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Astana Calling

A WEEKLY ONLINE PUBLICATION / WWW.MFA.GOV.KZ ISSUE NO. 355 / FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2014

China, Kazakhstan Sign Key Deals During Nazarbayev Visit

Astana Hosts Seventh Astana Economic Forum

Also In The News

Global E-Commerce Leaders Gather for ASTEX 2014


Top Kazakh officials (left), including President Nazarbayev (sixth from left), meet with their Chinese counterparts during a recent visit to China

China, Kazakhstan Sign Key Deals During Nazarbayev Visit Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited China on May 19-20 prior to the May 21 fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). Nazarbayev met with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping. The two leaders also inspected the guard of honour and listened to the anthems of the two countries played by a military orchestra and accompanied by numerous salvos by artillery guns. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in agriculture, trade and investment and transit and transport. President Nazarbayev stressed the importance of economic cooperation and noted the mutual plan to raise bilateral trade turnover to $40 billion by 2016. “Back in September 2013 while in Astana, you put forward an initiative to create a ‘Silk Road Economic Belt.’ Kazakhstan is ready to actively participate in the consideration of ways to implement this large-scale project,” Nazarbayev said. Xi said mutual political trust and cooperation have reached unprecedented levels and that he predicts continued bilateral cooperation. The upcoming CICA summit was also on the agenda. President Nazarbayev noted his great expectations for the Chinese chairmanship of CICA in 2014-2016 and said that the organisation would become more effective internationally. President Xi noted that CICA’s importance is increasing and that many leaders of countries and international organisations will attend the summit. The CICA was initiated by Nazarbayev in 1992 as a forum for dialogue and to promote confidence-building measures. It has 24 member countries and 13 observers. The Chinese president also urged the two sides to enhance coordination in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to jointly safeguard regional security and stability. “Kazakhstan and China have much common ground on major issues. … Kazakhstan is committed to promoting a bilateral, comprehensive partnership and is looking forward to deepening pragmatic cooperation,” Nazarbayev said.

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They also exchanged views on Central Asia, Afghanistan and other affairs and remotely launched construction of a 21.6-hectare joint logistics terminal project in Lianyungang City, a port city in eastern China’s Jiangsu Province. Lianyungang is one of the 25 largest ports in the world with well-developed transport infrastructure. The terminal will process Kazakhstan’s transit cargo to Southeast Asia, Australia and Canada as well as incoming cargo headed in the opposite direction. This will provide a full package of services for all modes of transport carriers in export-import and transit traffic. The two leaders also adopted a joint declaration and witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements in different fields of interest. Kazakhstan’s Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Welfare Fund and the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC) signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation. The Development Bank of Kazakhstan and China’s Exim Bank also signed a memorandum to fund a $1 billion project to modernise the Shymkent oil refinery, allowing it to produce environmentally friendly fuel and reach a capacity of 6 million tons of fuel per year. The Development Bank of Kazakhstan and China Development Bank (CDB) signed a master agreement on a credit line of $500 million. The funds will finance joint projects outside the extraction sector. The KazMunayGas National Oil Company and the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed an agreement to build an oil and gas plant in the Almaty region to produce oil and gas pipes. The project is to be implemented in 2014-2016 and is expected to bring $150 million in investment. After the meeting, Nazarbayev was awarded the Silk Road Peace Prize, a Chinese-initiated prize to advocate the Silk Road spirit and commend those who have contributed to world peace, regional stability and national reconciliation. State visits by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to China were also held on the sidelines of the summit. Prior to the summit, President Nazarbayev met with General Director of Tsinghua Corporation Xiu June and other Chinese corporate leaders.

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The May 21 opening of the VII Astana Economic Forum

Astana Hosts Seventh Astana Economic Forum Astana hosted the seventh Astana Economic Forum from May 2123, gathering world leaders, academic experts, high-level business representatives, heads of transnational companies and major international organisations, Nobel Prize winners and other scientists and economists to find solutions to the greatest economic and social challenges facing Kazakhstan and the world today. Representatives of governments from 143 members of the United Nations took part in this year’s forum, including Vice President of Afghanistan Mohammad Karim Khalili and deputy prime ministers from Serbia, Portugal, Iraq and Georgia. Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organisation David Shark and Vice President of the Asian Development Bank Thierry de Longuemaralso participated, among scores of other leading economists. The ADB just held its annual board of governors meeting in the Kazakh capital earlier this month. The agenda for this year’s forum included the host country’s new Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy, the World Anti-Crisis Conference, Eurasian economic integration, financial and economic stability, developing trade and enhancing competitiveness, the main aspects of the energy-ecology complex, investment, innovation, infrastructure, social and cultural aspects of economic growth and other issues organisers hope will be taken from dialogue to action. A new element was added to the forum last year – the G-Global platform, a multifaceted platform initiated by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and intended to connect the global community in the development of recommendations for current global issues and to initiate and maintain a worldwide discussion on global development and its consequences. The platform is based on five principles: the rejection of revolutionary change in politics; fairness, equality and consensus; global tolerance and trust; global transparency and constructive multipolarity. G-Global was widely discussed at last year’s AEF.

