Articles by Dana Omirgazy

Kazakhstan’s Megapolises See Sharp Rise in Population Growth

ASTANA – Over the last ten years, the population of Astana has increased by 59 percent reaching 1.3 million, Almaty – by 37 percent reaching 2.1 million and Shymkent – by 67 percent reaching 1.18 million, Kazakh Minister of National Economy Alibek  Kuantyrov said at a Nov. 23 meeting in Mazhilis, a lower chamber of…

Preliminary Results of Presidential Election: Incumbent Tokayev Wins 81.31% of Votes

ASTANA – Incumbent President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev won 81.31 percent of the vote at the presidential election, according to the preliminary data from the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced on Nov. 21. The preliminary election result shows Zhiguli Dairabayev, a candidate of the Auyl Party, winning 3.42 percent  (271,641 votes), Karakat Abden nominated by…

President Tokayev Meets with Leaders of New Movement, Encourages Youth Participation in Building Just Kazakhstan

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s younger generation should constantly improve their skills, and comprehensively develop and learn languages, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at a Nov. 14 meeting with the activists of the Zhana Adamdar (New People) movement, reported the Akorda press service. Welcoming the initiative, the President said that the state is undergoing modernization processes and reforms…

Presidential Candidate Zhiguli Dairabayev Focuses on Creating a New Kazakhstan, Agricultural Potential and Rural Development in His Election Program

Editor’s note: As Kazakhstan heads to the presidential elections on Nov. 20, The Astana Times will contribute a series of articles in the format of reviews and interviews, providing an outlook into the electoral programs of each of the candidates.   ASTANA – The campaign platform of Auyl Party candidate for president Zhiguli Dairabayev focuses on…

Just Kazakhstan For All and For Everyone: Tokayev Announces His Election Campaign Program

ASTANA – Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced his election campaign program titled Just Kazakhstan: For All and For Everyone, which is based on three interconnected principles – a just state, a just economy, and a just society, at the headquarters of the people’s coalition on Oct. 26, reported the presidential candidate’s press service. “Every decision and action…

Kazakhstan Must Shift from Raw Material Agricultural Exports to Processing, Says President Tokayev

ASTANA – Kazakhstan must smoothly shift from raw materials-oriented agricultural exports to processing, as the sanctions standoff opens up unique opportunities, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during an Oct. 20 meeting with the Zhetisu Region’s public, reported Akorda press service. The Zhetisu Region, formed on May 4 by splitting the Almaty Region, includes eight districts and…

Astana Court Invalidates Protocol for Nomination of Nurzhan Altayev as Presidential Candidate

ASTANA – The court of Astana’s Baikonur district invalidated the protocol for the nomination of Nurzhan Altayev as a candidate to run in the upcoming presidential elections on Oct. 17, reported the court’s press service.  The court found that the majority of participants voted against the nomination of Nurzhan Altayev as a candidate for the…

Tokayev Focuses on Regional Security and Stability at Central Asia – Russia Summit

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev focused on the importance of security and stability in the Central Asian region and stressed the need to develop unified approaches to prevent conflicts at an Oct. 14 Central Asia – Russia summit in Astana. “At this difficult stage of world history, it is more important than ever for us…

Kazakhstan, Türkiye to Bring Mutual Trade Turnover to $10 Billion in Mid-Term

ASTANA – Kazakhstan and Türkiye seek to bring the bilateral trade turnover to $10 billion in the mid-term, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the fourth meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council, as Türkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a state visit to Astana on Oct. 12, reported the Akorda press service. The Presidents of…

Qatar is One of Kazakhstan’s Important Partners in Middle East, Says Tokayev

ASTANA – Qatar is an important partner of Kazakhstan in the Middle East, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during an Oct. 12 meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who arrived in Astana for a state visit on Oct. 11, reported the Akorda press service. The President thanked the Emir of…

Novak Djokovic Wins ATP 500 Astana Open in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – The 21-time Grand Slam champion and the No. 4 seed from Serbia Novak Djokovic won the Astana Open trophy by defeating Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, the No. 3 seed, 6-3, 6-4 on Oct. 9 in Astana, reported the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation’s press service. It was Djokovic’s ninth consecutive match victory. He won the title…

Kazakhstan Should Pursue Multi-Vector, Constructive Foreign Policy to Ensure Regional and Global Security, President Tokayev Says

ASTANA – Kazakhstan should pursue balanced, multi-vector, constructive foreign policy to ensure regional and global security, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at an Oct. 6 forum of the people’s coalition in Astana, reported the Akorda press service. “Kazakhstan will unswervingly uphold principles of equality, democracy in international relations, international law and the United Nations (UN) Charter.…

