THE ASTANA TIMES

Subscribe to THE ASTANA TIMES feed
Updated: 16 min 46 sec ago

Dozens of events to entertain Astana during EXPO 2017

Sat, 2017-05-27 10:05

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Less than two weeks are left until EXPO 2017 finally opens. The rich programme will satisfy different tastes, with world-class stars performing for capital residents and guests throughout the summer. Tickets for EXPO and cultural programme events are being sold or will be sold soon at tickets.expo2017astana.com or official ticket offices.

A one-day entrance ticket is 6,000 tenge (US$19.30) or 8,000 tenge (US$25.70) for weekend days with open dates. Entrance is free for children under six. There will also be four days with special show programmes – Opening Day (June 10), Day of the Capital (July 6), Constitution Day (Aug. 30) and Closing Day (Sept. 10).

“Each evening, EXPO will entertain its guests with fantastic parades and hi-tech musical and theatrical processions demonstrating energy. They will entice you and bring you to viewing the climax of the first day of the exhibition – the multimedia show on the Sphere. Future Energy will be revealed and presented under a musical accompaniment in the form of 3D projection through the prism of the four elements (wind, water, earth and air),” according to the EXPO website.

Here’s a brief review of the events planned during the three-months long exhibition.

Cirque du Soleil REFLEKT

Cirque du Soleil Pavilion

June 16 – Sept. 9

4,000 – 6,000 tenge (US$12.80-$19.30) plus EXPO ticket

“Inspired by the history of the Kazakh nomadic culture, REFLEKT is a mysterious tale that explores the idea of renewable human energy as we journey towards a sustainable future. REFLEKT showcases traditional circus acts mixed with never-before-seen executions at Cirque du Soleil, delivering awe-inspiring acrobatic acts that always leave the spectator wanting more and with an emotionally-packed experience that will last a lifetime,” notes the EXPO website. The famous Canadian entertainment company has created a special show for EXPO and the team will present 71 shows with seven-eight performances per week. The performances will take place on the exhibition grounds, so visitors also need to purchase an EXPO ticket for the same day in addition to a ticket for REFLEKT.

 

The Great Gatsby (ballet)

Energy Hall

June 15

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

“The Great Gatsby” is a project of an international team of professionals from the United States, Russia and Ukraine. The ballet has elements of modern dance and cinematography to highlight the history of eccentric Gatsby in a new light. A mix of classical and contemporary dance, symphonic and jazz music and cinematography, “The Great Gatsby” was directed by Dwight Rhoden, the most in-demand choreographer of contemporary dance, according to The New York Times.

 

CLASSICAL MUSIC

Classical music is a major part of the programme. Many renowned musicians, conductors and orchestras will be visiting and performing at the EXPO’s Energy Hall.

State Ensemble of Classical Music – The Kazakh Camerata presenting “The Beatles go Baroque”

June 18 – 21

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

Mischa Maisky and Lily Maisky

June 24

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

Kuss Quartet and Misha Maisky

June 25

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

Maurice Steger and Lautten Compagney

June 30

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

Enrico Dindo and Kazakh State Academic Symphony Orchestra

July 1

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

Andrea Lucchesini and Kazakh State Academic Symphony Orchestra

July 2

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

David Fray

July 8

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

Kurmangazy Kazakh State Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments

July 11-13

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

Thomas Gould, Julien Quentin, Mary Bevan & Sandi Toka Nova

Sept. 2

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

 

POPULAR MUSIC

BI-2, Mumiy Troll

Saryarka Republican Cycle Track

July 1

6,000 – 23,000 tenge (US$19.30-$74)

Thirty Seconds to Mars

July 2

Astana Arena

Not on sale yet

Black Star Party (MOT, Kristina Si, L’One, Timati)

Saryarka Republican Cycle Track

July 8

6,000 – 23,000 tenge (US$19.30-US$74)

Polina Gagarina & Egor Kreed

Saryarka Republican Cycle Track

Aug. 5

6,000 – 23,000 tenge (US$19.30-$74)

Limp Bizkit

Saryarka Republican Cycle Track

Aug. 12

6,000 – 28,000 tenge (US$19.30-$90)

Eros Ramazzotti

Saryarka Republican Cycle Track

Aug. 19

6,000 – 28,000 tenge (US$19.30-$90)

 

JAZZ

Igor Butman and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra

July 15

Energy Hall

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

JAZZIA 2017 International Jazz Festival

Aug. 15-17

Energy Hall

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

JAZZIA is three days of performances by world-famous music groups from different countries, including East Drive Band, Bill Evans Quartet, Shai Maestro Trio, Billy Cobham Band, Lee Ritenour Band and Marcus Miller. A must-see event for all music lovers, especially those who like jazz.

 

THE SPIRIT OF TENGRI

The Spirit of Tengri/Niyaz – The Fourth Light Project

July 20

Energy Hall

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

The Spirit of Tengri/Daffer Youseff

Aug. 20

Energy Hall

1,000 tenge (US$3.20) plus EXPO ticket

 

Please visit the official website where all of the above-listed events are scheduled and displayed, as quite a bit of non-approved information has been circulating. New concerts may be added.

In addition to the listed events, dozens of other concerts, exhibitions and festivals will be taking place at various venues in the city. Full information and tickets are available at www.expo2017culture.kz, which was created by the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The following are some of the events.

ASTANA OPERA

Kazakh Forte-Trio (Concert No. 4) with Golden Pages of Chamber Music

June 8

Abai (opera)

June 11

Kazakh State String Quartet named after Zhubanova

June 16

Manon (ballet)

June 17

Kyz Zhibek (opera)

June 23

Kyz Zhibek (opera) outdoor performance

July 5

Madame Butterfly (opera)

July 16

Finale of Placide Domingo Operalia International Competition of Young Vocalists

July 24

Placido Domingo’s performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata”

Aug. 1

State Woodwind Quintet concert

Aug. 15

Notre Dame de Paris (ballet)

Aug. 16

Teatro Alla Scala tour. Verdi’s “Falstaff”

Sept. 1

Teatro Alla Scala tour. Ludwig van Beethoven. Symphony No. 9

Sept. 7

Other major venues include Astana Ballet Theatre, Kazakh Central Concert Hall, National Museum of Kazakhstan, Palace of Independence and Barys Arena. Full information is available on the website.

The post Dozens of events to entertain Astana during EXPO 2017 appeared first on The Astana Times.

May 31 marks Kazakh Day of Remembrance

Sat, 2017-05-27 10:01

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Since 1997, May 31 has been marked as Kazakhstan’s Day of Remembrance of Victims of Political Repression and Hunger to honour those who were lost through 20th century repression and starvation in the country.

