News Bulletin
Released weekly by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan


No 15 November 7, 2007

Wasp hosts Kazakhstan dignitary
UN helps Almaty city set up digital human rights library
Ambassador Idrissov visits Chicago to support Kazakhstanian boxing team

EBRD mulls buying into Kazakh state investment funds
Aldar enters Kazakhstan with project in Astana

“Samgau” establishes Innovation and Education Consortium
Kazakhstan crowned Asian champions


Wasp hosts Kazakhstan dignitary

Navy News, Nov 5, 2007

Kazakh Deputy Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Bulat Sembinov visited the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) Nov. 1 as part of a theater security cooperation event aimed at enhancing international support of the coalition's efforts toward maintaining maritime security and stability in the region.

"The opportunity to host Deputy Minister Sembinov on [board] Wasp gives us the chance to showcase our defense capabilities," said Wasp Commanding Officer, Capt. Michael Hawley. "After our meeting, I feel confident that [Sembinov] has a better understanding of Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and the capabilities of Coalition forces in the area."

Hawley greeted Sembinov, a two-star general, on the ship's quarterdeck and provided a tour of the ship.

"As always, I was very proud to show off our fine warship," Hawley said. "Our crew keeps it in outstanding condition and their professionalism validates the reputation as the 'number one ship in the fleet.'"

Wasp began a humanitarian assistance/crisis response exercise Nov. 1, involving amphibious, air and medical forces in the Persian Gulf. Commander, Task Force 59 is leading the exercise, focusing on furthering the region's humanitarian and disaster response capability.

Wasp is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the Central Command area of responsibility conducting MSO. Coalition forces conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that all commercial shipping can operate freely while transiting the region.

UN helps Almaty city set up digital human rights library

UNESCO press-release Nov 6, 2007
The official launching of the Human Rights Digital Library pilot project for Almaty City took place in early October in Almaty at the offices of the Akimat.
Representatives of UNESCO, UNDP, the UN Department of Public Information, the Human Rights Commission under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the National Academic Library and top officials from the Almaty Akimat participated.

The UN will assist the Akimat to create a digital library on human rights issues in both Kazakh and Russian, based on legal documents of Municipality (Akimat). The Almaty digital library is the second phase of a national project.

The first digital library collection was created using legal documents of the Human Rights Commission under the President of Kazakhstan. It can be accessed via the National Academic Library in Astana.

As the largest city in Kazakhstan, Almaty has the best access to legal information via the internet. The human rights digital library will be a key component of e-government in the Almaty region, improve public access to rights information, help citizens to more actively participate in public affairs and improve the general legal education of the population.

Ambassador Idrissov visits Chicago to support Kazakhstanian boxing team

On Nov 1-3, 2007 Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Erlan Idrissov, visited Chicago (Ill.), where a team of Kazakhstanian athletes participated to the AIBA World Boxing Championship which hosted more than 700 boxers from 120 countries. 

Cheered by a group of Kazakhstanian students and businessmen working in the United States the Kazakh boxing team won four tickets for the 2008 Beijing Olympics as well as one gold and two bronze medals – coming only behind teams from Russia, US, China and Italy.

During the visit, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador hosted a friendly reception co-sponsored by a US-based Kazakh company Snow Queen Vodka to support the boxers, with AIBA and World Championship officials attending the event.

Also in Chicago Ambassador Idrissov gave a talk at the University of Chicago and was a guest-speaker at a business breakfast at Mid-America Club co-hosted by Illinois’s World Trade Center and “Boeing” company.


EBRD mulls buying into Kazakh state investment funds

Reuters, Nov 5, 2007 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is considering Kazakhstan's suggestion that it buy stakes in the country's state investment vehicles, the bank's country manager said on Monday.

The Kazakh government has offered the EBRD to become a shareholder of the Development Bank of Kazakhstan and two funds controlled by the state Kazyna investment fund, as well as a possible stake in Kazyna itself.

The Development Bank of Kazakhstan, the largest of the three institutions, had a capital of about $680 million as of Dec.31 2006.

"We are working on this. Almost every week we have negotiations in Almaty, Astana and London," Andre Kuusvek, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan, told reporters.

The EBRD wants to make sure the entities are operated as regular businesses, he said.