President Tokayev Highlights Abai Region’s Vast Opportunities in Transit, Mining, and Trade During His Working Visit to Region

ASTANA – Since the beginning of the year, nearly $417.5 million were invested in the Abai region, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during a Sept. 30 meeting with the public of the region in Semei, reported the Akorda’s press service.   “Considering the people’s wishes, I established a separate region. This step will enable a quick resolution…

Kazakhstan’s Berik Aitzhanov, Daniyar Alshinov Win Best Actors Award at Venice International Film Festival

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh actors Berik Aitzhanov and Daniyar Alshinov won the Premio Bisato d’oro 2022 Best Actors award for their roles in “Goliath” at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, the film’s director Adilkhan Yerzhanov announced on his Sept. 9 Instagram post. The film “Goliath” participated in the festival’s Orizzonti Extra (New Horizons) competition program.…

Kazakhstan is Key Partner in Central Asia, Says EU Parliament Member

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan is a key partner of the European Union (EU) in Central Asia, said Christian Sagartz, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament (EP) Sub-Committee on Human Rights, during his Aug. 22 meeting with Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi, reported the ministry’s press service. Sagartz commended the political dialogue between Kazakhstan and the EU, particularly…

Eagle FC 50: MMA Legend Khabib Nurmagomedov Visits Nur-Sultan

NUR-SULTAN – Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov visited the Kazakh capital on Aug. 21 to participate in the Eagle Fighting Championship EFC 50, commonly known as Eagle FC. Eagle FC is a Russian mixed martial arts promotion company established in 2020 by Nurmagomedov. “Of course, Nur-Sultan has changed dramatically in the last five to…

Kazakhstan’s Largest Music Organization Inaugurates Project for Talented Children With Disabilities

NUR-SULTAN – Qazaqconcert state musical organization named after Roza Baglanova launched the Arman Asulary (Cherished Dream) project for children with disabilities, said Serik Nurmoldayev, the company’s deputy director, at an Aug. 8 press conference in Nur-Sultan. The first stage of the selection process is underway. According to Nurmoldayev, gifted children will get a chance to…

Kazakh Government Sets High Standards for Quality Education Project

NUR-SULTAN – The main objective of the national education project is to ensure equal access to quality education at all levels – preschool, school, technical and professional, and higher education, said Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov at an Aug. 9 government meeting. According to the Prime Minister’s Office, schools that will accommodate 840,000 children are…

Architects Should Supervise Urban Design to Make Kazakh Cities Comfortable, Says President of Architects’ Union

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s Union of Architects called on the country’s leadership to legitimize the role of architects in urban planning, said President of the Union Serik Sultangali at a July 28 Central Communications Service briefing, reported the press service of the office. The union sent a letter outlining their proposals to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Sultangali…

Kazakh Cinema to Support Low-Budget and Debut Movies From Young Filmmakers

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh Cinema will invest 5.6 billion tenge (US$11.7 million) in more than 60 film projects, said company’s Deputy Chair Baurzhan Shukenov, the Central Communications Service press office reported July 27. According to Shukenov, social impact films, including animation projects, will receive 4.95 billion tenge (US$10.3 million). Up to 500 million tenge (US$1…

Investment Projects to Provide More Than 2 Million Jobs by 2025

NUR-SULTAN – Investment projects will offer over 2 million new jobs by 2025, including 444,000 this year, said Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov at a July 28 meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, reported the presidential press service. As of July 1, some 249,000 jobs have already been created. The pool of investment projects formed…

Air China to Launch Flights from Nur-Sultan to Chengdu

NUR-SULTAN – The Air China airline announced plans to launch Nur-Sultan-Chengdu regular flights from Aug. 7 on an Airbus 320, reported the press service of the Nur-Sultan International Airport on July 27. From Aug. 9, the Red Wings Russia’s air carrier will operate flights from Omsk to Nur-Sultan on a SSJ100 jet. Previously, the Red…

Kazakh Government to Support Businesses Through Grant Financing

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh entrepreneurs can apply for state funding as part of the National Entrepreneurship Development Project for 2021-2025 from Aug. 8, reported the press service of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population on July 25. Funds will be provided by the employment centers according to the decision of the…

BI Group IRONMAN Kazakhstan Returns After Two-Year Break

NUR-SULTAN – After a two-year break caused by pandemic restrictions, the BI Group IRONMAN Kazakhstan and the BI Group IRONMAN 70.3, Astana’s largest international triathlon tournament will gather 2,200 triathletes from 77 countries on Aug. 14 in Nur-Sultan, reported the press service of the Nur-Sultan akimat (city administration). Each race consists of three non-stop stages…

