External news in brief

Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov met his counterpart from Singapore Grace Fu on Oct. 21 during her visit dedicated to the 20 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The ministers discussed a number of issues of bilateral cooperation as well as pressing issues of regional and international security. The priority in bilateral relations lies in increasing trade, economic and investment interaction given the reputation of Singapore as the leading trade and financial centre in Southeast Asia. They noted the 60 percent growth of bilateral trade turnover last year despite the global economic recession. Following the meeting the ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on political consultations between the two countries, which will further expand Kazakhstan-Singapore relations in the political sphere and strengthen interaction on the international arena.

A parliamentary delegation from Kazakhstan led by Mazhilis (the lower chamber of parliament) Speaker Nurlan Nigmatulin paid a visit to China on Oct. 15. MPs met their Chinese counterparts and discussed ways of furthering inter-parliamentary cooperation. The Mazhlis has a commission for cooperation with the National People’s Congress of China. The commission consisted of 20 MPs. Kazakhstan prepared a number of proposals for the further intensification of cooperation between the Parliaments of the two countries.

The Pavlodar region and the U.S. state of North Dakota signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on Oct. 21 to boost relations in a number of sectors. It was signed by Vice Governor of North Dakota and Minister of Agriculture Doug Goering and Deputy Akim (Governor) of the Pavlodar oblast Aryn Orsariyev who was in the United States on a working visit with a Kazakhstan delegation. “The Pavlodar region and North Dakota have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. The parties intend to develop relations in the social sphere, energy, agriculture and other fields,” Orsariyev said. North Dakota is located on the northeast of the United States. Energy, coal industries and agriculture are well developed there.

The Committee for Intellectual Property Rights of the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan and the World Intellectual Property Organization held an international seminar from Oct. 16-18 for representatives of Caucasus, Baltic, Central Asian, Central and Eastern European countries to discuss patent issues. The seminar was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the National Patent System of Kazakhstan. The seminar brought together representatives of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the European Economic Commission, the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the Eurasian Patent Organization, NGOs, higher education institutions, Kazakhstan’s ministries of economy and budget planning, agriculture, education and science, healthcare, foreign affairs, industry and new technologies amongst others.

A delegation from the Malaysian parliament headed by President of the Dewan Negara Tan Sri Abu Zahar bin Dato’ Nika Ujang paid its first official visit to Kazakhstan from Oct. 13-15. Inter-parliamentary cooperation between Kazakhstan and Malaysia, as well as cooperation in trade, economics and cultural and humanitarian spheres were discussed during a meeting with the speaker of Kazakhstan’s senate, Kairat Mami and representatives of other state bodies.

Chairman of the Committee for International Relations, Defense and Security Ikram Adyrbekov and member of the Mazhilis Svetlana Bychkova took part in an OSCE Parliamentary Assembly winter session in Budva, Montenegro from Oct. 13-15. Ikram Adyrbekov addressed the session and touched upon counter terrorism issues and transnational threats in the OSCE space.

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