• KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09417 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 1104

Results of Visit of the U.S. Trade Representative to Kazakhstan

By Vagit Ismailov President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin, Minister of Trade and Integration Arman Shakkaliev, Minister of Labor and Social Protection Svetlana Zhakupova, and other officials met with U.S. Trade Representative Catherine Tye. The United States and Kazakhstan reaffirmed their commitment to expanding and diversifying bilateral trade relations. Both sides pledged to deepen cooperation in agriculture and make progress in the near term. This includes increasing U.S. meat and poultry production capacity, optimizing the issuance of digital export certificates, and facilitating increased shipments of U.S. agricultural equipment to Kazakhstan. Tye noted Kazakhstan's interest in repealing the Jackson-Vanik amendment and expressed support for the U.S. Congress' efforts to update the Generalized System of Preferences program. She also recognized the program's importance in diversifying Kazakhstan's trade. The U.S. and Kazakhstan pledged to strengthen joint work on regional connectivity and increase the capacity of the Trans-Caspian Trade Route. The parties discussed increasing bilateral engagement to create diverse, secure, and sustainable supply chains. They stressed the importance of continuous cooperation in trade facilitation, including the harmonization and digitization of customs processes. Tye noted the contribution of U.S. companies' supply of high-quality products and the development of alternative trade routes. She also thanked Kazakhstan for the success of the 15th meeting of the Board of the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The working groups noted progress on several issues, including sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, customs procedures, intellectual property protection, women's economic empowerment, and digital trade. Tye further emphasized the importance of a transparent and consultative regulatory process in regional harmonization. Kazakhstan and the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to utilize the TIFA mechanism further to deepen trade and investment ties between the U.S. and Central Asia. The U.S. also expressed interest in working closely with Kazakhstan to support internationally recognized labor rights, including promoting workers' rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The United States and Kazakhstan pledged to continue working to achieve concrete trade results, maintaining the positive momentum of the bilateral trade and investment relationship.

EDB Upgrades Economic Growth Forecast for Most Member States

In a newly-released Macroeconomic Outlook for its six member states,  the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) reported that in 2024, Armenia’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.5%, Belarus’s by 3.4%, Kazakhstan’s by 5%, Kyrgyzstan’s by 5.5%, Russia’s by 3%, and Tajikistan’s by 8%. For most EDB member countries, the outlook has been upgraded in response to strong early year performance and continued robust utilization of domestic growth sources. EDB analysts forecast a 3.4% growth in the region’s GDP by the end of 2024. In Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, high growth rates early in the year, driven by strong domestic demand and increased exports of basic metals, have led to the following upgraded GDP growth projections for 2024: 7.5% for Armenia, 5.5% for Kyrgyzstan, and 8% for Tajikistan. Kazakhstan’s economy is expected to maintain a high GDP growth rate of around 5% in 2024. Government efforts to diversify the economy are anticipated to catalyse and sustain a steady GDP growth rate in the medium term. Russia’s GDP growth forecast for 2024 has been improved to 3%. EDB analysts note that the expansion of domestic demand has been driven by high household incomes and fiscal stimuli. However, due to tight monetary policy, it is anticipated that consumer activity will gradually decline in the coming year. Belarus’s GDP growth forecast for 2024 has been upgraded to 3.4%, supported by continued strong growth in demand from Russia and wage increases. EDB researchers forecast that inflation in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan may drop below target levels, while Russia and Kazakhstan continue to face increased inflationary pressures. Bank analysts project that inflation rates will gradually approach targets in 2024: 1.5% in Armenia, 6% in Belarus, 8.3% in Kazakhstan, 4.3% in Kyrgyzstan, 5.8% in Russia, and 4.1% in Tajikistan.  

In Kyrgyzstan, a Woman Kept Foreigners in Slave Labor

The State Committee for National Security of Kyrgyzstan (SCNS) has revealed gross violations in a sewing shop near Kyrgyzstan's capital, wherein its owners employed South Asians without providing them with proper working conditions. On the night of June 19-20th, 2024, operatives searched the sewing shop where 30 South Asians worked; the GKNB said that a Kyrgyz citizen fraudulently attracted foreigners to work. Violating her obligations, the boss did not pay the promised wages, and exploited the workers' labor to make the greatest profit. "She, having entered into a criminal conspiracy with a district police officer, confiscated passports from foreigners and intimidated them regularly, threatening to imprison them for an illegal stay on the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic," law enforcers said. The foreigners were kept in conditions that did not meet basic sanitary requirements, and they were barely fed. The owner of the sewing shop and a district police officer were detained and placed in a temporary detention center. Due to the increasing demand for garment products, many workshop owners bring workers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and other South Asian countries for cheap labor.