conference on May 21. A Global Risk Expo was also held within this year’s AEF, and addressed global initiatives in risk management and cooperation in the early detection, assessment and prevention of natural and man-made disasters. “Nobel award-winning economists from around the world attend the Astana Economic Forum. We hold round-table discussions with them and other leading experts to help find solutions to the world’s leading economic and financial problems. G-Global will utilise new ideas with all the countries in the United Nations, as we live in a globalised world,” Murat Karimsakov, president of the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists Association, said at the Kazakhstan embassy in Washington last October in an interview with TransAtlantic Magazine. The Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists Association is the main organiser of the forum, which was first established in 2008 with the support of the Kazakh Presidential Administration and the government of Kazakhstan. It is projected that Astana will host 10,000 foreign guests from more than 150 countries this year, as the forum has become one of the largest international forums in the world. Its main result will be an open letter to the leaders of the 20 leading economies of the world expressing platform participants’ recommendations for improving and developing the world economy. The seventh Astana Economic Forum and the second World AntiCrisis Conference were held in Astana’s Palace of Independence and Palace of Peace and Accord, both located in the new administrative centre in the Left Bank area of Kazakhstan’s capital.

President Nazarbayev has called the platform “a practical example of a new system of global decision-making that empowers all states and members of the expert community to express their views on an equal basis.” This year, G-Global will focus on prediction, detection, risk management and the elimination of the consequences of risk, said Kazakh Senate Deputy and Co-chair of the Coordinating Committee of the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists Association Serik Nugerbekov in his welcome remarks at the forum’s first press

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ICT Development Fund Director General Sanzhar Kettebekov (center left) following the signing of a start-up company development memorandum with MuckerLab representative Erik Rannala (center right)

Global E-Commerce Leaders Gather for ASTEX 2014 Two memoranda of cooperation between Kazakh and international organisations were signed at the ASTEX 2014 International Conference Exhibition in Astana on May 19-20. Participants, including heads of large international companies, investors, business trainers and other players in global Internet business and analysis, discussed current e-commerce issues, including how to enter the e-commerce market, the future of mobile commerce and other topics, at the event. Participants of the “How to correctly enter the market?” session addressed how dynamically lowering the price of the newest technologies promotes their introduction into retail and the considerable increase of efficiency in trade activity. It was noted that in the future, retail will witness considerable changes related to new technologies, including biometric payment with fingerprints, obtaining consultations about services and bargaining by means of holographic salesmen, three-dimensional scanning of buyers for selecting clothing and shoe sizes and more. The “Mobile information communications” session addressed advantages and disadvantages of mobile commerce, which is seen to have great potential and to open up new opportunities for doing business. Marat Adildabekov, chief information technologies director of Kazakhtelecom, noted that mobile commerce has considerable potential as mobile phones are now so common and used so often instead of computers. Their disadvantages, however, are related to the carrying capacity of networks and the devices themselves. The third generation networks promise to have carrying capacities comparable to the Internet, however, it reaches only 19.2 kilobits per second. “This is the largest IT event in Kazakhstan, which is supported by the state and is held with the assistance of the state. The special focus this year is on the problems of e-commerce, the issues of further development. Very interesting foreign speakers and people who have achieved a lot globally came to this event. This conference provides an opportunity to see and discuss e-commerce from all perspectives. According to the programme, we have only two or three speakers from Kazakhstan,” said Shavkat Sabirov, president of the Internet Association of Kazakhstan.

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At the conference, the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Development Fund, represented by Director General Sanzhar Kettebekov, signed a memorandum of cooperation in the field of innovation development and commercialisation of intellectual activity with Moscow’s Skolkovo Technopark and a memorandum on the development of start-up companies in the field of information technologies with the American company MuckerLab. With Skolkovo, a long-term partnership will be established to improve the efficiency of investment projects with an innovative component as well as to promote the development of international relations to create favourable conditions for innovative companies and facilitate the output of their work to domestic and foreign markets. At the opening ceremony, Askar Zhumahaliyev, chairman of the Kazakhstan Agency for Communications and Information, addressed the audience on behalf of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov. Zhumagaliyev discussed state support for information and communication technologies as an infrastructure tool supporting e-commerce growth, noting in particular that by 2020, it is planned to bring the e-commerce share of the general market of goods and services to 10 percent. This is to be done through measures provided for in the Informational Kazakhstan 2020 State Programme to introduce new communication technologies, increase speed and reduce prices for communications services and Internet access. Invited guests included Young Im Cho, member of the council under the president of South Korea, and Robert Bellack, co-founder of Cars. com and director general of the NewEgg e-commerce company. ASTEX 2014 was organised by the Agency for Communications and Information of Kazakhstan, the Zerde National Holding and the ICT Development Fund. The first ASTEX was held at the sixth Astana Economic Forum in May 2013.

