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Astana Calling No.453


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Astana calling no.453

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Astana Calling No.453

  1. 1. A WEEKLY ONLINE PUBLICATION / WWW.MFA.GOV.KZ ISSUE NO. 453 / FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2016 Global Politics, Economics Discussed at Eurasian Media Forum FMCallsforEngagementNotIsolation toSolveGlobalProblems Also InThe News EXPO2017CommissionerSeeks ParticipationofAPECCountries In Focus: Foreign Policy Priorities Kazakh, Uzbek Presidents DiscussTrade, Energy in Tashkent
  2. 2. GlobalPolitics,EconomicsDiscussedatEurasianMediaForum Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 453 / 2 Back to Contents More than 400 Delegates from over 50 countries discussed the global economy and social developments at the 13th Eurasian Media Forum (EAMF) in Astana April 21-22. The forum’s 30 speakers and participants included international politicians, economists, journalists and public organisation representatives. At the opening ceremony, EAMF Organising Committee Chairperson, Kazakhstan’s Deputy rime Minister Dariga Nazarbayeva read a message to the forum participants from Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. “The Eurasian Media Forum has become one of the leading platforms for dialogue. Here we discuss the most topical issues of the modern world, a new paradigm of development and the future,” it was said in the address. According to Nazarbayeva, “Today, humanity is entering an era of unprecedented test. What will be the new world and our common futuredependsoneachofus…Theopendiscussionofworldproblems at the EAMF for finding a balanced solution will be an invaluable contribution to the peace movement,” The forum’s first panel discussion was dedicated to the global economy and was attended by Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, member of the Federation Council Committee for Economic Policy of Russia Dmitry Mezentsev, former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw and Governor of the Astana International Financial Centre Kairat Kelimbetov. Mezentsev said the EAMF forum has become a globally important event noted Kazakhstan’s 100 nationalities living in harmony as a positive political and economic example. Former British Foreign Minister Shaw noted Britain’s collapse in the steel industry and shared his vision on facing this reality. “If there were a more strategically sensible approach by OPEC to see an increase in the oil price that, in turn, will turn to rebalance the international economy and reduce the overall level of risk. And maybe, therefore, seeing the trend growth of the world economies improving which, in turn, would improve the commodity prices as well,” he said. Kelimbetov said that Kazakhstan has a good opportunity to diversify Kazakhstan’s economy beyond commodities. “President Nazarbayev started this reform many years ago. In 2001, we created a sovereign fund … and we have already $64 billion dollars, which is a kind of reserve for future generations. We follow many groups of countries who have joined to more flexible exchanges or inflation targeting regimes following the Russian example … The most important thing is the reforms started by President Nazarbayev. We call it the National Plan - 100 Concrete Steps, which sets the reforms on how to improve the investment climate and how to improve the- always-opportunity to do business in Kazakhstan. Part of this is a creating of financial clusters in two years … New financial centres will be based here,” he said. In addition to economics, former Afghan President Karzai praised Nazarbayev’s peace-keeping efforts. “Above all, I am happy to be in Kazakhstan once again. The country has common culture with us. This is the country that has helped us for the last 13 years and made a huge contribution to the development of the country. President Nazarbayev has always been a friend of Afghanistan and a kind partner in re-building of Afghanistan,” said Karzai, noting Kazakhstan has provided many scholarships to the Afghan students to study in Kazakhstan. Karzai also praised Nazarbayev’s initiatives on global nuclear disarmament and asked all to join the effort. “President Nazarbayev started this reform many years ago. In 2001, we created a sovereign fund … and we have already $64 billion dollars, which is a kind of reserve for future generations. We follow many groups of countries who have joined to more flexible exchanges or inflation targeting regimes following the Russian example … The most important thing is the reforms started by President Nazarbayev. We call it the National Plan - 100 Concrete Steps, which sets the reforms on how to improve the investment climate and how to improve the-always-opportunity to do business in Kazakhstan. Part of this is a creating of financial clusters in two years … New financial centres will be based here.” - Governor of the Astana International Financial Centre Kairat Kelimbetov International speakers at the recent Eurasian Media Forum in Astana