Kazakh Сapital to Host Asian Judo Championships 2022

NUR-SULTAN – Nur-Sultan will host the Asian Judo Championships 2022 among men and women on Aug. 4-7 at the Zhaksylyk Ushkempirov Martial Arts Palace, reported the National Olympic Committee. Some 208 competitors, including 118 men and 90 women from 21 countries will take part in individual and mix-team competitions. Eighteen athletes will represent Kazakhstan. “The…

Thirty-Two Kazakh Children Take Part in Planet of ART-2022 International Festival

NUR-SULTAN – Thirty-nine talented children from six countries performed at the July 23 gala concert as part of the Planet of ART-2022 international festival at the Aktobe Regional Gaziza Zhubanova Philharmonic. More than 3,000 children between 12-18 years of age from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan took part…

Government Mandates Clean-Up Effort of National Parks and Resort Areas

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov declared that the government would clean the territory of the national parks and resort areas from waste within one day and install additional containers for collecting solid household waste at a July 25 meeting on tourism development, reported the Prime Minister’s Office. Over the first seven months…

Fifteen Kazakh Women-Led IT Startups Selected For Incubation and Acceleration Program in Tashkent

NUR-SULTAN – Fifteen startup projects from Kazakhstan were selected at a pitch day on July 15 as part of the Tumaris. Tech international project aimed at promoting women’s initiatives in the information technology sector in Tashkent, the press service of the IT Park Uzbekistan reports. Out of 148 applications submitted from five Central Asian countries,…

Kazakhstan’s Alexey Lutsenko Enters Top 10 Ranking at 2022 Tour de France

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh cyclist Alexey Lutsenko, 29, entered top 10 in the general rankings as the Tour de France finishes July 25 with traditional stage 21 to the Champs Elysees in Paris. This year, Lutsenko ranks ninth. “I came to the Tour de France to compete again for a high result in the overall standings.…

EBRD Invests in Kazakhstan Railway Bonds to Upgrade Alternative Freight Route Between Asia and Europe

NUR-SULTAN – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced plans to invest 50 billion tenge (US$103.7 million) in the Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) bond issue to be listed on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, reported the bank’s press service. The investment seeks to help the nation’s railway operator to strengthen financial and operational resilience…

QazaqGaz to Build Gas Processing Plant at Kashagan

NUR-SULTAN – The QazaqGaz National Company has started construction of a gas processing plant at Kashagan oil field with a projected capacity of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas, said QazaqGaz Chairman Sanzhar Zharkeshov during a July 22 meeting with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, according to the presidential press service. The company plans to expand…

Astana Ballet Closes Its Season with ‘Orpheus and Eurydice’ Premiere

NUR-SULTAN – The theatrical season of the Astana Ballet turned out to be eventful and rewarding, featuring 90 performances visited by 30,000 spectators, as well as engaging tours abroad, the press service of the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports reports. This season, the ballet troupe prepared and presented five premieres. These are the one-act…

Kazakh Film ‘A Dark, Dark Man’ Deserves to Be Experienced on Big-Screen, Says New York Times Review

NUR-SULTAN – The New York Times published a review of the Kazakh crime film “A Dark, Dark Man” directed by Adilkhan Yerzhanov on July 19. According to a critic, this police procedural is “clearly designed for big-screen immersion.” Its methods and themes also recall such acclaimed art-house titles as Bruno Dumont’s “Humanité,” Bong Joon Ho’s…

Kazakh Great Writer Mukhtar Auezov’s Bust Unveiled in Cholpon-Ata

NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev unveiled a brand new bust to Kazakh writer Mukhtar Auezov as part of his visit to Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, according to the presidential press service. Tokayev left a note in the book of honored guests at the house-museum of the writer. The house of Mukhtar Auezov was built in 1959 in…

Kazakh President Proposes Central Asian Leaders Create Joint Media

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged Central Asian leaders to join efforts in the fight against attempts to split relations between states and strengthen interaction in the information space at a July 21 fourth consultative meeting of the heads of states of Central Asia in Cholpon-Ata, reports the presidential press service. Tokayev encouraged the…

President Tokayev Calls for Greater Regional Economic Cooperation at Consultative Meeting of Central Asian Leaders in Cholpon-Ata

NUR-SULTAN – The Treaty between the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan on friendship, good-neighborliness and cooperation for the development of Central Asia in the 21st century was agreed upon and the procedure for its signing began, reported the presidential press service. The event is…

Nur-Sultan Enters COVID-19 Moderate Risk Yellow Zone as Daily Infections Surpass 600

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan was included in the moderate risk yellow zone on the coronavirus infection map on July 21, as COVID-19 cases surged in the past two weeks. Over the past day, 642 people were infected with COVID-19 in Nur-Sultan with 2,257 coronavirus infections registered in Kazakhstan. “The epidemiological situation in the…