Joseph Stalin’s policies of collectivisation caused the great famine of 1931-1933, one of the saddest and most influential events in recent history. Described as the “Kazakh catastrophe” by English-American historian and poet Robert Conquest, the nation’s famine of 1932–1933 was part of the Soviet starvation.

According to some estimates, approximately one million people, nearly 40 percent of the Kazakh population, lost their lives, The Astana Times reported earlier, while several hundred thousand emigrated.

Almarat Serikov, 33, an engineer from Ust-Kamenogorsk whose great-grandparents fell victim to the famine, told their story to the paper in a January interview.

“Back then, people were so desperate and there were so many heart-breaking stories. Many children were found in the streets because their parents couldn’t feed them,” he said.

Personal family stories have been passed from generation to generation. Walking dozens, hundreds of kilometres through the steppes, people lost their family members, sisters, brothers, mothers and fathers one-by-one to starvation and death. After being left alone, victims were eventually forced to do any job, even if that meant a 6-year-old child working at a construction site to survive after his or her family had died.

“After going through such an ordeal, people of those years and many generations following were brought up to not waste food, of course,” said Serikov.

The Great Purge or the Great Terror was a political repression and persecution campaign in the Soviet Union in 1936-1938. It involved the purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of peasants, widespread police surveillance, suspicion of “saboteurs,” imprisonment and summary executions. Estimates of the number of deaths ranged from more than 600,000 to nearly two million.

During the last century’s difficult times of hunger, war and repression, Kazakhstan was also the site of some of the biggest labour camps in the Soviet Gulag system. The nation had 953 camps and settlements such as ALZHIR, which is located half an hour drive from Astana and which stood for the Akmola Camp of Wifes of Traitors of the Motherland. Karlag in Karaganda and many others are the remains of larger camps, all part of the infamous GULAG (Man Directorate of Camps) system.

“It is estimated that 14 million people passed through the GULAG labour camps from 1929–1953 and some five million people were sent to Kazakhstan over the years of repression,” reported Kazinform.

“A hundred thousand people were sentenced in Kazakhstan from 1921-1954 and 25,000 executed,” according to an older report in The Astana Times. Well-known Kazakh cultural figures and politicians, writers, social activists and many others were among those imprisoned or executed.

Entire nations and ethnic groups were deported from other parts of the former Soviet Union to Kazakhstan and Central Asia in the 1930s and 1940s, including Koreans, Kurds, Iranians, and others.

“During World War II, Germans, Greeks, Chechens and Ingush people, among others, were also displaced in numbers estimated to exceed one million people,” said the news report.

The post May 31 marks Kazakh Day of Remembrance appeared first on The Astana Times.

‘Abai’ opera to be performed during EXPO 2017

Sat, 2017-05-27 09:57

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – “Abai,” the original national opera production staged by a Kazakh and Italian creative team, will be performed in Astana as part of the EXPO 2017 cultural events June 11 at the Astana Opera House.

Photo credit: kazpravda.kz.

The modern interpretation of the opera promises to provide the audience with maximum open stage space, 3D video installations and luxurious costumes and decorations.

The opera masterpiece was created on the libretto written by acclaimed Kazakh writer Mukhtar Auezov. It tells the story of the dramatic events from the life of the great Kazakh poet, educator and philosopher Abai Kunanbayev.

This is the story of the romantic and tragic love of two young people, Aidar and Azhar. The theme of the struggle of conservatism and reformism is raised in the work, the bright and dark sides of personality are clearly represented. Abai and his student Aidar oppose the old world that prevents progress.

“It is a great honour for us to present a fantastic programme of events dedicated to the EXPO 2017 exhibition. ‘Abai,’ a true masterpiece of the Kazakh opera created by great Kazakh composers Akhmet Zhubanov and Latif Khamidi, will open the programme. It is a claim to fame of our national art,” said Astana Opera House Director Galym Akhmedyarov.

According to theatre’s Chief Conductor Alan Buribayev, “Abai” opera is one of the greatest ever written musical works. The production was included in the list of the most watched performances at the theatre.

Photo credit: kazpravda.kz.

Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan Sundet Baigozhin performs the title part and laureate of international competitions Meir Bainesh plays Aidar. Honoured artist of Kazakhstan and opera star Maira Mukhamedkyzy will sing the part of Azhar.

The set design was created by famous Italian set designer Ezio Frigerio and costumes were made by Oscar-winning Frank Skuarchapino.

Honoured workers of Kazakhstan Tursynbek Nurkaliyev and Galiya Buribayeva are the choreographers-directors.

The post ‘Abai’ opera to be performed during EXPO 2017 appeared first on The Astana Times.

EXPO 2017 opening creates big expectations

Sat, 2017-05-27 09:52

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – A little less than two weeks are left before EXPO 2017 kicks off in the Kazakh capital and the whole country is anticipating the grand event.

Photo credit: expoandwomen.com

The exhibition area is almost ready, as the decorative works are being carried out – some parts of the exhibition look perfectly ready, while others are still being finished. For instance, the Mega Silk Way Mall has been open since April, while the concert stages in front of the EXPO’s famous sphere are nearing completion.

The 173-hectare EXPO area is not the only site under construction and renovation. The whole city is being reorganised and prepared for the grand event: the new railway station, additional terminal at the international airport, Abu Dhabi Plaza, the capital’s symbolic Baiterek Tower and left bank are all undergoing non-stop, day-in, day-out construction.

“We have never had anything of this scale happening in our country and we know that EXPO is quite famous in the world. We are very excited,” said Aidar Mukhamadiyev, 33, a Taraz resident who came to the capital with his family just for the event.

“As we stroll along the streets of the capital we can see many construction works are being carried out, which is great and a good job by the Akimat (city administration). We are glad to see how quickly things are improving in the city in wake of the EXPO opening,” he added.

The opening ceremony is scheduled for June 9 and, according to the organisers, the ceremony will include “grand parades and breathtaking theatrical shows with foreign and local stars and celebrities.” Kazakh National Arts University will present live music at Energy Hall with the participation of legendary Kazakh violinist Aiman Mussakhajayeva and Russian cellist Sergei Roldugin.

“We have already been to the EXPO site a few times, as we visited the Mega Silk Way Mall and saw that the quality of construction is at the highest level. We met Thai EXPO pavilion representatives and they showed us their country through 3D virtual reality glasses and I was impressed. They made us want to visit their country. They told us that everything is ready and they’re ready to show us the pavilion in June,” said Mukhamadiyev.

The organisers are expecting about five million visits in the span of three months during operations from June 10-Sept. 10. Approximately 85 percent of the visitors will be Kazakh residents while the remainder will be foreign citizens, mostly from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries and China.

