the author. Five years ago, four titans of American foreign policy — the former secretaries of state George P. Shultz and Henry A. Kissinger, the former defense secretary William J. Perry and the former senator Sam Nunn —called for “a world free of nuclear weapons,” giving new momentum to an idea that had moved from the sidelines of pacifist idealism to the center of foreign policy debate. America’s 76 million baby boomers grew up during the cold war, when a deep fear of nuclear weapons permeated American life, from duck-and-cover school drills to backyard fallout shelters. Then, in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan’s leadership, combined with immense anti-nuclear demonstrations, led to negotiations with the Soviet Union that drastically re-

duced the size of the two superpowers’ nuclear arsenals. Sadly, the abolition movement seems stalled. Part of the reason is fear of nuclear weapons in the hands of others: President George W. Bush exploited anxieties over nuclear weapons to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq; most Republican presidential candidates last year said they would fight a war with Iran rather than allow it to get the bomb. There is also a small group of people who still believe fervently in nuclear weapons. President Obama had to buy passage of the New START treaty with Russia, in 2010, with a promise to spend $185 billion to modernize warheads and delivery systems over 10 years — revealing that while support for nuclear weapons may not be broad, it runs deep. That support endures because of five widely held myths. The first is the myth that nuclear weapons altered the course of World War II. Leaving aside the morality of America’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, new research by the historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa and other scholars shows that Japan surrendered not because of the atom bomb but because the Soviets renounced neutrality and joined the war. Sixty-six Japanese cities had already been destroyed by conventional weapons — two more did not make the difference. Attributing surrender to the bomb was also convenient for Japan’s leaders, allowing them to blame defeat on a “miracle” weapon.

Second is the myth of “decisive destruction.” Mass destruction doesn’t win wars; killing soldiers does. No war has ever been won simply by killing civilians. The 1941-44 siege of Leningrad didn’t deter Soviet leaders from pressing the fight against Hitler. Nor did the 1945 firebombing of Dresden force Germany to submit. As long as an army has a fighting chance at victory, wars continue. Building ever more destructive weapons simply increases the horror of war, not the certainty of ending it. Third is the myth of reliable nuclear deterrence. Numerous leaders have taken risks and acted aggressively during nuclear crises. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy and his advisers knew that blockading Cuba risked nuclear war; they mentioned the possibility 60 times while debating their options. Yet they went ahead. Nuclear proponents might argue that no cold war crisis ever erupted into nuclear war, so deterrence must work. But they’re moving the goal posts. Originally it was claimed that nuclear weapons would assure success in negotiations, prevent any sort of attack — conventional or nuclear — and allow countries to protect their friends with a nuclear umbrella. When the Russians weren’t intimidated during talks after World War II, the claim about negotiations was dropped. When the Yom Kippur War and the Falkland Islands War showed that fighting against nucleararmed countries was possible, the prevention of conventional war claim was dropped. The nuclear

Kazakhstan Earns Trust of Global Society By Hans-Dietrich Genscher

During my first visit to Kazakhstan in 1991, I met a group of ethnic Germans who had lived in Kazakhstan for many years. These people told me that even if they had to move back to Germany, they would always consider Kazakhstan as their second homeland. In those hard times in the 1940s, over 500,000 people of German nationality, having endured strokes of bad luck and far-fetched charges of treachery, by the order of Stalin were moved to Kazakhstan. The local people welcomed them with special kindness, despite their own troubles. Having arrived for a visit to a new, independent Kazakhstan, I met with vigorous first President of the country, Nursultan Nazarbayev. He told me about the problems of the country and shared his plans on its further development. And in this private conversation it became clear how difficult this way would be. But now, two decades later, we see the results. With great pleasure, we can state: Kazakhstan more than coped with the objectives set by President Nazarbayev. This refers to the internal development of Kazakhstan. This also applies to the foreign policy of this important country. In a remarkably short historical period of time, Kazakhstan has managed to gain trust in the region and in the international arena. Kazakhstan today is a player which has deserved the recognition of the whole world. In favor of Kazakhstan’s internationally-recognized authority is its successful chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010: the first state from the former Soviet Union ever to lead the 56-nation body. During its OSCE chairmanship Kazakhstan worked not only on improving the internal development of the organization, but it also took steps to resolve many foreign policy issues. This was possible due to the authority of Kazakhstan and its leaders. Summarizing results, we can confidently say that Kazakhstan’s chairmanship has given a new impetus to the organization. The preparation and holding of the OSCE Summit in Astana in December 2010 held historic significance. Many asked for what purposes Kazakhstan carried out this summit? I believe that the Kazakh leaders understood all the responsibility they had for the obligations laid towards the international community. Angela Merkel, the federal Chancellor of Germany, visited Kaza-

khstan twice during the period of Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship. This underlines the importance of Kazakhstan as an important partner of Germany not only in matters of raw materials, bilateral trade, but also in the political sphere. It is very pleasant for me to congratulate the readers of your newspaper on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the Independence of Kazakhstan, especially in this anniversary year of KazakhstanGerman relations which have traditionally being characterized by strong friendship, trust and mutual understanding. Years later, the meaning of a familiar expression of President Nazarbayev, “economy first, politics second” becomes more and more clear. First of all, it was important to provide people with the most basic economic essentials of life since everyone wants to eat, to drink, to have shelter and to learn. Only after this was achieved could the turn of politics come. This strategy had crucial importance for the development and well being of Kazakhstan. In the beginning of independence, Kazakhstan had to decide as one of the major questions facing it, what to do with the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world that it had inherited from the former Soviet Union. Forty years of nuclear tests had pernicious consequences for the nature and the population of Kazakhstan, over one million Kazakhs received dangerous doses of radiation; the zone of ecological damage contaminated a territory equal to the combined areas of Germany and Italy. In these conditions the President of Kazakhstan in 1991 made the wise and far-sighted decision to close the former Soviet nuclear test site, and nine months later Kazakhstan declared its renunciation of nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan is not only an active participant in the OSCE and the Shanghai Cooperation Organiza-

tion (SCO). It sets an active example of peaceful cooperation for the whole world. At the 2010 OSCE Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan suggested that cooperation within the organization should cover both Europe and Asia. The constructive leadership that Kazakhstan displayed in its 2011-12 chairmanship of the 57-nation Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) showed that these words were followed by action. Kazakhstan used its influence as the chairman of this organization to try and prevent and end confrontations of forces and to advance the idea of coexistence. Kazakhstan presents a great example in terms of ethnic and religious tolerance and cooperation. This country with a Muslim majority population continues to demonstrate its aspiration towards promoting tolerance in interethnic relations and in the democratization of society. In this regard, the President of Kazakhstan deserves recognition for his initiative to hold the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. This congress is a significant contribution in establishing a global dialogue between religions and cultures. The confrontation of cultures which many predicted is not inevitable. The challenge is for us to work to jointly create a peaceful and fair world order in which the coexistence of cultures and religions will be perceived not as a threat but as mutual enrichment. This new world order will be accompanied by a spirit of equality and justice and should be defined by the moral values fostered in each individual person. These include human dignity and a tolerant cultural identity which is expressed in respect towards other cultures. This policy has no boundaries, whether they be religious or cultural. However it needs bridges. Kazakhstan is such a bridge. Thanks to the wise policy of President Nazarbayev, in a short period of independence the country also achieved internal and international harmony. Impressive successes have been achieved in the field of economic development, and a balanced and responsible foreign policy is being implemented. At our meeting in February 2012 in Berlin, President Nazarbayev surprised me once again. He was still full of ideas, power and energy. He is still making new plans for the development of the country. I am sure he will successfully implement this new phase of Kazakhstan’s national policy. The author is Germany’s former Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs.

umbrella claim ought to have been dropped at the same time, but there was too much American foreign policy riding on it for anyone to make this argument. After all, if Britain couldn’t deter an attack on its own far-flung islands, how could deterrence prevent attacks on other countries? Fourth is the myth of the long peace: the argument that the absence of nuclear war since 1945 means nuclear weapons have “kept the peace.” But we don’t accept proof by absence in any circumstance where there is real risk. We wouldn’t fly an airline that claimed to have invented a device that prevented metal fatigue, proved it by equipping 100 planes with the devices for one year without a single crash, and then suddenly ceased all metal-fatigue inspections and repairs, and decided instead to rely solely on these new devices. The last and most stubborn myth is that of irreversibility. Whenever idealists say that they want to abolish nuclear weapons, so-called realists shake their heads and say, in tones of patient condescension, “You can’t stuff the nuclear genie back in the bottle.” This is a specious argument. It’s true that no technology is ever disinvented, but technology does fall out of use all the time. (If you don’t believe me, try to get tech support on any electronic device more than three years old.) Devices disappear either because they are displaced by better technology or because they simply weren’t good. The question isn’t whether nuclear weapons can be disinvented, but

whether they are useful. And their usefulness is questionable, given that no one has found an occasion to use them in over 67 years. NOT everyone wants nuclear weapons. What most people don’t realize is that 12 countries have either abandoned nuclear programs, dismantled existing weapons, as South Africa did in the early 1990s, or handed them over, as Kazakhstan did after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. By contrast, only nine have nukes today (the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea). It’s often assumed that Israel would be the last nation to give up nuclear weapons, given its history and a deep sense of responsibility to protect the Jewish people after the horrors of the Holocaust. But Israel has a powerful conventional military, is allied with the strongest country in the world and its leaders have a keen appreciation of military realities. They understand that nukes pose a greater danger to small countries than large ones. Twenty nuclear weapons used on Israel would do far more overlapping damage than 20 used on Iran. Small nations have always been vulnerable. In a world without nuclear weapons they would preserve themselves as they always have: by forming alliances with the powerful and avoiding antagonizing neighbors. France, not Israel, would most likely be the last country to give up nuclear weapons, which help preserve its image as a world power. In a nuclear-free world, France

would just be another middle-size power with great cuisine. The real value of nuclear bombs is as status symbols, not as practical weapons. America and other nuclear powers must pursue the gradual abolition of nuclear weapons, but it will not be easy. Many leaders have little interest in giving up power, real or perceived. Any agreement would have to include stringent inspections and extensive safeguards. It would have to include all current nuclear-armed states in a complicated diplomatic process. But bans on other dangerous but clumsy armaments, like chemical and biological weapons, have been negotiated in the past. These bans — like laws — are sometimes broken. But the world is far safer with the bans than it would be without them. As Reagan knew, nuclear weapons make the world more dangerous, not less. Imagine arming a bank guard with dynamite and a lighter and you get a good idea of nuclear weapons’ utility: powerful, but too clumsy to use. Nuclear weapons were born out of fear, nurtured in fear and sustained by fear. They are dinosaurs — an evolutionary dead end. The trend in warfare today is toward smaller, smarter, more effective precision-guided weapons. Nuclear weapons — extremely dangerous and not very useful — are the wave of the past. The author is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies of the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