Kazakhstan’s Norah Jeruto Wins Women’s Steeplechase Title at World Athletics Championships

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s Norah Jeruto, 26, won country’s first-ever gold medal in the women’s 3000 meters steeplechase on July 20 at World Athletics Championships, reports Sports.kz. Kenyan-born Jeruto finished first in 8 minutes, 53.02 seconds, the third fastest time in history. She outraced Ethiopian silver and bronze medalists Werkuha Getachew (8:54.61) and Mekidas Abebe (8:56.08).…

Kazakh Ministry of Defense to Upgrade Defense and Industrial Complex

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh Defense Minister Ruslan Zhaksylykov shared the plan for the development of the country’s defense and industrial complex in his July 8 response to the open letter of the deputies of Mazhilis, a lower house of Kazakhstan’s Parliament. Zhaksylykov said that the plans include increasing the share of internal production, and the repair…

Amanat Party’s Tomiris Project to Promote Women’s Leadership in Regions

NUR-SULTAN – Thirty women from all regions of Kazakhstan will be selected to complete the leadership training program as part of the Tomiris project, the press service of the Amanat party reported on July 18. “First of all, participants will take courses on leadership, gender issues in politics, law, emotional intelligence, project management, negotiation, public…

Environmental Protection Expenditures Rise to $855 Million in 2021

NUR-SULTAN – The volume of environmental protection expenditures in Kazakhstan reached 417 billion tenge (US$855 million) in 2021, 8.6 percent more compared to 2020 and 0.8 percent less than the record level in 2019, energyprom.kz reports on July 18. Atyrau, Aktobe, Zhambyl and the East Kazakhstan regions accounted for more than half of all environmental…

Kazakhstan to Deliver Space Communication Services to Tajikistan

NUR-SULTAN – The National Center for Space Communications (RCSC) and Tajikistan’s Isatel agreed on July 18 to extend the KazSat-3 satellite transponder capacity to Tajikistan’s remote regions, reports the Kazakh Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry. Kazakhstan’s satellite communication system fully covers the country’s needs for communication services and also supplies its products…

Denis Ten’s Movie ‘Blind Love’ to Premiere This Week, Four Years after His Tragic Death

NUR-SULTAN – The ‘Blind Love’ movie written by Kazakh figure skater and 2014 Winter Olympics bronze medal winner Denis Ten is set to premiere on July 19 in Almaty, four years after his tragic death shocked the nation. The movie, which was produced by Timur Bekmambetov and Denis Ten’s mother Oksana Ten, will be available…

Volume of Services in Kazakhstan’s Arts and Entertainment Industry Reaches Record Level

NUR-SULTAN – The volume of services in the culture, arts and entertainment industry of Kazakhstan reached record levels of 11.9 billion tenge (US$24.8 million) in the first quarter this year, finprom.kz reports. In terms of regions, the leading regions are Nur-Sultan (3 billion tenge (US$6.2 million)), followed by Almaty (2.3 billion tenge (US$4.8 million)) and…

Sanctions, Migration of Russian Citizens to Kazakhstan Boost Popularity of Money Transfer Systems

NUR-SULTAN – During the first five months of this year, the volume of transactions through international money transfer systems from abroad to Kazakhstan hit a record 178.8 billion tenge (US$370 million), which is 58.4 percent higher than in the same period last year, ranking.kz reports on July 14. Two-thirds of the funds were received from…

Number of Registered Investment Sub-Accounts Soars in Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh citizens registered over 367,000 securities accounts during the first six months of this year, Kazakhstan Central Securities Depository (KCSD) reports on July 12. The overall increase reached 64 percent since the beginning of the year. To compare, since July 1, 2021, the number of sub-accounts has more than doubled (+187,000), of which…

Tokayev Signs New Amendments to Grant Legal Force to Electronic Documents

NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed July 14 new amendments and additions to legislative acts that enhance citizens’ ability to exchange and receive documents in electronic form, granting them the same legal status as paper copies, the presidential press service reports. The law also provides measures to improve the quality of communications in rural areas…

EU to Enhance Transport, Logistics Ties with Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – The European Union Special Representative for Central Asia Terhi Hakala expressed interest in strengthening transport and logistics cooperation with Kazakhstan during the July 14 videoconference with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, reports the presidential press service. The Kazakh President confirmed his keen interest in developing cooperation with the EU and his readiness to boost…

Kazakhstan Opens New Page in Animation Industry, Says Kazakh Minister of Culture and Sports