“At first we didn’t realise how big this event was, when we only heard about it on the news back home almost five years ago. I had mixed feelings about all this. But now I want to say it’s great to be a part of the history of our country,” Mukhamadiyev said proudly. “We can’t always afford to go abroad, for instance, as that’s too expensive, especially now when our currency lost so much [ground] against the foreign ones. So EXPO is a good chance when the countries come to our land and we can have a taste of their homes, their cultures and their colours. I am looking forward to the opening and hope everything is ready!”

The post EXPO 2017 opening creates big expectations appeared first on The Astana Times.

Kazatomprom to use robots for uranium production by end of year

Sat, 2017-05-27 09:47

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Robots will start working at the uranium plant of the Kazatomprom national atomic company in the South Kazakhstan region by the end of the year. The robots will perform various activities, including drying, loading and shipping products. The first robot will be purchased on a competitive basis in the near future.

Photo credit: kazpravda.kz

“This is very important, because the human factor is less effective and the accuracy of providing certain services is increased. The accuracy of operations is increased and we will also be able to increase monitoring due to this kind of equipment,” said Kazatomprom Board Chair Askar Zhumagaliyev.

The employees will be retrained to be able to work on other elements of production.

The national atomic company is developing and implementing technologies, including large data, augmented reality, 3D printing and robotics as part of the tasks to ensure the global competitiveness of the country set by President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The complex automation of the main directions of uranium production serves as a platform for the implementation of more complex technologies, such as the Digital Mine, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Integrated Planning System and Situation Centre as part of the Industry 4.0 project.

The Digital Mine project as a pilot project was launched at the Kazatomprom-SaUran facility in 2016. This is an information system that provides an optimal production process, monitors the use of reagents, reduces downtime of equipment, promptly identifies and eliminates emergencies. The economic impact of the project is expected to be more than 12 billion tenge (US$38 million) by 2025.

The Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMZ), a subsidiary enterprise of Kazatomprom, has been developing 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM). It plans to start production of implants using a 3D printer using tantalum, which is suitable for human body implants. These technologies also allow the printing of uranium production equipment. Economic impact of the project is expected to be more than two billion tenge (US$6 million) by 2020.

The post Kazatomprom to use robots for uranium production by end of year appeared first on The Astana Times.

EAEU countries to conduct population census in 2019

Sat, 2017-05-27 09:43

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries intend to carry out a population census for one year beginning October 2019, the press service of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) reported.

Photo credit: kazpravda.kz

EEC Collegium meeting participants considered a draft order of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council (EIC) concerning the preparation and conduct of national population censuses in EAEU countries.

Tatyana Valovaya, Minister in charge of the Development of Integration and Macroeconomics of EEC noted that the census is one of the most effective methods to obtain reliable and detailed data on the size and structure of the population.

“This information is extremely important for the objective and multidimensional disclosure of modern processes and trends in the development of society as a whole, of certain population groups, the causes and factors affecting fertility and mortality, the labour activity of citizens and the direction of migration,” she said.

According to the decree of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council dated December 2015, a unified period for holding the population census from October 2019 to October 2020 was established. At the same time, the commission members noted the need to develop a unified approach to the terminology and methodology of statistical indicators based on international standards.

“The order of the EIC will contribute to the creation of the conditions in the union member countries ensuring the successful conduct of censuses and obtaining comparable statistical information in the EAEU,” commission members concluded.

The post EAEU countries to conduct population census in 2019 appeared first on The Astana Times.

Ambassadors’ Café Brings EU Representatives, Kazakh Youth Together for Relaxed Dialogue

Sat, 2017-05-27 01:07

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – This year’s Europe Day celebrations in Astana started May 20 with PechaKucha Night, followed by an “EU Hour” in 16 schools in Astana on May 23. The third event on the agenda, “Ambassadors’ Café,” took place May 25. On that day, ambassadors of the member states of the European Union met with the capital’s youth in an informal atmosphere.

“The whole purpose of this Europe Day celebration is to mark May 9, the day of the Schuman Declaration. This year we celebrate 60 years since the creation of what we know as the European Union. We do that because we want to share and to inform the public about what we are doing in Kazakhstan, who we actually are and what the faces are of the people who are implementing these bilateral mandates of EU-Kazakhstan relations from the EU side in cooperation with Kazakh authorities here for the benefit of Kazakh citizens. We are working here to make the EU known, to share our values, to engage in our cooperation programmes,” head of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan Ambassador Traian Hristea told The Astana Times.

The Ambassadors’ Café helps get that message across in a very informal way.

“This format today of Ambassadors’ Café is very, I would say, down to earth,” Hristea said. “People see in the faces of ambassadors some kind of high-level people. We wanted to show that we are normal people like anyone around the table. We also enjoy communicating with students and youth. We use this opportunity to communicate; to show what the EU is; what it is doing; what the projects are; what the areas of our cooperation are; how we engage with partners, national authorities, local authorities, [nongovernmental organisations], human rights groups and others; how we promote trade, investment.”

The EU is the top investor in Kazakhstan, he pointed out. “I think we have a lot of things to share with people and to spread information about this quarter-century of very stable and fruitful bilateral relations with Kazakhstan.”

More than 50 people, including students and teachers from Kazakh universities and representatives from businesses and NGOs, joined the Ambassadors’ Café. They were divided into groups headed by EU ambassadors, where they discussed the practical results of EU projects in Kazakhstan, the dynamics of EU-Central Asia security cooperation and aspects of EU-Kazakhstan cooperation in the development of a green economy, trade, investment, energy, the rule of law, public administration and educational programmes.

“The project is about meeting young people. Of course, we spread information about the European Union, but it is more important to hear their questions, what they think about the future of the EU. For me, it is very interesting to meet people, to discuss the perspectives on relations between Kazakhstan and the European Union. And, of course, it is always good to celebrate a little bit and get a good attitude from young Kazakh people towards the European Union,” said Ambassador of Austria to Kazakhstan Gerhard Sailler.

Ambassador of Hungary to Kazakhstan Andras Baranyi said he supports the informal format because “it is always nice to talk directly with the youth, students, with those who are interested.” He also said the ambassadors don’t impose any particular topics on participants – they merely start the discussions, which then flow to a number of areas.

“I really enjoy these talks,” Baranyi said. “And I hope I and my colleagues are providing useful and interesting information. For example, we started with educational and youth programmes, then we shifted to bilateral relations, results between Kazakhstan and Hungary, and that we are launching a new flight between Astana and Budapest. Another topic was EXPO 2017.”

Europe Day celebrations have not finished yet: a free European Classical Music Concert will be held May 31 in the Astana Ballet Theatre at 7 p.m. Compositions by Kazakh authors will also be presented. An exhibition by famous photographer Jean-Marc Caracci will be held June 3 and 4 and a European film festival will close the programme of celebrations on June 15-17.