CU Boosts Mutual Trade By Viktor Khristenko The Eurasian Economic Commission (EAEC) in its new form has been working for only nine months, but it has already achieved good results. Increased integration between EAEC member nations is a key element to resisting future global economic crises. It is also a key element of development. We need to achieve four freedoms: those of movement of goods, services, capital and labour. First, the commission has proved itself as an executive body. The EAEC is unprecedented in its status. As a supranational body it executes a wide range of functions, including all customs, technical regulations, foreign trade, protective and other measures. It has staff of more than 650 from its three member states Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Russia has become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and many things have changed during the 18 years of its negotiation process. Most of the decisions and agreements reached by Russia on its road to join the WTO are already being implemented by the commission to be applied throughout the Common Economic Space with regard to the WTO rules. In September, a new Common Customs Tariff adopted by the commission came into effect. It applied to more than 11,000 commodity items in the three countries. WTO rules extend to all members of the Customs Union. Therefore, they now apply to Kazakhstan and Belarus, as well as Russia. More changes will soon follow. The three CU/CES member states will become more economically integrated and as they do, they will more fully comply with the standards of the global market. The CU/CES is already bringing rapid progress to its member states. All three of them are showing steady GDP growth of more than 4 percent a year. The annual rate of investment growth has soared to 8.3 percent. The three countries’ trade volume is also growing. In the first nine months of 2012, it rose by 9.9 percent. The growth of trade between CU member states is double the growth of their foreign trade. This is a positive trend and the pattern of trade between CU member states is balanced and sustainable. Oil and hydrocarbons exports are the leading commodity in CU foreign trade, metal exports come second. The export of machinery and equipment remains minimal. Mineral exports and trade between CU member states comes to 40 percent of their total trade and machinery and equipment make up

20 percent. This is a very healthy pattern. The CU has also proven beneficial in encouraging the creation of new businesses. There is obvious competition between the three CU member states to attract new companies by offering a more favourable legal environment in terms of profitability, taxes and less bureaucratic restrictions. Currently, the number of companies registered in Kazakhstan is much higher than in Russia. Labour mobility is growing between the three CU member states, especially in the flow of migrant workers from Kazakhstan and Belarus into Russia. No special permission or employment quotas are required. There is now only passport control on the borders. We are looking forward for this last remaining barrier between the three countries to be eliminated. Already 35 countries and groups have applied to start negotiations to establish free trade zones, including New Zealand, China, and the European Free Trade Association. Negotiations between the CU and Vietnam on a free trade agreement have reached an advanced stage. Prospects for trade agreements also look hopeful with the European Free Trade Association of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The CU is also seeking to increase its trade with the European Union. And the growing market of the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) is becoming more attractive. It now accounts for 40 percent of imports to Customs Union countries. Some 20 percent of CU exports go to the APR making Asia a significant trade partner. The Customs Union and the Common Economic Space are also preparing to expand and welcome new member states. The Kyrgyz Republic has formally applied to join and a CU special working group has been set up to deal with it. The process is difficult as the consequences for existing CU states of new members coming in have to be evaluated first. Tajikistan, as a full member of the Eurasian Economic Commu-

nity (EurAsEC) is also considering the possibility of joining the Customs Union. Officially, the CU has not received any more formal applications to join it. However, the possibility is being considered in Moldova. Public opinion and some political leaders in Ukraine and Armenia reportedly would also welcome joining the CU. CU leaders welcome dialogue with these countries and exploring appropriate forms of cooperation with them. The global economy over the past half century has demonstrated the remarkable benefits of an open market. However, the global financial crisis of 2008-9 revealed the significant risks that can also flow from globalization. Those events made countries around the world seek increased protection from such global risks. It led many governments to ask: what unions should they form and how can they better protect their national and regional interests in cooperation with their neighbours? In December, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will hold a presidents’ summit where the leaders of the three nations will receive a progress report on CU integration in 2012. They will also consider a number of important questions, including plans for a free trade regime between Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and budgetary plans for 2013. [The summit did take place on Dec. 19.] In the 18 months of 2013 and the first half of 2014, CU member states must also finalize their agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union. This task was set by the presidents. The Eurasian Economic Union will implement all agreements reached in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. It will, therefore, have to approve and implement 60 international agreements on regulating standards in the Common Economic Space, including protection of competition. A major legislative package of documents on competition policy must be approved by July 1, 2013. The support of the three CU heads of state is essential for the EEC to succeed. The presidents in this project play the role of the main legislators, since the international agreements signed by the presidents and ratified by the national parliaments become basic regulatory structures for the integration associations. The author is Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission. The Russian-language version of this article was first published in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda newspaper as an exclusive interview on December 5, 2012.

The Astana Times


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Nation & Eurasia

Astana Begins EXPO 2017 Preparations From Page A1 “I want to emphasize the importance of the fact that for the next five years the whole world will be talking about Kazakhstan,” the president said. Aidar Kazybayev, chairman of the Trade Committee of the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning, told the Astana Times that planning work on the EXPO was already well underway. “The event is looking for strong examples of innovation,” he said. “Work on holding EXPO 2017 has already started through Astana EXPO 2017, a government corporation that has been set up to direct and coordinate the preparations,” he said. “Starting on January 14, negotiations will be held with potential investors and with

BIE Secretary General Vicente Gonzalez Loscertales. We will allocate a budget of 230 million euros ($230.73 million) in land and infrastructure.The rest will come from investors.” Kazybayev said those independent investors would be the main financiers of the event, but the government would also contribute to the costs of the EXPO from its state budget. “We will contribute to all efforts to host this event at the highest level,” he added. The Astana EXPO may bring as many as five million visitors to the capital, experts say. This is in part due to the large number of participating countries. Kazybayev said 69 countries have already confirmed their active support. To ensure maximum international rep-

resentation, “a special programme of support to developing countries will allocate 62 million euros ($81.07 million), so they can come and participate at the exhibition,” he said. “Our goal is to have the maximum amount of countries demonstrate their achievements in the sphere of alternative energy,” Kazybayev said. The EXPO is about bringing the world to Kazakhstan and showing what this country is about. It is about caring for the future and showing the world that modern Kazakhstan is able to organize such a massive international effort, he said. “Kazakhstan will be building pavilions itself and will rent them to the participants ready to be decorated,” the trade committee chairman said.

EXPO displays are by nature spectacular and, therefore, expensive. The average price of one pavilion comes to $17 million. When the EXPO is over, the pavilions will be converted into display museums for new technologies, scientific laboratories, a business centre complex, and a presentation-exhibition centre. The Astana EXPO will also include a specialized educational programme on its theme of “Renewable Sources of Energy” that will be conducted at Nazarbayev University in the city. The EXPO’s associated higher education programmes will include the theoretical as well as the applied sciences. Kazybayev said the Mazda Motor Corporation of Japan is already developing advanced technologies in Kazakhstan. A new

joint venture will make electric cars for export after the EXPO. Progress in developing the efficient use of fuel and energyis important, Kazybayev said because “the country realizes that even (oil and gas) resources are finite.” The EXPO will also boost Kazakhstan’s national economy by generating new businesses and opportunities. Kazybayev said the city government would need 2,000 to 3,000 video cameras to record the event. “Instead of buying them, we are building a new factory to make them,” he said. “This makes sense, especially in a free economic zone. “Astana will become the first digital EXPO with video cameras and Wi-Fi everywhere so that every corner of the world with access to the Internet can see this historic

event,” Kazybayev said. Also, “this year, a new website will be opened about the EXPO that will be more open to the world. It will be easily accessible and fully navigational.” In his most recent state of the nation address President Nazarbayev said the preparations for EXPO 2017 would be a challenge for the entire nation. “We now have a new task: to hold the EXPO at a worthy level,” the president said. “This is not only a test for the country; the exhibition will reveal our creative potential. Holding EXPO 2017 in Astana will encourage the innovative development of the republic.” The president expressed confidence that the country would rise to meet the challenge, as it had so many other ones.


The Astana Times

Nation & Capital Wednesday, 23 January 2013 Kazakh School Opens Doors in Houston, Texas

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Youth Choose Books to Be Translated into Kazakh

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Kazakhstan to Unify Global Sports Promotion Under Astana Brand Page B7

Mercy Society Serves People in Need

Aruzhan Sain (left) recognizes the work of activists and officials at a ceremony. Ms. Sain became a household name in many families which were impacted by her selfless work.

By Dannar Kalikhan ASTANA – The People’s Favorites-2012 has recognized Aruzhan Sain as a Tireless Social Activist. Sain is a director and co-founder of the charity fund of the Mercy Voluntary Society ( The society runs the Save Children’s Lives permanent charity campaign to raise funds to treat children suffering from incurable diseases and it provides assistance to orphanages and children’s homes. The Mercy society was founded in April 2006. It helps children from all regions of the country and serves as a communication link between volunteers and those who need help. It has the goal of eventually organizing enough foster parents to make institutionalized orphanages unnecessary in Kazakhstan. Since the law on orphans was not yet finalized or comprehensive in 2006, the

project was not developed immediately. However, by the end of 2011, amendments to the law allowed access to information about orphans that enabled the charity to function more effectively. The government is creating an online database of children waiting for adoption. To promote the programme and to improve the process of adoption, the charity set up a new website in 2012 working with the Committee on Child Protection of the Ministry of Education and Science. The charity hopes to finalize a new partnership with regional authorities that are responsible for orphaned children this year. They also plan to publicize their activities through social media. The Mercy Society also helps severely ill children who cannot receive necessary treatment in the country. So far it has raised $2,568,842 to pay for medical treatment, including 436 surgeries

to 374 children. This sum does not include donations made directly to parents’ bank accounts or payment for surgeries performed by foreign doctors working in Kazakhstan. The Mercy Society is financed solely by donations from individuals and businesses. It works closely with the government in identifying social

problems and individuals in need. The society held widely publicized events in Almaty and Astana, the country’s two largest cities, on April 22, 2012, to publicize its activities, raise funds and help indigent families with disabled children. Many gifts and necessary goods were collected and given to the Association of Parents of Disabled Children. As part of the effort, the Pony Express Courier Company collected gifts from boxes in stores and delivered them to disabled children. Since the Mercy Society started its “Give Kids Life” online fundraising campaign, it has raised $126,840 or 19,025,868 tenge for the treatment of children as of January 11, 2013. In partnership with the Mary Kay Company, the society is also working on a programme to reduce the number of deaths from congenital heart disease. Kazkommertsbank offers account facilities for contributing to the “Give Kids Life” campaign. Mercy Society executives say they operate under the guiding philosophy that charity is an act of gratitude and support to those who need help. They believe it is a noble quality in human nature that brings welfare to everyone in society. It enlarges human hearts and spreads the message of brotherhood and love.