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan will establish the Kazakh Animation creative association at the Kazakhfilm studio, Minister of Culture and Sports Dauren Abayev wrote on his Facebook page on July 12. He said that the new association will become a game-changer in the country’s animation industry and will boost competitiveness, as young and promising animators get the…

CPC Continues Work as Usual, Says Kazakh PM Smailov

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Mishustin agreed that the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) will not suspend operations, said Smailov in his interview with Qazaqstan TV channel on July 12. “On July 5, the Primorsky District Court in the southern Russian city of Novorossiysk suspended the activities of the…

Kazakh Prime Minister Stresses Increased Support for Three New Regions

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov emphasized the need for increased support for the country’s three new regions – Abai, Ulytau and Zhetisu in his July 12 interview with the Qazaqstan TV channel. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a decree to establish three regions on May 4 before it entered into force on June…

Kazakhstan Seeks International Expertise in Building New Nuclear Power Plant

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan plans to use best international practices and advanced technologies in the construction of a nuclear power plant, said Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov in an interview with Qazaqstan TV channel on July 12.  “According to our analysis, the country could face an electricity shortage in the future. To deal with it, we need…

Global Ranking Lists Nur-Sultan, Almaty among Most Expensive World Cities

NUR-SULTAN – Numbeo, the world’s largest cost of living database, mentioned Nur-Sultan and Almaty in its list of the most expensive cities, Cost of Living Index by City 2022 Mid-Year ranking.  Out of 510 cities, Almaty ranks 466th, and the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, is placed 475th.  Hamilton, Bermuda was revealed as the world’s most…

Nur-Sultan, Almaty Break Into QS Best Student Cities 2023 Ranking

NUR-SULTAN – Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a British company specializing in the analysis of higher education institutions around the world, has released the annual ranking titled Best Student Cities 2023, which includes two cities from Kazakhstan – Nur-Sultan and Almaty. Ranking based on cities with the best conditions for studying abroad considers a range of criteria…

Kazakhstan’s Investment Pool Includes More Than 700 Projects Worth $51.5 Billion

NUR-SULTAN – The volume of investments in fixed assets over the past five months amounted to 4.1 trillion tenge (US$8.6 billion), which is 2.5 percent higher compared to the same period last year, reported the press service of the Ministry of National Economy.  Investments were directed to the education, public administration, social security sectors, and…

Nearly 4,000 Muslims from Kazakhstan Perform Hajj Pilgrimage This Year

NUR-SULTAN – This year, some 4,000 Kazakh citizens went to Mecca for the first post-pandemic Hajj, according to the Kazakh Spiritual Directorate of Muslims.  After a two-year restriction, Saudi Arabia allowed one million Muslims, including nearly 850,000 foreigners, to make the annual Hajj pilgrimage. However, it introduced strict requirements: pilgrims should not be over 65…

Kazakhstan Establishes Visa-Free Regime for Citizens of India, Iran and China

NUR-SULTAN – From July 8, Kazakhstan has introduced a unilateral visa-free regime up to 14 days for citizens of India, Iran and China, press service of the Migration Service Committee informs. Meanwhile, the 72-hour visa-free transit for India and China has ceased to operate. “According to the visa-free regime conditions, citizens of India, Iran and…

Camera Trap in Almaty Region Spots Siberian Goats (Video)

NUR-SULTAN – A herd of Siberian ibex goats – one of the largest and most heavily built goats, was spotted by a camera trap near the watering hole in the Altyn Emel National Park of the Almaty region, the park’s press service reported on June 14.  The video reveals a herd of large Siberian ibexes…

Russian Cosmonaut Shares Unique Video of Shrinking Aral Sea as Seen From Outer Space (Video)

NUR-SULTAN – Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev posted a video of the Aral Sea on his Telegram channel showing the surface of the Aral Sea.  “Flying over the Aral Sea… or rather, what is left of it,” Artemyev wrote under the video. The Aral sea is an inland salt lake located between Kazakhstan (Aktobe and Kyzylorda…

After 30 Years of Bilateral Relations Kazakhstan, IMF Expand Strategic Partnership

NUR-SULTAN – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) seeks to continue its partnership with Kazakhstan, Head of the IMF mission for Kazakhstan Nicolas Blancher said during a videoconference with Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov, the Prime Minister’s Office reported. During the meeting, the sides discussed the results of the IMF mission, recommendations on priority areas…

TikTok is Set to Boost Cooperation With Kazakhstan

NUR-SULTAN – TikTok, a short-form video hosting service, seeks to promote its cultural and informational content in Kazakhstan including the promotion of theaters and museums. This was announced during the meeting of Kazakh Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Almas Aidarov with General Director of TikTok Rus Serguei Sokolov in Nur-Sultan, reported the press service of…