The post Ambassadors’ Café Brings EU Representatives, Kazakh Youth Together for Relaxed Dialogue appeared first on The Astana Times.

Kazakh defence, aerospace industry potential presented to diplomatic corps

Fri, 2017-05-26 01:25

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan jointly with the Ministry of Defence and Aerospace Industry held May 25 a presentation for representatives of the diplomatic corps on the export potential of the country’s defence and aerospace industry and opportunities for cooperation with foreign partners.

Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov and Defence and Aerospace Industry Minister Beibut Atamkulov led the event. The top managers of Kazakh enterprises in the sphere of defence industry also attended the event. They presented the potential of domestic projects in the sphere.

Abdrakhmanov noted that the government supports accelerated development of the manufacturing industry, including defence production.

“Kazakh companies are optimistic about the prospects for cooperation with foreign partners. We are opening new diplomatic opportunities for cooperation in the sphere of the military-industrial complex,” he stressed.

“Kazakhstan’s defence industrial complex has significant export potential. It occupies a certain niche in our country’s economy. The modern models of our military equipment have a high level of competitiveness. Kazakhstan has created a modern space infrastructure, satellite communication and remote sensing systems of the earth able to provide communication services and images of space monitoring of the earth’s surface,” Atamkulov informed.

According to Atamkulov, the main task of the ministry is to fulfil the needs of the local army and produce products for export.

“The ministry has bilateral ties with more than 20 countries, seven of which are our close partners. In multilateral format we are involved in six international organisations, including the United Nations, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO),” Atamkulov said.

“Today’s meeting is very important in terms of establishing future cooperation. We are open for the joint projects,” Atamkulov noted.

According to Deputy Chair of the national company Kazakhstan Engineering Vadim Shakshakbayev, the company’s factories are located across the territory of Kazakhstan, which facilitates transportation of products to the neighbouring countries. For example, there are factories close to the Chinese and Russian borders.

Kazakhstan Engineering is the only machine building company in Kazakhstan with the status of a national company. The defence industry complex is a priority sector of economic development of Kazakhstan, Shakshakbayev noted in his speech.

Within the framework of the meeting, a small exhibition was organised to demonstrate products of Kazakh aerospace industry to the foreign ambassadors and guests.

The post Kazakh defence, aerospace industry potential presented to diplomatic corps appeared first on The Astana Times.

Central Asian parliaments seek regional peacebuilding, joint anti-terrorist efforts

Fri, 2017-05-26 01:01

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – A model of a regional zone of peace, security and cooperation can be developed on the basis of a harmonious combination of the interests of all involved Central Asian countries, said Mazhilis (lower chamber of Parliament) Chairperson Nurlan Nigmatulin. He spoke on the role of parliaments in legislative support for cooperation and regional security at the May 25 international roundtable in the capital.

The event, organised by the Mazhilis in cooperation with the Collective Security Treaty Organisation Parliamentary Assembly (CSTO PA), was held under the auspices of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Collective Security Treaty and the 10th anniversary of the CSTO PA.

New ways to strengthen cooperation between the parliaments were outlined at the event. The representatives agreed to develop a legislative base for regional cooperation and spoke of the need to approve the signed agreements in parliaments expeditiously to ensure security in the region. The important role of CSTO PA inter-parliamentary cooperation and the cooperation of international organisation deputies was also specified.

Nigmatulin said Central Asia is one of the main priorities of Kazakhstan’s activities as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The country intends to actively work to promote the interests of all the states in the region in ensuring its stability and security, strengthening cooperation and promoting its growth and development.

“The situation in Afghanistan plays a special role in ensuring long-term stability and security for the countries of our region. It will be impossible to ensure long-term stability in the region without a solution to the Afghan issue, without the integration of this country into the regional process in Central Asia,” he said.

He emphasised the role of parliaments in solving the most important tasks in the mechanisms of ensuring national and international security. The Kazakh Parliament aims to provide legislative support for the regional and global security strategy set by President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

New global security challenges in the world and the Central Asian region require the special attention of CSTO country parliamentarians. Their cooperation allows providing legislative support for international processes, taking into account national interests and strengthening the independence and security of each country.

The Kazakh Parliament has ratified 38 international treaties as part of CSTO, 17 agreements as part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and three international agreements as part of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.  

“We can achieve significant success in solving any problems only through close cooperation and collective efforts. This is especially important when the risks of strengthening crisis phenomena in our region still remain relevant. All current threats and challenges are of a transboundary nature; therefore, effective counteraction to these phenomena is impossible without close interaction with neighbouring countries and international partners,” said Nigmatulin.

The spread of religious extremism and terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal migration were named among the serious threats to the region’s security. These challenges and threats require “closer cooperation in consolidating the political and economic potential of the countries of the region to solve key problems and ensure stability in Central Asia,” he added.

Central Asia should not become a field of global rivalry, Kazakh Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roman Vassilenko said in his remarks. The countries are able to prevent new geopolitical fault lines in the region.

“There is a need to work purposefully within the region and outside it to preserve and develop a constructive and neutral to international conflicts area, to build a favourable atmosphere in the region on the basis of the win-win approach and avoiding zero-sum games. We believe that the best way to ensure the long-term stability and sustainable development of Central Asia is to continue enhancing the regional dialogue that would help reduce social and economic problems, solve water-energy and other issues,” he said.

Official visits and high-level meetings of Central Asian heads of state in 2016-2017 significantly contributed to regional relations. Nazarbayev visited Uzbekistan last year several times and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev travelled to Kazakhstan in March and April of this year. Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov visited Kazakhstan in April, while the Kazakh President went to Bishkek earlier this spring.

There have also been a string of visits between other Central Asian states.

“The positive trend of intraregional visits and intensification of the dialogue between our neighbours is of special importance,” said Vassilenko.

Transnational and organised crime as a manifestation of the new challenges and threats to regional and global security have become some of the main factors of deteriorating political and socio-economic stability in society, said Tajik Majlisi Namoyandagon Majlisi Oli committee on law, order, defence and security chairperson Jurakhon Majidzoda.

“Tajikistan consistently and aggressively advocates for collective efforts in the field of maintaining regional and global security and participates in the coalition against terrorism,” he said.

Majidzoda added there is a need for a coordinated international criminal and legal policy at the level of the CSTO Interparliamentary Assembly, Council of Heads of State, European Union and UN to combat international terrorism. Similarly, he spoke of the need to develop the legislative base to expand international and interstate cooperation between law enforcement bodies and a strategy to combat terrorism at the state level with legal norms and methodological actions.   

