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More Russian banks to enter Kazakh market, says Eurasian Economic Commission

Minister of Economy and Financial Policy of the Eurasian Economic Commission Timur Suleimenov said the number of Russian banks in Kazakhstan and Kazakh banks in Russia will increase during remarks to the Nov. 7 Growth of Financing in Kazakhstan forum in Almaty.

He also said only banks complying with Kazakhstan’s legislative standards would be able to enter the country’s market and that Kazakhstan’s banking sector will adapt to ensure that remaining banks are competitive.

“Consolidation is underway in the banking sector of Kazakhstan. … from the existing 38 banks today, maybe 20 or 15 will remain,” he said.

Suleimenov added that the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), a permanent supranational regulatory body of the Customs Union and Single Economic Space, must have common rules for the financial sector. (

Kazakhstan and Russia to establish grain hub

Kazakhstan and Russia will establish a grain hub to lower grain transport costs, said Minister of Agriculture Asylzhan Mamytbekov during government hour in the Mazhilis (lower chamber of Parliament).

“We believe [a joint grain hub with Russia] is a possible and even profitable project, taking into account the fact that many Russian regions deliver grain from the south of Russia, Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol, with large transport costs,” he said.

“We could carry out swap operations: for example, the markets in Moscow and St. Petersburg are approximately equal to Kazakhstan’s consumption market, and we could sell our grain in Moscow and take Russian grain near the Black Sea,” he added. (

Global Entrepreneurship Week launches in Almaty

The Nov. 18-23 Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) has launched in Almaty. The week, run in 140 countries, is intended to spark business ideas in young people. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has sponsored GEW in Kazakhstan for two years.

According to an EBRD press release, EBRD Kazakhstan Director Janet Heckman said, “Global Entrepreneurship Week in Kazakhstan will look not only at the role of young entrepreneurs, which has also been the focus in many countries, but especially at connecting experienced business people with start-up businesses.”

Kazakhstan’s Entrepreneurship Week 2014 will be the largest start-up conference in Central Asia and will include round-table discussions, trainings and breakout groups on challenges facing entrepreneurship. (

Georgia and Kazakhstan’s PMs meet

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili discussed bilateral trade, investment and transit-transport cooperation during Garibashivili’s Nov. 12 visit to Kazakhstan.

At a press conference after the talks, Massimov said: “We reached a consensus on developing trade and economic cooperation. We are interested in the development of promising areas of the economy, such as transport, communication, the agriculture sector, tourism, et cetera.” He also said Kazakhstan is interested in completing construction on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line that will help bring its products to Europe by way of the Caspian Sea and Georgian goods to Central Asia and China. (

EEU construction industry to be discussed in Kazakhstan

Astana will host the Eurasian Building Congress, the first major event of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) in this sector in early December. The event was organised by the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan and will be attended by representatives of construction-related organisations in the EEU.

The congress will allow EEU countries to compare notes on economic issues and develop standards for the construction industries in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Participants will also discuss preparations for EXPO 2017, to be held in Kazakhstan. (

PM attends Expert 200 Kazakhstan forum

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov attended the sixth Expert 200 Kazakhstan forum on Nov. 14 in Astana and noted the importance of implementing tasks from the President’s recent state-of-the-nation address. “The head of state adopted the decision to allocate money to stimulate Kazakhstan’s economy and its financial stability. We are making reforms together with … the World Bank, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), [and] in cooperation with the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). I think that will allow Kazakhstan to avoid average earnings and attract private investment,” he said.

Minister of National Economy Yerbolat Dossayev discussed administrative reforms in Kazakhstan, stressing the reforms are meant to increase the efficiency of public administration and reduce government interference in business. More than 300 representatives of Kazakhstan’s business community participated in the event and discussed improving interaction between business and government agencies. (

Air Astana presents Almaty – Dubai flight

Air Astana presented a new flight from Almaty to Dubai at the H Dubai Hotel in Dubai on Nov. 16. Kazakhstan seeks to utilise connections through Dubai to diversify its economy away from oil and into tourism and trade.

In September, Air Astana resumed daily direct flights to the emirate from Almaty after a four-year hiatus. Twenty percent of the route’s traffic comes from connecting flights, higher than the global average of 13 percent.

Peter Foster, president of Air Astana, discussed cooperation between Air Astana and Dubai International Airport with Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and chairman of Dubai Airports. Foster noted the possibility of implementing Dubai-Astana flights prior to EXPO 2017 in Astana. (,

Kazakhstan to build radar space satellite

Kazakhstan plans to build a radar space satellite to strengthen its space remote sensing system (SRSS), said Acting President of Kazakhstan Garysh Sapary Marat Nurguzhin during the Nov.13-14 international Days of Space 2014 seminar in Astana.

The project includes developing a space remote sensing system consisting of two optoelectronic devices: high spatial resolution KazEOSat-1 and medium spatial resolution KazEOSat-2, as well as a ground satellite control complex and a ground target system for receiving and processing data.
The third unit of the system will be a radar space satellite that can take pictures under any weather conditions, day and night. The project is to be implemented from 2016-2021. (

Ilya Ilyin snatches fourth world championship

Kazakhstan’s weightlifter Ilya Ilyin became a four-time world champion when he won gold at the Nov. 8-16 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in Almaty.

Ilyin lifted 190 kilogrammes in the snatch and 242kg in the clean and jerk, setting a new world record.

Kazakhstan finished third overall in the championship, securing five medals: three gold and two silver. The country’s women took two medals: London Olympic champion Zulfiya Chinshanlo won gold in the 53 kg category and young weightlifter Zhazira Zhapparkul won silver medal the 69 kg category. Among the men, Zhassulan Kydyrbayev clinched gold and Vladimir Sedov silver in the 94 kg category. China came in first overall followed by North Korea. (,

Pink Floyd shoots video in Kazakhstan

British progressive rock group Pink Floyd shot a video for the song “Louder than Words” on the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The clip touches upon the environmental problems of the Aral Sea. Its main characters represent two generations: young people who didn’t see the Aral before the 1960s, when its water was used for irrigation, and an older generation who know the sea of decades ago. The video was directed by Aubrey Powell, who has worked with Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Scorpions and Black Sabbath.

“Louder Than Words” is from the album “The Endless River,” which was released on Nov. 10. (


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