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  • 14 Nov 2016 11:36 AM | Anonymous

    On November 8-9, 2016 Ms. Tatyana Valovaya, Member of the Eurasian Economic Commission’s Board – Minister in charge of the Development of Integration and Macroeconomics, visited Montreal and Ottawa.

    In Ottawa, Minister Valovaya met with Ms. Alex Bugailiskis, Assistant Deputy Minister, Europe, Middle East and Maghreb, Department of Global Affairs of Canada and discussed the current status and prospects of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) ‒ a regional economic integrational organization that unites Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

    The meeting was also attended by H.E. Mr. Konstantin Zhigalov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Canada, given that this year, Kazakhstan is chairing the EAEU.

    Minister Valovaya briefed the Assistant Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada with the main principles of creation and development of the Eurasian Economic Union, noting that during the establishment of the EAEU it was taken into account the experience and the “lessons” of the European Union. The Eurasian Economic Commission’s Minister emphasized that the EAEU is based on economic integration only and it has no political inspirations. This principle protects the EAEU from the appearance of the internal problems, which are currently being faced by the European Union (including “Brexit”). Another important factor is the lack of plans to create a single currency within the framework of the EAEU (it’s a non-monetary union), and this is partly justified by the occurrence of the negative experience of the Eurozone’s functioning. At the same time, the EAEU is working on the harmonization of national legislations in the financial sector, in order to establish by 2025 a single market for financial services (with a supranational institution that will be located in Almaty and it will regulate the financial market).

    During the meeting, both sides also discussed other issues concerning the EAEU’s functioning, as well as the prospects of possible cooperation between the EAEU and Canada.

    While in Ottawa, Minister Valovaya gave a lecture titled “Eurasian Economic Union: Current Developments and Prospects” at Carleton University. 

    In Montreal, Minister Valovaya as a keynote speaker participated in a seminar titled “Trading with the Eurasian Economic Union”, which was arranged with assistance of the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association (CERBA). She presented to the Canadian business community information about the EAEU and advantages of doing business with the EAEU member countries. 

    Along with Minister Valovaya, the event was attended by H.E. Mr. Armen Yeganian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Canada, H.E. Mr. Konstantin Zhigalov, Ambassador of the Republic Kazakhstan to Canada, H.E. Alexander Darchiev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Canada and Mr. Oleg Kravchenko, Director of the Americas Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. 

    Ambassador Zhigalov informed the attendees about the priorities of Kazakhstan’s presidency at the EAEU in 2016 that was declared as the “Year of the deepening of the Union’s economic relations with third countries and key integrational associations”. Kazakhstan has proposed to deepen the EAEU contacts with the key blocks, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Free movement of goods and services within the EAEU corresponds to “The Silk Road Economic Belt” initiative suggested by the Chinese leadership.

    Kazakhstan also raises the issue of the need to establish cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and European Union. We have proposed an initiative to arrange a joint conference between the EAEU and EU, where both trading blocs could consider the idea of ​​the Great Eurasia that will bring together in a single integration project of the 21st century the Eurasian Economic Union, the Silk Road Economic Belt and the European Union.

    Many countries have expressed their interest in creating a free trade zone with the EAEU. In 2015, the EAEU signed the first free trade agreement with Vietnam. More than 30 countries, including China, India, Israel, Egypt, Iran expressed their desire to expand trade and economic cooperation with the EAEU member countries. The intention of these and other countries has been encouraged by their willingness to use the advantages of cooperation with the Eurasian economic alliance and common market of the five states, as well as to elevate the existing partnership to a new level.

    The economic potential of the Eurasian integration is very high. The combined amount of the nominal GDPs of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union is $2.2 trillion and the common market covers more than 182 million people.

    In this regard, Ambassador Zhigalov invited the Canadian companies to partner with the Alliance, including with Kazakhstan, through participation in CERBA and the Kazakhstan ‒ Canada Business Council.

  • 31 Oct 2016 2:09 PM | Anonymous

    Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Canada, 29 October 2016

    Natural Resources Canada Official meets Kazakhstan counterparts in Astana

    On October 24-28, 2016, Mr. Mark Pearson, Director General, External Relations, Science and Policy Integration, Natural Resources Canada visited Astana and participated in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Board meeting. The EITI is a global Standard to promote the open and accountable management of natural resources, and both Kazakhstan and Canada are committed to promote public awareness about how countries manage their oil, gas and mineral resources.