Kyrgyz Zhogorku Kenesh (Supreme Council) Member of Budget and Finances Committee Muradyl Mademinov noted cooperation among the parliaments plays an important role and the meeting is a good platform to discuss topical issues.

“No country can fight against drug trafficking independently. We call for joint efforts to fight drug trafficking. Regional border guards, law enforcement agencies and drug control agencies need cooperation and coordination of actions. This cannot be provided without an appropriate regulatory framework,” he said.

Afghan Wolesi Jirga (National Assembly) member Abdul Qader Zazai noted countries have to stand together against the ideology and culture of terrorism and against those who sponsor and equip these groups.

“Tackling this issue is not complicated; it requires the political will and struggle of the regional states for bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the region and to all humanity. All these issues need collective measures and the request of a strong, interregional counterterrorism strategy,” he said.  

Zazai proposed developing a strategy which should be collectively focused on combating terrorism, financing terrorism and drug trafficking.

“The strategy needs to be reflected at the national level and with relevant laws. The strategy may have long term planning along with international accountability. I request all to take concrete steps on these issues of regional security and cooperate. I request the honourable members of parliaments of various nations [present here] today to raise this issue of terrorism in your respective parliaments and academic institutions. Let’s work hard together to bring and keep security and stability in the whole region and to save our people and nation from terror attacks,” he said in an emotional speech.

“Kazakhstan now has very good security and it will be a good example for other countries to use this experience,” he added.

During the event, the CSTO parliamentarians, international experts and representatives of international organisations discussed issues of expanding relations and strengthening interparliamentary interaction.

The post Central Asian parliaments seek regional peacebuilding, joint anti-terrorist efforts appeared first on The Astana Times.

Residents discuss benefits, inconveniences of EXPO 2017

Fri, 2017-05-26 00:53

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Some capital residents are happy the much-talked-about EXPO 2017 will benefit the city, entrepreneurs and Kazakhstan’s image. To others, however, it seems like a waste of budget money and resulting discomfort. The Astana Times interviewed several residents to get their impressions of the upcoming international specialised exposition.

Photo credit: viemagazine.com

“As a resident, the upcoming expo exhibition pleases me, with a chance to see new technologies in the energy field as well as other events tied to the exhibition such as concerts, circus, performances and exhibitions,” said entrepreneur Gulnara Ashirbayeva.

Families will have an opportunity to rest and learn something new on their off-days.

“We can also invite our relatives and friends to Astana and as part of showing the city to them, we can take them to this grand happening and attend all the activities to be held within the exhibition,” she added.

Ashirbayeva noted while all international expositions cost quite a bit of money, they are worth it. In addition to providing entertainment and insight, such events help boost Kazakhstan’s image in the world, make it recognisable and attract tourists who pay local businesses for services in hotels, airlines and other areas.

“In a tax form, this money will renew the city’s budget. The exhibition gives a job to entrepreneurs and joy to ordinary people,” she said.

Serik Abduov does not enjoy telling people about Kazakhstan when traveling abroad, so EXPO 2017 will do the talking for him.

“Unfortunately, the country is not always known far beyond its borders; that’s why for me, EXPO 2017 is a chance to showcase our country. This exhibition will not simply be about new technologies, but also Kazakhstan. We can demonstrate our culture, cuisine, hospitality and our capital,” he said.

The lead-up to the exhibition does not always create a positive impression, as all the buzz around the event and its preparations can result in dissatisfaction. People don’t always like it when a lot of money is being spent from the state budget.

“Getting to work gave me discomfort at traffic jams, as many roads are under renovation and a lot of construction work is going on. Areas near houses are dug up and all that,” said Abduov.

Yet he believes the exhibition will benefit the country, certain individuals, entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens who can receive some dividend from it in the long run.   

“I think it is really hard to evaluate the prestige of the country and our capital in terms of money; therefore, I think in the future we will see what the exhibition gave to this country and Astana. It is early to make judgments about it now,” he added.

Dina Botabayeva believes this is a grand occasion for the capital city, as a variety of important events often take place there. She feels EXPO 2017 is more of a cultural event.

“For example, cultural events are held more often in Almaty rather than Astana, while this time the capital was selected to host the exhibition. Many people can come and get to know Astana thanks to the expo. This is important and interesting to me as a native, that the city is changing due to this exhibition. Various new technologies are being introduced, like for example stands for charging mobile phones near the Congress Hall concert hall. I think we wouldn’t have this without EXPO 2017,” she noted.

Botabayeva is glad the exhibition will be held, despite the fact that a lot of money was spent on it. She suggests the event is more about human resources and energy rather than money.

“Many foreigners are interested in coming to visit the exhibition and see the city. Many people think wrongly about Astana, like it is a place where horses and yurts are. They will understand that Astana is modern when they come to visit,” she said.

The post Residents discuss benefits, inconveniences of EXPO 2017 appeared first on The Astana Times.

Arab businesses urge production of halal-certified meats in Kazakhstan

Fri, 2017-05-26 00:43

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Director of International Offices at Dubai Chamber Omar Khan called on Kazakhstan businesspeople to create a domestic meat brand at Kazakhstan-UAE Business Forum.

According to Khan, Kazakhstan and United Arab Emirates have cooperation potential in the certified meat product trade using halal standards.

“It is necessary to make Kazakh meat known all over the world. You need to pay attention to marketing, building brand name recognition and determining the price. Kazakh meat is good organic product. Other countries sell it for dollars, when you do it for cents,” Khan said at the forum in Astana on May 22.

“The UAE receives meat from Australia, New Zealand and other distant countries, but for some reasons not from Muslim states. The point is primarily in the cost, knowledge and recognition of the product. You have many talented people and can develop projects with a large added value, including halal products,” the Arab businessman said.

According to Khan, the main problem of Kazakhstan manufacturers is necessary certification.

At the moment, Kazakhstan has only one meat factory with a halal certificate from the UAE in Pavlodar. Deputy Chairperson of Atameken Nurzhan Altayev said Kazakhstan and the Islamic Development Bank are working on a project to create a halal-hub in Kazakhstan. According to him, the project can solve the problem with the export of Kazakh meat.

“Now we need to conduct a halal-certification of our enterprises to deliver products to the UAE. In the future, we need to put a laboratory in Kazakhstan. After that our entrepreneurs won’t need to go to the UAE and bring their experts from there. One laboratory will be enough to certify all the enterprises,” Altayev added.

Approximately 70 UAE businesspeople and more than 500 businesspeople from Kazakhstan took part in the Kazakhstan-UAE Business Forum in Astana, during which national representatives signed economic cooperation agreements.

The post Arab businesses urge production of halal-certified meats in Kazakhstan appeared first on The Astana Times.