National Bank Observes Increase in International Reserves Due to Gold and Foreign Currency Expansion

NUR-SULTAN – The gross international reserves of the Kazakh National Bank increased by 0.8 percent over the month and totaled $33.4 billion in April, according to the latest press release from the bank. “Gold and foreign currency reserves expanded due to an increase in the gold portfolio and receipt of funds to accounts of the…

American businessman boosts tourist flow to Kazakhstan

ASTANA – American businessperson David Valera seeks to develop tourism in Kazakhstan by opening the country as a cultural and tourist destination for foreign visitors. “I am proud to say that I am the only New Yorker, the only American, who has his company 100 percent dedicated to promoting tourism in Kazakhstan. That was a…

Astana-Paris bike ride involves cyclists with visual impairments

ASTANA – The Blind Race 2018 Astana-Paris bike marathon for cyclists who are blind or visually impaired will kick off noon, Aug. 4 from Mangilik El monument. Kazakh and foreign athletes will pass through six countries and pedal 5,000 kilometres. “This year, we have organised our third marathon. The first was Almaty-Astana and then Almaty…

Archaeologists find Saka burial mound, later graves near Astana

ASTANA – Archaeologists have begun excavating a Saka burial mound found 10 kilometres from Astana, in the course of their work discovering seven other graves dating to the much more recent past (to the 15th and 16th centuries), two of which held women’s jewellery. “A female copper ring was found in one of the graves.…

Astana Around Us: Astana through eyes of photo artists

ASTANA – Astana Around Us depicts the capital and its residents from an unusual perspective. The photo exhibit, composed of approximately 120 works of the best photographers from Belarus, France, Germany, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Slovakia, Turkey and Uzbekistan, is on display through July 31 along Nurzhol Boulevard (also known as Green Water Boulevard) near the…

Asaý Júrek resale shop offers luxury, vintage and mass-market clothing

ASTANA – Asaý Júrek, a resale shop opened in April in Almaty, offers high quality and select clothes and accessories. Founder and city resident Marina Anichkina sells mass-market, luxury, vintage and other styles. “We do not order containers with clothes from the prosperous countries of Europe… We accept clothes from people with a similar vision…

Young neurosurgeon saves lives, is one of country’s 100 New Faces

ASTANA – Taraz native Marat Sarshayev, 33, a neurosurgeon at the Central Clinical Hospital in Almaty of the Medical Centre of the President’s Affairs Administration of Kazakhstan, is one of the nation’s 100 New Faces. Despite his young age, Sarshayev independently conducts brain vessel endoscopic, endovascular and micro-neurosurgical surgeries. He also operates to remove brain…

Indian Cultural Centre in Astana offers yoga, Indian dance and other classes

ASTANA – Free classes on Indian music, dance, the Hindi language and yoga were recently launched at the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), the Embassy of India press service announced. According to Sanjay Garg, SVCC director, the classes are open for everyone regardless of age or educational qualifications. “Indian dance classes would include lessons in…

Five-year-old artist holds charity exhibit to help children with visual impairments

ASTANA – Five-year-old artist Zere Dzhamalova raised 4 million tenge (US$11,614) for children with visual impairments at her personal exhibit in Almaty July 3. The funds were allocated for the Dara Charity Foundation, aimed at improving living conditions and expanding opportunities for orphans, sick children and those with limited abilities. The foundation carries out its…

Smart city innovations being implemented in cities throughout Kazakhstan

ASTANA – Smart city project innovations are being introduced in many sectors throughout the country, according to a report delivered by Minister of Information and Communications of Kazakhstan Dauren Abayev during a July 17 government meeting. “At the moment services such as an electronic gradebooks, kindergarten queue have already been digitised… The efficiency of the…

Summer business opportunities provide entrepreneurs with extra income

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s seasons affect certain businesses. The capital’s short summers are probably the most favourable time for fast income, with opportunities for both novice and experienced entrepreneurs. Selling refreshing drinks, kvass (bread juice) and beer has long been a popular way to earn money in the warm weather, as the seasonal business typically ensures…

We are all blacksmiths of our own happiness, says one of Kazakhstan’s 100 New Faces

ASTANA – A 55-year-old artisan from Semei preserves national crafts, making unique jewellery and traditional battle items from metal, leather, skin and bone. Abylaikhan Assylbai, the master with limited abilities but a strong will, has been named one of Kazakhstan’s 100 New Faces. “My father, grandfather and great-grandfather were engaged in crafts. This is in…

Kazakhstan improves position on Decoding Global Talent report

ASTANA – Kazakhstan placed 77th on the 2018 Decoding Global Talent report, improving from 129th in 2014. The Boston Consulting Group and The Network, an international online recruitment company, joined to create one of the largest surveys of labour trends and work preferences – 366,000 individuals in 197 countries, according to bcg.com. Kazakhstan is popular…

