Business News in Brief

Kazakhstan’s business community will now be able to obtain a British business visa in two to three days following an announcement by the British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy, Charles Hendry. Hendry made the announcement at the 17th Session of the Kazakh-British Trade and Industry Council. “We are introducing a pilot programme to issue business visas within 2-3 days”, Mr. Hendry said. According to him, the programme was unveiled during the recent UK PM’s visit to Kazakhstan. Since then 16 companies have applied for visas under the programme, 10 of them have already had their visas issued. “The feedback is positive. We intend to extend the programme. It has no time limits. As far as I know, about 150 visas have been issued under the programme so far. Another positive piece of news is that Air Astana is launching direct flights from Astana to London. We can see progress in many directions”, he elaborated. In his turn, Asset Issekeshev, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technology, added that at the talks between Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana the two sides agreed to bring the bilateral relations between the two nations to a higher level. “There’s a vast UK business delegation headed by Mr. Hendry. We are discussing new projects in pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, machinery building and some other realms. Hopefully, we will launch specific projects to attract technology and management to Kazakhstan,” he said.

The text of the new intergovernmental agreement on air communication which corresponds to the current level of bilateral relations was agreed and initialed within the bilateral negotiations between the aviation authorities of Kazakhstan and Turkey, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Transport and Communication said. As a result, the number of permitted flights between the countries increased by 50 per cent. Currently, it is possible to implement 42 flights in a week by aviation companies of both countries. The geography of regular flights of Kazakhstan air carriers also includes two more cities – Izmir and Bodrum – which have unique locations. In addition to the points in Astana, Almaty and Shymkent, the points were opened in Karaganda and Kyzylorda for regular flights of Turkish carriers. In addition, the text of the intergovernmental agreement laying a legal base for opening of regular air transportations between the two countries was approved during the bilateral negotiations between the civil aviation company of Kazakhstan and the aviation administration of Sri-Lanka. According to the results of negotiations, at the primary stage each of the parties will be given an opportunity to implement three flights a week between Kazakhstan’s Astana and Almaty cities, and Sri-Lanka’s Colombo and Mattala cities.

The World Petroleum Council is set to meet in Calgary on Oct. 23 to consider Kazakhstan’s bid to host the 2017 World Petroleum Congress (WPC) in Astana. As a major energy producer with world-class reserves of oil and gas, Kazakhstan is one of a number of candidate countries bidding to be the venue for this prestigious event. Astana has based its bid on Kazakhstan’s increasing role in ensuring secure supplies of oil and gas as well as its development of energy infrastructure. Since 1933, the WPC has served as a respected global forum for the discussion of issues in the oil and gas sector. The WPC currently takes place every three years and has 66 member states representing over 95% of the global production and consumption of oil and gas. Alongside Astana’s candidacy, bids are also under consideration to hold the event in Houston, Istanbul and Copenhagen. Previous Congresses have been held in Europe, the US, Japan, China and Qatar. The next WPC will be held in Moscow in June 2014. Kazakhstan has built its bid on strong foundations as well as on prior experience in organizing and hosting high-profile global events. Both the KazEnergy Association and the National Committee of Kazakhstan are working together to organize the country’s bid for WPC.