EXPO 2017 expected to add 200,000 cars to area roads

Fri, 2017-05-26 00:30

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Vice-Minister for Investments and Development of Kazakhstan Roman Sklyar warned Astana residents to expect heavier than usual traffic during EXPO 2017.

Presumably about 200,000 people will come to visit the exhibition by their private vehicles.

“It is clear that we, residents of the city, will feel some kind of discomfort, but this needs to be done; it is necessary to accommodate that. This is equivalent to when we receive guests at home in a three-room apartment and two rooms are occupied by guests. Something like that. These are temporary difficulties, together with the akimat (city administration), we will separately consider each situation and try to solve it,” said Sklyar at a May 19 press conference at the Government building.

To solve the problem of a shortage of parking spaces, the city administration has developed measures, such as large parking lots, which will be built in the area of the expo and roads will be reconstructed. Authorities promise to finish repairs on most streets and roads leading to the exhibition.

At the same time, journalists reminded the vice minister about the proposal of the Prosecutor General to close the entry of non-resident personal transport to Astana for the time of the expo.

“Urban transport infrastructure is now actively being repaired, so we believe there will be no questions on restricting the entry of personal vehicles. This issue is in the competence of the akimat,” commented Sklyar.

According to the ministry’s forecast, the exhibition will receive more than 2 million visits.

The post EXPO 2017 expected to add 200,000 cars to area roads appeared first on The Astana Times.

Astana Art Fest 2017, “Nomad Energy,” to Be Largest Yet

Fri, 2017-05-26 00:26

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Astana’s traditional Art Fest, this year titled “Nomad Energy,” is to kick off June 17 on the Nur Zhol boulevard. According to its organisers, the 90-day event will be the biggest Art Fest yet.

Photo credit: kipyat.com.

“At the moment, we are preparing for the grand opening and this year we received the most applicants ever wanting to perform during the festival,” said Art Fest Director Maira Izmalilova. “This year we will have a lot of Kazakh painters; for instance, Kyzyl Traktor, a famous group of painters from Shymkent; Saule Suleimenova; Saiyd Atabekov; Arstanbek Shalbayev and many others,” she said.

According to Izmalilova, the 8:30 p.m. opening will be a unique show with elements of theatrical action.

Astana Art Fest 2016

“There will be a light and fire show, complex choreographed scenes specially created for the festival, a bright visual range of art objects, conceptual music and much more,” she said.

Izmalilova added that quite a number of foreign artists and theatrical troupes are expected to arrive from Europe and North America and exhibit their works as well.

“Among the headliners from the contemporary arts category we will have a group of Spanish talents called LUZINTERRUPTUS,” Izmalilova said.

Works by LUZINTERRUPTUS

LUZINTERRUPTUS is an anonymous art group, positioning itself as independent from any state. It creates and stages performances in public places using light and secondary raw materials. LUZINTERRUPTUS will work over several fountains along the Nur Zhol boulevard and will create a real miracle for visitors and residents, the organisers claim.

Art Fest organisers also promise to stage performances by such stars as Kazakhstan’s Galymzhan Moldanazar, Son Pascal, Molto Loud, the ethnic ensemble Turan and many others.

More detailed information will soon be available at Keruen Mall and will be announced over Kazakh radio stations and through other mass media outlets, Izmalilova underscored.

Astana Art Fest 2016

The programme will include entertainment for children and master classes on the arts.

Any artist may join the Art Fest by simply submitting their works each year. The organisers each year hold an open call to recruit young talents with the support of the Astana akimat (city administration).

Izmalilova explained that the purpose of the Art Fest is to unite artists from not just Kazakhstan but all over the world within a single platform.

“In 2013, I had an idea to unite creative talents, innovators, people in search of meaning and people who are constantly growing. The city akimat had the same idea – to create an art festival – and this is how we got this mix. In 2015, we had our first festival and it was an absolutely one-of-a-kind improvisational platform, made up in a couple of months, dedicated to the EXPO 2017. The ultimate goal of the festival is to create and showcase the creative cluster of the country. Our country is huge, with a lot of talented people, and some of them are disconnected from Almaty or Astana, where all the major happenings take place. Our festival gives them a chance to show their talents.”

 

The post Astana Art Fest 2017, “Nomad Energy,” to Be Largest Yet appeared first on The Astana Times.

SAP Kazakhstan to launch innovative business and public administration programmes at Kazakh universities

Fri, 2017-05-26 00:19

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – SAP announced plans to open the first Next-Gen Lab in Kazakhstan in cooperation with Nazarbayev University and the International University of Information Technologies at the May 24 SAP Forum.

The labs will be created within both of those universities, and in them, students, under the guidance of SAP experts and using SAP technologies, will solve specific business tasks set by clients.

“This educational technology was first tested with Stanford University and gave astounding results. The programme allows [users] not only to teach students practical work with digital technologies, but also to involve universities in creating real innovations to solve specific business problems of our customers,” said SAP Kazakhstan Director Maksim Lamskov.

The company aims to bring their customers, IT companies and universities in the country together to jointly develop innovative solutions for specific problems.

Maksim Lamskov. Photo credit: forbes.kz.

“Our role is unifying. We acquired great experience in the global market and this year we plan to apply this experience as part of the SAP University Alliances.  This is a strong driver that will help push forward innovative business solutions, solving specific problems using digital technologies,” he said.

The company has also been successfully implementing a joint training programme for members of the University Alliances in cooperation with the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund. Ten leading Kazakh universities are participating in programmes launched by SAP University Alliances.

Photo credit: forbes.kz.

SAP entered the Kazakh market with the ESP concept in oil and gas, transport and telecommunications.

“At that time, this concept was innovative, and changed approaches to corporate governance. Today, we see the ESP platform as a standard element of real sector management,” Lamskov said.

The company began cooperating with Kazakhstan’s public sector six years ago and proposed a completely new approach to public finance management. The E-Minfin innovative project resulted from that cooperation, and today, more than 20,000 employees and the whole management work on the same standard rules following the same strategic goals. This project is unique within the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Last year, SAP launched the SAP Institute of Digital Government, a global initiative to exchange experience in public administration.

“We managed to bring innovative public administration practices to Kazakhstan. Our ideas and concepts were in demand when the Digital Kazakhstan programme was developed,” he said.

This year, SAP also announced that it was investing in the development of the SAP Leonardo Internet of Things.

SAP signed a cooperation agreement with the Finance Academy under the Ministry of Finance and Nazarbayev University as part of the event.

“We developed a special programme and we will launch in the next academic year. Our professional development centre will be transformed into the academy of additional education. We will offer various training programmes and students can undergo additional training, receiving not only a diploma, but also a certificate of qualification for future careers. For example, we will prepare IT professionals for the financial and banking sectors. So, we need to teach them according to the SAP programme because it is widely used. And this agreement will give us the opportunity to provide free education,” said Financial Academy Innovative Development and Distance Learning Vice Rector Bakhyt Sharipov.