Events such as these concerts help Mercy attract more contributions for its work.

Getting Together on Fryday: Online Social Network Transforms Virtual Communication Into Real Experiences

Modern Writers Gain in Popularity By Maral Zhantaykyzy ASTANA – On January 9, President Nursultan Nazarbayev, in his Almaty residence, awarded presidential and state grants in literature and art to writers and artists. More than 100 writers and artists have been honoured with a presidential grant for their contributions to the development of national culture. Among the global challenges facing modern Kazakhstan, President Nazarbayev has identified a crisis of ideology and values. Today, Kazakhstan should focus on developing its culture and strengthening the allencompassing Kazakhstan values of peace and harmony. “Kazakhstan’s culture should be an integral part

of the global cultural heritage,” the president said. The artistic legacy of the poets and writers and ambassadors of the Alash political party, repressed in the 1920s, has returned to Kazakh literature over the past twenty years. The government actively supports national modern artists. The state programme for the publication of socially important literature has come out with a series of new books entitled “Contemporary Literature”, which includes recent works by Kadirbek Segizbayuly, Rakhimzhan Otarbayev, Akim Tarazi, Nurgali Orazov, and other talented poets and writers of our time.

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Fans in Almaty, Astana Celebrate Beatles Day By Maksut Irzhanov ASTANA – January 16 is declared as the World Beatles Day. This holiday was set in 2001 by UNESCO and is timed to the opening date of the Cavern club in Liverpool that from 1960 onwards had been the mainstay of the Beatles’ performances after their tours in Hamburg. It is said that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were polishing their talent here, thus becoming the place for the assembling of the pop group fans. The global popularity of the Liverpool Four remains strong to this day. In 2010, their

Revolver album was listed among the ten best rock albums of all time. In Kazakhstan, the majority of the Beatles’ fans live in Almaty, where even the bronze sculpture of the band was installed at the side of the well-traveled tourist site on the Kok Tobe mountain. There are quite a few Beatles fans in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan as well. At the “Ramada Plaza Astana” hotel, an Abai Road Music Club was opened, where on the Beatles Day a concert was organized with the participation of the “Black Pelican” vocal group, who performed the most famous songs of the Fab Four.

Things to Watch in January - February Kazakh Music and Drama Theatre named after Kairat Kuanyshbayev January 26 at 18.30 Comedy “Red Apple” by Khushvaktov January 27 at 18.30 Drama “The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years” by Shacken Aitmatov Russian Drama Theatre named after Maxim Gorky January 26 at 18.00 “Welcome, gentlemen unbelievers” or a doomsday presentation in the comedy by “Fruits of Enlightenment” February 2 at 18.30 Fear and Misery of the Third Reich of Bertolt Brecht National Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Kulyash Baiseitova January 26 at 17.00 Rigoletto (opera) January 27 at 17.00 Don Quixote (ballet)

Fryday Astana has quickly become a good opportunity for local and expat community to mix and mingle.

By Marzhan Imanbayeva ASTANA – Today, almost every second resident of Kazakhstan uses the Internet, and one in three has a presence on a social network. Communication through social networks is sneakily replacing some real life interactions. Still, the Internet is not a substitute for personal contact. Instead, the organizers of Fryday real life parties thought perhaps the Internet could be used as a platform for launching more personal contact. The organizers of Fryday have proposed a new form of communication through social networks. They’ve used virtual communication ​​to lead to real meetings. In this spontaneous communication platform, myriad interests combine:

meeting new people, catching up with old friends, establishing new business contacts, expanding one’s circle of acquaintances, or spending an evening relaxing from the everyday hustle and building up a good mood for the upcoming weekend. Fryday meetings are especially useful for expats, since it can be difficult to make new friends in a new place without some assistance. Fryday’s success is illustrated by the rapid growth in the number of participants at its events. The Astana Times was interested in this new project and has interviewed Merey Mustafina, a representative of Fryday Astana. What can you tell us about the Fryday community? Fryday is a free format social networking event. The events take

place at the end of the working week and guests are free to come and go as they please and to bring colleagues or friends. Fryday does not really have any fixed programme except for the facilitation of a forum where guests are free to meet and talk to interesting people of many different professions and backgrounds. What aims does the Fryday community have? The mission of the events is to bring people together so that they can meet new people, as well as get a chance to socialize with old friends. What does the modern consumer require to be successful in their networking and relationship-building activities? The first crucial stage is that you have to want to succeed. If

you feel obliged to attend networking events, it will show on your face and in your behaviour. A positive attitude is, therefore, very important. Secondly, you have to have an open mind. If you dismiss people as uninteresting without giving them a chance, you will not last long. Nobody really likes to spend time with somebody who is not willing to share ideas and thoughts or who is not open to new connections. When and where was the first group established? Fryday was founded in Kyiv, Ukraine in April 2010 and during its first year; it grew from being a small group of mostly expats to becoming a gathering that attracted several hundred guests each time.

Continued on Page B2

The Zhastar Palace January 29 at 10.00 Open club tournament on sports and ballroom dancing “Snowflake - 2012” Modern Art Center Kulanshi, Pyramid February 7 Personal Exhibition of Kuat Shildebayev The Museum of contemporary art Personal exhibition of the artist Tleuzhan Batanov the Bijouterie exhibition of Taymas Mukachev (Astana) the exhibition of Natural Stone Bijouterie of Ramune Bernotiene The Central Concert Hall Kazakhstan February 13 at 19.00 the concert “Atameken” of Eskendir Khasangaliyev

The Astana Times


Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Getting Together on Fryday: Tatar, Bashkir Groups Join Online Social Network ATOM Project Transforms Virtual Comms Into Real Experiences By Rinat Dussumov

Merey Mustafina (right) has helped organise Fryday Astana events, making it a feature of the capital’s social life.

From Page B1 Although Fryday is seen as an internet community, it is essentially an offline event supported by online social media groups. We believe that no matter how sophisticated technology becomes, the true character of most people gets lost online. For people who want to have real relationships, it is important to meet in real life to get a better feel for each other. Only then can trust be established. Who is the originator of the project? Fryday Kyiv was created by three Swedish nationals living in Kyiv: Gustav Hultgren, Ulrika Kerje and Anders Östlund. The idea of Fryday comes from Stockholm-style after work mingles. As an executive education management professional and one of the coordinators of Astana Ladies Club, I am the representative of The Fryday Astana. Who are the participants? How many expats are involved? Fryday Astana generally gathers more than 200 guests for the event. At present, the breakdown of guests at Fryday events is 20 percent international, 80 percent local. We generally have guests from over 10 countries, while all our members share an upwardly mobile and cosmopolitan outlook. Everyone can take part in the Fryday events; all you have to do is click “Like” on the Fryday Facebook page. There’s also a lot of information on Twitter, LinkedIn and on community web sites. Is there any relationship between Fryday communities in different cities? What are their common projects? The Fryday Business Trip project connects Fryday communities. The very first Fryday Business trip was

successfully implemented in early October 2012, when a group of businessmen from Kyiv, Fryday members, went to Tbilisi for a weekend. They participated in Fryday Tbilisi, had several meetings with both business and administrative representatives, and had a nice excursion around Tbilisi. Fryday Business Trips aim at providing Fryday members with an exclusive opportunity to establish business contacts within the community. Fryday Astana is planning to host a group of businessmen from Ukraine in mid-spring. The programme is still to be confirmed. When did Fryday first come to Kazakhstan? In September 2011, Fryday expanded to Almaty, Kazakhstan, and in early 2012 the expansion continued to Tbilisi, Georgia, and then to Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine. Now it is present in 13 cities in six countries: Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland and Turkey. Further expansion is likely to take place in the very near future. The first Fryday Astana event was held on April 13, 2012, and gathered about 50 guests. Since then it has grown rapidly, now hosting about 200 to 250 guests at each event. What activities doesFryday Astana organize? Who attends these events? Fryday Astana is a social and business networking event. We provide a social platform for professionals with different backgrounds to freely mingle and socialize with each other. The Fryday community gathers every other week. There are no strict themes for Fryday events. However, there is one additional specific Fryday format: Fryday W, which is held during the week, but not on Friday.Fryday W events have special programmes and speakers. Fryday W is a great

networking experience that also provides attendees with up-todate knowledge from a relevant professional field. The first Fryday W was dedicated to the topic “Government Relations: Add Value GR vs. Value Added GR.” Мr. Ayan Yerenov, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kazakhstan; Mr. Murat Abenov, former Mazhilis deputy (and current Vice Minister of Education and Science); and Galym Baituk, head of the public fund Republic, Region, Development, shared their views. What can guests learn at these meetings? Fryday events provide a space for guests to create their own opportunities. They are great opportunities to tell other people what you are up to and great opportunities to promote your business just by chatting to a person in a very relaxed setting. Moreover, they are a chance to alter your everyday rhythm: home, work and back home again. What has been achieved during the life of the community in Kazakhstan at large? During the eight months of Fryday’s presence in Astana, we have grown to become the biggest professional networking community in Astana. I am not afraid to say that the Fryday brand has become very recognizable as an event that gathers very professional, cosmopolitan people. When will the next meeting take place in Astana? The next event will take place in early February, 2013. We always announce the participants in advance through social media.

Diversity of Fryday Astana participants speaks to the growing interest of the feature for young professionals.

