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Afghanistan-UK trade and investment conference held in London

  • Written by TCA

KABUL (TCA) — The second Afghanistan-UK trade and investment conference was held on October 14 in London. The conference, organized as a partnership between the Afghan and British Chambers of Commerce, aimed to develop business relations between Afghanistan and the United Kingdom and to encourage British investments in Afghanistan, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

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Eurasian Culture Week in London highlighted Central Asia creativity

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LONDON (TCA) — From October 1 to October 6, the capital of Great Britain gathered artists, artisans, writers, filmmakers and art-lovers for the Third Eurasian Culture Week where they were acquainted with the creativity and culture of the Eurasian region through exhibitions, films, and creative meetings. The event was organised by the Eurasian Creative Guild (London), with the support of Premiere Cinemas Romford, The Mercury Shopping Centre, Rossotrudnichestvo London, The Center of Contemporary Art of Tajikistan, The British-Kazakh Society and the Orzu Arts Theater.

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Kazakhstan: Economic growth reaches 4.3% in Jan-Sept

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — The Kazakh Government’s session on October 14, chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, reviewed the results of the country’s economic development for January-September 2019, the prime minister’s press service reported.

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Uzbekistan: Andijan region to hold investment forum to attract foreign investors

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TASHKENT (TCA) — On October 19-20, the 1st International Investment Forum “Open Andijan” will be held in Uzbekistan’s Andijan region, the official Uzbek information agency Jahon reported.

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Kazakhstan: Ex-president Nazarbayev rejects talk of shared power

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s former President Nursultan Nazarbayev used an extended interview on state television on October 11 to downplay his continuing influence and defer to his successor and generally praise his 29-year rule that ended earlier this year, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reported.

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US experts help improve early grade reading and math skills in Uzbekistan schools

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TASHKENT (TCA) — A team of five U.S. education experts have arrived in Uzbekistan to work with education experts from Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Public Education to develop reading and mathematics assessments for students in grades 2 and 4. The data from this assessment, which is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be used to conduct a national-level survey of how well students are developing foundational skills in primary school. The survey results will provide Uzbekistan a comprehensive set of data on student outcomes that will inform strategies to improve teaching and learning so that all students have the opportunity to succeed, the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan said on October 11.

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Weekly Digest of Central Asia

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The Publisher’s note: Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, Central Asia was the scene of intense geopolitical struggle and the Great Game between the British and Russian Empires, and later between the Soviet Union and the West, over Afghanistan and neighboring territories. Into the 21st century, Central Asia has become the area of a renewed geopolitical interest, dubbed the New Great Game, largely based on the region’s hydrocarbon and mineral wealth. On top of that, the region now is perhaps the most important node in the implementation of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative through which Beijing aims to get direct access to Western markets. Every week thousands of news appears in the world’s printed and online media and many of them may escape the attention of busy readers. At The Times of Central Asia, we strongly believe that more information can better contribute to peaceful development and better knowledge of this unique region. So we are presenting this Weekly Digest which compiles what other media have reported on Central Asia over the past week.

KAZAKHSTAN

Can Kazakhstan’s China-backed financial hub boost belt and road funding?

The new stock exchange in the Kazakh capital is backed by Shanghai and Nasdaq exchanges and Goldman Sachs, among others

Oct 6 — “One of the primary goals of the Chinese-backed Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), the newly established regional financial zone in Kazakhstan’s capital, is to boost funding for projects under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, its transcontinental infrastructure strategy, the governor of the zone said in an interview.” READ MORE: https://www.scmp.com/economy/global-economy/article/3031744/can-kazakhstans-china-backed-financial-hub-boost-belt-and

Kazakhstan: President voices frustration over problems in Nur-Sultan

Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan, the brainchild of First President Nursultan Nazarbayev, seems to be not well designed considering how cold it gets in winter

Oct 9 — ““Tokayev has criticized Nursultan’s appearance.” This gag from Kazakhstan Twitter neatly encapsulates the latest chapter of the country’s political transition. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev caused a minor sensation on October 8 by launching a broadside at the shortcomings of the capital, Nur-Sultan.” READ MORE: https://eurasianet.org/kazakhstan-president-voices-frustration-over-problems-in-nur-sultan

Kazakhstan Adopts Open Skies Policy To Diversify Domestic Airline Industry

Open skies is expected to make Kazakhstan’s domestic aviation market competitive and see a drop in ticket prices

