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Russia to assess investment opportunities in Afghanistan

  • Written by TCA

KABUL (TCA) — The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) on September 18 said that a high-ranking delegation of Russian officials will visit Kabul in October to discuss investment opportunities in the country, TOLOnews agency reports.

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USAID supports development of free economic zones in Uzbekistan

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — The U.S. Agency for International Development Competitiveness, Trade, and Jobs Activity and the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Assistance to Privatized Enterprises and Development of Competition held a business event on September 18 in Tashkent to support further development of Free Economic Zones (FEZs) in Uzbekistan.

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Kyrgyzstan cancels deal with Czech company for major hydropower project

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — Speaking at a government session on September 18, Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Sapar Isakov said that he had given orders to his cabinet to cancel an agreement with the Czech Liglass Trading Company for construction of parts of the Upper Naryn Cascade hydropower project and several other hydropower plants, and prepare a new tender for the project, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

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New ADB strategy for Kazakhstan to support sustainable growth, economic diversification

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has endorsed a new country partnership strategy (CPS) for Kazakhstan, expected to deliver more than $3 billion in assistance through 2021 to help the country diversify its economy, achieve inclusive development, and promote sustainable growth, ADB’s country office said on September 18.

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Kazakhstan’s NGO receives UNDP’s Equator Prize

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s Public Foundation Zhassyl Azyk has received the Equator Prize in an award ceremony on September 17 in New York. Zhassyl Azyk was selected as the recipient of the prestigious award along with fifteen other organizations from twelve countries. This is the first time when a non-governmental organization from Kazakhstan is receiving this honorary prize, the UNDP in Kazakhstan reported.

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Most of land remains uncultivated in Afghanistan as water flows to Central Asian countries

  • Written by TCA

KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan has 7.5 million hectares of arable land but only a small portion of that land is cultivated due to a lack of water and insecurity in the war-torn country, TOLOnews reports citing the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.

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Kazakhstan airports prepare to support disaster relief efforts

  • Written by TCA

ALMATY (TCA) — Deutsche Post DHL Group and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will support Kazakhstan authorities in their efforts to build resilience against future natural disasters by conducting a five-day disaster preparedness training and assessment program at Almaty International Airport. The two partners will team up with airport and government officials and other humanitarian response experts in the Central Asian country to host their internationally recognized Getting Airports Ready for Disaster (GARD) program from 18 to 22 September.

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Jointly with local private sector, USAID expands export markets for Kyrgyzstan meat

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Adal Azyk, one of the largest meat processing companies in Kyrgyzstan, has opened a new slaughterhouse in Kochkor district of the country’s Naryn province. The facility is one of only two in Kyrgyzstan that are compliant with international food safety standards, and which hold the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification that international buyers require, the US Embassy in Bishkek said.

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Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games kick off in Turkmenistan

  • Written by TCA

ASHGABAT (TCA) — The opening ceremony of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) took place in Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, on September 17 with the participation of a number of heads of state and government, including the presidents of Afghanistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

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Kazakhstan leader visits Uzbekistan, Tashkent hosts Uzbek-Kazakh business forum

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev paid a working visit to neighboring Uzbekistan on September 16. The visit came amid what his Uzbekistan counterpart, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, hailed as a "historic" year of improving relations between the two major players in Central Asia, RFE/RL reported.

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New head of Kyrgyzstan National Bank presents his vision of development

  • Written by Maria Levina

BISHKEK (TCA) — The parliament of Kyrgyzstan this week approved Kubanychbek Kulmatov for the post of the country’s National Bank head, after the previous chief banker, Tolkunbek Abdygulov, was appointed Deputy Prime Minister late in August.

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RSF calls for release of Kyrgyzstan journalist jailed for ‘inciting religious hatred’

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says it is appalled by Kyrgyzstan journalist Zulpukar Sapanov’s four-year jail sentence for allegedly “inciting hatred between religious faiths” in a book about pre-Islamic beliefs in Kyrgyzstan and calls for his conviction to be overturned on appeal.

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Weekly Digest of Central Asia

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The Publisher’s note: Central Asia is an important geopolitical area between Europe, Russia and China. It is in Central Asia that world powers have confronted each other for centuries; it is here that China needs to succeed with its new Silk Road Belt for direct access to the Western markets; and it is here that a large wealth of raw materials has its origin. Every week thousands of news appears all over the world in printed and online media and it is quite understandable that 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 the region, and for this reason we are presenting this Weekly Digest of Central Asia which compiles what other media have reported during the past week.

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China to provide $10 billion in loans to Iran for infrastructure projects

  • Written by TCA

TEHRAN (TCA) — China will provide a credit line of $10 billion to Iran for its infrastructure projects, Iran’s PressTV news agency reported on September 15.

