Foreign mass media on Kazakhstan: return to UNESCO World Heritage Committee, bitter loss in Euro 2024 qualifiers, closer co-op with Hungary and India

Collage: Kazakh MFA/ midjourney

From Kazakhstan’s election to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for its second tenure, closer cooperation with India, Hungary and Iran to bitter loss to Slovenia in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, Kazinform presents this week’s digest of foreign mass media news about Kazakhstan.

The Economic Times: Kazakhstan invites India to invest in Astana Hub technology park

India’s The Economic Times welcomed the strategic partnership between Astana and New Delhi in its recent article, highlighting another avenue for potential cooperation, Astana Hub technology park.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu who was spotted at a ministerial meeting India and the Global South: Joint Development for a Batter Future pointed out it was important ‘to enhance transport connectivity and diversify transport routes’.

After making public Kazakhstan’s plans to become a high-tech exporter, he suggested the Astana Hub technology park as a platform where experts from India and the Global South can step up their cooperation in technology and innovation.

Nurtleu went on to remind of Kazakhstan’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and extended an invitation to the meeting participants to attend the UN Regional Climate Summit slated to take place in Kazakhstan in 2026.

Utmost attention was paid to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s proposal to set up an International Biosafety Agency as, according to the Kazakh Foreign Minister, it is called ‘to facilitate technology transfer and exchange expertise among countries in biosafety’.

Hungary Today: Annual trade with Kazakhstan could reach $1 billion

This week Bucharest saw the 6th meeting of the Hungarian-Kazakh Strategic Council during which the sides announced their goal for two-way trade turnover to reach $1 billion per annum. The goal seems to be quite ambitious as, according to the article published by Hungary Today, Kazakhstan-Hungary trade turnover hit $465 million in the first eight months of this year.

Hungarian Finance Minister Mihály Varga expressed confidence on November 21 that Astana and Bucharest have every chance to achieve that since over two hundred companies based in Hungary already export to Kazakhstan and there is a host of existing projects between the two countries.

One of those promising projects is Hungary’s MOL natural gas production in northwest Kazakhstan. Another example of successful cooperation between Kazakhstan and Hungary is the fact that Hungarian pharmaceuticals are placed 6th in Kazakhstan’s pharmaceutical market in terms of sales.

Signing of three cooperation agreements crowned the Hungarian-Kazakh Strategic Council’s 6th meeting attended by Kazakh Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu. The sides agreed to apply Hungarian technologies and implement a model fish farm in Kazakhstan.

Reuters: Slovenia qualify for Euro 2024 after victory over Kazakhstan

The same day in a neighboring country of Slovenia Kazakhstan’s national football team experienced the bitter taste of defeat from the home side in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, according to an article by Reuters.

After more than a successful run in the 2024 Euro qualifiers, the Kazakh squad were hopeful to book qualification for the Euro 2024 finals in Germany, but the chance to earn the coveted Euro 2024 ticket slipped away from Magomed Adiyev’s side in Ljubljana on Monday.

Slovenia earned 2:1 home win over Kazakhstan destroying their chances for the first ever qualification. The Kazakh footballers can still secure their spot through March’s playoffs in the Nations League vs. Greece.

BNN Network: Kazakhstan returns to UNESCO World Heritage Committee for 2023-2027

One of the most exciting news for Kazakhstan came this week from Paris where the 24th session of the General Assembly of States Parties to the World Heritage Convention voted for the country to return to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for 2023-2027. This, according to an article released by BNN Network, will mark Kazakhstan’s second tenure after the first one in 2013-2017.

Author of the article BNN Network’s Salman Akhtar points out the number of the countries that have voted for Kazakhstan – 118 states – signals global acceptance and recognition of the Central Asian nation.

Eight more countries, namely Jamaica, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal, South Korea, Türkiye, Ukraine, and Vietnam, also landed their respective spots on the committee.

Kazakhstan’s State Counselor Erlan Karin welcomed the news on Kazakhstan’s inclusion into the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, emphasizing the country stands ready to make its contribution to its activities.

On top of that, the article mentions that it was decided to upgrade the UNESCO office in Almaty to a Multisectoral Regional Office.

KrASIA: Steppe toward success: AIFC’s Renat Bekturov on Kazakhstan’s evolution into the region’s financial north star

In his interview to KrASIA published this week, AIFC governor Renat Bekturov outlined the centre’s role as a financial linchpin amid changing geopolitical dynamics and unraveled its aspirations to expand its footprint in the global financial landscape.

The AIFC, in his words, ‘seeks to create an attractive and reliable investment destination for both domestic and foreign investors’ and ‘positions itself at the forefront of fintech development through three drivers: the right regulatory environment, access to capital, and the right culture or mindset’.

In the interview, Bekturov reveals that the AIFC has already registered over 2,000 companies from almost 80 countries, attracting investments to the tune of $10 billion. He also highlights the centre’s role as a strategic bridge ‘enhancing Kazakhstan’s global economic and financial engagement with other economies’.

The AIFC governor also talks about how the centre aligns with BRI initiative, interacts with other countries in the present-day geopolitical landscape and why it increases its focus on the Southeast Asian market.

Bekturov also underscores Kazakhstan’s pivotal economic role in Central Asia, a home to nearly 78 million people. Kazakhstan, according to him, is expected to thrive based on the IMF’s forecast of the country’s GDP rising by 4.6% in 2023.

Tehran Times: Iran’s non-oil export to Kazakhstan rises 12% in 7 months on year

Tehran Times reported in its article this week that Iran-Kazakhstan two-way trade increased by 20% this year.

Moreover, the Iran-based news agency noted that in the past seven months the export of non-oil commodities from Iran to Kazakhstan has demonstrated a 12% increase, exceeding $104 million.

In the article Ruhollah Latifi, the spokesperson of the International Relations and Trade Development Committee of Iran’s House of Industry, Mining and Trade, revealed that the country imported commodities worth over $42,8 million from Kazakhstan.

The article also emphasizes Kazakhstan’s special position as a trade partner for Iran and the fact that the two countries’ presence in the EAEU and SCO pacts opened new horizons for the development of economic relations both Astana and Tehran can benefit from.

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