Oct 9 — “Beibut Atamkulov, Kazakhstan’s minister of industry and infrastructure development, announced Monday that the government has agreed to pilot an “open skies” aviation policy, which will promote the ease of access to and rules for national airports for foreign airlines.” READ MORE: https://caspiannews.com/news-detail/kazakhstan-adopts-open-skies-policy-to-diversify-domestic-airline-industry-2019-10-8-11/

Kazakhstan on the right path to strengthen its civil society

The growth of citizen activity in Kazakhstan is pushing the authorities towards a more active dialogue with civil society NGOs

Oct 10 — “Europe’s largest annual human rights conference was held in Warsaw, Poland during 16-27 September. This year the event brought together 57 OSCE participating states, hundreds of international experts, civil society representatives and human rights activists to take stock of how states fulfil their obligations on human rights and fundamental freedoms. The latest civil society challenges and current political situation in Kazakhstan were discussed at a side event, organized by Kazakh civil society NGOs, on 26 September during the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw.” READ MORE: https://www.brusselstimes.com/opinion/72784/kazakhstan-on-the-right-path-to-strengthen-its-civil-society/

KYRGYZSTAN

Chinese investors in Kyrgyzstan work to soften their image

Sinophobia runs deep in many parts of Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan

Oct 4 — “When Wang Tong-chuang first moved to Kyrgyzstan in 2007, Chinese nationals like him were a prime target for the police. “Police would aggressively check our visas and work permits every time I went out,” the Bishkek-based businessman told Eurasianet. Attitudes among the rest of the public were little better.” READ MORE: https://eurasianet.org/chinese-investors-in-kyrgyzstan-work-to-soften-their-image

Sexual Harassment in Kyrgyzstan: Should UNESCO Weigh In?

A sex scandal erupted at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University in Bishkek, being the only incident of sexual harassment at a higher education institution in Kyrgyzstan that has gotten national attention

Oct 9 — “Sexual harassment is a global problem that includes higher education. While universities throughout the world experience sexual harassment, not every university addresses the problem on its campus. Even if addressed, there may be no prompt or proper response to the problem. While UNESCO as an organization would clearly stand against sexual harassment, the institution may also need to pay attention to abuses where it has lent the credibility of its name.” READ MORE: https://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/sexual-harassment-kyrgyzstan-should-unesco-weigh

Yurts, Eagle Hunters and Rugged Solitude in Kyrgyzstan

The country's nomadic culture which attracts foreign visitors is at the heart of its hospitality

Oct 12 — “From the top of the pass, we looked down on summer pastures shimmering with haze. Cloud shadows drifted like wandering states across the valley. Far off in the west, the grasslands tipped into empty reaches of sky. To the south stood the ramparts of the Trans-Alai mountains, a spur of the Pamirs, armored with snow. A rickety truck pulled up. Ropes held a precarious cargo in place, the baggage of nomads: tents and carpets, yurt poles and felt rolls, trunks and cast-iron stoves, and two boys with baby lambs in their laps.” READ MORE: https://www.cntraveler.com/story/yurts-eagle-hunters-solitude-in-kyrgyzstan

TAJIKISTAN

Silver Lining? Tajikistan Defends Controversial Decision To Give Mine To China

Chinese companies operating in Central Asia often bring in the majority of their workers from China, leaving many locals upset that such foreign investments aren't helping the local economy by hiring natives

Oct 4 — “Tajik authorities are defending their decision to give a Chinese company the rights to develop a major silver mine in a move seen by some as great for Beijing but providing unknown benefits to Dushanbe. After less than 30 minutes of debate, the Tajik parliament on October 1 approved a contract signed by the state Committee on Investments and State Property and China’s Kashgar Xinyi Dadi Mining Investment Company in June to develop the Yakjilva silver deposit in the remote eastern district of Murghob.” READ MORE: https://www.rferl.org/a/silver-lining-tajikistan-defends-controversial-decision-to-give-mine-to-china/30199786.html

Interfaith marriages in Tajikistan: all is possible if you are in love

Different religions should not become the obstacles to marriage, as religious scholars and representatives of clergy say

Oct 8 — “Galina’s husband, ethnic Tajik, forbade her to celebrate Easter, and the family was on the verge of breakdown. Later, the mullah advised Khurshed not to impose his religion on his wife and accept her as she is. Khurshed and Galina have been married for over 20 years. In the 90s, when the mass labor migration of Tajiks to Russia began, Khurshed Avazov and his classmate left to work in Siberia.” READ MORE: https://cabar.asia/en/intereligious-marriages-in-tajikistan-all-is-possible-if-you-are-in-love/

Why is Tajikistan pawing migrant laborers’ cash?