    Moreover, Mr. Pearson met with the leadership of Kazakhstan’s Ministry Investments and Development, Committee of Geology and Subsoil Use, “KazGeology” National Company and KazEnergy Association. Both parties discussed the current status and prospects of the Kazakhstan – Canada partnership in the area of mining and geology, exchanged of views on the best practices in geological survey, resource exploration and development, as well as implementation of international standards in this area. It was agreed to further support mutually beneficial cooperation in the mining area, including with help of Kazakhstan’s delegation, which is going to participate in the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange in march, 2017 in Toronto.

    Alberta trade mission visits Kazakhstan

    A trade mission of the province of Alberta to Kazakhstan (Almaty, Taldy-Korgan, Astana) was arranged on October 24-29, 2016. The mission included five Canadian companies and three business associations (Amity Ag, Xports International, Boda Farm, Agriprocity, Stamp Seeds, Canadian Beef Breeds Council, Canadian Hereford Association, Canadian Angus Association), as well as representatives of Lakeland College. Along with visiting farms in Almaty and Akmola regions, the companies and associations from Canada took part in the KazAgro / KazFarm agricultural and animal breeding industry fairs in Astana, in which a company from the province of Saskatchewan, Bourgault Industries Ltd also took part.

    While in Astana, the trade mission’s participants met with Vice-Minister of Investments and Development of Kazakhstan Yerlan Khairov, leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, National Export and Investment Agency “Kaznex Invest”, “Astana Socio-Entrepreneurial Corporation” JSC and others. Both sides expressed their interest to further cooperate in the agricultural area, including beef cattle breeding, grain production, agricultural equipment, education. 

  • 31 Oct 2016 2:01 PM | Anonymous

    Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Canada, 26 October 2016

    Inter-parliamentary cooperation has been a key area of Kazakhstan-Canada partnership for many years. In October 2012, a parliamentary delegation led by Mr. Nurlan Nigmatulin, the Speaker of Kazakhstan’s Majilis, lower chamber of the Parliament, visited Canada and held talks with the Governor General, Prime Minister, and the Speakers of Senate and House of Commons. In September 2014, the first ever Canadian parliamentary delegation led by Mr. Leon Benoit, then-Chair of the House Natural Resource Committee, paid a visit to Kazakhstan.

    Following the parliamentary elections in Canada in 2015 and in Kazakhstan in March 2016, Kazakhstan-Canada Parliamentary Cooperation Group was relaunched with new members. On October 26, 2016, Ambassador Konstantin Zhigalov and the Parliamentary Group’s members held the Group’s inaugural meeting to reinvigorate bilateral relations and identifying new avenues of cooperation between two countries.

    The Group will be led by two Co-Chairs: The Honourable Robert Nault, Chair of the House Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Senator James Cowan. The inaugural meeting was attended by Senator David Wells, Mr. James Maloney, Chair of the House Standing Committee on Natural Resources, The Honourable Candice Bergen, MP, The Honourable Gerry Ritz, MP, The Honourable Peter Kent, MP, Mr. Randy Hoback, Vice-Chair of the House Standing Committee on International Trade. A number of other MPs and Senators have also agreed to join the Group’s activities in the nearest future.

    At the meeting, paying a special tribute to the past achievements of Kazakh-Canadian relations in political, economic, cultural spheres, and praising the current level of cooperation, including but not limited to the recent meetings of President Nursultan Nazarbayev with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Ministers Erlan Idrissov and Stephane Dion, establishment of Kazakh-Canadian Business Council, Ambassador Zhigalov emphasized the importance of  setting new goals and targets to be achieved in the years to come.

    Members of Canadian Parliament expressed their commitment to strengthening Kazakhstan-Canada partnership ahead of the symbolic dates of the 25th Anniversary of Kazakhstan's Independence in 2016, 25th Anniversary of Kazakh-Canadian diplomatic relations and 150th Birthday of Canada in 2017. The members agreed to join efforts to organize exchange visits of the two countries’ parliamentary delegations in 2017.