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‘Cyber Shield’ to fight extremism in Kazakhstan

  • Written by Farkhad Sharip

ASTANA (TCA) — As Islamist extremism and terrorism is becoming a serious challenge in Kazakhstan, threatening with cyberattacks, the government is implementing a costly information security project aimed at thwarting the threat. We are republishing this article by Farkhad Sharip, originally published by The Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor and entitled Encroaching Extremism in West Kazakhstan: A Challenge for ‘Cyber Shield’:

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Afghanistan needs rail corridor via Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan for fruit export to Russia

  • Written by TCA

KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan plans to increase fruit exports to Russia in the near future by delivering up to 70 tons of fruits to Moscow per day, First Vice-Chairman of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Al-Khaj Khan Jan Alokozai told Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

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Uzbekistan holds international textile exhibitions

  • Written by TCA

TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent is hosting “Textile equipment and technologies – CAITME 2017” and “Textile industry – Textile Expo Uzbekistan 2017” international exhibitions, the largest exposition of its kind in the CIS and Central Asia, the Jahon information agency reports.

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Report on migrant workers’ and human trafficking victims’ rights presented in Kazakhstan

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — An OSCE-supported analytical report, produced by the Human Rights Commission under the President, on the rights of migrant workers and human trafficking victims in Kazakhstan was presented on September 14 at the Foreign Ministry in Astana, the OSCE Programme Office in Astana reported.

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Repression casts shadow on Asian Games in Turkmenistan, rights groups say

  • Written by TCA

ASHGABAT (TCA) — Turkmenistan will host the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) starting September 17 amid an appalling record of human rights abuse, Human Rights Watch and the Turkmen Initiative for Human Rights (TIHR) said on September 13.

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India provides more developmental assistance to Afghanistan

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — As the task of rebuilding Afghanistan requires concerted efforts of neighboring countries and foreign donors, India has announced new assistance for better equipping Afghanistan in fighting terrorists along with new developmental assistance in the form of 116 high-impact community development projects to be implemented in 31 provinces of the war-torn country, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reports.

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Tajikistan to increase aluminum production to 300,000 tons by 2020

  • Written by TCA

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The Tajik Aluminium Company (TALСO) plans to increase the production of primary aluminum to 300,000 tons by 2020, TALCO official representative Igor Sattarov said on September 12, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.

"The production [of primary aluminum] will be brought up to 168,800 tons in 2018, to 188,800 tons in 2019, and to 300,000 tons in 2020," Sattarov said.

According to Sattarov, TALСO can reach those rates due to the currently favorable market conditions and positive expectations for the future, as well as the introduction of new technologies of aluminum production. Besides, it is planned to consider the production of alumina on the territory of Tajikistan's nonconventional ore fields (nephelinic syenite, granatite and others). The estimated cost of the project amounts to approximately $1 billion.

In early August, Tajik Minister of Economic Development and Trade Nematullo Hikmatullozoda said that projections for the production of primary aluminum in 2017 amounted to 148,000 tons. In 2016, Tajikistan produced 129,300 tons of primary aluminum which is a decrease of 7.2 percent in comparison with 2015.

Aluminum, along with cotton, is among Tajikistan’s main export items.

TALCO is the largest state-owned enterprise in Tajikistan with the designed capacity of 500,000 tons of aluminum per year. The company accounts for around 45 percent of Tajikistan’s GDP and 90 percent of the foreign exchange earnings. It is one of the largest taxpayers and plays a pivotal role in the national economy. The company also consumes around 40 percent of all electricity generated in Tajikistan.

OSCE supports Tajikistan’s Inter-Agency Secretariat for Border Management and Security

  • Written by TCA

DUSHANBE (TCA) — The OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe and representatives from 16 government agencies participated in the official opening of the Inter-Agency Secretariat for Border Management and Security of Tajikistan on 12 September.

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Islamic Development Bank committed to Tajikistan development projects

  • Written by TCA

DUSHANBE (TCA) — On September 13, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon and President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Dr. Bandar Hajjar gave the official start to the construction and reconstruction of Kulob-Shamsiddin Shohin section of Kulob–Kalaikhumb motor road, the press service of the Tajik president reported.

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Prime Minister presents Digital Kazakhstan program

  • Written by TCA

ASTANA (TCA) — On September 13, during the meeting on digitalization of Kazakhstan’s economy chaired by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev presented the government’s Program of Innovative Development "Digital Kazakhstan", the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

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University of Technology Sydney and University of Central Asia collaborate on Communications and Media

  • Written by TCA

BISHKEK (TCA) — The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the University of Central Asia (UCA) on September 12 signed an agreement in Australia to strengthen the relationship between the two institutions and encourage cooperation in the field of Communications and Media.

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