The Tajik central bank says it wants to improve efficiency in the remittance transfers system

Oct 10 — “The National Bank of Tajikistan announced last week that it had taken over management of migrant labor remittances flowing into the country, which amounted to about $2.5 billion last year. The NBT, the country’s central bank, argued that setting up a so-called national processing center for remittances would improve efficiency in the money transfer system, boost transparency and help stabilize Tajikistan’s financial system.” READ MORE: https://eurasianet.org/why-is-tajikistan-pawing-migrant-laborers-cash

TURKMENISTAN

Turkmenistan: A weak constitution

In its ‘Akhal-Teke: A Turkmenistan Bulletin’, Eurasianet reviews the main news and events in the Central Asian country for the previous week

Oct 8 — “These are turbulent times for Turkmenistan’s ruling elite. In a scene reminiscent of his eccentric late predecessor’s theatrics, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov last week fired his long-serving Interior Minister Isgender Mulikov. The scene was shown in an extended edition of the Watan Habarlary evening news bulletin on October 1.” READ MORE: https://eurasianet.org/turkmenistan-a-weak-constitution

Turkmenistan tightens control over VPN applications

About a month ago the Cyber security service was set up in Turkmenistan. Since that time Internet users have been experiencing problems with VPN applications

Oct 8 — “Over the past month some of the most popular VPN applications have been blocked in Turkmenistan. The applications, which were used by local residents to bypass Internet censorship, had been blocked off before. However, it took quite a while from the moment a working VPN was identified and disseminated among residents until it was blocked.” READ MORE: https://en.hronikatm.com/2019/10/turkmenistan-tightens-control-over-vpn-applications/

School teachers and university instructors obliged to study the books authored by the President

Themes and chapters of the books authored by the President can be discussed at the exams as main or additional questions

Oct 10 — “Turkmenistan’s educators have been forced to read the books authored by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. They are obliged to familiarize themselves with all recently-published writings by the head of state. The teaching staff are obliged to communicate the content and the gist of the writings authored by Turkmenistan’s most prominent writer to schoolchildren and students of secondary vocational and higher educational establishments.” READ MORE: https://en.hronikatm.com/2019/10/school-teachers-and-university-instructors-obliged-to-study-the-books-authored-by-the-president/

UZBEKISTAN

Where Freedoms Are Expanding—Slowly

Uzbekistan has long been one of the world’s most repressive societies. But a new president appears to be loosening the state’s grip, little by little

Oct 5 — “A little more than a year ago, I stood among a crush of reporters shouting questions at President Donald Trump and his Uzbek counterpart, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in the Oval Office, and asked Mirziyoyev what his White House meeting would ultimately mean for the Uzbek people. His reply was a standard one: The visit, he said, showed that Uzbekistan’s voice mattered in international affairs—but then, acknowledging my reporting as an Uzbek American journalist, he added wryly, “Come back to Uzbekistan.” READ MORE: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/10/uzbekistan-freedom-slowly-expanding/599446/

Not So Fast: Will Uzbekistan Join the Eurasian Economic Union?

In Russian framing, the Uzbek decision to join the EAEU has already been made. But Tashkent is still exploring its options

Oct 7 — “On October 2, following her meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Valentina Matviyenko, chairwoman of the Russian Parliament’s Federation Council, announced that Uzbekistan was working on the issue of joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) at Mirziyoyev’s instruction. Although it was clarified later that Uzbekistan is merely exploring the option of joining the EAEU, in the words of Matviyenko, Uzbekistan’s accession was a fait accompli as she expressed her hope about Uzbekistan’s accession without delay.” READ MORE: https://thediplomat.com/2019/10/not-so-fast-will-uzbekistan-join-the-eurasian-economic-union/

Uzbek Teachers Get Tough Assignment: 'Remove Their Hijabs, But Don't Hurt Their Feelings'

Uzbek educational officials are increasingly tightening the measures against the hijab, or female head scarf, and Islamic symbols at schools and other public places

Oct 9 — “Teachers in Uzbekistan's Tashkent region have been instructed to stand outside schools every morning to demand female students remove their head scarves before entering the building. The new, unofficial government order is part of a large-scale crackdown on clothes or a physical appearance -- particularly long or bushy beards -- deemed by the authorities to be too Islamic.” READ MORE: https://www.rferl.org/a/uzbek-teachers-get-tough-assignment-remove-their-hijabs-but-don-t-hurt-their-feelings-/30208276.html