ASTANA – The Tatar and Bashkir cultural groups in Kazakhstan are backing The ATOM Project, a global initiative to abolish nuclear weapons testing, and ultimately, abolish nuclear weapons. Taufik Karimov, president of the Association of Tatar and Bashkir National Cultural Centres (ATBNCC), said his organisation recognized the importance of the project and was giving it full support. “The contribution of Kazakhstan to strengthening the regime of nuclear weapons non-proliferation is a definitive contribution to world stability, order and security,” Karimov said. “The Association of the Tatars and Bashkirs has always supported the initiatives of President Nursultan Nazarbayev and now we are going to participate in the realisation of The ATOM Project, which is extremely important for all humanity.” From 1949 to 1989, half of the nuclear tests carried out in the world took place at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and more than 1.5 million people suffered serious and often fatal health problems from radiation fall-out, including many Tatars and Bashkirs. The ATOM Project seeks a final and irrevocable ban on nuclear testing. It urges the international community to sign an online petition to put an end to nuclear testing at and urges all governments to permanently abandon nuclear weapons and to achieve the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. “Our association intends to promote the project in two directions,” Karimov said. “First is the promotion of the project by the participants of the Tatar-Bashkir Community in the work of the ethno-cultural communities that make up the association. The

Taufik Karimov

Tatars and Bashkirs of the Semey, East Kazakhstan, Karaganda and Pavlodar regions have already confirmed their readiness to promote the project. Initiatives connected to it will be presented to regional mayors and local government assemblies.” “Our activities will also have an international dimension,” Karimov said. “Since the Association of the Tatars and Bashkirs is a member of the World Tatar Congress uniting compatriots from New Zealand to Canada, we will lobby on behalf of The ATOM Project through our associate members around the world.” “President Nazarbayev has clearly stated the need to take further decisive action to eliminate the nuclear threat. Our members recognise the urgent need to support his initiative,” Karimov said. Karimov also said the president’s new Strategy 2050 announced in his annual address to

the nation in December was popular among Tatars and Bashkirs. “The president’s December address has evoked a warm response from the whole population of our large multinational country, including the Tatar and Bashkir ethnic groups,” he said. The dialogue of cultures and religions in the multinational country, which has become home to peoples from 140 ethnic groups and 17 religious faiths, has been one of its greatest recognized achievements. “The president pointed out that we must learn to live in the coexistence of cultures and religions and that, therefore, we must be committed to the dialogue of cultures and civilizations. The Tatar and Bashkir communities recognise this,” Karimov said. “We understand that only in dialogue with other nations, will our country will be able to continue achieving success and influence in the future,” Karimov said. “Since our country achieved national independence 21 years ago, social harmony has been the main precondition for achieving its other economic and social goals,” Karimov added. “Now, President Nazarbayev has set a new task for the long-term development of our country and we recognise that to achieve this goal too it is important to maintain and strengthen social harmony. It is vital for the existence of the state and society.” “The president’s vision of creating a welfare society based on a strong state, economic growth and opportunities for universal employment by 2050 is quite attainable. In the Tatar and Bashkir communities, we are confident of it,” Karimov said. “We recognise and welcome the central role of national patriotism to maintain and defend our freedoms and security and guide our country into a better future.”

The Astana Times

Wednesday, 23 January 2013



Personal Exhibition of Young Modern Writers Gain Kazakhstan Artist Takes in Popularity Place in Paris From Page B1

By Galia Shimyrbaeva ASTANA-PARIS – The CROUS gallery in Paris is hosting a personal exhibition of a young Kazakhstan artist Kamilla Gabdullina titled “Knots and hands”. “I am interested in the phenomenon of mimetism (a kind of mimicry - auth.) in the crowd, that gets worked up easily,” the author said. “The visitors of the exhibition gave a positive feedback. They say the exhibition of Kamilla’s paintings have a ‘breath’ of the present day and the feel of a life in eternity at the same time”, poet and director Erbol Zhumagulov said adding that this makes her art understandable to diverse audiences. Unsurprisingly, the fate of the young artist is a reflection of her generation’s life, and her youth which easily fits into the world community. Gabdullina is a graduate of the National Academy of Fine Arts in France, where, she, a girl from Almaty, went after high school to learn the language. Then, unexpectedly to all, especially to her parents, a childhood hobby came back to her, when she could sit for hours with pencil and paper, drawing the world around her. She then decided to apply to the

Kamilla Gabdullina’s works definitely leave an impression.

art academy. In 2006, she was admitted, after passing a tough competition (only 5% of applicants were admitted), and in 2011 became the first and so far the only Kazakh graduate of one of the most prestigious and oldest art schools in France. Her artistic credo is to penetrate the subconscious mind and to subjectively see and express the world. The topic of interest to her is the conflict between spiritual and ma-

terial worlds. What follows from it and takes shape thanks to the artist’s brush has nothing to do with reality, but is trying to find its place in space. Exhibition “Knots and Hands” was organized by the Regional Centre of young contemporary artists (CROUS), funded by the Ministry of National Education of France, and is aimed at promoting young talents.

An international science fiction competition, Baikonur-2011, which was first launched in 2011, has become an annual event. Winners’ works are included in the first three-volume collection of fiction from the competition, “Anthology of Modern Kazakh Science Fiction.” Since gaining its independence, Kazakhstan and its government have paid a great deal of attention to the development of culture. In 2012, by state order, 1,093,286 tenge was allocated from the national budget for the publication of books. The Ministry of Culture and Information issued and distributed 407 books free of charge to the libraries of the country, with a total circulation of 816,430. Non-governmental organizations and individuals also contribute to the support of national literature development. The first independent literary prize, Altyn Kalam (“golden pen” in Kazakh) every year helps winners in various categories produce their first publications. Recently, organizers added a foreign literature nomination to the list, which brings in young writers and poets from Russia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. The Altyn Kyran (“golden eagle” in Kazakh) charity fund established by Kazakhstan businessmen to promote the development of national literature has already published “Aytqym Keledі” (“I Want to Say” in Kazakh), a book of poems written by Tanakoz Tolkynkyzy; “Qarga” (“the raven” in Kazakh), a short story collection by Serik Sagyntay; “Boz Zhauyn” (“gray rain” in Kazakh) by Kultoleu Mukash; “Kielі Tunderdіn Dugasy” (“prayer of the holy nights” in Kazakh) by Yerlan Zhunis, “Besіnshі Mausym” (“fifth season” in Kazakh) by Asylzat Arystanbek and “Songy Raushan” (“the last rose” in Kazakh) by Miras Asan. “The Spitting Image,” a psychological novel written by Leon Kostevich and the fantasy “The War” by Yerzhan Esimkhanov are among the most popular with Kazakh readers.

Famous writer, screenwriter and director Marat Konyr (or Konurov) has again pleased his fans with a new book. His recent novel “The Second Campaign for Glory or Fire, Water, Copper Pipes and Wolf Teeth” plunges readers into the amazing, adventure-filled offscreen world of movies and the author's life.

Some authors prefer to publish on the Internet and quickly gain popularity. Kazakhstan authors, mostly Russianlanguage ones, have also had success in foreign competitions. Kazakhstan writer Ayan Kudaykulova in the modern book “The Ring with Cornelian” raises the painful problems of polygamy, adultery and female loneliness. Some authors prefer to publish on the Internet and quickly gain popularity. Kazakhstan authors, mostly Russian-language authors, have also had recent success in foreign competitions. Aigerim Tazhi is a laureate of the Russian literary contest “Steps” (2003), laureate of international poetry contest “Castello di Duino” under the patronage of Prince Carlo Alessandro (Italy), as well as a winner of numerous other prizes and the recipient of the title award of the Shabyt International Festival of Creative Youth. Her collection of poems, “Bog-o-slov,” (God-on-words) is very popular among Russian readers. Leon Kostevich won the Russian Award in 2007 for his story “The Countess I Shot in a Duel,” taking second place in the short prose category. “Legend of the Lake Shaitankol,” “A Singing Bird,” “Our Children Are Islamists” and “The Muslim” by Kazakh writer Dariya Dzhumageldinova were nominated for the People’s Writer Award, national literary award of Russia. The output of domestic authors

Global Shapers Community Opens Hub in Astana

First Global Shapers in Astana (L-R): Aiman Yedigeyeva, representative of InterRes Central Asia/Oliver Wyman; Nurtaza Kokenov, representative of Association of Young Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan; Sayasat Nurbek, Founding Curator of Global Shapers Community in Astana; Anastasia Kalinina, Senior Community Manager, Russia/CIS & Global Leadership Fellow at World Economic Forum; Galiya Dosmukhambetova, representative of JSC “Center for International Programs”; Ayan Alzhanov, representative of the “Bolashak” Association; Aigerim Khafizova, representative of the Kutadgu Bilig Society; Yelden Sarybay, representative of the Nazarbayev Center

By Yelden Sarybay ASTANA – On December 20, 2012, the Senate room of the Nazarbayev University was filled

with buzz and excitement as young activists gathered for the opening of the local hub of the Global Shapers Community, an informal network of young people

and groups which has now spread to more than 200 cities across the world. The brainchild of Professor Klaus Schwab, World Economic

Forum Founder and Executive Chairman, the Global Shapers Community project has gained momentum since its inception in early 2011 and has now reached

the depths of Central Asia, into Kazakhstan’s capital. The project’s headquarters in Geneva takes care to visit each individual hub, and the selection of founding curators is a matter of thoughtful deliberation. Anastasia Kalinina has travelled to meet with the local hub curator, Sayasat Nurbek, and to present to the guests the concept and first shapers of the city. Nurbek serves as president of the Education and Science Ministry’s Center for International Programmes which manages the presidential Bolashak scholarship programme. The Global Shapers Community is an interesting product of its time. Fifty percent of the world’s population is under the age of 27, the majority of whom live in urban areas. It is this generation that, through their passion, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit, is expected to shape the future. And, in Kazakhstan, it is also this generation about which President Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke in his most recent address to the nation in mid-December 2012 “Strategy 2050” as the people who are peers of this country’s independence and who will be fully mature citizens of Kazakhstan by 2050. “We are becoming increasingly aware that solutions to our global challenges must purposefully engage youth, at all levels – locally, regionally, nationally and globally,” Professor Klaus Schwab says on the Global Shapers website. He developed a certain “stakeholder theory”, the underlying principle behind all his work at the World Economic Forum. The principle that Klaus Schwab outlined is that companies serve not only shareholders but all the stakeholders of their organization. This includes all the social groups which are connected directly or indirectly to the enterprise and which are dependent on its success and prosperity, including not just shareholders and creditors but also employees, customers, suppliers, the state and

in the international arena has drawn more attention to the quality of translations. “We need to think about strengthening the translation industry so our products can be read by all. The works of domestic authors should be the pride of the people of Kazakhstan,” Nazarbayev instructed the government. New translations of Abai poetry into Russian, German, Belarusian, and Korean have appeared in the past two years. The Chinese writer of Kazakh origin Akbar Mazhit translated “The Words” by Abai Qunanbayev into Chinese. “The Path of Abai” by Mukhtar Auezov has been translated into Chinese and Arabic, but its most successful version is considered to be the French translation by Louis Aragon. The British publisher Hertfordshire Press has published an English version of “Under the Wolf’s Nest: A Turkic Rhapsody” by Kairat Zakiryanov. Its launch was held at the Royal Geographical Society of Great Britain and the Turkish Cultural Centre in London. Columbia University has offered to work with the government of Kazakhstan to translate and publish “The Anthology of Modern Kazakh Literature”. The author of popular works of fiction like “The Fire Birds of Great Steppe”, “Damoka and His Friends” as well as many other books on economics written by Aigul Tulembaevoy were published in China. The non-profit charity fund Step by Steppe, organized by Shane and Michelle Cook of Astana, also promotes the development and wide dissemination of works of art by the peoples of Central Asia. “Step by Steppe aims to explore the rich literary history of Central Asia. Materials reflecting traditional and contemporary Kazakh and Central Asian thought, belief, and experience, will be translated into the English languages. Development of the national culture is one of the priorities of the newly announced Strategy Kazakhstan 2050.