"If we agree that these institutions are governed by commercial considerations and not by political ones, we will participate," Kuusvek said. "Otherwise we will not."

The bank was looking at stakes of up to 25 percent, he said.

On Monday the EBRD also signed a deal to provide private Kazakh bank Caspian with a five-year $59 million loan. The proceeds will be used to finance small and medium-sized businesses outside of the capital Astana and commercial centre Almaty.

"We were initially looking at a loan facility in tenge, but as tenge interest rates surged we and our customer decided to switch to dollars," Kuusvek said.

Kazakh banks had been aggressively borrowing abroad until the July liquidity crunch that left many of them short on liquidity. Kuusvek declined to provide pricing details of Monday's loan.

Aldar enters Kazakhstan with project in Astana

By Himendra Mohan Kumar, Gulf News, Oct 31, 2007

Aldar Properties, one of the largest companies by market capitalisation in the UAE, yesterday announced its entry into Kazakhstan with the launch of Abu Dhabi Plaza in the capital city Astana at a ceremony attended by Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"The Kazakh president was very pleased with the quality of the project," Aldar chairman Ahmad Ali Al Sayegh told Gulf News.

He said the proposed project will include 90,000 square metres of commercial space, 598 residential units in an 88 storey tower, a retail space of 111,000 square metres and two hotels.

"The multi-use project will be jointly executed by the Aldar-Al Maabar consortium," said Al Sayegh, adding that it would be their second overseas joint project after Malaysia.

"Aldar Properties estimates this project to have a four-year construction period and the subsequent estimated completion date is 2011," he said.

"The development will set new benchmarks for accommodation standards, work and leisure facilities, but will be within the current level of living expenses and disposable income available to the Kazakhs," said Al Sayegh. "This development will expand the Special Economic Zone in Astana. The Abu Dhabi Plaza development is a catalyst for the city of Astana to further develop its economy and bring business interest into the nation."

Asked why the company selected Astana for project development, Al Sayegh said: "The UAE and Kazakhstan have a very strong political relationship. We feel very welcomed here."


“Samgau” establishes Innovation and Education Consortium

“Samgau” National Scientific and Technological Holding announced that it has set up the Innovation and Education Consortium, the Embassy of Kazakhstan reports referring to the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency.

"Consortium’s main goal is to establish a unified information and educational environment based on the INTRANET," a “Samgau” press release reads.

"The consortium will consolidate intellectual, financial and technical resources, expand Kazakhstanian content in the global web, particularly in Kazakh language,” “Samgau” promises.

The consortium was set up as a state and business partnership.

According to “Samgau”, US-based “Hughes” and “STM”, German “IMC AG” and Israel-based “Edusoft” favored their involvement in the project. Local companies such as Kazsatnet and National Information Center are also considering their participation.

"Samgau is currently negotiating the involvement of IBM, Cisco, Motorola, General Electric as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” the press release says.

According to the press release, "the consortium will start its activity in 2008: introducing education programs based on IT, creating network infrastructure and long-distance education environment as well as promoting free access to global information in Kazakhstan’s education facilities,”.

Kazakhstan crowned Asian champions

International Rugby Board, Nov 5, 2007

Kazakhstan lived up to their billing as tournament favourites by beating host nation China 34-5 in the final of the 2007 Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) Women’s Championship at the National Sports Training Centre, Haigeng in Kunming on Sunday.

More than half of Kazakhstan’s squad had played in last year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in Canada and they dominated from the outset in the final against the defending champions, who were missing a couple of key players through injury.

The strong running of flanker Anna Yakovleva saw her regularly break through the Chinese defensive line as Kazakhstan established a 19-0 lead at half time with tries from Anastassiya Khamova, Maryana Balashova and Irina Radizivil.

Kazakhstan had three players sin-binned in the match, two of them within five minutes of each other in the second half, but increased their lead to 34-0 with two tries from Olga Rudoy and another from Irina Amossova.

However China, without number 8 Bai Ying and full back Liu Yan who had impressed before suffering knee injuries in their 39-6 defeat of Singapore in their opening match, had the final say with a last gasp try from full back Lui Tingting.

News Bulletin of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Contact person: Zhanbolat Ussenov
Tel.: 202-232-5488 ext 104; Fax: 202-232-5845
E-mail: zhan@kazakhembus.com
Web-site: www.kazakhembus.com  

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