    Participation of Canadian companies in the International Exhibition EXPO-2017, which will be held from June to September 2017 in Astana, arranging high-level visits and promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue, business links and people-to-people ties between the two countries were among the issues discussed. A decision was made to establish the Group’s Secretariat to further facilitate common efforts aimed at building an even stronger Kazakhstan-Canada partnership.

  • 20 Oct 2016 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    US Department of the Treasury bulletin of 10/18/2016 11:38 AM EDT

    The Department of the Treasury, in consultation and coordination with the Department of State, is authorizing by general license transactions involving certain Belarusian entities blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13405.  This license does not generally authorize the release of property blocked pursuant to E.O. 13405.  This authorization expires on April 30, 2017, unless extended or revoked.

  • 14 Oct 2016 10:03 AM | Anonymous

    Press Service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 7 October 2016

    In order to ensure the accelerated development of small business and private entrepreneurship, further strengthen the legal mechanisms for protection and guarantees of the inviolability of private property, elimination of bureaucratic obstacles to business development, improvement of investment climate and business environment in the country: 

    1. Identify provision of greater freedom for small business and private entrepreneurship, radical reduction of government intervention in their activities, provision of early warning, efficient prevention of violations as a top priority of the state policy and the primary task of public authorities, involved in the sphere of further development of entrepreneurship. 

    Public authorities, especially law enforcement and regulatory agencies must: 

    • ensure unconditional implementation of the above requirements, as well as the principle of priority of the rights and lawful interests of business entities in their work; 
    • within two months submit substantiated proposals based on critical analysis of their functions and authorities, aimed at improving and enhancing the effectiveness of measures on prevention of violations; 
    • ensure strict compliance with the requirements of the legislation on liability of officials for unlawful interference and obstruction in conducting a business, the unjustified suspension of the activity, as well as compensation of damages to businesses by responsible officials who caused such damages. 

    2. Approve the Program of measures to ensure the rapid development of entrepreneurship, comprehensive protection of private property and substantial improvement of the business climate in the Republic of Uzbekistan according to the annex (hereinafter – Program). 

    Impose on the heads of ministries and public authorities, local governments a personal responsibility for timely and proper execution of activities in the Program. 

    3. Starting January 1, 2017: 

    • to abolish all kinds of unscheduled inspections of business entities, other than inspections related to liquidation of the legal entity, as well as short-term inspections, carried out on the basis of appeals of individuals and legal entities on the facts of violations of the law, exclusively by decision of the National Council on Coordination of Supervisory Authorities. 
    • to abolish all kinds of counter inspections of business entities, including inspections conducted as part of investigation under criminal cases; 
    • to exempt business entities and their staff, first-time offenders of legislation when conducting financial and economic activities, from civil and criminal liability, fines and financial sanctions (other than penalty) in case of voluntary elimination of the violations and compensation of damage to property within the established timeframes, except for cases of harm to human life and health; 
    • to exempt persons who committed an offense related to the implementation of illegal business activities, from civil and criminal liability, in case of voluntary compensation of the damage, registering as business entities and obtaining necessary permits within one month from the date of detection of the offense; 
    • to criminal penalty in the form of deprivation of the right to carry out business activities is not applied to businesses; 
    • to newly established manufacturing enterprises with foreign investments, have the right to pay taxes and other obligatory payments (except for the resource and customs duties) at the rates that were established on the date of their state registration, within the first five years of their operations; 
    • to exempt business entities from paying the state fee when they apply for issuing a writ of execution to enforce the arbitral court decisions; 
    • to abolish the requirement for registration of export contracts of business entities in the state customs service bodies, except for contracts for the export of goods specified in the appendices 1, 2 and 4 of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated October 10, 1997 № UP-1871 "On additional measures to stimulate the export of goods (works, services)", maintaining control and monitoring of the foreign trade contracts by currency control authorities through the Unified electronic information system of foreign trade operations; 
    Certificate of origin of the exported goods from the Republic of Uzbekistan are issued within one day to exporters, who had previously received a similar certificate for identical goods.