the society in which the enterprise is active. Currently, the projects of the Astana hub are still in their development stages, but young activists will be aiming to contribute to resolving concrete problems and challenges of the city. Energy saving and preparation for ASTANA EXPO 2017 will undoubtedly be among top priorities of the hub, while socially relevant projects such as rural migrant integration and youth employment will also on the agenda. The hub is planning to host business entrepreneurship seminars and make a real difference in the community. The shapers selected so far have been recommended by the headquarters of the community but the applications are welcome from all highly motivated individuals who have a great potential for future leadership roles in society. They are selected on the basis of their achievements, leadership potential, and commitment to make a difference. Through the Global Shapers Community, the so called Shapers are provided with opportunities to connect with the worldwide network of other Shapers globally, to network with other World Economic Forum communities, and to represent the voice of youth at World Economic Forum events. Shapers are united by a common desire to channel the members’ energy and enthusiasm into building a more peaceful and inclusive world. Other guests at the presentation in Astana included Baurzhan Baibek, former deputy chief of staff to the President of Kazakhstan. He said: “The address of the President, focused on 2050, is aimed at young people. And all that we have gained, our experience and knowledge, we must pass on to future generations. This programme is aimed at the implementation of this sole and high purpose. Global Shapers have chosen Astana as a hub because it is the pride of the region, and this is an achievement for us.”

The Astana Times


Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Kazakh School Opens Doors in Ambitious Aral Sea Revival Houston, Texas Project Fuels Regional Development By Maral Zhantaykyzy

ASTANA - With the assistance of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States and the international cultural and educational organization Raindrop, the children of our compatriots in the United States can now learn their native language. The Shanyraq Foundation, a Kazakh cultural and educational non-profit organization operating in Houston, has opened a learning centre for Kazakh children in Houston to help them learn more about Kazakh culture and traditions. The school opened its doors for the first time in September 2012, but the official opening of the school was dedicated to Kazakhstan’s Independence Day, which takes place in December. The Raindrop Turkish House provides classrooms and training materials were collected from the parents of school children. To date, six teachers work in the school on a voluntary basis. Some are parents of students there. The volunteer teachers, in cooperation with The Shanyraq Foundation and teachers in Houston, developed the curriculum for the school on the Kazakh

textbook “Alippe,” which uses the Kazakh Cyrillic alphabet. Other matters relating to school provisions, financials, extra activities for registered children and their parents are decided by the board members of The Shanyraq Foundation. The head of the study centre is Merzet Alip. At the moment, 20 children are enrolled in Kazakh language and culture classes. The students are divided into two groups: Balapan (“chick” in Kazakh), which includes children from 3 to 6 years old, and Tulpar (the name of a mythical winged horse in Kazakh tradition) for children from 7 to 12 years old. Classes are held on Sundays. In addition to learning from the “Alippe” textbook, the students learn songs, poems and proverbs, study national dances and play national instruments. Every registered child learns Kazakh, some of whom were on the verge of forgetting their mother tongue or had not had a chance to learn it. Students at the school regularly perform Kazakh dances, songs and poetry at events organized by the foundation in Houston. The school’s results are recognized and appreciated by the Kazakh com-

munity in Houston that attends the children’s performances. Parents of students are happy with the results so far. Upon the successful completion of the programme, each student will receive a certificate from The Shanyraq Foundation. Currently, the Kazakh learning centre plans to expand, as the number of people wishing to enroll in classes is increasing steadily. After the registration of the Kazakh American Alliance, the learning centre expects to get official status by being recognized by education officials in the Houston area. The centre has also asked the Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan for assistance and cooperation. If in the future, funding becomes available from businesses or Kazakhstan’s institutions, the school hopes to grow to have its own building, professional full-time teachers, modern didactic materials and other supporting structures and staff. Until that time, the centre will depend on voluntary contributions from parents and ethnic Kazakhs for whom the promotion of the Kazakh language is important.

Kazakhstan’s Journey to Social Modernisation By Zhanar Zhakeyeva and Aigul Batalova In 2012, BG Kazakhstan in partnership with Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan completed a pilot social investment project titled “Capacity Building of Non-Commercial Organisations (NCO) in WesternKazakhstan Region aimed at Enhancement of Social Services delivered to Local Communities”. The idea for this project was born as a result of years of cooperation with community organisations in Western Kazakhstan region. The experience of working together with non-commercial organisations delivering social services for those who are in need helped to understand what is required for the most effective project implementation and for a long term positive change. The importance of cooperation among public, private and noncommercial organisations was reflected in the Address to the People of Kazakhstan by the President Nursultan Nazarbayev, referring to modernization and social partnership. This project therefore, was designed to develop regional noncommercial organisations working with communities and delivering social services by achieving common understanding of the role of nonprofit organizations in community development, management of social projects and strategies of funding from both private as well as public sources. BG Kazakhstan as a company that funded this project and Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan that helped to implement it were driven by goals of permanent and sustainable increase of the quality of social services through strengthening capacity of non-commercial organisations working with families, children and vulnerable groups in Western-Kazakhstan region and specifically Burlin District, where BG Kazakhstan is a joint operator of the Karachaganak oil and gas field. Capacity building of local noncommercial organisations proved to be an important way of supporting sustainable and effective investment. We have chosen to focus on non-commercial organisations because they better understand the problems faced by the local communities and can be effective partners in delivering solutions. This social investment project was based on a progressive law adopted by Kazakhstan in 2005, which allows provision of social services to be outsourced to nongovernmental organisations. However, the great potential of this delivery mechanism remains unrealised because many such organisations lack the skills to carry out this role effectively and use available resources. We began our project by conducting a training needs assessment among non-commercial or-

The project participants not only gained the knowledge but also developed project proposals that are aimed at addressing the most urgent social needs of the communities where they work.

ganisations actively working in Uralsk and Aksai, identifying key areas for developing their professional capacities and putting together a comprehensive training programme that includes: • Project Planning, Implementation and Reporting; • Engagement with and needs assessment of beneficiaries/target groups; • Fundraising: donor proposals writing, application for state funding (Procurement of • Social Services by the State, social entrepreneurship); • Effective cooperation with local authorities and private sector (stakeholder relations); • Project monitoring and evaluation. These thematic areas were delivered over three two-day training courses for specialists of participating organisations. The design of the training modules was based on interactive approach combining theory with practical work in small groups. The courses were delivered to more than 20 representatives from eight non-commercial organisations, with the participation by Karachaganak Petroleum Operating (KPO) company’s community relations department specialists and local authorities. The first two training courses took place in Uralsk in August and in Aksai in September this year.

The final third seminar took place in Uralsk 20-23 November with the results and lessons that were learned discussed and presented to the general public during the press conference. All project participants were provided with a training course pack to use in the future work and awarded with certificates of programme completion. The project participants not only gained the knowledge but also developed project proposals that are aimed at addressing the most urgent social needs of the communities where they work. The current challenge for organisations is to search for co-funding using the skills and knowledge received during the project and to prove that effective project ideas supported by the real needs of the communities can be rewarded by attraction of various donors including state funding, private and international resources. We hope this initiative helped noncommercial organizations participating in the project to increase their role in the social development of their local communities through improved work with target beneficiaries, better cooperation with private sector companies and local authorities. Zhanar Zhakeyeva is Social Performance Advisor at BG Kazakhstan. Aigul Batalova is Project Coordinator at Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan.

Expert Commentary

“We are witnessing a progress in development of civil society with our non-commercial organisations getting stronger but still requiring professional knowledge and training. The West-Kazakhstan region is located far from the centre and we often feel left without attention. We are grateful that Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan and BG Kazakhstan initiated this project and spotted our needs here in this region. We welcome and support such training programmes and hope this will continue in the future.” Zhamal Iskhanova, Head of NGO relations department, Division of Internal Policy, Akimat of Western Kazakhstan region “The training courses are very useful and needed. It helps to bring a systemic approach to activities of non-commercial organisations. Information and thematic areas help to expand the understanding and to correct approach of project planning and management. The organisers of the project are very friendly and attentive to our needs. The whole process is interesting and well organised. Lead trainer is highly professional and explains everything in a very understandable language.” Raziya Muldasheva, Director of West-Kazakhstan League of Art and Culture Practitioners

Fishermen communities are seeing bigger catches and brighter future as water levels rise.

