News Digest: Foreign Media on Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, Jackson-Vanik Amendment and More

ASTANA – The Astana Times has compiled a selection of articles on Kazakhstan published in international media. This week’s foreign media digest includes coverage of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, U.S. senators’ efforts to repeal Jackson-Vanik amendment for Kazakhstan and other topics.

Skyline of the Kazakh Capital Astana. Photo credit: iStock.

Volume of cargo transported alongside Middle Corridor by Kazakhstan grows

Business Lend published an article on Sept. 8 focused on the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR).

“The quantity of cargo transported alongside the TITR, or the so-called Middle Corridor, by Kazakhstan increased by 86 % in comparison with the same period of 2022, and reached 1.6 million tons,” the article reads.

According to Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, the country’s railway and logistics company, exports from Kazakhstan amounted to 1.2 million tons, representing a 2.5-fold increase year-on-year.

Kazakhstan’s bold new economic plan can enhance its regional role

The Geopolitics published an article on Sept. 1 analyzing the Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s state-of-the-nation address. 

“In his recent state-of-the-nation address titled Economic Course of a Just Kazakhstan, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev laid out an ambitious and nuanced roadmap for the nation’s economic and political future. For those who have been closely observing Kazakhstan’s trajectory, the President’s comprehensive vision seems not only promising but also feasible, provided there is committed execution of the outlined initiatives,” the article notes.

Kazakhstan and Italy Aim to Expand Cooperation

EU Reporter published an article on Sept. 7 informing that Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Murat Nurtleu, met with Antonio Tajani, Italy’s Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Tajani was in Astana on an official visit.

According to the article, Minister Tajani expressed support for the initiatives announced in President Tokayev’s State of the Nation Address “The Economic Course of a Just Kazakhstan”, as well as for political and socio-economic reforms aimed at building a strong economy and a prosperous society. He also noted the high level of relations between the two countries, emphasizing the presence of new promising areas.

Bipartisan bill seeks to repeal Jackson-Vanik for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan

U.S. Senators Chris Murphy and Todd Young introduced legislation on Sept. 7 to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan and grant the three Central Asian states permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status, the Diplomat reported on Sept. 7.

If passed successfully, the U.S. Congress will have alleviated a notable point of irritation for the states of Central Asia affected. In light of the Russian war in Ukraine’s deleterious effect on Moscow’s influence in the region and simultaneous Chinese inroads into Central Asia, repealing the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan is a considerable gesture of goodwill from the United States. 

The Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974 rendered certain countries ineligible for normal trade relations with the United States due to restrictions on emigration, specifically that of Soviet Jews seeking to leave the Soviet Union. Although it collapsed in 1991, Jackson-Vanik lived on.

Bajram Begaj and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev discuss opening of Kazakhstan embassy in Tirana 

Albanian Daily News published an article on President Bajram Begaj’s state visit to Kazakhstan on Sept. 6-8.

Invited by his Kazakh counterpart, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Begaj conducted a state visit that coincides with the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. After the official ceremony, the two Presidents held a face-to-face meeting, where one of the topics discussed was the opening of the Kazakhstan embassy in Tirana, the article states.

“Special attention was also paid to economic cooperation, trade exchanges, finding opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in areas of mutual interest, such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture or extraction and processing of minerals,” said Begaj. 

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