External News in Brief

Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov will head Kazakhstan’s delegation and deliver his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Last year, Kazakhstan was not represented among participants due to the Presidential Address have been scheduled to the dates of the Forum.

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has invited his US counterpart Barack Obama to visit Kazakhstan. January 14 Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the USA, presented credentials to the US President. During the talks the sides lauded dynamic development of the strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the USA on a number of directions. Barack Obama expressed readiness to jointly strengthen global and regional security and further develop bilateral cooperation, the Foreign Ministry Press Service reports. When closing the talks, Mr. Umarov on behalf of President Nazarbayev invited Barack Obama to come to Kazakhstan on an official visit.

According to the World Economic Forum, Kazakhstan gets ahead of Kyrgyzstan in the ranking of countries where salaries strongly influence labour productivity. The rating indicators range from 1 (the salary is not related to labour productivity at all) to 7 (salary is strongly connected with labour productivity). The countries with strong connection between salaries and labour productivity are in first positions, while the countries where this connection is tenuous are in last positions. The top ten countries include Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, South Korea and Kazakhstan. Tajikistan is ranked 19th while Russia is in 65th position.

Khadisha Onalbayeva, Kazakhstan pianist became the first Kazakhstan musician to be awarded with Steinway Artist Award. Prominent pianists like Sergey Rakhmaninov, Vladimir Gorovits, Yevgeny Kissin were awarded with the title earlier. The great Russian pianist Anton Rubinstein was engaged to play Steinway pianos during his American concert tour in 1872, with 215 concerts in 239 days. It was a triumph for both Rubinstein and Steinway. Thus, the Steinway Artists program was born. Today more than 1,600 concert artists and ensembles bear the Steinway Artist title, which means that they have chosen to perform on Steinway pianos exclusively, and each owns a Steinway. Kazakhstan’s Khadisha Onalbayeva became number 1601 in this list.

More than 500,000 tourists visited Astana in 2012, reports the press-service of Astana administration. “522.9 thousand tourists visited Astana last year, including 117.5 thousand people from abroad and 405,400 of people from other regions of the country. For comparison, these numbers stood at 105,900 and 373,100 people, correspondingly, in 2011. This shows that the number of tourists increased by 43.9 thousand people in one year,” the department of tourism, physical culture and sport announced. The number of tourists traveling from Astana increased as well. They totaled at 27,300 people in 2012 versus 24,400 in 2011.

Astana will host the 6th Astana Economic Forum on May 22-24, 2013. More than 8,500 delegates from 100 countries are expected to attend the gathering which has become a traditional meeting point for leaders, experts and business people to discuss the current challenges to economic development globally and ways to solve them.

Almaty will host a conference of the Istanbul Process to focus on the regional approach to resolving the problems of Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Idrissov said Kazakhstan has made a significant effort to prepare for the event in April 2013. A total of 13 thirteen countries are expected to send their representatives.

On December 24, 2012, a new station in the Moscow subway system opened bringing the total number to 188 and it was given the old name of the largest city in Kazakhstan, Alma-Ata.

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