By Yuri Lee KYZYL ORDA REGION - The ambitious project, Regulation of the Syr Darya River and Preservation of the Northern Aral (known as RRSSAM), initiated by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has brought hope for a more prosperous tomorrow to residents of the Aral Sea region. This year, Kazakhstan will launch the second phase of this project, which will recover the Kazakh part of the Aral Sea and create conditions for socio-economic development in the region. In the early 2000s, Kazakhstan received support from the World Bank for the unique project in the form of a loan of 86 million dollars. Within the framework of the loan, a number of hydro facilities were built and reconstructed on the Syr Darya River, including the fortification of existing dams. All these almost doubled the winter capacity of the riverbed (reaching throughput capacity of 700 cubic meters of water per second) and saved the villages and the regional centre from catastrophic flooding. The project also provided for the rapid filling of the so called Small Aral Sea, and the Kokaral Dam built in 2005 with a powerful hydraulic facility, which completely separated the northern part of the sea from the main Aral Sea. Contrary to specialists’ predictions that the filling of the Small Aral would take about five to six years, the water level in the reservoir reached its design elevation of 42 meters (on the Baltic system) in only one year. The sea recovered 870 square kilometers of its former waters, increasing its aquatic area up to 3.3 million square kilometers, and significantly reduced the harmful mixtures of salt and dust from the naked bottom that were being carried thousands of miles

by the wind. The volume of water then increased by 11.5 billion cubic meters, up to 27 billion. This significant inflow of fresh water reduced the sea’s mineralization. If previously only fish species, such as plaice brought from the Azov Sea, could adapt and survive in the conditions that existed, now traditional freshwater inhabitants including valuable species like carp, catfish and pike have returned to the Aral and the sea’s fish resources have multiplied. Moreover, if in 2005, the science-based limit for the production of commercial fish in the Small Aral was determined in the amount over 600 tons (mostly plaice), in the past year it was more than four thousand tons. The construction of the Small Aral Sea improved the wellbeing of hundreds of Aral families, allowing fishermen to remain engaged in the traditional business. Fish processing productions began to appear and develop in the region. Atamekenrybprom LLP, the largest plant in the country, with modern Japanese and South Korean equipment and a production capacity of 6,000 tons, was built in Aralsk as part of the programme of industrial-innovative development. Today, the company has been certified and assigned a European Article Number, which confirms the high quality of fish in the Aral Sea and gives the company the right to supply products to the countries of the European Union. Many additional production facilities have been opened, including directly on the manmade coast of the Small Aral - Kokaral Dam. Another benefit of the ambitious project is the improvement of the climate: rain showers, which are frequent here in May and June, revive pastures and allow villagers to be engaged in animal husbandry. Migration statistics are no less el-

oquent. According to the Aral District City Hall, in recent years more than five thousand people have returned to Aralsk City and the surrounding area and the birth rate has increased notably. Unemployment has also been markedly reduced and the region is among the leaders in the construction of social facilities and individual houses. Of course, the continuation of this ambitious project was met with enthusiasm by local residents. They took an active part in a number of public hearings, putting forward proposals for the developers of the feasibility study of the second phase, among which are the Association of Companies Arcadis Euroconsult (Netherlands), DHI Water & Environment (Netherlands), Jacobs-Babtie (United Kingdom) and the Kazgiprovodkhoz Institute (Kazakhstan). Last year the project was divided into two stages in order to accelerate its implementation. This year, plans include restoring the gateway controller of the Kyzylorda waterworks on the left bank, building protective dams in the Kazaly and Karmakshy districts, building a road bridge over the river near Berlik Village in the Kazaly district, improving the Syr Darya bed in the Kogansha and Turumbet districts, restoring the Kamyshlybash and Akshataus lake systems and expanding the nursery ponds of the Tastak-Kamyshlybash hatchery. The total cost of the work is about KZT 22.2 billion, 85 percent of which will be provided as a loan from the World Bank again. The rest of the funds will be allocated from the national budget. Experts and locals hope that in the near future, Aralsk City, with a population of more than 40,000 people, will return to its status as a successful resort town and a paradise for tourists.

The Astana Times

Wednesday, 23 January 2013



Youth Choose Books to Be Translated into Kazakh By Bektur Kadyrov ASTANA - In the National Academic Library, the youth wing of the Nur Otan political party, Zhas Otan, has announced the launch of a nationwide Internet campaign among the nation’s youth to identify 100 books they’d like to have translated into the state language. In the annual state of the nation address, President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced the innovative idea to ask young people across Kazakhstan to identify the top 100 modern books they find interesting. In order to complete the task, members of the Zhas Otan party have created a large-scale campaign called Kel, Zhastar, Okylyk (“Let’s read, youth,” in Kazakh). Prior to launching the campaign, Zhas Otan will design a competition based on the selection of books and will create a working group, which is expected to involve leaders and activists of youth organizations, young students of historical linguistics and prominent bloggers. Deputy Director of the National Academic Library of Kazakhstan Galiya Isakhanova recently dis-

Translating books into Kazakh is seen as a way to help the state language grow and develop.

cussed declining reading rates. According to statics, young people make up about 70 percent of readers; however they generally read textbooks or other educational books. Great efforts are being made to promote reading. They include open subscriptions for the provision of books to be taken home (a traditional practice, which was abandoned in the past), the effective campaign “One Country - One Book” and the “Cultural Heritage” programme. The programme regularly carries out translations of world classics into Kazakh. However, instead of Shakespeare, Balzac and Tolstoy, young people ask for Murakami or the “Harry Potter” series. And translated books are published in small batches, which does not contribute to the development of the campaign. The need to educate the younger generation gave rise to the impetus to translate books that will appeal to them. But it is not as easy as it seems: copyright issues, the law of succession, financing and placing orders for translation and publication and many other challenges face the translation campaign.

Bone Marrow Transplants Now Available in Kazakhstan By Manshuk Bekentayeva ASTANA – As a result of the Unified National Health System implemented in 2010, important strides have been made in healthcare provision in Kazakhstan. Recently, the nation has seen its first successful bone marrow transplants. Kazakhstan’s second successful bone barrow transplant was conducted at the National Research Centre for Maternal and Child Health of the National Medical Holding in Astana. Young patient Temirlan Myrzagali, 6, from the Akmola region, suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His twin brother Meirlan was the bone marrow donor. Their physicians say the two boys are doing well. The first bone marrow transplant in Kazakhstan took place on April 25, 2012. The patient was a 14-year-old boy from Ust-Kamenogorsk who suffered from acute myelogenous leukemia. The surgery was also conducted at the National Research Center for Maternal and Child Health in Astana. The surgeries were carried out jointly by doctors from the National Research Centre for Maternal and Child Health and their colleagues from the Raisa Gorbacheva Institute of Pediatric Hematology and Transplantology in St.Petersburg. Until now, children from Kazakhstan had to go abroad for bone marrow transplants. This type of surgery costs from $200,000 to $250,000. Now this highly specialized medical procedure is available

in Kazakhstan. The two bone marrow transplants already completed, as well as the recovery care afterward, have been paid for with state medical funds. Moreover, people with leukemia have received treatment at the Almaty Scientific Centre of Child-Care and Pediatric Surgery. All phases of the transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells, all the necessary laboratory tests and studies were conducted at the Scientific Centre of Pediatrics and Pediatric Surgery. Specialists at the centre were trained in the best hospitals in Germany, Israel, South Korea, the Czech Republic, Russia and Belarus. In addition to the strong clinical practice, attention is paid to patients’ comfort. There is a private room for children with onco-hematological diseases and their parents, including daycare service. The Ministry of Health is currently working out a road map for developing children’s oncology care services in Kazakhstan. Departments specializing in children’s oncology treatment are planned to open in 2013 in the Centre for Maternal and Child Health. The lack of donors is one of the most significant barriers for widespread transplant availability. In 2011, the transfusion centre began compiling the first registry of hematopoietic stem cell donors. However, the registry needs to be developed. More than 300 people with serious blood and immune system diseases need transplants annually.

Surgeons in Kazakhstan are constantly adding new surgeries to the range of operations they can perform in the country.

Kazakh Language to Use Latin Alphabet by 2025 By Maral Zhantaykyzy

ASTANA –The Kazakh language will switch to the Latin alphabet by 2025 rather than the current Cyrillic one, President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced in his annual state of the nation address in December 2012. The president announced a new policy towards the development of the Kazakh language. “By 2025, the Kazakh alphabet should be switched into Latin and the work in this direction should be done now,” he said. President Nazarbayev said that giving children first hand familiarity with the Latin alphabet used around the world was essential to modernize the Kazakh language and to give the coming generation of young people greater opportunities in the global economy. “For the future of our children, we have to make that decision, which will create the conditions for our integration into the world. For our children it will assist in a better learning of English, and most importantly, it will give impetus to the modernization of the Kazakh language,” the president said. The new alphabet policy follows the introduction of “tri-lingualism” in the nation’s schools in 2012. In

the future, in addition to the Kazakh and Russian languages, certain subjects of the school curriculum will be given in English. In his annual state of the nation address entitled “Strategy Kazakhstan-2050: The New Political Course of the Established State,” President Nazarbayev also proposed drawing up a list of hundreds of modern books written in modern languages and have them translated into the Kazakh language. Kazakhstan’s Foliant Publishing Company has already signed a contract with Macaw Books, a British publisher of children’s books to translate the British Children’s Encyclopedia into Kazakh, former Minister of Culture and Information Darkhan Mynbay said. Mynbay said other books to be translated into Kazakh included 10 encyclopedias, 13 books in the series “Walt Disney’s Golden Classics” and works included in the “Cultural Heritage – Library of World Literature” state programme. Since 2011, the Ministry of Culture and Information has organized a vote on its website to assess popular demand for children’s books to be translated in the Kazakh language. The winner by a wide margin was the “Harry Potter” fantasy

series of children’s novels by British writer J.K. Rowling. The list also included other British fantasy children’s classics, such as “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien and “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. The translation programme has the goal of familiarizing Kazakh children with world cultural values and classic texts, as well as preserving their own national traditions and language. The government is also fostering the translation of major Kazakh writers into English, German, French, Japanese, Chinese, and other languages to promote the national literature by expanding its potential global readership. In 2010, the “Book of Words” by Abay Qunanbaiuly, the great 19th century Kazakh poet and philosopher, was simultaneously published in Kazakh, Russian and English. It was translated into English by the American prominent poet Richard McCann, who spent two years on the project. Other classic Kazakh texts including the epic sagas “Kambar Batyr,” “Koblandy Batyr,” “Alpamys Batyr,” “Kozy-Korpesh - Bayan Sulu,” “Er Targyn” and “Kyz Zhibek” have also been translated into English.