  3. 3. Kazakh,UzbekPresidentsDiscussTrade,EnergyinTashkent Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 453/ 3 Back to Contents President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev travelled to Tashkent April 14–15 on a working visit to meet with President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. The two leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in trade and economy, water and energy, and transport and logistics, as well as in cultural spheres. They also discussed current international issues, including international security questions and preparations for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit set for Tashkent in June. Nazarbayev commented on the historically positive relations between the two countries and the friendship between their peoples. “Over the years of independence, we have preserved those good relations we had before, and they even became closer. In this regard, our meeting as a meeting of the two presidents of two neighbouring countries is important. I am proud of my friendship with you and the friendship between Kazakh and Uzbek nations. The goal is to strengthen these mutual relations [and] trust and pass it all on to the next generations,” Nazarbayev said, according to the Akorda press service. Karimov also lauded the friendship, respect and support he said existed between the two nations. Nazarbayev’s visit is important for “synchronising watches,” he said, and understanding each other’s positiononbilateralcooperationandinternationalissues.Theleaders had a chance to discuss pressing issues, develop complementary approaches and boost the potential for cooperation in various spheres. According to the Agency of Statistics of Kazakhstan, trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan amounted to $2.09 billion in 2013, 5.5 percent higher than in 2012. From January–June 2014, trade turnover amounted to $1 billion. Kazakhstan mainly exports oil and refinedoilproducts,productsofthemillingindustry,grain,ferrousand non-ferrous metals, inorganic chemical products and food products to Uzbekistan, including more than 1 million tonnes of high-grade flour from Kazakhstan’s grain fields and about 500,000 tonnes of oil products. Kazakhstan imports gas, cotton fibre, chemical products and plastics, fertilisers and fruits and vegetables from its southern neighbour. The two countries take similar positions on regional and global security issues as well as their own political, economic and social development,theleadershighlightedduringthetalks.Theyreiterated their support for the quick restoration of peace and stability in President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev (right) and President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov Afghanistan and noted each other’s contribution to rehabilitating Afghanistan’s economy. Nazarbayev thanked his counterpart for Uzbekistan’s support of Kazakhstan’s bid for a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2017-2018, the Akorda reported. Nazarbayev and Karimov also stated that the water resources of trans-boundary rivers in Central Asia are a “joint asset of the region’s peoples.” Water issues in the region have long been contentious. The entire region’s stability and prosperity depend on the “sensible and just” use of these resources, they said, and they called on other Central Asian governments to adhere to universally accepted norms of the international water law fixed in the UN conventions. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have signed 173 bilateral documents, including the 1998 bilateral Treaty of Eternal Friendship and the 2013 bilateral Agreement on Strategic Partnership. According to, 151 enterprises working in Kazakhstan use capital from Uzbekistan, while 206 enterprises operate in Uzbekistan with the participation of capital from Kazakhstan, including 171 joint enterprises. Creative teams from the two countries regularly visit one another for cultural and artistic performances. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan recently completed the programme of cooperation in culture for 2013–2015 arranged by the Ministry of Culture and Information of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Uzbekistan. In 2012, the states celebrated 20 years of diplomatic relations with a number of events, including a gala concert in Tashkent. “Over the years of independence, we have preserved those good relations we had before, and they even became closer. In this regard, our meeting as a meeting of the two presidents of two neighbouring countries is important. I am proud of my friendship with you and the friendship between Kazakh and Uzbek nations. The goal is to strengthen these mutual relations [and] trust and pass it all on to the next generations.” - President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev
