Business News in Brief

The Kazakhstan National Security Committee has made a bid to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Astana in 2017,
KazEnergy Association Executive Director Ramazan Zhampiisov said on April 19. Zhampiisov told a meeting of the Council of Associations of Oil-Gas and Energy Sector of KazEnergy that Houston in the United States was also bidding to host the congress. “Voting will take place in the Canadian city of Calgary in October to choose one of the two candidates,” he said. “The voting will be secret.” He said Kazakhstan has a good chance of winning. “First, the World Petroleum Congress has never been held in the Central Asian region. Second, Kazakhstan has experience in this kind of large-scale events,” he said. KazEnergy Association chief Timur Kulibayev said thecongress would be held in October 2017, just after EXPO 2017 in Astana. “All the exhibition centres in Astana built for EXPO 2017 will be ready to hold the congress too,” he said. The World Petroleum Congress is held every three years. Moscow will host the next one in 2014.

The Kazakh-Turkmen section of the Uzen-Etrek-Gorgan railway will be opened on May 11, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (Kazakhstan State Railways) chief Askar Mamin told a meeting on Samruk Kazyna National Wealth Fund investment on April 19. “Traffic on the Uzen-Turkmen border route will start on May 11 by sending grain shipments to Turkmenistan,” he said. The new rail link will connect Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran on a route to the Persian Gulf. Mamin said the leaders of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan would attend the opening ceremony. The route will have a capacity to transport 10 million tons of cargo per year.

The government of Kazakhstan will draw up a long-term plan for the country’s mining and metallurgical industry, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies Aset Issekeshev told a mining conference on April 19. The meeting was attended by government officials and senior executives of the Samruk Kazyna National Welfare Fund, the Atameken Union National Economic Chamber and state-owned companies. “The basis for the development of the industrial development strategyfor the future will be contained in a master plan up to 2030,” Issekeshev said. The plan was drawn up in 2012 and is 4,000 pages long. The plan will be implemented in three stages: in 2013-2014, in 2015-2020 and 2026-2030.

Kazakhstan will advance from assembling cars to the full automobile production cycle with a high level of local manufacturing of parts, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev told the first Forum of Machinery Constructors on April 17. “Last year, domestic enterprises produced over 19,000 cars. This is six times more than in 2010. In 2012, Kazakhstan for the first time became an exporter of automotive products,” he said. He said a plan to develop a full-scale automobile industry from scratch had been drawn up. “Automobile manufacturers have received credit and leases of state institutions worth more than 10 billion tenge ($66.18 million). The first line of painting and welding will be installed by the end of this year. By 2017, we will increase the local content in the vehicles to 50 percent,” he said.

On May 24, Astana will host the fourth International Investment Forum called “Astana Invest 2013” at the Palace of Independence. It is aimed at attracting investment into the city, astana.kz said. The forum will have sessions on the investment image of Astana in the world, on public-private partnership as an instrument to attract investment and Astana’s role in hosting EXPO 2017, the report said. The event will involve government officials, business executives and executives from international businesses and financial institutions.

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