ASTANA – A special delegation from Russia’s Republic of Bashkortostan, headed by its President Rustem Khamitov and including officials and representatives from the business community and higher education institutions, recently visited Astana.
A presentation on the economic and cultural life of Bashkortostan took place in Astana on Oct. 8-10. Deputy Prime Minister of Bashkortostan Salavat Sagitov visited the Palace of Peace and Harmony, where he presented about 60 books in the Bashkir and Russian languages to the palace’s theological library. A Bashkir encyclopedia, several histories of the Bashkir nation, works by 19th-century Russian ethnographer Sergey Rybakov and photography books dedicated to famous Bashkirs Michael Nesterov, Achmetzaki Validi, Rami Garipov and Faizi Gaskarov were among the publications presented.
“When I first visited the library, I was surprised by how many books you have here written in different Turkic languages. I decided to share books by Bashkir authors with you. It is now possible to read about Bashkir traditions in their original language, as well as imaginative literature and children’s books. Moreover, we brought here the main book of the Bashkir nation: the heroic epic about Ural batyr, which was created 4,000 years ago. This is a piece of our heart that we would like to leave in this library in order to maintain the unquenchable fire of friendship between our nations,” Sagitov said. The books were presented to Professor Shakir Ibrayev, president of the Turkic Academy located at the pyramid-shaped Palace of Peace and Harmony.
Meanwhile, sociologists discussed problems and perspectives of social space in the Russian Centre for Science and Culture. The event was attended by professors of various universities of Bashkortostan. In his welcome speech, Vice President of the Association of Sociologists of Kazakhstan Serik Seidumanov discussed the sociological indexes of the country, its achievements and its future perspectives. Head of the Russian Cooperation Office in Kazakhstan Viktor Shulik spoke about the main directions of the organisation’s activities and invited guests to visit the Russian Centre for Science and Culture in the future. President of the Association of Sociologists of Bashkortostan Sergey Egorishev gave his impressions of the Kazakhstan capital and suggested organising such meetings more often.
Scientists discussed a wide range of issues concerning life in modern society: new technologies, integration processes of seniors into society as well as criminalisation as a factor of destabilisation. Apart from that, sociologists in Kazakhstan and Bashkortostan drew attention to the potential of human development and social examination. Ethnic identification as a factor of social development was also discussed during the meeting.
At the end of the first day, actors from the Gafyri Bashkir National Academic Theatre presented the play “White Steamer” by Chingiz Aitmatov on the stage of the Gorky Russian Drama Theatre.
The second day started with the meeting of Khamitov with Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Serik Akhmetov. The two discussed means of trade and industrial growth as well as cultural cooperation between the regions.
Bashkortostan is one of five Russian regions with significant volumes of trade with Kazakhstan. Trade with Bashkortostan amounts to US$900 million per year and is poised to increase.
“During the past eight years of cooperation, we have built strong relations. Now we are hosting days of Bashkortostan in Kazakhstan. I think this is a good impetus to strengthen our relations with Russia too,” said Akhmetov. Khamitov remarked on the need to create an intergovernmental working group with representatives from the government of Bashkortostan and from Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Regional Development. This working group will help develop economic relations and cooperation in cultural, sport and academic spheres.
During the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan Asset Issekeshev, the sides talked about the possible means of technology transfer and vocational training in the sphere of petrochemistry and oil refinement, the creation of a helicopter engine repair station in Kazakhstan with the help of the Kumartausk air manufacturing venture and the import of trolley buses, buses, trailers, semitrailers and ready-mix delivery trucks from Bashkortostan. They also discussed plans to cooperate in the sphere of pharmacology. Kazakhstan’s annual medicine imports reach US$1 billion. Several pharmacological enterprises in Bashkortostan may export their products to Kazakhstan in the future.
During the presentation on the economic and cultural life of Bashkortostan, Kazakh business representatives and officials were told about the investment, industrial and intellectual potential of the region.
“This is our first visit to Kazakhstan in the past few years. We met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan today and agreed that this is right time to give a boost to our relations in all possible directions. We talked about joint construction of infrastructure; for instance, roads construction. It was nice to hear that Kazakhstan is ready to support the construction work of the transport corridor between China and Russia, which passes through the territory of this country. The length of the road crossing Bashkortostan is 250 kilometres. We are highly interested in involving Kazakhstan businesses in building this important road. As soon as the transportation corridor appears, cooperation in all spheres will definitely speed up. China has already completed its part of the road; Kazakhstan is going to finish in 2015, as the length of the road is 2,000 kilometres. Russia is just preparing for construction. We will probably need another couple of years to establish a permanent and stable automobile communication between Bashkortostan and Kazakhstan. Your country is a very significant potential partner in all ways. We have to strengthen cooperation and we are looking forward to continuing to work on mechanical engineering. We hope that today’s presentation will give us the opportunity to find partners and solidify our relations,” Khamitov said.
Economic and trade cooperation perspectives were also mentioned during round table discussions between business owners and representatives of the countries’ chambers of commerce. Forty entrepreneurs came from Ufa to Astana to decide which spheres of economic and trade cooperation should be enlarged. Khamitov also met with Kazakhstan youth and gave a lecture at the Gumilyev Eurasian National University. Mayor of Astana Imangali Tasmagambetov and Head of Ufa City Administration Irek Yalalov signed an agreement on friendship and cooperation between the two cities. This document is aimed at securing future cooperation. In particular, the two cities agreed to exchange information about transport, municipal housing and information and communication.