 

The post SAP Kazakhstan to launch innovative business and public administration programmes at Kazakh universities appeared first on The Astana Times.

Vital Smoothies provides vitamins while receiving support

Thu, 2017-05-25 03:06

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Vital Smoothies use cold-press technology to produce thick, 100-percent natural juices with pulp from fresh fruits, berries and vegetables. The process, which preserves natural taste, colour and important vitamins, is new to Kazakhstan. The initiative was supported by the Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund, which offered attractive lending conditions to the company.

“There are a lot of freshly-squeezed juices on the market, but they start to ferment after three days because of the microorganisms contained in them. There are also many juices that can be kept on store shelves for years. These juices can be stored for so long because they go through the process of heat treatment, in which all microorganisms and vitamins are killed,” said Vital Smoothies Founder Salim Nagym.

The uniqueness is in the production technology. The juices are heat treated, retaining their taste, colour and vitamins for up to 15 days, while neutralising microorganisms that are dangerous to health and cause fermentation.

“My wife and I met in the UK while being students there, and both of us were passionate smoothie devotees. It all started back in 2014, when we undertook a family trip across the cities in the UK where we used to study and Cambridge was one of our destinations. We were sitting at a train station together with my wife’s brother, waiting for our train and enjoying smoothies we had just bought at the local train shop. I began wondering why no one had come across the idea of producing smoothies in Kazakhstan yet. My brother-in-law mentioned that one of his acquaintances looked into this business opportunity but had come to the conclusion that it was not going to be profitable,” Nagym shared.

“Upon our arrival to Kazakhstan, I decided to conduct my own research. I studied the technology of production, the cost of equipment, fruits, berries and vegetables. It was not easy as there was no analogue of such business in Kazakhstan, neither were there any similar technologies of production in the neighbouring states. I visited major retailers in Moscow, Baku, Tbilisi and Yekaterinburg trying to find such product but I found none,” he added.

The more Nagym studied the business, the more questions and doubts he had: “However, the popularity of smoothies in Europe convinced me that sooner or later it will come to Kazakhstan, so we needed to start off. Of course, it would be a challenge but we would deal with the problems in the process.”

Through his research, he learned the Damu Fund subsidises up to 10 percent of the interest rates on loans.

“I thought why should I invest my own funds in the business, when I can keep it in a bank and earn 12 percent per annum and pay 4-percent interest per annum only by subsidising interest rates with the Damu Fund,” he said.

“However, in reality everything turned out to be a little bit more complicated. I had to collect many documents to get the bank’s approval for the loan first, then the subsidy approval. There are no such business support programmes in other countries so even though I had to spend a lot of time and collect many documents, in general I am glad that I have used such state support,” he commented.

Vital Smoothies does not currently have any competitors in the Kazakh market, said Nagym. Some companies use a direct pressing method similar to its technology, but the shelf life is very short and therefore not practical to import from Europe.

“First of all, we are working on a price reduction for our products. We want Vital Smoothies to be affordable to a wide range of consumers. As of today, 70 percent of the cost of our products is the cost of fresh fruit, berries and vegetables. At the moment we are working on establishing our own supply chain of fruits, berries and vegetables directly from the manufacturers avoiding intermediaries. We are also building our own storage. After the completion of all these works, the cost of our products will be decreased,” said Nagym.

“We plan to expand the geography of our smoothie sales. Vital Smoothies are sold in all large supermarkets across Astana. Commencing May 1, we began shipping to Ramstor and Interfood in Almaty. As soon as we cover the Almaty market, we want to start deliveries to the nearby cities of Russia – Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Novosibirsk and others,” he added.

The post Vital Smoothies provides vitamins while receiving support appeared first on The Astana Times.

Kazakh scientist develops refinement system for polluting emissions

Thu, 2017-05-25 02:45

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Kazakh scientist Alexander Borisenko has developed a refinement system for polluting emissions that can purify any processed gas. The technology has been successfully operating at his factory for a year.

Photo credit: inform.kz

“As this technology didn’t exist, it is always hard to create something that doesn’t exist. Many people don’t understand and the working process is still to be explained. We have seen the processes that occur in nature and we have learned to catalyse them, meaning we do what nature does. It cleans the same way,” he told Kazinform.

Borisenko, who is also the head of Absalut Ecology, established a complex in his factory that burns trash without discharging harmful substances into the air. The gas transforms into clean air when exiting and no reagents are used. The technology can be used in cars, large industrial plants and central heating and power plants.

Many people are suspicious about the technology, as it contradicts classic science, said Borisenko. In addition, the system is so flexible there is no need to change the technological process. The size of the complex and its price depend on the amount of the enterprises’ gas emissions.

Photo credit: inform.kz.

Borisenko believes such technology could start a revolution in waste recovery.

“There is an opportunity today not having to create polygons. Waste can be sorted right away while burning a useless part of it without harming the atmosphere. I think this is the most basic field our technology can be applied to. But the technology allows utilising everything that was dumped into an atmosphere and turn it into harmless chemical elements without polluting the environment,” he said, according to the news report.

Fifteen years of hit-or-miss work were needed to develop the technology. The company currently has a foreign partner and Borisenko is ready to present his invention during EXPO 2017.

His second invention is an advanced air ionising technology designed to saturate air with light negative air ions, compensating for the lack of them in homes and workplaces. It neutralises harmful chemical compounds and unpleasant odours while eliminating dust, microbes and bacteria.

The refinement system provides a long life and safe operation period with no more than 100 watts in energy demand. Circulated water serving as high cost filters is the main feature in the device.

The post Kazakh scientist develops refinement system for polluting emissions appeared first on The Astana Times.

Kazakhstan set to agree to limit oil production, but on new conditions

Thu, 2017-05-25 02:40

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – OPEC and non-OPEC producers, including Kazakhstan, will meet in Vienna May 25 to renew the deal limiting oil production for an additional six months. Kazakhstan will sign the agreement if the restrictions do not apply to Kashagan field, according to Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev.

Photo credit: nb.kz

“We will negotiate with the OPEC and non-OPEC countries on the role that Kazakhstan will play by joining this agreement on May 24-25. On the same conditions, most likely, it will not work. We will discuss what measures we will join,” he said prior to the talks.

“We want to be in a trend together with all oil-producing countries. But Kazakhstan has the unique Kashagan field, which is developing its main production this year,” he added.

Bozumbayev highlighted that Kazakhstan’s clear position will be announced at the meeting, where the delegation will protect the nation’s interests.

The minister made it clear Kashagan would be excluded from the oil-limiting list. After 10 years of delays, the offshore field in the Caspian Sea started production last summer.

