External news in brief

Euronews NBC will air a segment of “Adventures” in September featuring Kazakhstan, reported inform.kz. “Adventures,” one of the channel’s most popular programmes with an audience of more than 250 million, explores the wonders of countries across the world, offering viewers the chance to enjoy a journey “out of the ordinary.” The production team plans to make four episodes about Kazakhstan – Burabai, one of the country’s most popular resort areas, the Alatau mountains, Mangystau region and mountain tourism. “I am very impressed with Kazakhstan. Beautiful nature, kind and caring people. A wide choice of different activities for every tourist,” said Euronews reporter Marta Pisoni.

Kazakh and Thai aviation authorities recently agreed to increase the number of flights between the countries, reported the Kazakh Ministry of Investments and Development civil aviation committee. Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airlines and Air Astana and Thai Airways participated in the negotiations, with Air Astana granted the right for a code-sharing agreement with airlines of other countries. “This will open opportunities for Kazakh passengers and will facilitate development of the country’s transit potential,” said the Kazakh committee statement. Direct flights are currently offered from Astana to Bangkok three times a week and Almaty to Bangkok five times a week.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided a local currency loan up to $5 million to Uzbekistan’s Davr Bank to develop small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in its broader effort to support the country’s private sector. The agreement was signed in Tashkent during EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti’s visit to the Uzbek capital. He said funding the development of SMEs is among the bank’s priority areas and “demonstrates strong commitment to supporting this significant area of the country’s economy.” EBRD invested $1.045 million in 54 Uzbek projects between 1992-2010 and by the end of 2017 signed its first six new operations in the country since 2010 worth more than $179 million.

Kazakhstan and Iran agreed to simplify visa procedures for businesspeople, said Iranian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Mojtaba Damirchilu, stressing the willingness of the two countries to ease the movement for their citizens. “Certain measures are taken in this area. I would like to highlight that Iran’s position in regard to neighbouring countries is to simplify or introduce an entirely visa-free regime with them,” he noted. Among the recent steps to facilitate cooperation with neighbouring countries was the country signing an economic cooperation agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union that, among other objectives, will create stable conditions and rules for Kazakh and Iranian bilateral trade.

Kazakhstan invited Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey to join the Silk Road Visa initiative to introduce a single visa for the region. The plan, negotiated by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, was proposed by Kazakhstan in March and is designed to simplify the often tedious visa procedures for tourists wishing to explore and travel through Central Asia. Turkic Council member countries are currently working to develop proposals for the project. Kazakh Minister of Culture and Sports Arystanbek Mukhamediuly said the suggestions should be ready before the Turkic Council summit scheduled for Sept. 3 in Kyrgyzstan. “The introduction of such mechanism will be an analogue of the Schengen Visa, but with a tourist purpose,” he added.


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