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Also In The News... •

Presidential visit to South Kazakhstan highlights agriculture, entrepreneurship, healthcare The development of agriculture and entrepreneurship, the construction of a new administrative and business centre and the healthcare situation were the focus of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s working visit to South Kazakhstan. The President visited a Kazakh-Korean venture in the Saryagash region that produces vegetable seeds and decorative tree seedlings using Korean technology and toured a Shymkent complex that produces carpets through Turkish and European collaboration. President Nazarbayev also met with businessmen and agricultural producers. He said that a well-developed transport system, including the Western Europe-Western China corridor, railroads and pipelines stretching through the territory of South Kazakhstan, will create additional favourable conditions for business. Improvements to the healthcare system, including a new clinic and new technologies, were also noted on the visit. Before leaving, President Nazarbayev gave special instructions to the governor of the region on further development. (kazworld.info)

948,000 people granted Kazakh citizenship since gaining independence More than 948,000 people have been granted Kazakh citizenship since independence, said Secretary of State Adilbek Dzhaksybekov on May 21 as he chaired a meeting of the Commission on Citizenship under the President of Kazakhstan. The meeting focused on organisational and legal issues in changing citizenship. Following the results of the meeting, the commission took certain decisions and gave recommendations. (inform.kz)

Kazakh, Turkish prime ministers discuss economic cooperation On May 24, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov met with Minister of Economy of Turkey Nihat Zeybekci to discuss a wide range of issues in Kazakh-Turkish trade and economic cooperation. They considered aspects of bilateral cooperation in the priority sectors of the economy and future prospects for expanding business cooperation. Massimov stressed the need to use the potential of the two countries to increase their mutual trade and Zeybekci noted the dynamic nature of relations between the two countries and called for further deepening of business partnerships between Kazakhstan and Turkey. (primeminister.kz)

Kazakh ambassador meets with politicians, businessmen of Puglia, Italy Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Italy Andrian Yelemessov paid a working visit to the Italian cities of Bari and Brindisi in the Puglia region on May 15-16, meeting with representatives of the regional political and business community. Yelemessov held talks with Mayor of Bari Michele Emiliano and with Bari Prefect Antonio Nunziante. He told them about Kazakhstan’s social and economic perspectives and recent achievements in the international sphere. With the mayor of Bari, special attention was paid to the development of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and Kazakhstan’s experience in those areas. Yelemessov also held meetings with the managers of leading companies in the main economic sectors of Puglia. In Brindisi, he participated in a round-table discussion about Kazakhstan’s economic potential. (mfa.gov.kz)

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Mexico to open embassy in Astana by 2015 Kazakhstan will open an embassy in Mexico by the end of the year, according to the Tourism Industry Committee of the Ministry of New Technologies. On May 20, a Kazakh delegation led by Vice Minister of Industry and New Technologies Yerlan Sagadiyev met with Ambassador of Mexico to Turkey and Kazakhstan Martha Elena Bárcena Coqui. During the meeting, the sides expressed their interest in developing the bilateral cooperation in tourism and agreed on further cooperation within the EXPO 2017 international exhibition to be held in Astana. Mexico currently ranks second in terms of tourism in the Americas and is the only Latin American country among the world’s top 25 most-visited states by tourists. (inform.kz)

Government works to reach Burabai’s tourism potential The government is looking to further develop the country’s tourism potential as part of its Kazakhstan 2020 development programme. The Shchuchinsk-Borovoye resort area, which is becoming a centre of large-scale tourism and cultural and recreational trips for Kazakh and foreign nationals, is one of the most dynamic points of growth in Astana’s tourism industry. According to government data, Kazakhstan’s tourism revenue went through a growth spurt toward the end of the last decade. In 2008, the state earned about 66 billion tenge (US$361.7 million) in tourism revenues; in 2009 this figure had reached 82 billion tenge (US$449.4 million). Tourism revenue has stabilised in subsequent years. Private investment played a considerable role in this increase and entrepreneurs are investing in the construction of athletic, tourist, cultural and recreational facilities. (astanatimes.com)

Kazakh delegation attends 77th AIPS Congress The upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the future of “sport diplomacy” were among the main topics of the 77th Congress of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), held April 28-30 in Baku, Azerbaijan. A delegation from the Kazakhstan Sports Press Association (KSPA) headed by KSPA President Ilyas Omarov, Vice President Pavel Tsybulin and Secretary General Stanislav Filippov attended the event, where 270 sports journalists from 110 countries discussed the development of sport and its press coverage around the world. The Baku meeting also marked the organisation’s 90th anniversary. Kazakhstan’s hosting of recent events and its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics were discussed among attendees. The AIPS numbers more than 9,500 sports journalists from more than 150 countries. Kazakhstan has been a member of the AIPS since 1992 and counts 43 domestic journalists among its members. (astanatimes.com)

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ASTANA CALLING A WEEKLY ONLINE PUBLICATION / WWW.MFA.GOV.KZ Please send comments and questions to pressa@mfa.kz

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