Kazakh economy minister notes slowing inflation, increasing investment in first half of 2018

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth reached 4.1 percent in the first half of the year, Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov said during a July 10 government meeting. The economic recovery comes as inflation continues to slow and investment is high. “Inflation has been steadily falling and reached its lowest point in…

Nika Centre for Communicative Development helps Kazakhs face their public speaking fears

ASTANA – For nearly 10 years Astana’s Nika Centre for Communicative Development has offered classes to improve public speaking as well as develop self-confidence and negotiating skills. “From 2009 to 2015, the organisation was called the Nika Centre for Oratory Skills. After introducing new educational courses, the centre was renamed the Nika Centre for Communicative…

Most Kazakh Finance Ministry services were provided in electronic format last year

ASTANA – The majority of services of the Kazakh Ministry of Finance were provided in electronic format in 2017, Minister Bakhyt Sultanov told a July 3 government meeting on digitisation. Of 18 million services last year, the ministry provided 16 million, or 88 percent, in electronic format, including through a specially designated web portal, egov.kz.…

Group works to make Kazakhstan’s sacred places available online

ASTANA – From snowy mountain peaks to ancient archaeological tombs, some of Kazakhstan’s sacred places were inspired by myths and legends. The Sacred Kazakhstan Science and Research Centre, established in May 2017, is implementing the Spiritual Relics of Kazakhstan project to unveil the nation’s sacred spots online. This year’s goal is to popularise these amazing…

Number of large Kazakh businesses declining

ASTANA – The number of large businesses in Kazakhstan decreased from 2,300 to 2,200 in the past year. Large companies closed in six regions of the country, reported finprom.kz. Nineteen large enterprises in Almaty ceased activities during the reporting period, which ended in May. The number fell to 488 compared to 507 a year earlier.…

Officials directed to speed up work on business regulation improvements

ASTANA – Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, speaking at the June 26 government meeting, instructed officials to accelerate introducing the normative legal acts (NLA) to improve the nation’s business environment. President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the law May 24 to improve business regulations. The document is expected to advance and expand the business environment, as well…

Charyn Canyon officials to pave canyons dirt access road

ASTANA – The dirt access road leading to the Charyn Canyon, located 200 kilometres from Almaty, will be rebuilt as an asphalt surfaced road, inform.kz reports. The access road to the canyon, including the territory of the Charyn Canyon National Park ran along a dirt road, which extended from the asphalt-surfaced highway. Large tourist buses…

Archbishop of Astana: Kazakhstan supports peace and harmony at home and abroad

ASTANA – The Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions points the whole world toward Kazakhstan’s path of peace-building, archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana and president of Bishops’ Conference of Kazakhstan told the Astana Times. “First of all, we should congratulate our President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, on this noble idea.…

Astana: The City of Peace international conference addresses smart city initiatives

ASTANA – In the past 20 years, the city has become the largest scientific, cultural and business centre in Kazakhstan. To mark the 20th anniversary of the nation’s capital, local officials and foreign guests gathered June 5 for Astana: The City of Peace international conference. One session focused on the urban area’s smart city initiatives,…

Astana tourism official discusses capital’s 20th anniversary celebrations

ASTANA – As Astana approaches its 20th anniversary July 6, Astana Convention Bureau Director Saniyar Aitekenov recently spoke to The Astana Times about events and celebrations related to the anniversary. “Over the whole year, residents and guests of Astana enjoy an extensive festive programme of 618 events, including both traditional and new concerts, shows, exhibitions…

OTOSOTR: WWII monodrama to be performed in UK and US

ASTANA – OTOSOTR (On the Other Side of the River), directed by Tatyana Kim and performed by Kazakh actor Anatoliy Ogay, has been included in the official programme of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest theatre festival, in August and the main programme of United Solo, the largest solo performance festival, in New York…

Paper nomads: Almaty residents warm to book crossing

ASTANA – Book crossing, a social movement aimed at the mass distribution and exchange of books, is gaining popularity in Almaty. All it takes to join the movement is a book and a public space: book lovers bring books to public places and leave them so they can be picked up and read by others.…

Officials report on children’s summer recreation programmes

ASTANA – At least 2.5 million children will be provided with recreational activities during summer vacation, said Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Yerlan Sagadiyev during the May 29 government meeting. As the youngsters begin their holiday, officials considered organising health-related recreation and leisure events. Sagadiyev noted 2.815 million Kazakh children are enrolled in grades…

Karaganda resident creates exoskeleton to help individuals with physical challenges