    4. Recommend the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan to consider establishment of the Ombudsman institution to protect the rights and lawful interests of business entities under the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the following key authorities: 

    • participation in the formation and implementation of state policy in the field of business development, protection of the rights and lawful interests of business entities; 
    • provision of legal support to businesses going through the inspections of their activities;
    • monitoring of the practical implementation of the norms and requirements of the legislation on guarantees of freedom of entrepreneurship; 
    • assessment of the impact of the adopted legislation on implementation of business activity; 
    • monitoring compliance of public, regulatory and law enforcement authorities, local governments with regulations protecting rights and lawful interests of entrepreneurs; 
    5. The Ministry of Finance, Central Bank, State Tax Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, jointly with the relevant ministries and public authorities, submit within three months to the Cabinet of Ministers substantiated proposals aimed at: 
    • further improving the quality and efficiency of tax administration, ensuring minimization of costs for collection of taxes and other mandatory payments, the widespread introduction of remote monitoring and improving the legal literacy of taxpayers; 
    • the introduction of advanced market-based mechanisms of currency regulation and exchange rate policy to stimulate the growth of the export potential of the republic, attraction of foreign direct investments and improvement of competitiveness of domestic producers on foreign markets; 
    • further improvement of the legislation, providing comprehensive legal grounds and criteria for the appointment and conduct of the short-term inspections of business entities; 
    • reduction of the number and timeframes of conducting inspections by improving the efficiency of off-site control of activities of entrepreneurs and business entities; 
    • enhancing the legal framework on provision by audit firms and tax consultants of their services, to strengthen their accountability for the quality of services and the reliability of their reports as one of the main mechanisms for the prevention of offenses and guarantying uninterrupted operation of law-abiding businesses; 
    • introduction of modern principles and mechanisms of regulating the banking sector, the eradication and prevention of administrative interference into the activities of commercial banks by the public authorities, primarily the credit policy; 
    • abolition of barriers to implementation of effective banking operations, as well as ensuring the rights of banks’ clients on the free disposal of their own cash. 
    6. The State Committee for Architecture and Construction, the State Committee for Nature Protection, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Agency "Uzstandard" jointly with relevant ministries and public authorities, within three months: 
    • conduct and audit of all the technical requirements (sanitary, environmental, urban planning and construction regulations, fire safety regulations, normative documents on standardization and technical regulations), and based on the best international practice, develop and adopt appropriate regulations, aimed at eliminating inefficient, outdated rules and practices contradicting with market mechanisms; 
    • ensure posting and regular updating of existing regulations in the field of technical regulation on their official websites in order to provide unhindered and free access to them. 
    7. The Supreme Court, Supreme Economic Court, the General Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with relevant ministries and public authorities within three months: 
    • submit proposals for the phased transfer to the jurisdiction of courts of functions and powers of supervisory bodies on imposing administrative penalties on businesses and their staff; 
    • develop common grounds and substantiated criteria for determining the damages, caused as a result of economic crime and illegal interference into the activities of business entities. 
    8. The General Prosecutor's Office in cooperation with the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal Affairs, National Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan and other relevant ministries and public authorities within two months submit in the established manner: 
    • draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On Countering Corruption", aimed primarily at further strengthening the trust of citizens and businesses towards public authorities, to improve investment attractiveness of the country, as well as prevention of corruption offenses; 
    • proposals for further liberalization of criminal legislation related to business activities; 
    • proposals for amending legislation, providing for the establishment of a clear procedural regulation of initiating, conducting and extension of inspections of financial and economic activities within investigation of criminal cases, aimed primarily at ensuring the inviolability of private property, the prevention of undue interference into the activities of entrepreneurs and suspension of their operation. 

    9. The Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan within three months ensure development of the program, providing for a phased introduction of mechanisms of audio and video recording of hearings, publication on the web-sites of courts of the court decisions, in order to ensure transparency and objectivity, reliable legal protection of entrepreneurs' rights. 

    10. The Ministry of Development of Information Technology and Communications jointly with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Central Bank, the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Uzbekistan and other relevant ministries and public authorities, within one month submit to the Cabinet of Ministers proposals on extension of the list of public services, provided exclusively through “single window” centers for provision of public services to businesses. 