The Astana Times


Wednesday, 23 January 2013


New Ski Facilities Open on Shymbulak Resort Near Almaty

By Yuri Lifintsev ALMATY – A new ropeway opened at the Shymbulak Ski Resort near Almaty city in December. The new aerial ropeway is just one kilometer long, but it was a significant event in developing the infrastructure of this resort. The slopes of the Left Talgar

Mountains are being developed in the Shymbulak Resort area. The new ski routes that were opened are designed for beginning-level skiers and snowboarders. Shymbulak traditionally attracts good skiers to its demanding slopes and trails and 80 percent of visitors who use them fit into this category. Shymbulak’s skiing trails are rated as among the 10 most difficult ski

runs in the Commonwealth of Independent States. However, the resort’s operators recognize they need to be able to attract the much larger potential market of entry level and casual tourist skiers and are making the most demanding slopes safer and less challenging. The new project to open trails in the Talgar Mountains is specially designed for this

larger market. So far, one wellequipped, relatively flat run has been completed in the area and this may soon be increased to four. After the opening of the new cable lift and an excursion round the new route, visiting journalists attended a press conference with the directors of the Shymbulak Resort and foreign skiing experts work-

ing in Kazakhstan or visiting the country. The panel consisted of Shymbulak Development Director Yerzhan Erkinbayev, Dolomiti Superski (the world’s largest ski resorts association) Director General Alessandro Marzzola, Grandvalira International Ski Resorts Network President Joan Viladomat and famous Kazakh mountaineer Maksut Zhumayev.

The panelists said active outdoor recreation, mountain activities, snowboarding and other winter sports should be available not only to the residents of Almaty, but to the entire population. Viladomat, coming from the tiny European country of Andorra, shared his experience in developing the skiing tourist infrastructure of the Pyrenees and in teaching children to ski.

Five Star Hotel Opens at Lake Shchuchye Kazakhstan Wants to By Serik Temirgaliev SHCHUCHINSK, KOKSHETAU REGION – A new five-star hotel was formally opened on the coast of Lake Shchuchye in the Burabay resort district on December 21. The hotel, designed to provide the highest level of service and comfort to the most discerning guests, will bolster the resort’s claim to be called “Kazakh Switzerland.” Tourism is one of the priorities for the development of Kazakhstan’s economy. The multiplicative effects of the tourism trade will boost many sectors of entrepreneurship. Tourism stimulates the development of construction, trade, agriculture, communications, production of goods and services and other business sectors. In addition, the tourism industry brings in significant revenue. As President Nursultan Nazarbayev noted at the meeting on the development of northern regions in August this

year, “tourism is a huge source of income and part of the economy of any country.” In his state-of-the-nation address “Socio-economic Modernization, the Main Vector of Kazakhstan’s Development,” the president called for a systematic plan for the Burabay resort in the Akmola region. A plan for 2012-2013 was approved by the government last July. An initial 17.8 billion tenge was allotted from the national budget with an amendment in October allocating an additional 4.1 billion tenge. In particular, the plan provides measures to improve the infrastructure of the Shchuchinsk-Burabay resort area, including measures for maintaining roads, cleaning lakes and improving tourist routes. These improvements are expected to spur investment in the region in the form of hotels built by private enterprise. The government’s approach is simple and clear: the state creates conditions and private capital invests funds. In addition to

the fundamental renewal of the infrastructure, the state has also created a privileged tax regime in the Burabay special economic zone. This approach is paying off already. The construction of a new five-star Rixos hotel on one of the most beautiful lakes in the region has been completed and the hotel has officially opened its doors. High quality services are guaranteed by the management of a company well known for its professionalism. The new hotel has 200 rooms. Even deluxe rooms have a high level of comfort, to say nothing of the luxury presidential suite and penthouse suite. The hotel’s interior was designed by the famous German company Peter Silling & Associates, which specializes in interiors for high-class hotels around the world. Even the furniture was made specifically for the new hotel, based on the sketches of German designers. In the summer, visitors can en-

joy swimming in the waters of the lake and walking in the green pine and birch forests that surround the tourist complex. In winter, sledding and skiing trails and an ice rink are available for those who prefer a more active lifestyle. Equipment can be rented at the hotel or through specially equipped rental stores. In addition to an indoor heated swimming pool, large fitness and spa area and two restaurants, the complex offers good opportunities for conferences, presentations and business meetings. There is a big ballroom and four meeting rooms, the Astana, Almaty, Istanbul and Ankara rooms. The new tourist facility constructed within the state Programme of accelerated industrial and innovative development (PAIID) sets a new standard for hotel service and an example of a unique approach to the development of tourism in the Burabay resort zone.

The lakes and pine tree covered mountains of the Burabay resort area has long been seen as Kazakhstan’s “Switzerland”.

Develop Space Tourism By Galiya Nurzhan ASTANA– President Nursultan Nazarbayev has called on the government to develop a space tourism programme that will draw upon the legendary achievements and global reputation of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Space exploration is of strategic significance for the development of Kazakhstan and is considered to be a primary resource that makes the country a world space power. Baikonur is the largest operational space launch facility in Eurasia. It has retained its leading position as an international space centre for 55 years and remains the busiest commercial satellite launch site in the world. Russia has leased the Baikonur Cosmodrome from Kazakhstan until 2050. About 20 satellites are launched into earth orbit from its facilities on an annual basis. The government of Kazakhstan has adopted a space industry development programme and is currently implementing several large space projects. During the 17th session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization, President Nazarbayev said he wanted to promote the development of space tourism. “We are paying attention to (developing) space tourism,” the president then said. “Currently, there are three dozen launch sites in the world, but the Baikonur space launch site is of particular importance. I believe it will be promising to organize visiting spacecraft launches from the Baikonur space centre and to arrange visits of this great space harbor by tourists from different countries of the world.” “Truly epochal events are associated with the Baikonur space launch site: The first space satellite, the first man in space, the first spacewalk and the first international crews were all launched from

Baikonur,” President Nazarbayev said. Former Minister of Tourism and Sports Temirkhan Dosmukhambetov, now a member of the Majilis of the Parliament, said the government planned to build a tourism complex at Baikonur. The project will be called “Kazakhstan, The First Space Harbor of the Planet.” It will involve the construction of a tourist space entertainment centre similar to the tourist complex at Cape Canaveral in the United States which will include worldclass hotels, a flight control display centre, a planetarium, a museum of space exploration, a chain of stores, supermarkets and restaurants, a youth space café, a greenhouse and a cascading fountain. French astronaut Jean-Pierre Haigneré told Nazarbayev University students that in the near future Kazakhstan would become a global centre of space tourism. He predicted that airlines would operate commercial civilian spacecraft flying to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by 2020. The concept of space tourism for wealthy individuals is becoming increasingly popular and practical. Haigneré said Kazakhstan’s technologically advanced society and the facilities of Baikonur made it an appropriate centre to develop this market. Baikonur already provides a three-day package tour of the spaceport, including the launch complex from which Soviet Maj. Yuri Gagarin, the first human being to fly into space, took off in April 1961, the Museum of the History of Cosmonautics and the huts where Gagarin and Soviet Chief Designer Sergei Korolev lived. Baikonur also provides visits to its Soyuz and Proton launch complexes and the Proton assembly plant. These tours are currently conducted only on an irregular basis and applications for one should be submitted at least two months in advance. They cost about $3,000 to $3,500 each.

The Astana Times

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Sports Astana Arlans Knock Out German Local Boxers Continue Kazakhtan’s Global Winning Streak Eagles, Ukraine Otamans By Yernat Mukhamadiyev ASTANA - Kazakhstan’s undefeated boxing club, the Astana Arlans, remains the leader of Group

B in the third season of the World Boxing Series (WBS) after defeating the German Eagles by four bouts to one in Hannover on January 12 and the Ukraine Otamans

Astana Arlans continues its winning streak with six victories under their belts this season.

by four bouts to one in Almaty on January 18. Arlans Head Coach Sergey Korchinskiy chose almost the same team of boxers against the German Eagles as was on the team that defeated the Italia Thunder in the last contest of 2012. Bagdad Alimbekov, Eric Donovan and Sergey Derevyanchenko all returned to the ring with Hrvoje Sep and Filip Hrgovic from Croatia replacing Ramzhon Akhmedov and Mihai Nistor. Ireland’s Eric Donovan on the Arlans team battled his fellow Irishman David Joyce with the German Eagles. Kazakhstan’s Bagdad Alimbekov in the 54-kg (118.8 lb) weight division fought Romanian Nicolae Andreian in the first bout. Alimbekov was confident from the opening bell and knocked down Andreian. Then the referee stopped the fight and gave Alimbekov the victory. Donovan had a long, tough struggle with Joyce in the 61-kg (112.2 lb) division and was eventually defeated. Ukraine’s Sergey Derevyanchenko in the 73-kg (160.6 lb) division won an early victory for the Kazakhstan team against the Eagles’ Ikhek Pascali. Derevyanchenko was the highest ranking 2012 WSB boxer when he fought in 15 contests and won all of them. In the 85-kg (187 lb) division, boxers Hrvoje for the Arlans defeated Serge Michel representing the Eagles. In the last bout, the Arlans’ Hrgovic in the heavyweight, or 91 kg (200.2 lb) division, defeated Eric Brechlin for the Eagles Thanks to its victory over the Eagles, the Arlans scored 15 points and remained the leader of Group B. In their next fight, against Ukraine Otamans in Almaty on January 18, Astana Arlans fighters scored another major victory, of 4:1. Arlans’ fighters Miras Zhakupov (under 54 kg), Samat Bashenov (under 61 kg), Iranian legioner Ehsan Ruzbahani (under 85 kg) and Ruslan Myrsatayev (over 91 kg) brought this victory to the team that continues to dominate Group B of the three year old World Series of Boxing.

On his way to the titles, Gennady Golovkin has earned himself a reputation as tough fighter.

By Maral Zhantaykyzy Kazakh boxer Gennady Golovkin defended his World Boxing Association (WBA) World Middleweight Champion title on January 19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The 30-year-old Kazakhstani boxer took the ring against 26-yearold American Gabriel Rosado. The representative of Kazakhstan won in the seventh round with a technical knockout. This is Golovkin’s first win this year. The boxer says that this year he will participate in five fights. Golovkin, born in Karaganda, was world champion in 2003 and a finalist in the 2004 Olympic Games. In 2006, he became a professional boxer. He has won all but one of his fights. The victory over Rosado was Golovkin’s 25th professional boxing win. The Kazakh boxer has won by knockout in 22 fights. Today, he is the sole holder of the WBA title. Another citizen of Kazakhstan, Beibut Shumenov, owner of two light heavyweight belts from the

The new centralized sports club will bring under one roof teams in ice hockey, basketball, football, boxing, waterpolo, polo and others.

