External News in Brief

Astana joined the celebrations of the 148th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. A series of events organised by the Indian Embassy in Kazakhstan will run through Oct. 2, 2020. Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan Prabhat Kumar kicked off the official celebration Oct. 2 in Almaty, where the embassy organised a visit to a nine-foot statue of Gandhi, a gift from India to Kazakhstan. A video about the life and mission of Mahatma Gandhi will be screened daily until Oct. 16 on a large LED screen at the Kazakhstan Temir Zholy building close to Baiterek in Astana. The programme will also feature an exhibition displaying traditional Indian textiles, which will open Oct. 16 at the National Museum of Kazakhstan in Astana.

The Kazakh documentary “13 Kilometres,” directed by Vladimir Tyulkin and produced by the Kazakhfilm studio, was awarded a special prize at The Strong in Spirit international Orthodox cinema festival held Sept. 25 to 28 in Kruševac, Serbia. The film tells the story of a blind farmer who on his way to his village recalls most important fragments of his life, steadily revealing the true values of his soul. It was the third award for the film. “I am very pleased that our film continues to be recognised. Thanks to the festival organisers and the Serbian people that were deeply touched by the history of our main character,” Tyulkin said while presenting his work at the festival. The feature has also won awards at international film festivals in Brazil and Russia.

Business representatives from Kazakhstan and Georgia gathered recently in Tbilisi for a Kazakh-Georgian business forum organised by Kazakhstan’s Foreign Trade Chamber and the Georgian trade and industry chamber. Representatives of the mining, construction and engineering industries had a chance to set up contacts and discuss the development of trade at the forum. Trade turnover between the two countries reached $77 million between January and July, demonstrating a 67 percent increase over the same period in 2017. At present, Georgia is negotiating the supply of foam rubber with IT&M, Kazakh foam rubber producers. Georgian company DIO has also expressed interest in buying aluminium and copper from Kazakhstan’s KAZ Minerals mining group.

A Kazakh delegation took part in an international exhibition in Tashkent entitled “Tourism on the Silk Road.” The event gathered representatives of Thailand, Egypt, Singapore, Malaysia, India, South Korea, Turkey and China to showcase their national cultures, sights and cuisines. The organisers sought to facilitate exchanges between tourism companies and expand opportunities for cooperation. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan also reiterated their support for the Silk Road visa initiative proposed by Kazakhstan in March that would introduce a single Central Asian visa regime. “If such a visa programme is launched, could you imagine how easy it would be for tourists to travel from one country to another? Tourists coming to Central Asia want to see not only Kazakhstan, but also Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan,” said Mainura Murzamadiyeva, tourism industry committee chairwoman at Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The Kazakhstan Global Investment Forum took place Oct. 2 in London, gathering more than 150 representatives of businesses, including from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, JP Morgan Bank, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Ernst&Young, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the London Stock Exchange. A Kazakh delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev told the gathering about business and investment opportunities in the country and prospects for Kazakh-British cooperation. The participants also discussed ways to improve Kazakhstan’s investment climate, including tax and customs preferences, Kazakhstan’s privatisation programme, its strategic geographic location and the opportunities presented by China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union.