External news in brief

Kazakh and German business representatives gathered in Hamburg Feb. 4 to explore the role of Kazakhstan as an economic and logistics hub in Eurasia and beyond. The forum was organised and supported by the Federal Association of German Silk Road Initiative, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and the Kazakh Embassy in Germany. The agenda included prospects for expanding economic, investment, transport and logistics cooperation between Kazakhstan and other countries along the Silk Road and ways to boost cooperation with the European Union. Kazakh Ambassador to Germany Bolat Nussupov also met with Aurubis AG Executive Chair Jürgen Schachler and Aurubis Senior Vice President Christophe Koenig and the top management of logistics company BUSS Group; the world’s second largest transport company, Deutsche Bahn; and members of small and medium-sized German businesses.

Sarsen Amanzholov East Kazakhstan State University opened an Abai Kazakh Youth Centre in the Polish city of Świecie. The centre will facilitate cultural exchange, education programmes and international projects between Kazakhstan and Poland. The sides also expect the new facility will support academic mobility and dual education between Kazakh and Polish universities. “It is symbolic that we are opening the new centre in the Year of Youth in Kazakhstan. I would like to note that Abai is a significant symbol of Kazakh culture and a genius born and raised in our East Kazakhstan region. We embrace Abai’s rich traditions in our university and we organise big conferences, publish monographs and scientific articles about him. This means that our professors and students can tell a lot about Abai and his poetry,” said Amanzholov University Dean Mukhtar Tolegen.

Kazakh flagship air carrier Air Astana will launch direct flights to New York and Shanghai, Kazakh Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Zhenis Kassymbek recently announced. The launch follows the instruction of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to open direct route to the United States and Japan. “This year, the ministry and Air Astana will be working to launch flights to Japan, the United States and China and to other big cities around the world,” said Kassymbek. The accreditation procedure that will allow the Kazakh airline to fly to the United States has begun and the signing of the relevant intergovernmental aviation agreement is slated for March.

The Kazakh documentary “Heritage of Ancestors” will compete within the programme of the London International Filmmaker Festival that will take place in the British capital Feb. 16 to Feb. 23 and which draws international emerging artists and experienced filmmakers. The Kazakh feature is nominated in two categories, Best Short Documentary and Best Editing of a Short Documentary. The documentary is a part of a broader series of documentaries, “Turkic Nations in Kazakhstan,” that tells the story of Turkic groups living in Kazakhstan, exploring their traditions and culture. “Heritage of Ancestors” depicts the life of the Uzbek diaspora in Kazakhstan through the lens of 47-year-old Abdimanop Zupparov, who lives in southern Kazakhstan and who has continued his grandfather’s tradition of making the baby cradles known as besiks among locals.

Global Finance Magazine ranked Kazakhstan 44th out of 128 countries in its recent World’s Safest Countries ranking, which took a comprehensive view of safety for each country. The methodology incorporated three factors to evaluate safety: war and peace, personal security and natural disaster risk. Kazakhstan was ranked ahead of Russia (108th), China (81st), Azerbaijan (71st), Armenia (62nd) and its Central Asian neighbours Kyrgyzstan (89th) and Tajikistan (68th). European countries with developed economies and healthcare systems topped the list. The United States ranked 65th, while Iceland, Finland and Switzerland made up the top three.