  4. 4. FMCallsforEngagementNotIsolationtoSolveGlobalProblems Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 453/ 4 Back to Contents A historic opportunity is being squandered, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov recently wrote for The Diplomat. The end of the Cold War “was also a time of hope that the mistrust which had divided our world would give way to a new era of peace, stability and cooperation,” he wrote. But now, the world is witnessing “growing instability, conflict and fear,” as well as the rise of international terrorism, he said, citing statements by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in Washington in March. The world has failed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, material and knowledge, and the leadership shown by Kazakhstan and a few other countries in the early 1990s by giving their our nuclear arsenals has not been followed. With tensions re-emerging between the world’s main powers, the world is seeing a rise in proxy conflicts and economic sanctions, Idrissov wrote. To counter this, Nazarbayev has challenged world leaders with a manifesto, “The World. The 21st Century,” that urges real action toward peace and dialogue. Without such action, the world risks plunging again into global conflict, the President said, and this conflict will have no winners. The manifesto, aimed at preventing war, calls for real progress towards arms reduction and the elimination of nuclear weapons. Suggested steps to achieve that goal include a global agreement to prohibit the deployment of lethal weapons in space, on the seabed and in international waters, and should be coupled with an outright ban on the development of new weapons of mass destruction. Other necessary actions include strengthening and extending existing peace and nuclear weapons-free zones, in particular, creating one in the Middle East. ThePresidentalsourgedtheeliminationofmilitaryblocs.Ratherthan fallingbacktoolddivisions,effortsshouldbeincreasedtoendregional conflicts and defuse tensions. This must be matched, internationally, with steps to reverse the “short-sighted dismantlement” of arms treaties. Paramount among all these actions, Nazarbayev said, is the need to tackle the root causes of war – inequality. “Equal and fair access to infrastructure, resources and markets for all nations” is what we must base a conflict-free world upon, he said. Iran’s reintegration into the world community will help resolve simmering tension and active conflicts, The Astana Times writes in a recent editorial. “Throughout history, Iran has played a pivotal role in our world,” the paper notes. The isolation of such a potentially powerful nation was damaging not only for its citizens, but for the whole world, it said. The region’s gravest challenges couldn’t be solved without Iran’s engagement, and its economic isolation has meant stifled growth and prosperity for all. “The global economy faces enough problems without erecting new barriers to trade and expansion.” For that reason, Kazakhstan has made every effort, within the rules set by the international community, to help bring about the end of Iran’s isolation, including building connective infrastructure, hosting rounds of negotiations and providing natural uranium to the country (in exchange for Iran giving up its highly enriched uranium). “What is now crucial, as sanctions are progressively lifted, is to re- integrate Iran quickly into the global economy. This will provide a major boost to the whole region and to global trade, the paper says. How to encourage and support this reintegration was on the agenda of Nazarbayev’s trip to Tehran this month, another sign of the deepening political and economic relationship between the two countries. Economic issues will certainly be on the table, as will international and security questions. “But whether the challenges are economic or political, the world has a much better chance of making progress towards solutions with Iran’s involvement rather than isolation.” And what is true of Iran must hold true for the rest of the world: the solution must be engagement, not division. For that reason, Kazakhstan has made every effort, withintherulessetbytheinternationalcommunity, to help bring about the end of Iran’s isolation, including building connective infrastructure, hosting rounds of negotiations and providing natural uranium to the country (in exchange for Iran giving up its highly enriched uranium). Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov
  5. 5. EXPO2017CommissionerSeeksParticipationofAPECCountries Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 453/ 5 Back to Contents With EXPO 2017 still more than a year away, commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev is continuing to encourage nations and organisations to present their advances in future energy at the Astana event. Eighty-one countries and 14 international associations have officially confirmed their participation and he and his delegation met in early AprilwithmembernationsoftheAsia-PacificEconomicCooperation (APEC). The tour began April 4 in Malaysia, where Zhoshybayev and Chief Secretary Ali Hamsa discussed cooperation in fields including green technology, the involvement of local companies in the international specialised exhibition and attracting Malaysian tourists to vacation in theKazakhcapitalnextyear.Malaysiahasexperienceinimplementing public-private partnerships and assessing their efficiency and subsequent commercialisation and Hamsa noted the exhibition will serve to improve the scientific base and Kazakhstan’s image in the global arena. The expo planners also met with representatives of