    11. The Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Economy, the Ministry for the development of information technologies and telecommunications, the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with other relevant ministries and public authorities, within the three-month period conduct a critical review of regulations for compliance with the legislation on permit procedures, licensing and guarantees of the freedom of entrepreneurship and submit to the Cabinet of Ministers proposals on eliminating obsolete permit procedures and reduction of time related to licensing procedures. 

    12. Assign a control over execution of this Decree to the first deputy Prime minister of Uzbekistan, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan R. Azimov and the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Uzbekistan I. Abdullaev. 

    Acting President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. Mirziyoyev 

    October 5, 2016 Tashkent City 

    * * * 
    Commentary to the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan «On additional measures to ensure the accelerated development of entrepreneurial activity, comprehensive protection of private property and substantial improvement of business climate» 

    This approved decree is aimed primarily at further strengthening the legal protection of private property, creation of favorable conditions and comprehensive support for small business and private entrepreneurship, increasing the investment attractiveness of the Republic and is a clear evidence of the transition of state policy in this sphere to a qualitatively new level. 

    In particular, the decree establishes "providing greater freedom to small business and private entrepreneurship, a radical reduction of interference in their activities with a focus on early warning, improving the efficiency of prevention of violations" as a critical priority and of paramount tasks of the state authorities. For these purposes, the state bodies, especially law enforcement and regulatory agencies are instructed to: 

    • provide the unconditional implementation of the established requirements and the principle of priority of the rights and legitimate interests of business entities, and in connection with the above, to critically review own functions and powers; 
    • ensure strict compliance with the requirements of the legislation on the responsibility of officials for illegal interference and obstruction of business activities, its unjustified suspension and compensation of the damage caused to business entities directly from the guilty. 
    This provision obliges the public authorities to apply not only the most stringent disciplinary, administrative or criminal liability, but also to ensure the recovery of the damage caused to business entities directly from the perpetrators. 

    The implementation of these measures is aimed at preventing the initiation and conduct of illegal inspections, particularly cases of unjustified suspension of the activity of businesses and causing losses due to illegal actions by workers of state organs. 

    The decree establishes a number of fundamentally new mechanisms of state control, aimed at providing reliable legal guarantees against unjustified interference in the activities of business entities. 

    In particular, starting from 1 January 2017, following unprecedented measures are to be applied, including the abolition of all kinds of: 
    • unscheduled inspections over activities of business entities, excluding the inspections in connection with the liquidation of a legal entity, as well as conducted exceptionally by the decision of Republican Council on the coordination of regulatory authorities of short-term inspections based on appeals of individuals and legal entities about the facts of violations of the law; 
    • counter checks of activities of business entities, including in criminal cases. 
    Thus, from now on, regulatory authorities may not initiate unscheduled inspections. In order to ensure legal mechanisms for the protection of the rights and interests of citizens, short-term inspections remain limited only on the basis of appeals of individuals and legal entities on violations of the law. Such inspections can be carried out exclusively by the decision of the national Council, and its duration is limited to one working day. 

    Along with this, continuing the policy towards liberalizing administrative and criminal law, the decree provides for such drastic new measures as the exemption of businesses and their employees, who made financial and economic violations for the first time from all kind of liabilities. Entities carrying out an entrepreneurial activity without state registration are also exempt from liability, in the case of compensation for their damages and of the voluntary elimination of the consequences of violations within the established deadlines. 

    In addition, a criminal penalty of deprivation of the right to engage in entrepreneurial activities in respect of businesses is prohibited from now on. 

    These standards not only preclude double punishment of businesses, but also provide an opportunity for citizens, first-time offenders, who compensated their guilt, to continue their business activities without negative consequences, which also intends to stimulate their business activity. 

    In this regard, appropriate amendments will be made to the Penal code, the Code of Uzbekistan on administrative responsibility, the Tax code and other laws. 

    To improve the investment attractiveness of the Republic, the newly established industrial enterprises with foreign investments can enjoy tax rates and other mandatory payments in effect on the date of their registration during 5 years of their subsequent activity. 

    This exemption applies to all enterprises with foreign investment irrespective of the amount invested. 