Kazakhstan to Unify Global Sports Promotion Under Astana Brand By Yulia Polonskaya ASTANA – A new Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club (PPSC) has been opened to integrate and coordinate in a single organization all of Kazakhstan’s leading sports projects. The new Astana Club will administer the sports of cycling, basketball, football, hockey, boxing, car racing, polo and water-polo under the single Astana brand name to promote them more effectively in global markets. Umirzak Shukeyev, chairman of the Samruk Kazyna National Welfare Fund, said the new Astana Presidential Professional Sports Club “will eventually be ranked among such global brands as Real Madrid and Barcelona.” “We decided to concentrate our efforts in international promotion under the Astana brand name. I am sure the President’s Professional Sports Club will achieve great results.” Shukeyev said. “We support about 20 sport teams, and the

funding of their activities will be increased.” Bakhtiyar Artayev, a 2004 Olympic boxing gold medalist, will head the new club as a president. Artayev is a champion athlete with public administration experience. Astana’s new general manager will be Aidar Makhmetov, who was previously public relations director of the Samruk Kazyna National Welfare Fund. Makhmetov holds the title of Honored Master of Sports, is a world champion in karate and free fighting and is a PhD graduate of the Bolashak programme from the Cologne University. “He worked for a long time with the Astana cycling team and, therefore, he has an understanding of sport management,” Shukeyev said. “The Presidential Sports Club will be under great attention,” Artayev said. “However, the individual attention paid to every professional athlete will make our teams even stronger.” “Management of these projects will be among the functions of

the Astana PPSC, which will ensure professional sports management. All funds allocated for the clubs will be distributed through the Astana PPSC. Image making policies, currently implemented by each club individually, will also be streamlined. Management of the PPSC will make decisions on key management positions of the clubs,” Makhmetov told The Astana Times. “The work of the Astana PPSC will focus on the best practices of corporate governance in sports. The best examples for this are well-known world clubs like Spanish Real and Barcelona, Bayern in Germany.” (For full text of Makhmetov’s commentary see Opinion page). Kazakhstan’s sport elite has welcomed the creation of the new single club. “I am very pleased to participate in this project. This is a great idea, long tested in Europe. I am sure that this project will bring fruits not only in the future, but we will already witness the results at the

next international competition,” said Olympic weightlifting champion Ilya Ilyin. The head of the Astana basketball team Valery Tikhonenko said he was confident that the incorporation of so many sports under one roof would give a major boost to the development of all sports in Kazakhstan. “I would like to thank the president for his widespread support of sport. This new project is the first of its kind in any of the former Soviet republics and it will greatly contribute to the development of Kazakhstan as a sport power,” Tikhonenko said. The Astana sport brand has become widely known in the world over the past five years. “We perceive the establishment of the Astana presidential professional club as a major breakthrough in the development of motor sport,” said Arthur Ardavichus, head of the Astana Dakar Motor Rally Team. “Astana is a top brand, and united into one team we will achieve more victories.”

WBA and IBA, defended his world championship titles in June 2012 for the fourth time. Shumenov wants to collect all the world’s light heavyweight titles and become the undisputed world light heavyweight champion. His next fight is against WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly. In January, the Kazakhstan club The Astana Arlans (“Astana Alpha Wolves” in Kazakh) won in the sixth round of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) and they lead in Group B. This is the Astana Arlans’ sixth consecutive victory this season. Boxing has become a national obsession in Kazakhstan. Even in Soviet times, Kazakhstani boxers shined in the ring. In 1981, Serik Konakbayev, two-time winner of the World Cup in 1979 and 1981 and two-time European champion, as well as silver medallist of the 1980 Moscow Olympics was officially recognized as the best amateur boxer in the world. In 1983, his success was repeated by Serik Nurkazov. In 1989, Igor Ruzhnikov of Temirtau reached the top step of the boxing podium.

With Kazakhstan’s independence, the successes of its boxers became even greater. In 1999, Bolat Zhumadilov won the country’s first gold medal in the United States city of Houston. Gennady Golovkin and Galib Jafarov in 2003 and Serik Sapiyev and Erdos Dzhanabergenov in 2005 took team gold medals at the World Championships. In total, Kazakhstan has taken six gold, six silver and 12 bronze medals in World Championships since its independence in 1991. Boxers from Kazakhstan have also won three prestigious Val Barker Cups, ahead of such recognized boxing powerhouses as Cuba and Russia. President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu noted: “In the world there are two countries where boxing is the number one sport. They are Cuba and Kazakhstan.” The AIBA unanimously supported Kazakhstan’s bid to host the World Boxing Championships in 2013. The 17th World Amateur Boxing Championships will be held in Almaty in October 2013.

The Astana Times


Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Highvill Astana Luxury Complex Sets a New Standard the adjacent area. It has centralized water purification systems, digital code locks, wireless phones, multipurpose intercom, modern ventilation and fire fighting systems.

By Galiya Nurzhan

ASTANA – The Highvill Construction Company of South Korea has been building a million square metre residential complex in the heart of Astana’s government area on the right bank since 2005. The complex is located next to the Palace of Peace and Harmony (the Peace Pyramid) and the President’s Park on the bank of the Yessil River. It is also close to the Ak Orda presidential palace, the Parliament, major government buildings, the Supreme Court, the U.S. Embassy, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the embassy district. Highvill Kazakhstan is one of the most advanced construction companies in the country and it has revolutionized home building through its innovative combination of interior design, advanced technologies, planning, integrated services and landscaping and its emphasis on providing comfort and security. Highvill Kazakhstan also participates in the International Investment Forum, the Business Forum of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Islamic Economic Forum. The Astana Times interviewed Kim In, the Director General of Highvill Kazakhstan, about its ambitions for the new complex and its further plans in this country. What is the history of the Highvill Company? The company was founded in May 1989 under the name Dongil Construction. In 1999, it was registered under the trademark Dongil Highvill, and it is currently building luxury residential complexes in cities around the world. In January 2001, the company signed a consulting contract with FJ, a Japanese urban planning company which has pioneered new techniques in constructing residential buildings. This laid the basis for the company’s current activities and defined a new pattern of design that applies advanced technologies to building apartments and housing complexes. Highvill Kazakhstan was founded in 2004 as a subsidiary of the Korean parent company. What are the goals of your company and in what countries does it operate? Our goal is to create whole neighbourhoods that incorporate the entire infrastructure necessary for the life and business of their residents, including schools, kindergartens, business centres, fitness centres, and shopping streets. Our goal is to expand our presence in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and across Asia starting in Astana. Currently, we are also building housing complexes in Japan and Vietnam. How would you describe your corporate culture? The capital letter “H” in the middle of our corporate logo denotes our tradition of construction of inspiring high buildings and embodies the company’s philosophy of leadership in the field of building homes. The oval in the middle of the Highvill logo expresses the commitment of the Dong Il Highvill to seek new achievements and a bright future. The yellow line in the logo symbolizes the close attention the company pays to its customers and its desire to build the best homes for them. What have you included in the Highvill Astana complex? Today, the residential complex includes three large apartment blocks identified as A, B and D that have already been built and opened. The fourth block C is still under construction – the steel framework has already been completed. The company is preparing to build the fifth E block and a business centre. Construction of the last block F with an even more advanced design will complete the complex in 2015. The total area of the Highvill Astana residential complex is 16 hectares and it will finally include six large apartment blocks. The new neighbourhood will also include a kindergarten and a school, which will be built by the city authorities. The neighbourhood is close to the main government, business and cultural centres of the capital. It offers close proximity to the President’s Park, fresh air and a quiet atmosphere for its residents. What advanced technologies have been included in the Highvill Astana complex? The Highvill Astana complex offers attractive, elite homes in the heart of the capital. During its con-

What function will the business centre serve? The business centre will be developed as a new concept to serve people coming to Astana on business trips.

Kim In, director general of Highvill Astana, is quite upbeat about the future.

struction, the company paid special attention to creating exquisite interiors and provided the homes with the most modern engineering systems and advanced technology. The complex has a high-tech security system with continuous monitoring of

What are your further projects in Kazakhstan? The company is planning to build an entire integrated suburb. We are searching for an appropriate location to build it. The city of Almaty and Western Kazakhstan are attractive areas for future projects. During his visit to Kazakhstan, Jae Il Koh, the president of our company, visited the western regions including Atyrau, Aktau and Aktobe. He focused on preparing the infrastructure, buying the land and developing a master plan to launch new construction projects in those areas. We are not going to rest on

our past achievements. We have ambitious plans to continue building across the entire country.

What opportunities for business will the Highvill Astana shopping street offer? This is an important part of our overall plan for the Highvill Astana complex. In every large city, the shopping district is one of the main attractions and they are usually extensive. Oxford Street in London is almost three kilometers (1.8 miles) long and Park Avenue in New York is even more impressive. According to the French Presence Mystery Shopping Agency, the best streets for luxury shopping in the world are Orchard Road in Singapore, Avenue de la Liberté in Luxembourg, PC Hoofstraat in Amsterdam, Bagdat Avenue in Istanbul, Oscar Freire in Sao Paulo, George Street in Sydney and Mariahilferstrasse in Vienna. In the cities of Kazakhstan, unfortunately, we still do not have such prestigious and clearly defined main streets for luxury shop-

ping. Therefore, our company decided to introduce a new concept for this country – a shopping street for the Highvill Astana complex which will meet all international standards, and concentrate international brands to attract both residents and visitors to the capital. This will introduce to the people of Kazakhstan the ‘one stop’ luxury shopping concept that is so popular around the world. Our shopping street plan will be based on the Korean model of shopping streets, outlets. An outlet means a shop that offers items on sale and is a discount centre of premium class where customers can buy stylish and expensive items at cheap prices at any time, not just during sales seasons, and combine them with hot new products from the latest collections. These shops will, therefore, sell brand products at discounted prices. We will apply our successful experience in planning the new shopping street. Stylistically, we will keep the elements and principles of the great shopping streets around the world. Our Highvill

Astana street will combine quiet, comfortable shopping, relaxation and entertainment. It will include trees and a clock tower embodying the principles of prosperity and stability. We expect it will become a magnet for tourists as well as city and neighbourhood residents. Why did you choose Astana as the location for this residential complex? This residential complex is being deliberately built in one of the most important centers of Eurasia - in Astana, in the centre of Kazakhstan, in the heart of its capital. Astana is a city with a unique location, great importance and promising prospects. This city of the future combines the important features of the multi-Eurasian centre. It has already become a prime example for creating a successful and happy life for its residents and for visitors from around the world. It is, therefore, a perfect location for us to construct a showcase residential complex that displays the most sophisticated requirements for elite, comfortable, safe and modern housing.

The Astana Times, January 23, 2013  

The Astana Times, January 23, 2013