GreenTech Malaysia, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, Malaysia Investment Development Agency, Petronas (Malaysia’s state oil and gas company) and Sustainable Energy Development Agency. Singapore has been actively developing its green energy sector, allocating $3.4 billion from the country’s budget to the industry, and Zhoshybayev and representatives of the island city-state agreed EXPO 2017 would be an excellent platform to display the expansion. The group also spoke with the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS) on sharing tourism experiences, attracting the cooperation of its operators and opening direct flights between the countries. The meeting ended with the signing of a memorandum of tourism cooperation. TherelevanceoftheexpowasnotedinAustralia,whereZhoshybayev met with the leadership of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Environment and Parliament Legislative Council, Victoria Ministry of Trade Deputy Secretary Jay Meek and representatives of the Canberra and Melbourne business and academic circles. Australia has been developing its alternative energy sources in accordance with the nation’s Energy Efficiency Act 2006, with the government aiming to reach 23 percent of renewable energy capacity by 2020. Involving Victoria’s research centres and companies in the expo would strengthen cooperation between the countries and transition that cooperation to a new level and Meek noted his state’s businesses are ready to share their green energy expertise. Zhoshybayev also visited Monash University, which has campuses that unite scientific and research centres, colleges and learning communities involved in developing the region’s green economy. University scientists emphasised the relevance of the future energy topic and importance of the initiative by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to establish a centre to develop green technologies and investment projects based on EXPO 2017 and under UN auspices. Simplifying the visa regime and opening an Australian Consulate General in Kazakhstan were among the topics covered with Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ric Wells. Zhoshybayev expressed gratitude to the Australians for their support in his nation’s bid to host next year’s expo and Wells indicated confidence the country would hold a well-coordinated event. A memorandum of cooperation was subsequently signed with Swagman Tours, one of Australia’s leading travel agencies, in the hope of promoting Kazakhstan as an attractive tourist destination. ThedelegationconcludeditsAsiaPacificjauntwithatriptoIndonesia, meetingwiththecountry’sMinisterforEnergyandMineralResources Sudirman Said, EXPO national pavilion commissioner Rida Mulyana, Information and Public Diplomacy Director General Esti Andayani and leading entrepreneurs. Zhoshybayev provided updates on the progress and practical preparations for the exhibition and highlighted a range of opportunities in the field of renewable and alternative energy. Said noted Indonesia has potential benefits in hydro, solar, biomass and geothermal power, adding his government is seeking to increase renewable energy capacity up to 25 percent by 2025. The governmental parties and businesspeople participated in an EXPO 2017-themed roundtable where they considered in detail the organisational and technical aspects of the exhibition. Indonesia subsequently signed a participation agreement, becoming the 44th state to confirm its participation in the event in such a way. Kazakhstan’s Commissioner of EXPO 2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev (left) and Indonesian Commissioner of EXPO 2017 Rida Mulyana
  6. 6. InFocus: Foreign Policy Priorities Welcoming Investment World Bank considers participating in Centre-West road construction cording to Deputy Minister of National Economy Aydar Arifkhanov, the World Bank could take part in the construction of the Centre- West road worth $1.1 billion. “The Centre –West is the road on which currently we are holding negotiations with the World Bank. The talks did not reach concrete agreement yet, but today we have the technical foundation, design and estimate documentation,” Arifkhanov said. Arifkhanov added that under the draft law “On ratification of the Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Establishment of Offices in Kazakhstan” the amount of tax relief in respect of the Bank’s employees could reach 30 million tenge per year. “In the new agreement, we envisage that the regulation will also cover the citizens of Kazakhstan. This is due to the fact that the Almaty office will become regional and will cover the entire Central Asian region. The office in Astana will be only for country issues; it will focus on the interaction between the World Bank and Kazakhstan,” he explained. On Jan. 21, the government of Kazakhstan and the World Bank agreed to establish of offices in Kazakhstan during the World Economic Forum in Davos. Read full text here: mozhet-prinjat-uchastie-v-stroitelstve-dorogi-«tsentr-zapad»- aarifhanov-/18-04-2016?lang=en Investment and development ministry to auction 101 areas of subsoil use The Ministry of Investment and Development of Kazakhstan announced