AFGHANISTAN

The ‘India Question’ in Afghanistan

India has long courted the government in Kabul, and Islamabad views this potential relationship with alarm

Oct 6 — “India welcomed the cancellation of U.S.-Afghan Taliban peace talks in Doha. In an expression of support for Kabul, which was ostracized from the talks, New Delhi asserted that any future process on the issue must include “all the sections of the Afghan society including the legitimately elected government.” On the face of it, India reiterated a long-standing position of supporting Kabul against the Pakistan-sponsored Taliban. But what makes this position interesting is the fact that India’s relations with Kabul have undergone a shift since 2014.” READ MORE: https://www.lawfareblog.com/india-question-afghanistan

We’re not winning the drug war in Afghanistan. The Taliban is | Opinion

The Taliban reaps huge profits from protecting the opium trade, and Afghan poppy farmers say they earn far more than they do growing legal crops

Oct 7 — “The canceled “Afghanistan peace plan” and Camp David meeting of the United States and Taliban leaders ignored Afghanistan’s opium and heroin production, which leads the world. It funds their terrorist activities against us and around the globe. Now the United States has a chance to get it right.” READ MORE: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article235892727.html

'Ample Opportunities' For Fraud Bedevil Afghan Presidential Election

Observers say new rules introduced to combat election fraud — computerized voter lists and biometric voter verification — prevented large-scale ballot stuffing but opened the process to new forms of manipulation

Oct 9 — “Nangarhar is the second-most-deadly province for civilians in all of Afghanistan, where the world's deadliest conflict rages on in its 18th year. And the remote majestic mountains in that eastern province are the stronghold of extremist Islamic State (IS) fighters -- making the region a magnet for deadly militant bombings and U.S. air strikes. Oddly enough, Nangarhar achieved the implausible feat of attracting the second-highest number of total votes in the war-torn country's September 28 presidential election, according to Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC).” READ MORE: https://www.rferl.org/a/ample-opportunities-for-fraud-bedevil-afghan-presidential-election/30208231.html

WORLD

Why Is Anti-Chinese Sentiment on the Rise in Central Asia?

Central Asia could become a spoiler for all of Beijing’s big Belt and Road ambitions

Oct 8 — “On October 1, thousands of Chinese diaspora scattered across Central Asia and beyond celebrated their National Day with flag-raising ceremonies and parades. In China, these celebrations included a large military parade, showcasing new weapons and the country’s latest technology. But beyond China’s borders, amid these choreographed projections of national unity, the festival atmosphere has been disrupted by re-emerging, widespread anti-Chinese sentiment among the Central Asians.” READ MORE: https://thediplomat.com/2019/10/why-is-anti-chinese-sentiment-on-the-rise-in-central-asia/

Strategies for combating international terrorism in Central Asia

Central Asian states are facing serious menaces to their security from various challenges like drug trafficking, water disputes, religious fundamentalism and expansion of terrorist and takfiri groups such as ISIS

Oct 10 — “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Central Asia has been cast as the site of a new “great game”. Central Asia has been largely influenced by international developments and the emergence of persistent sources of instability and tension in other parts of the world, including the Middle East and North Africa. Some states in the region have succeeded in expanding their relationships with other actors. For example, Kazakhstan has tried to advance its goals by participating in important international issues and designing appropriate policies. Although Kazakhstan has succeeded in this path, most of the countries in the region face major challenges.” READ MORE: https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/10/10/strategies-for-combating-international-terrorism-in-central-asia/

Expo in Kyrgyzstan gathers US and international investors

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — Over a thousand entrepreneurs, business leaders, and government officials on October 10 participated in the first ever International Franchise and Trade Expo (IFTE) in Bishkek. The event aimed to build partnerships with international exhibitors from the United States, Europe, and South Korea. The event was co-organized by the U.S. Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic and Business Association JIA, together with sponsorship from the U.S. Department of State, USAID and other local partners.

The Expo showcased over 35 companies from around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, and South Korea, in a push to introduce international companies to commercial opportunities existing in Kyrgyzstan and, more broadly, across Central Asia.

In his opening remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Donald Lu emphasized that the U.S. Embassy is committed to increasing trade and investment in the Kyrgyz Republic. Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Muhammedkaliy Abylgaziev declared that an important priority is to increase the investment attractiveness of the country, protect private property and eliminate all bureaucratic obstacles.

