External news in brief

Kazakhstan presented its food and beverage products at the GulfFood event, the 24th iteration of the world’s largest annual food and beverage trade show, which took place Feb. 17-21 in Dubai. More than 5,000 companies from 120 countries displayed the industry’s latest products and equipment. The Kazakh delegation presented agriculture products from the Almaty, East Kazakhstan, Kostanai, Akmola, Zhambul and Aktobe regions. This year, more than 98,000 people from 193 countries visited the exhibition spanning 1 million square metres at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, also toured the exhibition.

Kazakh children conveyed their vision of the country in paintings displayed in Delhi as part of the “Kazakhstan in the Eyes of Children” exhibition hosted by the Kazakhstan National Federation of UNESCO Clubs (KazFUCA) and the Confederation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations of India (CUCAI). The exhibits include 30 pieces made by art school and kindergarten students. The goal of the cultural exchange project was to show the culture and traditions of Kazakhstan to Indian citizens. The organisers note the event drew vibrant interest not only from general visitors, but also from art specialists.

Kazakhstan has improved its position in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Country Risk rating, climbing to the fifth group of the ranking. The index is regularly compiled by the organisation’s Working Party on Export Credits and Credit Guarantees and reflects their assessment of country risk encompassing transfer and convertibility risk and cases of force majeure. Kazakhstan took part in the group meeting for the first time in November 2017, when it was in the sixth group. Countries are classified across eight categories based on a two-step methodology. The first assessment is quantitative and examines three groups of risk indicators: reported payment experience, the financial situation and the economic situation, based primarily on IMF indicators. The second assessment is qualitative and incorporates factors not taken into account by the model. The KazakhExport company represented Kazakhstan, presenting to OECD members Kazakhstan’s export potential through the lens of their financial instruments, indicators and development prospects. They also briefed international partners on state support for exports.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan will establish a coordination council on bilateral cooperation in energy, said Kazakh Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev. The minister said the document will enable the countries to take a more comprehensive approach to oil and oil products, gas sales, petroleum chemistry products and electricity. The Mazhilis, the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, recently ratified a framework agreement between the governments of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan that also focused on the energy sector. As part of the agreement, Kazakhstan plans to increase its oil exports to its neighbour. In 2018, Kazakhstan exported more than 260,000 tonnes to Uzbekistan, and the minister said Tashkent is ready to import close to 2 million tonnes.

Kazakh Ambassador to the United Kingdom Erlan Idrissov recently addressed an international investment and economic conference in London hosted by the League of Angels, an investment and networking business association that includes more than 1 million representatives of the global business community. Idrissov briefed the audience on Kazakhstan’s achievements in improving its investment climate and the new mandate of the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs in attracting investment and promoting exports. He emphasised the work of the Astana International Financial Centre, the country’s large-scale privatisation programme, Kazakhstan’s new Code on Subsoil and Subsoil Use and the opportunities for British businesses created by China’s Belt and Road Initiative. More than 200 business executives in the finance, investment, manufacturing, technology and communications sectors of the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East attended the event.

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