a new auction for realisation of 101 areas of subsoil use, which will be held in June, stated Minister Asset Issekeshev at the seventh mining forum MINEX Central Asia. “Today, the total area of the contact territories is 137,000 square kilometres. Taking into account large territories of Kazakhstan’s mineral resources there is a real potential to open up to dozens of large deposits by 2020,” Issekeshev said. According him, national company Kazgeologiya already attracted 10 major investors into the sector. ( Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 453/ 6 Strengthening UN & Int’l Security Kazakh UN Mission in New York hosts presentation of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific The presentation of activities of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (UN ESCAP) was held at the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN in New York April 13. UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Shamshad Akhtar made a presentation for Permanent Representatives of the UN member states on the outcomes of key ESCAP meetings conducted over the past month in preparation for the ECOSOC Forum, namely the first High-level Follow-up Dialogue on Financing for Development in Asia and the Pacific, and the Asia- Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development. Akhtar also briefed the audience on ESCAP’s efforts to advance Asia-Pacific regional economic cooperation and integration. Read full text here: last-news/6279-escap-highlights-asia-pacific-priorities-for- implementation-of-2030-agenda-ahead-of-ecosoc-financing-for- development-forum Hosting Astana Expo 2017 Bolivia to demonstrate scientific, industrial capabilities at EXPO 2017 Bolivia plans to share its scientific and industrial potential at EXPO 2017, said Commissioner of the EXPO 2017 national pavilion of the country Walter Clarems Endara Vera. “We plan to introduce Bolivia to the world at EXPO 2017. Not many people know about our country’s traditions, its potential. EXPO 2017 is a platform where countries will show their achievements in the field of energy efficiency and green technologies,” Vera said. Vera noted that Astana could be a place, which will gather all the best cutting-edge technology in the field of new energy and energy- efficiency programme. ( Bloomberg division to hold ‘Future of Energy’ summit at EXPO 2017 Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), the International division of the Bloomberg company, which provides information and advisory serviceson issues ofenergy,financeandpolitics,planstoholdaglobal summit, “The Future of Energy,” within the framework of EXPO 2017 in Astana. This summit is an annual event in the energy world, which attracts key persons of the market, politics and economy, as well as sums up and determines the trends in the industry. (expo2017astana. com) Back to Contents
  7. 7. Also InThe News... • First meeting of Parliament Speakers of Eurasian Countries held The first meeting of Parliament Speakers of Eurasian countries took place in Moscow April 19. The theme of the sitting was inter- parliamentary cooperation for common prosperity of Eurasian countriesinthe21stcentury.”SpeakeroftheSenateKassym-Jomart Tokayev headed Kazakhstan’s delegation. Tokayev noted that being inthecentreofEurasia,Kazakhstanwasconcernedabouttheevents taking place in the continent. According to him, mutual mistrust and growing militarism along with other international threats to international security pose a threat to the humankind. He drew attention to the Manifesto of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, “The World. The 21st century,” which provides a deep analysis of the consequences of the spread of war. Tokayev noted that about $2 trillion is spent globally for military purposes. It means thattheparliamentsof somecountriesadoptbudgetsthatprioritise military purposes over many development goals. Tokayev noted that Eurasia was the foundation of the modern world, the largest continent and home to one third of the population of the planet. Eurasia accounts for more than 60 percent of global gross domestic product and possesses major natural resources. Tokayev stressed the important role of regional organisations in security, including the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe), SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) and CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia), as well as the necessity of strengthening economic cooperation for the benefit of the people of Eurasia. ( • IInvestment agency to present Kazakhstan’s pharmaceutical companies in Vietnam National export and investment agency KAZNEX INVEST is planning to hold a presentation of Kazakhstan’s pharmaceutical companies in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Aug. 11-13. Vietnam is a country with a developing economy and more than 90 million people, and needs large amounts of consumer goods, engineering products, energy and raw materials. The free trade zone agreement between Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries and Vietnam provides opportunities for more economic cooperation, in particular developing foreign trade and increasing exports to the Vietnamese