This year, Kashagan plans to produce about five million tonnes of oil and 3.1 billion cubic metres of gas. In 2017, 2.2 million tonnes have been already been produced in the first four months, said Bozumbayev.

In April, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported Kazakhstan had violated the obligation to reduce oil production by 20,000 barrels per day, instead increasing production since October by almost 80,000 barrels. The main reason is Kashagan is gaining momentum and volume of oil production. The country didn’t undertake to maintain a certain volume of oil production every month, said the minister. Therefore, in January, production decreased by 30,000 barrels per day, the index grew slightly the next month and in March exceeded 1.7 million tonnes.

Bozumbayev emphasised the importance of oil price not falling below $50 per barrel, as the budget is based on that price. Therefore, Kazakhstan will negotiate on the possibility of extending the agreement limiting production.

A few days before the OPEC meeting, oil prices showed significant growth. For the first time since April 18, the mark of $54 per barrel was broken May 22.

Forex Club analyst Valery Polkhovsky considers oil prices will be fixed at about $55 per barrel and can then move to $60 before the meeting in Vienna.

“However, for most OPEC countries it is not enough to balance their budgets; the comfortable range is $60-$70 per barrel,” he reported in his research.

“The impact of Kazakhstan on price is not critical for two reasons. Foremost, 95 percent of a party to the agreement follow negotiations, as well as Kazakhstan is not a net-provider in the oil market. Large countries such as Russia and the Saudi Arabia, which produce more than 11 million barrels per day, are important,” said Bozumbayev.

The post Kazakhstan set to agree to limit oil production, but on new conditions appeared first on The Astana Times.

Nazarbayev University to hold Eurasian Higher Education Leaders’ Forum

Thu, 2017-05-25 02:36

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – Nazarbayev University (NU) will bring together researchers, practitioners and university leaders May 31 to discuss modern education. The yearly event attracts industry heads from Kazakhstan and many other countries.

“The Eurasian Higher Education Leaders’ Forum that Nazarbayev University organises on an annual basis has become a well-established tradition. This forum brings together leading researchers, practitioners and leaders of universities to discuss some of the most pressing items and topics that we all face together in this rapidly changing world. Nazarbayev University is a very young university in the heart of Eurasia – Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, – and we would very much like to share with you how we are building a modern research university,” said NU President Shigeo Katsu.

Nobel laureates, leading scientists and experts will gather at NU to participate in conferences, discussions, master classes and roundtables. The forum aims to bring together education stakeholders to share their ideas and engage in lively debates on issues that higher education leaders are facing worldwide.

This year, the university plans to hold a series of interesting sessions about governance, management and leadership in higher education. Such themes as the role of higher education in economic development, the future of universities, graduate employment, careers and economic needs of the labour force and how to make universities innovative will also be discussed.

In addition to the plenary session, visitors can take part in seminars held June 1 by NU experts. They will discuss quality enhancement through annual programme review, practical details of selection and student admission. NU’s Graduate School of Education will hold sessions on curriculum development, teaching and assessment, implementing corporate governance and conducting research in humanities.

“Collaboration between the Eurasian Higher Education Forum and international partners is not an option – it’s essential. Because the world in which we live today is one of global communication that’s fast and, so, international collaboration has to happen,” said Colleen McLaughlin, director of educational innovation at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education professor Robert Zemsky is a strong supporter of the forum.

“Each time I’ve attended the forum, and I really come to almost all of them since they were established in 2012, I’ve been impressed by the vitality and importance of the conversation. As an American outsider, what the forum allows me is a new understanding about what is happening in this part of the world. As a concept of international cooperation, the forum itself is an important addition to international higher education,” he said.

The Eurasian Higher Education Leaders’ Forum serves as an internationally open platform for communicating and networking among local education leaders and their international peers and colleagues. The event runs its own website offering open-access proceedings for local and worldwide leadership.

The post Nazarbayev University to hold Eurasian Higher Education Leaders’ Forum appeared first on The Astana Times.

Electronic health passports to be introduced in 2018

Thu, 2017-05-25 02:33

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Healthcare will develop an electronic health passport by 2018 to store health data throughout a person’s life that will be accessible from anywhere, according to the Minister Yelzhan Birtanov.

Photo credit: kazpravda.kz

“Currently, the pilot project on the use of the electronic health passport is being tested in Astana’s city polyclinic No. 9,” said Birtanov, as reported by primeminister.kz.

He explained that every Kazakh citizen and medical worker will have their own personal accounts.

“The platform will allow all public and private clinics to integrate their corporate and information systems and work as the single-window system,” the minister said.

The work on the project began in September of 2015 and the ministry expects the system to replace all paperwork by the beginning of 2019.

Thirty-eight percent of the nation’s health organisations have established medical information system, he said.

“To provide computer equipment to the organisations of healthcare and to introduce local medical information systems, the ministry together with administrations of the regions and cities of Astana and Almaty, takes measures to create the appropriate IT infrastructure. The ministry concluded memorandums with akims (governors) of the regions on providing the organisations of public health with the necessary computer equipment by 50 percent in 2017 and 100 percent in 2018. So, this year, more than 16,000 units of computer equipment will be purchased at the expense of the local budgets,” he added.

The post Electronic health passports to be introduced in 2018 appeared first on The Astana Times.

Best traffic inspector chosen in Ust-Kamenogorsk

Thu, 2017-05-25 02:30

The Astana Times provides news and information from Kazakhstan and around the world.

Senior State Traffic Inspector of the Borodulikha district, Major Zhanybek Shaimardanov was recently named Best State Auto Inspector 2017.

Photo credit: kazpravda.kz

The award was the result of a contest organised for the first time on the eve of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Kazakh police in June.

The contest was sponsored by the Administrative Police Department of the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) of the East Kazakhstan region.

Senior State Traffic Inspector of the Shemonaikha district Major Serik Tolesov took the second place and the third place was taken by the Senior State Traffic Inspector of the city of Ridder Major Sayat Orazbayev.

Thirteen state inspectors of the city and regional divisions of the departments of internal affairs competed. They were required to demonstrate their knowledge of the legal acts related to the ethical code of civil servants, the laws of Kazakhstan On Combating Corruption, On Law Enforcement Service, On Internal Affairs Authorities of Kazakhstan and the Traffic Rules. After demonstrating their knowledge, participants were tested on their driving skills at an autodrome.

Contest organisers said they plan to hold the contest annually and hope it will strengthen the police services’ image and better prepare officers to handle drivers’ license examinations and vehicle registrations.

Winners received diplomas and gifts.

 

The post Best traffic inspector chosen in Ust-Kamenogorsk appeared first on The Astana Times.