Kazakhstan: Preconceived Notions and Changed Minds

When I received the email stating that I had received a fellowship to move to Almaty, Kazakhstan, to teach English for a year, I nearly fell out of my office chair in Midtown Manhattan. I worked in a market research company fresh out of college but knew I needed to do something more exciting in my early 20s. I began studying Russian when I was 13 years old. I’m unsure what the exact catalyst for my language endeavor was. Still, coupled with my Ukrainian ancestry, Putin’s annexation of Crimea, and the Sochi Olympics, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. At this point in my life, I lived outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and began taking Russian classes on Saturdays in Brookline to satiate my desire to learn. After a year of classes, I enrolled in a Russian language immersion camp in Bemidji, Minnesota, for three summers. Following that, I received a grant from the US State Department to immerse myself in the culture for a summer in Narva, Estonia. I knew where and what I wanted to study after graduating high school. I started my studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC, declared a major in international affairs with a minor in Russian language and literature, and never looked back. After graduation, my plans were in the air. I had been looking into opportunities to move to Russia or Ukraine, but this was now off the table due to the war. I worked in New York to get sorted, earn money, and start a new chapter of my life. At some point in April 2023, I received an email from a fellowship I had applied for in October 2022. I was initially placed on the waitlist, but I was notified that I had been accepted for the 2023-2024 cohort to relocate to Almaty, Kazakhstan. “Oh my god,” I said at my desk. My coworker asked me what had happened. I said, “I’m moving to Kazakhstan. “Kazakhstan, like Borat’s Kazakhstan?” she asked. [caption id="attachment_19278" align="aligncenter" width="370"] Horses graze along the way to Furmanov Peak – Almaty, KZ[/caption] Preconceived notions Questions arose after the excitement had settled and my family and friends were informed of my plans questions began to arise. “Why Kazakhstan?” “Is it safe there?” “Is that next to Serbia?” “Does the Taliban rule Kazakhstan?” It is shocking how little most Americans know about the 9th largest country on the planet. Spanning two continents with nearly 20 million people, most Americans only know Kazakhstan from Sasha Baron Cohen’s 2006 film, Borat, and nothing more. When they hear the word “Kazakhstan,” they picture a backward and socially undeveloped post-communist country in which people commute by donkey carts, are misogynistic, and are openly antisemitic. While the depiction of Kazakh culture is inherently incorrect, the message is stuck, and the film has become synonymous with Kazakhstan in the American mind. However, most Americans probably can’t find it on the map. I explained, “Kazakhstan is in...

Testing Limits: Marathoners Head For the Shrinking Aral Sea to Run in the Desert

By Christopher Torchia   The dry bed of the Aral Sea, a symbol of ecological disaster in Central Asia, will host one of the world’s more extreme marathons on Sunday. Supported by aid stations and medical staff, a small band of athletes will run on sand, gravel and stones, inhaling salty air in scorching temperatures and bracing themselves against strong winds. The Aral Sea Eco Marathon is being held in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan and planners aim to draw attention to what was once the fourth biggest saltwater lake and is now about 10 percent of its original size. Race promoters also want to highlight the need for sustainable use of water. The marathon roughly coincides with the United Nations-designated day to combat desertification and drought, which falls on June 17.  Andrey Kulikov, founder of the ProRun running school in Uzbekistan, ran a marathon distance in the area last year with American ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes in 4:51:18. Kulikov planned this year’s event with the help of Aziz Abdukhakimov, Uzbekistan’s minister of ecology, environmental protection and climate change. A limit of 100 runners was set, though far fewer signed up. Still, Kulikov said participants are from countries including Japan, China, France, Pakistan, Kenya, Togo and the Philippines. He hopes to expand the event next year. Uzbek participant Denis Mambetov said in a text interview on Telegram that he is taking part because of “a passion for adventure, for something new and unusual, to test one’s strength, and, of course, to draw the attention of others to an environmental problem of global proportions.” The Aral Sea, which lies between northern Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan, began shrinking significantly in the 1960s when water from the rivers that fed it was rerouted for Soviet-led agricultural irrigation. The subsequent emergency of the Aralkum Desert and the sand and dust storms arising from the world’s newest desert have polluted the environment and severely affected health in local communities. There are regional and international efforts to restore the Aral Sea ecosystem, including seed-planting and the implementation of water-saving technologies. The five Central Asian countries - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – formed a group three decades ago, soon after independence from Soviet rule, to address the problem. The gap between goals and results is wide, though the countries are recognizing the wider threat of water scarcity as the planet becomes hotter.  “Colleagues are well aware that the problem of water shortage in Central Asia has become acute and irreversible and will only worsen in the future,” Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at a regional meeting on the Aral Sea last year. “Experts believe that in some regions of Central Asia pressure on water resources will increase three times by 2040. Economic damage could eventually reach 11 percent of regional gross product.” Nurbek Khusanov, who will run the marathon on Sunday,  works at SQB, a top bank in Uzbekistan, and is a leader of its efforts to promote “green” policies that aid the environment. The marathon will “attract more...

Rice Production on the Rise in Turkmenistan

According to the publication ' Turkmenistan Golden Age', over 8,000 hectares of rice were planted in the north of Turkmenistan this year. In response to a marked increase in the state's purchase price , farmers in the Toshkhovuz region are actively expanding rice cultivation with the greatest volume being grown on two specialized farms in the Saparmurod Turkmanboshi district. Thanks to the rice cleaning enterprise built several years ago in the territory  and specialized equipment provided by the renowned brand Satake,  high-quality seed material is available to all of the region's rice farms. At the root of this year's harvest are disease-resistant, and excellent-tasting “Nöküs-2” and “Bereket” varieties. Rice cultivation is traditional to northern Turkmenistan. A leader in the field, the Dashoguz province produces over 35,000 tons of different varieties per year. Farmers in the Lebap region planted rice on more than 10,000 hectares in 2023, of which 50,000 tons went to the state, and  farmers in Chorjevo  harvested over 15 thousand tons from 3,800 hectares.

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