ASTANA – Novice Karaganda inventor Vyacheslav Litvinov has produced portable rehabilitation exoskeletons intended for individuals with locomotor apparatus damage and those who have lost the ability to move independently, according to kapital.kz. An exoskeleton is a special wearable device that restores lost functions, strengthening human muscles and expanding the amplitude of a person’s movements. “The…

Shymkent hosts first Kazakh-Uzbek business forum

ASTANA – Approximately 400 business persons participated May 22 in the first Kazakh-Uzbek business forum in Shymkent, the press service of the South Kazakhstan region’s akimat (administration) reports. Forum participants discussed trade and economic cooperation. Uzbekistan is Kazakhstan’s largest trade partner in Central Asia. Bilateral trade increased almost 50 percent in the first quarter this…

India and Kazakhstan have excellent relations, says Indian ambassador

ASTANA – Relations between Kazakhstan and India have a long history. At the beginning of the first millennium, the Sakas went from Central Asia to India and Buddhism from India was introduced in Kazakhstan. The Great Silk and Spice Routes united India and Kazakhstan in the Middle Ages. There was a constant exchange of goods,…

Kazakhstan embraces capoeira

ASTANA – The combination of Brazilian dance, music and fighting known as capoeira has found a foothold in Kazakhstan. “I train children and teenagers, promote capoeira and cultural exchange.  I think that children and their parents are attracted by the acrobatic elements and communication in the capoeira group. In no other martial art, I have…

Deutsches Theatre in Kazakhstan: in sync with times

ASTANA – Deutsches Theatre (Republican German Drama Theatre), the first German diaspora theatre in the Soviet Union, opened in December 1980 in the city of Temirtau. As the troupe celebrates its 38th birthday this year, it remains the only German theatre in the post-Soviet space. The initial and continuing feature of the troupe is youth…

Kazakh officials consider tax breaks to grow domestic film industry

ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports is proposing to reduce the tax burden on the domestic film industry, including exempting cinemas from the corporate income tax (CIT) while releasing locally shot films, according to inform.kz. “Thus, local films will get priority over foreign movies,” Director of Legal Services Department of the Ministry…

Kazakh GDP grew 3.8 percent in January-April 2018

ASTANA – Kazakh economic activity continues to maintain positive dynamics, though with some slowdown. GDP growth from January-April fell slightly to 3.8 percent, compared to the growth of 4 percent year on year last year, noted Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov during the May 15 government meeting. “In the meantime, the labour market remains…

Immortal Regiment parade honours war heroes’ memory

ASTANA – The Immortal Regiment of Astana Peace March, the Victory Day procession commemorating the memory of Soviet soldiers, took place May 9, according to the city akimat (administration) press service. The annual event preserves the personal memories for descendants of Great Patriotic War participants, as well as promotes patriotism among the younger generation. “More…

Kazakh President visits new mosque in futuristic style

ASTANA – Ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited Astana’s new mosque, The Flower of Allah, akorda.kz press service reported. The President learned about the construction of the mosque and alternative sources of energy used to provide the building with electricity and heat. The construction of the mosque on…

Kazakhstan’s exports exceeded $48.3 billion in 2017

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s foreign trade turnover increased by 25 percent to $69.5 billion last year. The country’s exports increased by 30 percent and reached $48.3 billion; imports grew by 15.5 percent to $29.3 billion, Minister for Investment and Development of Kazakhstan Zhenis Kassymbek reported at a May 2 government meeting. Over four years from 2013…

Kazakhstan’s Bolashak Programme has awarded 12,831 scholarships in 25 years

ASTANA – The Kazakhstan government has awarded 12,831 Bolashak International scholarships to students in the last 25 years, according to the Centre for International Programmes press service. Established by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Nov. 5, 1993, 785 scholarships were awarded from 1994-2004 and 12,046 from 2005-2017. In excess of 10,000 specialists have been trained…

International MMA stars to fight in Astana at Battle of Nomads

ASTANA – The capital is set to host MMA Week May 8-12 as part of the city’s 20th anniversary celebration when the MMA Federation of Kazakhstan will hold the MMA Amateur Championship of Kazakhstan and Battle of Nomads 10 international professional tournament. Kazakh MMA Federation First Vice President Assylbek Dyussenov previewed the event with The…

Seven Veils of Eurasia exhibit reveals magical world of ballet

ASTANA – “Seven Veils of Eurasia,” an exhibit dedicated to the work of Russian photographer Alexei Kritsov and Belarusian sculptor Andrej Ostashov, opened April 12 in the ForteBank Kulanshi Art Space. The event includes more than 30 sculptures and 45 pictures reflecting the most important themes of our lives – peace, love and beauty. “We…