    The implementation of the Decree will allow providing continuity and sequence of the course defined by the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the drastic elimination of administrative barriers and artificial obstacles to the development of entrepreneurship as a key factor of sustainable development of the economy. 

  • 11 Oct 2016 10:53 AM | Anonymous

    Astana Times, 30 September 2016

    A light rail tram will be introduced in Astana in 2018, Astana Akim (Mayor) Asset Issekeshev announced at the Trends in Transport Complex Development Conference held Sept. 26 in the capital.

    “The launch of the light rail tram is one of the city’s important projects. In the first stage, a 22.4-kilometre route will connect the international airport, the expo area, Nazarbayev University, Abu Dhabi Plaza and the House of Ministries and go on to a final stop at the new railway station. The system includes 18 closed stations with passenger turnover capacity of up to 150,000 people a day,” said Issekeshev.

    The conference, organised with the support of the Astana akimat (city administration), the International Association of Public Transport and the Astana LRT company, gathered leading experts from more than 10 countries to discuss ongoing and potential modernisation projects in Astana’s rail, bus and private car transport.

    Astana’s rapid expansion requires new approaches in transportation management, Issekeshev said, noting that authorities had started studying other cities’ experiences and searching for appropriate programmes over recent years.

    “The population has tripled and exceeded one million, and the number of cars increased as the city became the capital of Kazakhstan. … The rate of motorisation is more than double annual population growth. Today, there are more than 350,000 cars in Astana. This number reaches half a million when coupled with transit vehicles. It puts a huge burden on the infrastructure system and causes major traffic congestion,” said Issekeshev.

    Astana’s transport system is being updated now, and includes the development of public transport and information technology systems to support traffic management, as well as the introduction of prohibitions and restrictions (on the entry of freight transport, for example).

    Priority in transport will be given to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users and only then to car drivers, in keeping with international trends.

    “We plan to construct and reconstruct about 50 infrastructure objects, including 25 roads, six bridges and nine road junctions as part of the road network development. Currently we are collaborating with the government on funding,” said Issekeshev.

    Completed modernisation projects were also reviewed at the event, including the new traffic management centre, which monitors Astana’s transport space to help manage traffic efficiently. There are 1,140 buses in Astana. Currently 35 percent of them are modernised and additional 25 percent are scheduled to be modernised as well by the end of 2017. And in the next five years all buses are to be updated.

    All bus stops will be equipped with tactile tiles and all buses with ramps. The mobile application Astra Bus, which helps passengers plan trips, has already been launched and will be operating at full capacity in October.

    A unified taxi service with a single control centre will be launched soon.

    An intelligent transport system is being introduced in the city and already operates 42 traffic lights. The whole city will be covered by 2019.

    According to Public Transport International Association General Secretary Alan Flaush, new technologies will help public transport become more efficient.

    “Only 33 percent of your population uses public transport on a daily basis. This figure reaches large numbers in other cities. You need more opportunities, as Astana is growing. I’m pleased to be here and be part of the LRT project which will be implemented next year. If there is a developed management system, the city will not depend on cars,” said Flaush.

    Flaush spoke about ways to raise funds for public transport.

    “Money raised locally is extremely important for reinvestments in infrastructure. Growth calls for the transfer of powers to ensure the active participation of direct and indirect beneficiaries. New trends towards that – parking policies and payroll taxes – are the subject of much interest,” said Flaush.

    Alternative models of financing public transport using intelligent transport systems, global experience with light rail systems, the role of taxis in growing cities, the feasibility of bus rapid transit and smart parking were also discussed at the conference.



  • 05 Oct 2016 9:57 AM | Anonymous

    Astana Times, 28.09.2016

    The 17 best energy-generating projects out of 136 submitted have been chosen to be showcased in the Energy Best Practices Area (eBPA) Pavilion at EXPO 2017.

    A commission headed by Secretary General of the International Exhibitions Bureau Vicente Loscertales chose the winning projects from submissions made from more than 25 countries. The international selection committee includes two Nobel Prize winners.

    “At the moment, we have almost finished selecting the best projects. But this is only the first stage. Now engineers and other experts will transform the projects to exhibits,” the head of the commission said at a press conference in Astana on Sept. 15.

