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U.K. confirms participation in EXPO 2017
An agreement on the U.K.’s participation in EXPO 2017 was reached during a meeting between Chairman of the Astana EXPO 2017 National Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov and U.K. Minister for Trade and Investment Francis Maude on Sept.15. U.K. representatives, including Maude, visited the expo construction site during their visit to Astana. Maude said a commissioner would be appointed before the visit of the President of Kazakhstan to the U.K.
Maude also emphasised the significance of the theme of the exhibition, “Future Energy,” and commented on the U.K.’s experience in developing innovative technologies. The U.K. is the 48th country to confirm participation in the event. (expo2017astana.com)
Delegation from Kazakhstan attends IAEA General Conference in Vienna
The 59th session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference is being held in Vienna from Sept. 14-18. This annual meeting of delegations from 164 member states considers the IAEA Annual Report, covering IAEA activities in peaceful nuclear energy use, international cooperation in ensuring nuclear and radiation safety, nuclear safeguards and the nuclear nonproliferation regime. Delegates are also discussing the programme and budget of the IAEA and the staffing of the Secretariat. Minister of Energy Vladimir Shkolnik is heading Kazakhstan’s delegation, which includes senior representatives from the MFA, the national atomic company Kazatomprom, the National Nuclear Centre of Kazakhstan and other entities.
The statement delivered by the Kazakhstan delegation at the opening of the conference reflected on the achievements of the country in nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation and the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the IAEA. (mfa.gov.kz)
OSCE co-organises anti-corruption conference for customs officers in Kazakhstan
A conference promoting international experience in combating and preventing corruption in state revenue agencies co-organised by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was held in Astana Sept. 10–11. The event aimed to encourage intersectoral cooperation in the fight against corruption and to promote good governance in the customs and tax administrations, following the goals of the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy and the 100 Concrete Steps reform programme. Some 100 Finance Ministry officials from across the country; experts from civil society, academia and the media; and representatives of the World Customs Organisation, the World Bank and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime took part in the conference. Experts from the Caucuses, Europe and the United States presented best practices in the field and discussed ways to improve the implementation of national anti-corruption strategies, specifically in view of Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.
Ambassador Natalia Zarudna, head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, said that the OSCE sees good governance as an effective way to ensure stability and sustainable economic growth. (osce.org)
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan discuss establishing green customs corridor
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are discussing the possibility of establishing a green corridor to facilitate the transportation of cargo between the two countries, Aydin Aliyev, head of the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee, said on Sept. 8. Azerbaijan has a similar corridor with Russia, he said, and they plan to begin official negotiations with Kazakhstan soon. The agreement with Russia has created the conditions for smooth transportation of agricultural products of plant origin via the green corridor. (inform.kz)
President invites neighbouring businesses to work in Kazakh industrial sector
President Nursultan Nazarbayev urged Tajikistan’s business community to participate in Kazakh industrial projects during his official visit to Dushanbe on Sept 14. During bilateral negotiations with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, Nazarbayev said Kazakhstan is shifting emphasis from its oil and gas sector to its industrial sector and is trying to build an alternative economy. He noted that Kazakhstan plans to build at least 7,000 kilometres of highways and railways within the Nurly Zhol economic programme. The country is also ready to open its transport infrastructure to Tajikistan’s exporters, so they can export their products to Europe and other countries, he said. (inform.kz)
Kazakhstan delivers locomotives to Azerbaijan
The next batch of fifth-generation TE33A locomotives of the Evolution series, built in Kazakhstan, is ready for shipment to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy reported on Sept. 8.
An agreement to supply of 10 locomotives to Azerbaijan was earlier signed between Azerbaijan Railways and the Lokomotiv Kurastyru Zauyty Company. The first batch of locomotives was delivered to Baku that month.
Vice President of the Lokomotiv Kurastyru Zauyty Kanat Nuraly said that the company will deliver two locomotives to Baku each month until the end of January 2016. Currently, Kazakhstan-built engines are being used in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Turkmenistan. (railways.kz)
Russia and Kazakhstan to unite air defence systems
Russia and Kazakhstan want to unite their air defence systems, Pavel Kurachenko, head of the Russian Aerospace Forces, said on Sept 8. The two countries signed an agreement on creating a united air defence system in 2013. At this stage, the two countries are rehearsing coordination among troops and creating the legislative framework for the system, Kurachenko said.
General Nurlan Ormanbetov, commander of the Air Defence Forces of Kazakhstan, will command the united regional Air Defence system.
Russia also wants to create a united regional anti-aircraft defence system with Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, Kurachenko said. A draft agreement between Armenia and Russia on creating a united regional air defence system in the Caucasus has been approved by both states, which are ready to sign it. Kurachenko said he hopes the details will be finalised this year. (tass.ru)
Officials run in charity race in Astana
Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov and Akim (Mayor) of Astana Adilbek Dzhaksybekov took part in a charity race in Astana on Sept.13 Organised by the British-Kazakh Society; the Astana Marathon’s goal is to raise much-needed money for the charitable fund AYALA. The race brought together runners from Russia, the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, China and other countries, as well as local runners. All participants paid the compulsory participation fee of 7,500 tenge. (astana.gov.kz).