National news in brief

Burabai Summer Fest, an international children’s and youth TV festival, will be held June 22-July 3 in the Shchuchinsk-Burabai resort zone north in Astana, said Akmola region culture and art department head Abil Zholamanov. Children aged 10-16 can take part in the competition, which consists of three qualifying rounds. “The mission of the festival is to support talented children and young people, to develop and strengthen international cultural ties and to increase interest in performing arts and the history of the country. The city and regional selection rounds are being held nationwide,” he said. The gala concert is scheduled July 1 in the capital.

The Kazakh Manufacturing Industry Union will continue developing domestic production with the government, said Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs board deputy chairperson Kuanysh Bishimov at an April 17 briefing. “We held a survey among 1,500 regional enterprises in the manufacturing sector. Almost 63 percent of imports contribute to domestic consumption in the machine building and food industries. There is still a lot of work to do. There is a need to provide subsidies and preferences, to reduce taxes and to introduce non-tariff regulatory measures,” he said. Businesspeople also must assume their investment obligations and be responsible for providing benefits and preferences to develop new high-tech production.

A steel pipe manufacturing plant with a 100,000-tonne annual capacity of high quality items will be constructed in the Almaty region, reported the Kazakh Invest press service. Asia Steel Pipe, a China National Petroleum Corporation subsidiary, will invest $50 million in the project, creating more than 300 jobs in the region. The total cost of the project is $100 million and the facility will supply 70 percent of imported pipe products. “The plant will be put into operation in December. The active construction phase is currently underway. We are closely collaborating with the local administration and ministries. We plan to expand production up to 150,000 tonnes per year,” said Asia Steel Pipe communications adviser Radzhan Nurmukhambetov.

The first anti-corruption project office opened April 17 at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, reported Kazinform. Almaty Akim (Mayor) Bauyrzhan Baibek and university rector Galymkair Mutanov, who attended the event, signed the charter. The office aims to eradicate bribery in education and create an environment where the rule of law prevails. “We need to eliminate academic dishonesty and to introduce new anti-corruption mechanisms in this sphere. The project office will cooperate not only with students, but also with colleges, schools and preschool institutions,” said office coordinator Karlygash Usseinova. In the past three years, 687 corruption cases have been investigated in the education sector.

The Kostanai-based SaryarkaAvtoProm car plant has started MAN truck and bus serial assembly as part of the memorandum signed between the Allure Group and UzAvtoSanoat, an Uzbek manufacturer, according to the Association of Kazakhstan Automobile Business. Plans indicate the plant will assemble up to 3,000 vehicles annually and the company intends to produce more than 50 units in this year’s first stage. “The test model has already been produced. The transport vehicle type approval was obtained. The truck superstructures that constitute a considerable part of the total price have already been produced. With the increase in output, the enterprise will switch to domestic production of this equipment,” said the press release.

Almaty City Pass, a single tourist card, has been launched, according to the Kazakh Tourism press service. The 5,990 tenge (US$18) pass offers visitors the chance to spend three days seeing the top attractions. “The pass cards are available in the world’s largest cities and tourist centres including Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, New York, Oslo, Paris and other cities. The first city pass was launched in Astana. We also intend to initiate this project in the Shchuchinsk-Burabai resort zone,” said Kazakh Tourism CEO Rashid Kuzembayev. The pass includes a guidebook to the city, links to audio guides of tourist attractions and routes in English, Kazakh and Russian and SIM and transport cards.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter and Telegram!