In Focus: Foreign Policy Priorities
Strengthening UN & Int’l security
CSTO discusses operational and combat training
The Kazakh Ministry of Defence delegation headed by General Staff First Deputy Chief Major-General Amir Khalikov took part in the initial staff talks on organising and conducting joint operational and combat training of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation’s (CSTO) collective security forces and systems operations and formations in 2017.
The parties agreed on the composition of the forces and means involved, timing and areas of exercises and trainings, as well as the second staff talks. Host countries Armenia, Kazakhstan and Russia also agreed to consider inviting observers from international organisations to the exercise, including the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Within the framework of the visit, a joint business game dedicated to crisis situation resolution was held for the CSTO Secretariat and Joint Staff, with the operational groups of interested ministries and departments of the organisation’s member states and the participation of the CSTO Permanent Council.
The CSTO Collective Security Council developed draft decisions and the statutory bodies’ political and diplomatic documents on crisis situation resolution measures. Operational groups of the member states’ armed forces presented proposals on organising military and technical assistance.
Military committee and the permanent council meetings were also held during the visit. (mod.gov.kz)
Hosting EXPO 2017
Robots will create sculptures and paintings at EXPO 2017 art centre
Starting June 10 and during the three months of the EXPO 2017 run, the Astana Contemporary Art Centre pavilion will acquaint visitors with various movements of contemporary art in an educational form. The art centre programme is aimed at the widest audience.
The Association of National Museums of France and Grand Palais and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art are involved in developing the events.
On the first floor of the pavilion, exhibitory and educational projects will be displayed. Lectures and discussions will take place dedicated to the art market, contemporary practices of mentorship and the publishing business. Three hundred film exhibitions dedicated to contemporary art, demonstrated in Kazakh, English and Russian languages with subtitles, are also planned.
Children’s and family educational programmes aimed at assisting in developing youngster’s creative talents and out-of-box thinking will be available on a daily basis. A library of contemporary art will also be open for everyone.
An inclusive programme will be presented granting those with handicaps the possibility to visit the pavilion exhibitory and educational programmes. For individuals who are acoustically challenged, excursions will be offered with sign language translation. For visitors with intellectual disabilities, didactic materials and visual teach-ware have been prepared to allow for easy understanding. Excursions for those who are blind and visually challenged will be accompanied by audio description and use of tactile models.
On the second floor, the Artists & Robots exhibit will be presented with the participation of 17 contemporary artists from 13 countries. Grand Palais will publicly reveal the best samples of media art: a robot painting from life, a sculptor-robot and video art. Many works will be created in real-time mode and engage the audience in creative interaction. (expo2017astana.com)
Kazakhstan attracts record amount of foreign investment in 2016
The gross inflow of foreign direct investments (FDI) in Kazakhstan reached new heights in 2016, growing 40 percent compared to 2015 and surpassing the previous record from 2008, according to the National Bank of Kazakhstan.
The record inflow of foreign direct investment in 2016 was the main source of financing Kazakhstan’s balance of payments.
According to the financial regulator, in 2016 the gross inflow of FDI to Kazakhstan was $20.6 billion, compared to $14.8 billion in 2015.
The gross inflow of FDI has been growing steadily since 2007, but declined by 17 percent in 2013. In 2014, the decrease slowed by 2 percent and in 2015 fell even more, by 38 percent. Therefore, last year’s result was particularly significant.
During the last year, the participation of capital investors in Kazakh enterprises by direct investment increased to $5.1 billion against $3.8 billion in 2015, a 35-percent hike, according to ranking.kz.
The volume of debts of Kazakh companies to foreign investors is $10.6 billion, or 5 percent less than in the previous year.
The main recipients of FDI were the mining industry, geological exploration and processing.
The growth of the indicator signals a return of interest from foreign investors, which weakened in 2013-2015 amid the crisis changes in the local economy, according to ranking.kz.
The top four sources of investment include the Netherlands, the United States, Switzerland and France. (nationalbank.kz)