• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
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  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
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  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
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Viewing results 1 - 6 of 77

Over 200 UNDP Projects Implemented in Kazakhstan

During a meeting between Kazakhstan's Vice Prime Minister, Nurlan Baibazarov and Katarzhina Vaviernia, permanent representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kazakhstan, discussions focused on UNDP projects aimed to promote the economic development of UN member states. To date, over  200 projects worth over $200 million have been implemented in the country with support from the government of Kazakhstan, public organizations, the business sector, UN agencies, and other partners.  Broad ranging, the initiatives include the development of small and medium businesses, green energy, agriculture, and ecotourism. Nurlan Baibazarov  noted that Kazakhstan is ready to present the third Voluntary National Review on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at the High-Level Political Forum in New York in 2025 and stated: "Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is a national priority for Kazakhstan. We pay great attention to discussing the implementation of the goals at different platforms to find optimal solutions for our state's sustainable development. The voluntary review will objectively reflect the country's main achievements, challenges, and emerging problems." In addition, it was noted that Kazakhstan is interested in strengthening cooperation with UNDP, and in particular,  the successful implementation of the UNDP Country Program for 2021-2025.

China Supports Kazakhstan’s Bid to Join BRICS

Beijing has officially supported Kazakhstan's application to join BRICS, a group of emerging economies founded by Brazil, Russia, India and China in 2009, which South Africa joined a year later. In January of this year, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the UAE were also admitted as full members. The Anadolu Agency reports that Kazakhstan's bid to join became known after a meeting between Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Xi Jinping last week. According to the Chinese leader, “China and Kazakhstan are walking side by side on the road to modernization.” Xi Jinping noted a great synergy between the two countries and said he supports the application. During the meeting, the president of Kazakhstan also supported China's initiative to "create a community [for the] common destiny of mankind," expressing his country's readiness to "constructively support" issues related to its realization.

OECD Representative Office May Open in Kazakhstan

An initiative to open a representative office for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Kazakhstan has been announced by Deputy Prime Minister Nurlan Baibazarov and William Thompson, Head of the OECD Eurasia Division, who met earlier this week. To date, OECD regional offices operate in China, Indonesia, Ukraine, and Greece, according to the website of the Government of Kazakhstan. During the meeting, the parties discussed implementing OECD recommendations, implementing the Joint Action Plan of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the OECD Secretariat until 2025, and cooperation within the framework of the OECD Eurasian Competitiveness Program. William Thompson noted the positive experience of OECD interactions with Kazakhstan. Following recommendations from the OECD, several political and economic reforms have been carried out in the country. In particular, institution of investment ombudsman was introduced, parliamentary control over the use of budgetary funds was strengthened, the Low Carbon Development Strategy of the country until 2060 was developed, and the National Contact Center for Responsible Business Conduct and the Supreme Audit Chamber were established. Direct elections of akims (heads) of districts and cities of regional significance has also been introduced. "Our country has been a stable partner of the OECD for more than 15 years and a Central Asian leader in implementing its recommendations. In 2025, Kazakhstan intends to apply to join this authoritative international organization as a full member. We are confident that further cooperation will have a qualitative impact on the socioeconomic and legal aspects of the development of our state," Nurlan Baybazarov stated.

Nuclear Race: Will Central Asia Build a Nuclear Power Plant?

The answer to the question posed in the title remains uncertain. While Uzbekistan has plans to construct a nuclear power plant and Kazakhstan is set to hold a referendum this fall to gauge public opinion on building one, progress is sluggish. Tashkent has postponed the start of construction, and the issue sparks heated debate in Kazakhstan. The First Nuclear Power Plant in Central Asia Historically, Central Asia did host a nuclear facility. Located on the shore of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan, this was not a conventional nuclear power plant but a fast neutron reactor known as BN-350. The reactor was the core of the Mangistau Nuclear Power Plant, designed to transform the Mangyshlak Peninsula by providing energy to the city of Aktau (formerly Shevchenko) and powering large-scale desalination plants that supplied drinking water to the arid region. [caption id="attachment_20031" align="aligncenter" width="366"] BN-350[/caption] Operational from 1973 until its shutdown in 1999, the BN-350 reactor was decommissioned due to the allocation of U.S. funds for new desalination and heating equipment and the disposal of its remaining fuel. The extensive maintenance and decommissioning work on the BN-350 have given Kazakhstani nuclear physicists significant experience with such complex and hazardous technology. However, younger generations in Kazakhstan are largely unaware of the BN-350 reactor’s existence. Their knowledge of nuclear physics is often limited to the harrowing stories passed down about nuclear warhead tests at the Semipalatinsk test site and their devastating effects. Fear and Nuclear Power: Kazakhstan's Dilemma The societal fear surrounding nuclear energy in Kazakhstan is deeply intertwined with political concerns. For a long time, the leadership in Kazakhstan has hesitated to move beyond merely discussing the need for a nuclear power plant (NPP) to actually initiating the project. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recently announced that a referendum would take place in the fall of 2024. However, Ministry of Energy's officials avoided mentioning the word "referendum" until the last moment, previously asserting it was unnecessary. Public hearings were held last year in the village of Ulken, Zhambyl district, Almaty region, a proposed site for the nuclear plant. The Ministry of Energy’s press release stated that the local populace supported developing nuclear power, highlighting its significance for regional socio-economic growth. However, media reports revealed that the hearings were contentious, with opposing viewpoints almost disrupting the speech of Nurlan Ertas, the head (akim) of the Zhambyl district. Activists even displayed banners and posters against the plant's construction. Certain groups have exploited the population's fear of another disaster like Chernobyl. Additionally, the government has struggled to convince the public that nuclear technologies are becoming safer. In contrast, Europe now includes nuclear power plants in its list of green energy sources, similar to other renewable energy sources (RES). In Kazakhstan, renewable energy accounts for only 5% of the total energy produced. The introduction of NPPs could significantly enhance the country’s position in reducing carbon emissions. The government faces a growing electricity shortage that can be addressed either harmfully or fearfully. The harmful options are coal-fired thermal power plants...

