News Digest: Foreign Media on Kazakh-French Ties, Agreements at COP28 and More

ASTANA – The Astana Times presents a selection of articles on Kazakhstan published in foreign media. This week’s foreign media digest includes articles on the Kazakh-French partnership, Kazakhstan’s participation at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, and more.

Almaty. Photo credit: voxpopuli.

From oil to renewables: Kazakhstan’s transformative environmental journey

The Geopolitics released an article on Dec. 4 about Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s speech at COP28 in Dubai.

“In the contemporary geopolitical landscape, Kazakhstan’s emerging role as a promoter of sustainability and climate action is both a strategic pivot and a response to global environmental challenges,” reads the article. 

This transition, especially highlighted during President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s address at COP28 in Dubai, “positions Kazakhstan not just as a nation overcoming its Soviet-era industrial legacy, but as a key player in the global climate change narrative.” 

“The country’s initiatives offer a unique perspective on how nations with similar historical backgrounds can contribute to and benefit from global sustainability efforts,” the article notes.

Kazakhstan, Iran forge $3 billion trade deal, unveil action plan

Kazakhstan and Iran have signed a document aimed at increasing trade between the two countries to $3 billion during the plenary session of the 19th meeting of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation between the two nations, reported Caspian News on Dec. 6.

“During the meeting of the intergovernmental commission, discussions also encompassed expanding cooperation in transport and logistics, specifically the development of the North-South international transport corridor,” the article notes.

The Kazakh side expressed readiness to supply 75 different kinds of products, valued at around $250 million, to Iranian consumers. Simultaneously, the Iranian side expressed interest in Kazakh investments, indicating readiness to provide special conditions for doing business in Iran’s free economic zones.

Kazakhstan concludes chairmanship of Central Asian Women’s Dialogue with conference on countering gender-based violence

Kazakhstan has concluded its chairmanship in the Central Asian Women Leaders’ Caucus (CAWLC), handing over the reins to the Kyrgyz Republic, reported the News Central Asia on Dec. 5.

During his address, Yerlan Koshanov, the Chairman of the Mazhilis, the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, highlighted the dialogue’s focus on timely issues such as technological advancements, global peace and security, climate change, and the role of women and youth in combating terrorism and extremism. 

He also emphasized Kazakhstan’s ongoing efforts to promote gender equality, including the tightening of penalties for domestic violence and the planned introduction of criminal liability for domestic abuse.

COP28: TotalEnergies signs agreement on investment for a one gigawatt wind power project in Kazakhstan 

TotalEnergies published a press release on Dec. 4 announcing it has entered into an investment agreement to build a one-gigawatt onshore wind farm of up to 160 turbines combined with a 600 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system for a reliable power supply in Kazakhstan.

TotalEnergies will develop the Mirny project in partnership with the Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and the KazMunayGas national company, which will each own a 20% stake in the project.

Kazakhstan, a model of development and peace in an uncertain world

L’Essentiel des Relations Internationales released a special issue about Kazakh-French relations on Dec. 7 following the meeting of French President Emmanuel Macron with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Astana in November.

“With the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which entered into force in 2020, the EU is today Astana’s largest trading partner. French President Emmanuel Macron made his first official visit to Kazakhstan in November, aiming to strengthen the bilateral partnership. In this issue, we detail the challenges for the two countries, including energy resources, multimodal infrastructure, green economy, digital technologies and others,” the magazine states.

Latest report by SolarPower Europe reveals solar investment prospects in Kazakhstan

SolarPower Europe has unveiled the latest edition of Solar Investment Opportunities in Kazakhstan, providing updated insights on the country’s solar sector, economic and political advancements, and recent collaborations with the EU in renewables, green hydrogen, and battery value chains, reported the Solar Quarter on Dec. 6. 

This report features the latest solar capacity figures, auction details, energy mix data, and legislative amendments, offering a comprehensive overview for international investors. 

The largest wind energy project ever initiated in Kazakhstan, Mirny will supply more than one million people with low-carbon electricity and will avoid the emission of 3.5 million tons of CO2 annually in the country.

Kazakhstan’s creative agenda

L’Essentiel des Relations Internationales published an article by State Counselor of Kazakhstan Erlan Karin on Dec. 7 about the results of the country’s development over the past year.

“A year ago, in November 2022, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won the presidential election, supported by more than 80% of voters. Since his re-election, the President has continued his policy of systemic transformation of all spheres of life in Kazakh society. As an example, the presidential election itself kicked off a complete reset of the political system. Between December 2022 and March 2023, elections to both houses of parliament and maslikhats (local representative bodies) were held consecutively,” the article reads.

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