Foreign media on Kazakhstan: Kaspi.kz shareholder Mikhail Lomtadze buys a football club, EEU Economic Integration meeting in Moscow, China-Kazakhstan Trade Logistic cooperation

Foreign mass media about Kazakhstan
Photo credit: Collage/Kazinform

From Mikhail Lomtadze becoming the owner of the English professional football club Wycombe Wanderers to Central Asia country leaders convening in Moscow meeting of the Supreme Economic Council, Kazinform News Agency presents a weekly review of foreign mass media coverage about Kazakhstan.

BBC: Kazakhstan billionaire takes over League One Wycombe

In this article, BBC reports that Wycombe Wanderers have been taken over by Kazakhstan billionaire Mikheil Lomtadze. His Blue Ocean Partners Ltd company has bought a 90% stake in the club, who finished 10th in League One this season.

The Chairboys (nickname of the club) have been owned by American businessman Rob Couhig since February 2020.

“Our goal is to achieve long-term success both on and off the pitch whilst building a financial sustainable club”, said Lomtadze, a technology entrepreneur.

He added that “the football world is evolving very fast and our priority will be to integrate data analytics and technology to elevate the club’s performance to new levels.”

“I am also a strong believer in youth development and it will be fundamental to the club’s vision. We aim to re-open and build a leading high-performance academy which will become an essential part of our long-term strategy of developing a club that consistently performs at the top level," concluded Lomtadze.

The sum involved in the takeover deal has not been disclosed. Lomtadze was listed 581st on the Forbes list of billionaires this year, external with an estimated net worth of $5.7bn.

PV Magazine: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan plan energy interconnection

PV magazine reports that ministers from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have agreed to connect their energy systems. They will lay an energy cable along the bottom of the Caspian Sea to facilitate the sale of green energy to Europe.

The economy and energy ministers have signed a memorandum of understanding to merge the energy systems of the three countries.

The agreement, signed at the International Investment Forum held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, commits the parties to exploring the possibilities of connecting their energy systems by laying a high-voltage cable along the bottom of the Caspian Sea, the world's largest inland body of water.

Kazakh Minister of Energy Almasadam Satkaliev said a proposed business model will now be developed, covering the financing, revenue flow and ownership of the proposed transmission corridors, which would look to sell green energy to EU member states. He said the three sides have drawn up draft technical specifications for laying a deep-sea cable beneath the Caspian Sea.

The Times of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan Favor EEU Economic Integration

The Times of Central Asia reports, on May 8 leaders from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia met in Moscow for the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council’s 10th anniversary, representing the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Also attending were observer state leaders from Cuba and Uzbekistan.

President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasized significant economic growth due EEU cooperation, pointing out that trade turnover between Kazakhstan and EEU nations has increased by 1.7 times to $28.5 billion. In addition to highlighting the necessity of modernizing Eurasian infrastructure, he argued in favor of extending the Ashgabat Agreement to strengthen ties with the Persian Gulf.

President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov has made strengthening economic integration within the EEU a top priority, citing and country’s increased trade and economic gains as a result of membership in the EEU. He also underlined how the EEU and China’s Belt and Road plan complement one other.

Speaking on behalf of an observer state, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev reported a 60% increase in trade with EEU nations over a three-year period. He also expressed Uzbekistan’s desire to participate more actively in EEU projects and emphasized the strategic significance of the North-South transport corridor for boosting trade with Asia and the Middle East.

Caspian News: Kazakhstan recalls diplomat accused of domestic violence in UAE

According to Caspian News, the Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry has responded to the allegations of domestic violence against one of its diplomats stationed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Saken Mamash, a Counselor at the Kazakh Embassy in the UAE, has been recalled to Kazakhstan following accusations made by his wife, Karina Mamash.

“We are urgently recalling this employee to Kazakhstan. Now law enforcement agencies will deal with his case,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The allegations surfaced when Karina published a post on social media through the foundation NeMolchi.kz (Don’t be silent) with pictures and video proof of the abuse.

Kazakhstan has recently enacted significant legislative reforms to enhance protections for women and children against domestic violence. The new laws, which were approved by the lower house on February 21 and enacted by the Senate on April 11, incorporate extensive provisions for victim safety and shift the duty obtaining evidence from survivors to law enforcement. This change eliminates the chance of “reconciliation” for recurrent offenders and guarantees that all incidents of domestic abuse are looked at, regardless of whether a formal complaint has been filed. These adjustments are meant to address the widespread problem of domestic violence in the country, which was brought to light following the high-profile prosecution of former economy minister Kuandyk Bishimbayev for the death of his wife.

GLOBALink: China-Kazakhstan (Xi'an) Trade Logistics terminal contributes to win-win cooperation

In this article, Xinhua reports that China-Kazakhstan (Xi'an) Trade Logistics terminal, located in Xi'an International Port Station in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, is fostering win-win cooperation between China and Kazakhstan.

Opened last December, the terminal is a partnership between KTZ Express, a subsidiary of Kazakhstan’s national railway company KTZ and Xi’an Free Trade Port Construction and Operation.

“As we’re an intelligent platform connecting the Xi’an Free Trade Port and the KTZ Express, we can receive information in advance about train depurates. Before trains arrive at the port, customs declaration data undergo swift clearance procedure. It used to take a day to make a lot of phone calls, but now it takes less than 15 minutes to get things done,” says Sadvakkas Seitzhanov, general manager of the Chinese branch of KTZ Express.

“Since collaborating with KTZ and establishing a joint venture to make investments, we’ve witnessed a substantial enhancement in the organization and efficiency of trains traveling from Xi’an to Central Asia and Europe,” says Yuan Xiaojun, general manager of Xi’an Free Trade Port Construction and Operation Co., Ltd.

According to KTZ, China – Kazakhstan rail cargo volume reached 28 million tons in 2023, an increase of 22 percent from the year before. For years, KTZ has been transporting goods, such as grains and raw materials from Kazakhstan to China.

In the reverse direction, it has brought mechanical equipment and new energy vehicles, among other Chinese products.

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