    Commission member, Nobel Prize winner in physics and Professor at the University of California George Smoot described the selection procedure.

    “We can say that we have looked into the future and see how the energy of the future will look. We have received a lot of applications for participation in the competition. I would like to thank organisers who have searched projects and ideas in different cities and countries. The work continues to this day. In the beginning, we had selected 64 projects from 136 ones. After that, we chose 32 projects from 64. As a result, we have finally chosen the 17 best projects, which will be presented in the Pavilion of Best Practices at EXPO 2017,” he said at the press conference.

    Also selected were 4-5 additional projects to be presented in the territory of the exhibition pavilion.

    Loscertales shared his opinion about the preparation for the whole event.

    “I am very impressed with the construction of EXPO because almost all the work coming to an end. The participants of the thematic pavilions will start to fill their pavilions with exhibits this October. Those objects that I saw at the construction site of EXPO are modern and unique. I would like to note the progress that has been made in terms of operating activities, cultural programmes and the promotion of EXPO at both the international and national level. We are very satisfied with the state of preparation for the EXPO,” he stated.

    The zone of best practices is closely connected with the idea of ​​the event, “Future Energy.” It is dedicated to the demonstration of successfully implemented methods and projects in the field of energy technology. The zone is the symbolic centre of the exhibition, which will feature the best technologies, projects and strategies in various fields of sustainable energy: production, conservation and use of electricity, combating climate change and ensuring energy access in developing countries.

  • 05 Oct 2016 9:54 AM | Anonymous

    September 30, 2016 - Regina, Saskatchewan - Global Affairs Canada

    Canada’s long-standing and unwavering commitment to the people of Ukraine was highlighted today as the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, addressed the 25th Triennial Congress of Ukrainian Canadians in Regina, Saskatchewan.

    The Minister, along with Stepan Kubiv, Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, participated in a panel discussion on growing the business relationship between Canada and Ukraine in light of the recently signed Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA).

    Earlier this year, the Minister signed CUFTA during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first official visit to Ukraine. CUFTA is part of Canada’s continued commitment to supporting Ukraine’s efforts to build a stable, democratic and prosperous country. Both Canada and Ukraine are committed to the timely ratification and implementation of CUFTA so that Canadians and Ukrainians can take advantage of its benefits as soon as possible.


    “Canada is determined to support the Ukrainian people as they work to build a more secure, stable and prosperous Ukraine. Our new free trade agreement will help create economic growth and more jobs for Ukrainians and Canadians, especially for the middle class and those working hard to join it.”

    - Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of International Trade

    Quick facts

    • Ukraine offers numerous opportunities for Canadian businesses and investors in areas such as information and communication technologies, agriculture, infrastructure and logistics, aerospace, defence and security, and energy.
    • In 2015 bilateral trade between Canada and Ukraine totalled almost $278 million. Examples of Canadian products imported by Ukraine include pharmaceuticals, fish and seafood, and coking coal.

    Associated links


  • 05 Oct 2016 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    Astana Times, 27.09.2016

    Citigroup, one of Kazakhstan’s largest foreign banks, continues to expand its operations amid today’s uncertain economic situation. The Astana Times spoke with Andrey Kurilin, Citi’s country manager and a CEO of its daughter bank in Kazakhstan, to find out how and why Citigroup has decided to keep growing.

     “The market conditions in Kazakhstan are fully suitable for a global player with high standards around product offering, client selection, regulatory compliance and staff qualification, like Citi,” he said. “The fact that Citi finds Kazakhstan important and maintains a sizeable operation here speaks for the market’s positive attributes. It’s up to a foreign investor to capitalise on the market opportunity.”

    Recently, Kazakhstan has been attempting to diversify its economy, which has seen a major slowdown due to the low oil prices of the last year, and the subsequent significant weakening of its currency.  Still, Citi’s enthusiasm remains intact, Kurilin said.

    “Generally, banks [in Kazakhstan] proved to be capable of reacting to external and macroeconomic challenges,” he explained. “The market is competitive; if one offers a good product, is focused and disciplined about regulatory compliance, he can succeed.”