market. “Kazakhstan’s producers have an interest in the Vietnamese market. Jointly with the Association of PharmMed Industry of Kazakhstan, we selected the best participants, who are the leaders in export of their products to the [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries. We plan to present the chosen companies at the MEDI-PHARM EXPO 2016 exhibition in Ho Chi Minh. I am sure that as a result of this national stand, medicines produced in Kazakhstan will be accessible in drugstores of Vietnam … as well as Southeast Asia as a whole,” representative of KAZNEX INVEST Armana Bekbasova said. ( • Farmland will not be sold to foreigners, National Economy Ministry representative says Agricultural lands will not be handed over to foreigners’ and Agricultural lands will not be handed over to foreigners’ and repatriates’ private ownership, but will only be leased for 25 years said representative of the National Economy Ministry Bauyrzhan Smagulov. According to him, the country’s Land Code has been recently amended. As per the new document, agricultural lands will be sold to individuals and legal entities at the auctions. The purchase of leased lands will be much easier henceforth with the introduction of some preferences for leaseholders. The procedure of changing designated purpose of a land parcel will be simplified too. Smagulov also informed that about 97 million hectares of agricultural land in Kazakhstan are in a long-term lease and only 1.2 percent of the lands are privately owned. State agricultural lands are not involved in market turnover. ( • Shardara hydro plant to be fully upgraded by late 2017 Kazakhstan will complete the modernisation of the Shardara hydro power plant by late 2017, it was announced after the visit of head of the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund Umirzak Shukeyev to the facility. The project for the modernisation of the plant is being implemented by Samruk-Energy company, which is part of the Samruk-Kazyna group of companies. Modernisation of all four hydraulic units of Shardara will make it possible to increase its installed capacity by 26 percent and improve productivity and operation safety.Despite the ongoing modernisation work, Shardara is still running. It produced 465.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 2015. The plant is located on the Syr-Darya River in southern Kazakhstan close to the border of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, where the mountains fade into the wide plains around the Aral Sea. The Shardara reservoir covers an area of 900 square kilometres with a total storage volume of 5.2 cubic kilometres. The hydro plant is of utmost importance to secure stable power supplies to the south of Kazakhstan and is vital for the irrigation of the same area. ( • Lake Burabay makes top three destinations in CIS Online travel service ranked top three resorts most visited by Russian tourists in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The top five features are Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan), Lake Burabay (Kazakhstan), Lake Naroch (Belarus), the Caspian Sea (Baku, Azerbaijan) and Lake Sevan (Armenia). The ranking is based on the data about the number of hotel rooms and apartments pre- booked at resorts for summer 2016. ( • Made in Kazakhstan fair to be held in Astana Mall The National Agency for the Development of Local Content, NADLoc, invites people to visit the “Made in Kazakhstan” fair scheduled to be held in the Astana Mall shopping centre April 23-24. “More than 60 companies from all over the country will represent their products made in Kazakhstan. The prices will be below market prices. The fair will be held for the second time and the number of participants has increased significantly compared to 2015,” the report said. The variety of products will be very wide, including women’s and men’s clothes and footwear, textile, household chemicals, cosmetics, toys, souvenirs and food products. In early 2015, President Nursultan Nazarbayev launched the nationwide Made in Kazakhstan campaign. It aims to support domestic producers, raising public awareness of the goods produced in the country. The initiative was supported by state bodies, national companies, nongovernmental organisations and youth movements. ( • Kazakhstan Fashion Week held in Almaty The 18th season of Kazakhstan Fashion Week (KFW) took place in Almaty April 20. Fashion designers from Kazakhstan, Georgia, Russia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine brought their newest collections to the city. Five promising designers, mostly participants of the Open Way contest, debuted at the KFW this season. In total, 24 fashion brands demonstrated their creations to KFW guests during the three-day event. KFW is the largest fashion platform in Central Asia. Fashion designers from Kazakhstan, China, France, the U.K., Germany, Georgia, Italy, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Romania, the U.S., Uzbekistan, and Ukraine participated in it in past seasons. ( ASTANA CALLING A WEEKLYONLINE PUBLICATION / WWW.MFA.GOV.KZ Please send comments and questions to Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 453/ 7 Back to Contents