The first-ever International Franchise and Trade Expo in Bishkek featured a series of presentations from various U.S. government agencies and industry specialists representing a host of international corporations. USAID Director Gary Linden opened with an overview of their flagship Enterprise Competitive Project (ECP). Sabir Orumbaev, Portfolio Manager, at the U.S. Export Import Bank (EXIM), followed with a detailed presentation on the Bank’s low-interest financial and risk insurance products, the U.S. Embassy reported.

From the private sector, U.S. entrepreneur Alex Mardikian led a discussion on waste-to-energy applications used by his firm Regreen Technologies. From the IT sector, Dell and Samsung demonstrated their latest products for cloud and B2B solutions. Tilek Toktugiev, founder of Nomad Greenhouse, led an industry panel discussion on agro-technologies. In closing, Vitaly Yen (Mailboxes, Etc), Aibek Mambetaliev (Tchibo), Jodar Saidilkhan (Novotel), and Sotiris Karagiannis (New York University of Prague) participated in a panel discussion entitled, “5 Things to Know About Franchising Major Brands.”

The U.S. Embassy-supported International Franchise and Trade Expo was part of a two-day event to provide a platform for international companies to explore investment opportunities in Kyrgyzstan and across Central Asia. On October 11, U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu delivered remarks at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Bishkek Investment Forum, organized by Business Association JIA. The BIF is the premier platform in the Kyrgyz Republic that offers outstanding pioneering businesses the opportunity to showcase innovative projects and business plans for potential investors.

OSCE ambassadors visit Central Asia

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BISHKEK (TCA) — From 6 to 11 October, a group of twenty-one Permanent Representatives to the OSCE visited Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to reconfirm their strong support for strengthening the OSCE’s cooperation with each of the three countries.

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Kyrgyzstan: Former president Atambayev refuses to attend corruption case trial

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BISHKEK (TCA) — Former president of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev, who is currently in pretrial detention in Bishkek, has refused to attend the first hearing of the case on the illegal release from prison of notorious crime boss Aziz Batukaev, 24.kg news agency reported with reference to Atambayev’s lawyer Sergei Slesarev.

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Kazakhstan and Mongolia hold business forum

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin and Prime Minister of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh, who is in Kazakhstan on an official visit, attended the opening of the Kazakh-Mongolian business forum and visited the Astana International Financial Center, the press service of the prime minister of Kazakhstan reported on October 11.

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World Bank Group supports private sector investments in Afghanistan energy sector

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KABUL (TCA) — World Bank Group Boards of Executive Directors on October 10 approved a financing package of $98.8 million consisting of guarantees, a loan, and swaps to support two gas-to-power energy projects in Afghanistan. The projects aim to increase the amount of domestically generated electricity while leveraging private financing for the country’s energy sector.

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Uzbekistan: Electric bus from Belarus starts operation in Tashkent

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TASHKENT (TCA) — The first Belarusian electric bus Vitovt Electro E420 has been put to use in the Uzbek capital Tashkent, BelTA news agency reported with reference to the Belarusian embassy in Uzbekistan.

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Kazakhstan: Nur-Sultan hosting Global Urban Tourism Summit

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Askar Mamin attended the opening of the VIII Global Summit on Urban Tourism which is being held in Nur-Sultan this week, the prime minister’s press service reported on October 10.

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Uzbekistan hosts business forum on green technologies

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Strengthening cooperation in the field of environmental and sustainable development in Central Asia was the focus of the 2019 OSCE Second Central Asian International Business Forum on 9 and 10 October in Tashkent.

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IMF offers recommendations for Tajikistan’s economy

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DUSHANBE (TCA) — Macroeconomic stability in Tajikistan has been maintained despite a widening of the fiscal and external deficits, and financial sector reforms have continued, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission said in a statement on October 9, after a visit to Dushanbe. The mission and the Tajik authorities discussed recent economic developments in the country, the near- and medium-term outlook, risks to the economy, developments in the financial sector, and economic policies needed to restore stability and build the foundations for strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth.

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Kazakhstan and France hold investment forum

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — More than 150 representatives of the French business community participated in the Kazakh-French investment forum to discuss the investment opportunities of Kazakhstan and prospects for implementation of joint projects, the press service of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported on October 9.

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Kazakhstan hosts OSCE regional conference on digital technologies in combating corruption

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ALMATY, Kazakhstan (TCA) — The role of digital technologies and tools in reducing corruption risks was the focus of a two-day high-level regional conference organized by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) in cooperation with the 2019 Slovak OSCE Chairmanship and the Anti-Corruption Agency of Kazakhstan on 7 and 8 October in Almaty.

