In Focus: Foreign Policy Priorities
Strengthening UN & Int’l Security
Kazakhstan set for the election of UN Security Council non-permanent members for 2017-2018
UN member states will vote June 28 to elect a number of UN Security Council non-permanent members for 2017-2018. Kazakhstan is bidding for a seat from the regional group Asia-Pacific, along with Thailand. For Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov’s argument on why Kazakhstan deserves to become the first Central Asian state to serve on the UN Security Council read his opinion piece run by The Hill. See here http://www.thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/284421-high-time-for-central-asia-and-kazakhstan-to-have-a-voice.
Kazakh Ambassador to Japan meets with Hiroshima prefecture governor
Kazakh Ambassador to Japan Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhataev met June 20 with Hiroshima Prefecture Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki and city Mayor Kazumi Matsui. The sides discussed the Japanese delegation’s participation in the upcoming events dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
Yuzaki thanked Kazakhstan for its active participation in the major international events held in Hiroshima and expressed hope for further development of close relations with Kazakhstan on the disarmament track.
Matsui noted Hiroshima appreciates Kazakhstan’s international anti-nuclear initiatives to establish a nuclear-free world.
Kazakhstan to establish visa-free regime for 35 OECD countries
Beginning next year, Kazakhstan will set a visa-free regime for Malaysia, Monaco and Singapore, as well as 35 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Most of the nations are member states of the European Union (EU). EXPO 2017 Chairman Akhmetzhan Yessimov confirmed at the 159th session of the General Assembly of the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) in Paris.
According to expo organisers, the decision will have a positive impact on the inflow of foreign tourists during major international events in Kazakhstan, specifically next year’s specialised exhibition in Astana. To create favourable conditions for foreign guests, Kazakhstan unilaterally abolished the visa regime for 20 developed countries. (expo2017astana.com)
Gold among nation’s most attractive sectors for foreign investors
The gold recovery industry is one of the most attractive sectors of the Kazakh economy to foreign investors. According to the National Committee for Statistics, about 28 tonnes of raw, semi-finished gold and precious metals in the form of powder have been produced in the country this year, almost 20 percent more than 2015. The Varvara gold and copper mine in Kostanay region is one of the largest in the country. The complex, which began operation in the mid-2000s, includes four active mines and a modern processing plant. The field is currently a high precious metal deposit in Central Asia and was among the first in the country to adopt the GLONASS satellite navigation system. The space technology enables the remote control of equipment and machines.
“I only insert the initial details and the computer itself can redirect to a nearby site, which will need to be loaded in order to avoid downtime and increase the overall productivity. Work at the mine does not stop day or night. Tipper cars with a maximum lifting capacity of 90 tonnes and powerful excavators load ore. Then, it is crushed and mixed with water. To extract one gram of the precious metal, it is necessary to process a tonne of ore,” said mining manager Dmitry Yashchenko.
“When gold is mined, it passes several times through the solid phase to a liquid and back again. It takes a few days. It is a continuous process. After all the measurements are ready, a gold bar will be sent to the refinery, which will produce those 12-kilogram gold bars of the 999th sample,” said sorption section head Elena Marchukova. (kazakh-tv.kz)
Priority sector investors exempt from corporate income tax for 10 yearsInvestors working in the priority sectors are exempt from corporate income tax and land tax for a period of 10 years and property tax for eight years. In addition, investors will be reimbursed up to 30 percent of capital costs after putting enterprises into operation, according to the Akorda’s press release from President Nazarbayev’s meetings with business leaders at the St. Petersburg Inernational Economic Forum in Russia last week.