Universities of Kazakhstan and China to Cooperate on Microsatellite Launch

Al-Farabi Kazakh National University and the Northwest Polytechnic University of China have agreed to conduct joint scientific research using microsatellites. According to the press service of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the agreement was reached during  talks between the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and Xi Jinping, during the latter's official visit to Kazakhstan. The initiative, the first of its kind to be implemented by Kazakh universities,  opens up new opportunities for space research, training qualified specialists, and developing joint satellites, as well as enabling remote sensing studies of the Earth via a microsatellite. Integral to the project, is an aim to develop equipment for gravimetric measurements, including a specialized ground station and a transmitter on the satellite, designed to detect density inhomogeneities in the Earth's crust and mantle. The employment of such, will help solve fundamental problems in the study of geodynamic processes at great depths. The North-West Polytechnic University of China is a leader in launching objects into space whilst Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, the only Kazakh university with experience in launching nanosatellites into orbit , has already launched its own Al-Farabi-1 and Al-Farabi-2 nanosatellites.

Uzbekistan’s Foreign Trade Turnover Reaches $62 Billion

EUROUZ member EastCham has published the “Market Outlook Uzbekistan 2024” reference guide. According to the report, Uzbekistan’s GDP per capita is lower than that of neighboring Kazakhstan, but higher than Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Real GDP per capita may be higher than the official data suggests, however, as the volume of the national shadow economy is estimated at between 25 and 45% of Uzbekistan’s GDP. Per capita GDP is $2,510.1 (World Bank 2023), whilst the IMF forecasts $2,670 in 2024. GDP growth was 5.6% in 2023 (World Bank) and is expected to be 5.5% in 2024, and 5.6% in 2025. “In 2022, Uzbekistan ranked 70th globally in gross GDP, 86th in total exports, and 75th in total imports, while placing 155th in GDP per capita,” the report states. According to the report, Uzbekistan’s mining industry is one of the country’s most essential and internationally competitive industries, contributing up to around 30% of the country’s GDP. Uzbekistan is ranked 12th in the world in terms of mining. It is the world’s 5th-largest uranium, 8th-largest gold, and 11th-largest natural gas producer. Uzbekistan has the world’s 4th-largest gold, 7th-largest uranium, and 9th-largest copper reserves. In addition, metallurgy, the study of the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, is also one of the largest industries in Uzbekistan. Natural gas dominates Uzbekistan's energy complex. More than 85% of the country’s electricity is generated from natural gas, whilst coal generation is expected to increase from 3% to 10% in the coming years. Uzbekistan is one of the leading countries in the Eurasian region in terms of natural gas - it has large gas reserves and several small oil and coal resources. “The Uzbek authorities established the green economy and renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydropower) as the basis of sustainable economic development and plan to increase the share of renewable energy generation to 30% by 2030. One of the concrete steps towards this goal is to build 28 solar and wind power plants with a total capacity of 8000 GW and hydropower plants with a total capacity of 868 MW by 2027. The government also plans to build a large nuclear power plant by 2028,” the report states. Last month, The Times of Central Asia published an interview with Neil McKain, the IFC regional manager for Uzbekistan, about the country’s potential to become a regional leader in renewable energy sources. The report also emphasizes problems in the country’s electricity network, including Tashkent's difficulties with heat and power supply systems in the last two years. Low temperatures have caused a decline in gas pipeline pressure (90% of power in Uzbekistan is produced by gas power plants). As a result, electrical heaters have gained popularity among residents of Tashkent, overwhelming the local power grid and leading to electricity shortages. President Mirziyoyev has acknowledged this problem, and Uzbekistan - Tashkent in particular - needs dramatic power and heat supply improvements. Foreign trade turnover in Uzbekistan has surged in recent years. In 2022, it reached $50 billion (an 18.6% increase...