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Number of foreign tourists to Kazakhstan annually grows 10%

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — The number of foreign tourists visiting Kazakhstan annually grows at an average level of 10%. Over the past 5-6 years, domestic tourism has also grown by 10-15%, Deputy Chairman of Kazakh Tourism National Company Kairat Sadvakasov said in an interview with PrimeMinister.kz.

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Kazakhstan and Germany hold business forum, reach investment agreements

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Investment agreements totaling around $700 million were reached during negotiations on the sidelines of the Kazakhstan-German Business Forum on October 7 in Berlin, Kazakh Invest national investment promotion company reported.

It is planned that documents on projects implementation will be signed in December this year within the framework of an official visit of the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to Germany.

Over 200 business community representatives from both countries participated in the Forum.

The Kazakhstan delegation, which included representatives of government agencies, national companies and business community, was headed by Roman Sklyar, the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.

The Forum has become a practical platform for enhancing trade, economic and investment cooperation, giving impetus to the development of partnerships in such popular areas as IoT (Internet of Things), logistics, the energy sector, agro-industrial sector, geological exploration, digitalization, and urban infrastructure.

“In order to move away from the raw material vector of economic development, Kazakhstan has begun to modernize and industrialize the domestic economy. The foundation of the new policy is the creation of a base of industrial-innovative and green economy. In this context, the goal for Kazakhstan businessmen should be to attract companies from Germany to cooperate as leaders in the fields of new technologies and innovations. Particularly relevant is the development of new industries which are to be created using digital technologies as well as the introduction of elements of Industry 4.0,” said Deputy Prime Minister Sklyar.

Today, Germany is one of the leading foreign economic partners of Kazakhstan. Over the past 14 years, German companies have invested about $5 billion in Kazakhstan. According to German statistics, bilateral trade turnover reached a historic high of € 5.1 billion at year-end 2018.

“Today, Kazakhstan has new opportunities and potential for profitable business. Growth forecasts for Kazakhstan are impressive. According to the EBRD forecast, GDP in 2019 can grow by 3.5%. Forecasts for 2020 also indicate that Kazakhstan is the growth engine in the Eurasian Economic Union. We are very pleased that the positive development also had a beneficial effect on the German-Kazakh economic relations: in the first half of the year we exchanged goods for € 2.7 billion. Kazakhstan still accounts for more than 80% of Germany’s trade with the Central Asian region,” said Manfred Grundke, member of the board of the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, General Partner of Knauf.

Additionally, together with the Eastern Committee of the German Economy, a draft Road Map for Trade and Economic Cooperation was developed with a List of Investment Projects to be signed during the Kazakh president’s visit to Germany.

The forum participants noted that Kazakhstan can become a conductor of the economic interests of European countries in the Central Asian region.

Uzbekistan: President orders to remove barriers to stock market development

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has ordered to revise the legislation and scrap unnecessary restrictions restraining the country's stock market from development, Xinhua news agency reported with reference to the president's press service.

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US blacklists Chinese companies, organizations over 'repression' in Xinjiang

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The United States has blacklisted 28 Chinese organizations for their alleged involvement in "human rights violations and abuses" against Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic groups in China's far western region of Xinjiang, RFE/RL reports.

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ADB plans $404 million to support Tajikistan’s development from 2020-2022

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DUSHANBE (TCA) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) updated indicative financial assistance for Tajikistan from 2020–2022 is planned at $404 million that will help address the country’s challenges and emerging needs. The final amount will depend on the availability of ADB funds and project readiness, along with possible partnerships and co-financing from other multilateral and bilateral institutions, ADB said on October 8.

“Our 3-year plan is consistent with the current ADB country partnership strategy with Tajikistan and the national development priorities,” said ADB Country Director for Tajikistan Mr. Pradeep Srivastava. “In addition to the public sector projects, ADB will also explore private sector investments in agribusiness, finance, and other sectors.”

The plan includes projects to enhance labor skills, further develop the energy sector including supporting sector reforms and improving infrastructure, promote financial sector development, as well as improve water resource management. ADB also plans to support projects focused on tourism development, the rehabilitation of key road corridors, urban infrastructure development, increased disaster resilience, and investment climate reforms.

ADB’s first assistance to Tajikistan was in 1998 to support post-conflict reconstruction. Since then, ADB has mobilized over $1.8 billion for the country, including more than $1.1 billion in grants. The assistance has helped improve the country’s transport and energy infrastructure, support social development, expand agricultural production, and strengthen regional cooperation and trade.

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