    Following the currency adjustments of the past year, the banker withstood from making predictions. He did, however, offer his take on the factors that affect the currency situation.

    “Currency is tied up with the other pillars of the economy,” Kurilin said. “It’s clear that the conjuncture in the global commodity market, specifically in oil, is important, especially for a country like Kazakhstan, an oil exporter. So when oil got cheaper, the country’s currency reacted accordingly. This was logical and expected and that’s what happened in a lot of countries with similar economic models. So the price and demand for oil would be the factor that influenced the current situation with the national currency in Kazakhstan. If major factors that can impact Kazakhstan’s economy remain stable, then we should expect certain predictability.”

    But what’s more important, according to Kurilin, is that Kazakhstan has been an attractive market for two decades in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI). “The country has attracted a significant volume of FDI and investors take Kazakhstan seriously, they think of Kazakhstan as a market where they could invest. No one is saying [investing here is] without challenges or things that need to be addressed but many other markets have not attracted anything near what Kazakhstan has managed to attract. So long as this continues, the focus would be not only on new investors but on existing investors.”

    Kurilin is optimistic about Kazakhstan’s future growth. “It is an accomplished country now. Fifteen years ago it was only emerging [out of the shadows] of another country but now it is a well-recognized, sovereign economic player. Also, there is a new generation of people who are more open-minded and better prepared for the competitive environment.”

    As of July 2016, Citibank Kazakhstan ranks 7th among Kazakhstan’s banks in capital (113.66 billion tenge), and 11th – by assets (a 93.5% increase year-on-year). However, Kurilin insisted, not everything is reflected on balance sheets alone. “You should measure banks not by the size of their balance sheet but by their reach within their client segment, the quality of their services and the business volumes they process – and not always do those volumes appear in the balance sheets statistics,” he said. “Especially if you specialise in transactional services, you focus on processing, not the assets build-up.”

    Citigroup opened its representative office in Kazakhstan in 1994 and in 1998, with a full banking license from the National Bank of Kazakhstan, opened its doors to corporate customers.  In 2015, Citibank Kazakhstan was named Best Cash Management Bank in Kazakhstan by Euromoney and Best Institutional Internet Bank in Kazakhstan by Global Finance.

    “We are one of the most efficient banks in Kazakhstan,” Kurilin explained. “We have a high share in the target market segments, a strong team and a strong reputation.” Citibank Kazakhstan has more than 130 employees in Almaty, Astana, Aktau, Atyrau, Kyzylorda and Temirtau, according to the country head, who has been with Citi in different assignments and countries since 1996 and has been in his current job since 2014.

    “Kazakhstan is an open economy, more so than some other emerging markets. If you look at the big industrial players in Kazakhstan you can see that foreign investors play an important role in oil, metals, and consumer products. Citi’s mission is to be a bank of choice for larger local corporations and our global network clients. Our competitive advantage is global reach and a strong international client network. Citi is the only bank in the world that has staff in almost 100 countries. Some of our network clients are the largest players in their respected industries in Kazakhstan. Our primary mission is to be a bank of choice for day-to-day transactional needs of our clients.”

    “I have an exciting job,” noted Kurilin. “We in Citi are pleased with our Kazakhstan story.”

  • 03 Oct 2016 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    The Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Toronto reports that in connection with the non-renewal of the lease agreement by the Canadian side, and the need to move to new premises, the Consulate General temporarily suspends its services starting from October 10, 2016.

    Starting from August 29, 2016 until the specified date, the Consulate General will be open for visitors on extended schedule: Monday to Friday from 9.30 to 12.30 and from 15.00 to 17.00.

    Starting from October 10, 2016 consular services will be provided by the Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Ottawa and the Consulate General of Russia in Montreal.

    Consular Section of the Russian Embassy in Ottawa
    52 Range Rd., Ottawa ON K1N 8J5
    Tel. (613) 236-7220, 236-6215, 236-0920
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Consulate General of Russia in Montreal
    3655 Avenue du Musée, Montreal QC H3G 2E1
    Tel. (514) 843-5901, 842-5343
    E-mail: [email protected]

    The date of resumption of work at the new address will be reported later.