Foreign media on Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan joins UN Crime Prevention Commission, Kazakhstan ready to supply Singapore with critical raw materials, Qazaq Air to be sold to Vietnam's Sovico Group

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and the head of Sovico Group Nguyen Thanh Hung
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and the head of Sovico Group, Nguyen Thanh Hung Photo credit: Akorda

From Kazakhstan's initial membership in the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to the sale of the aviation company Qazaq Air to the Vietnamese conglomerate Sovico Group, Kazinform News Agency presents a weekly review of foreign mass media coverage about Kazakhstan.

The Times of Central Asia: Kazakhstan Joins UN Crime Prevention Commission for First Time

The Times of Central Asia reports that the 33rd session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) was held in Vienna on May 13-17, 2024.

According to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kazakhstan has been elected for the first time to the CPPUC for the period from 2025 to 2027 and “is ready to make its practical contribution to the work of the commission, taking into account the accumulated national experience in crime prevention and criminal justice.”

Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Kazakhstan's permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, briefed session participants on recent reforms in Kazakhstan’s law enforcement and penitentiary systems aimed at aligning them with international standards. These reforms include reducing the prisoner count, rehabilitating returning citizens from conflict zones, and lowering re-offense rates. Additionally, the Kazakh delegation emphasized the need for enhanced international collaboration to combat organized crime, corruption, terrorism, and other criminal activities.

“Mukhtar Tшleuberdi emphasized the contribution of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and donor countries in the implementation of these tasks, assuring the further support of Kazakhstan to the activities of UNODC, including through the allocation of voluntary contributions to the Global Program against Cybercrime,”, stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Trend News Agency: Kazakhstan ready to supply Singapore with critical raw materials - Tokayev

Trend News Agency reports that Kazakhstan is ready to supply Singapore with critical raw materials and natural resources. This was said by the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, as he addressed the closing ceremony of the Kazakh-Singapore Business Forum.

“With global demand for rare metals expected to quadruple by 2040, Kazakhstan, boasting around 5,000 unexplored deposits, could be a dependable partner for jointly tapping into this potential. We have high hopes for long-term collaboration with Indorama, a company keen on exploring copper and phosphate deposits in Kazakhstan,” he said.

Highlighting the increasing interest in Kazakhstan's extensive renewable energy potential, Tokayev encouraged Singaporean companies to broaden partnerships in clean energy production, technology transfer, and expertise sharing.

“Singapore is renowned for its cutting-edge waste-to-energy facilities and innovative waste management technologies. We are keenly interested in such innovative waste management approaches and aim to foster cooperation in this field,” the president added.

Islamic Republic News Agency: Kazakh president visits Iran embassy to condole Raisi passing

Islamic Republic News Agency informed that the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev visited the Iranian embassy in Astana on Tuesday, May 21st and signed the memorial book commemorating Iranian President Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian.

Expressing his condolences for the martyrdom of President Raisi and his entourage, he described Raisi as an outstanding statesman who dedicated himself to serving the Iranian nation, improving the well-being of his people, and maintaining stability in the region.

President Raisi and his entourage, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollhian, were returning from an event on the border with Azerbaijan to inaugurate a dam project on Sunday, when their helicopter crashed in harsh weather conditions over the mountainous terrain of Iran’s northwest.

Eurasianet: Kazakhstan government is developing new procurement standards to help mitigate environmental challenges

According to Eurasianet, Kazakhstan is considering new procurement standards to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of state spending while aiming to minimize the environmental harm of public works and services.

In 2023, Kazakhstan's government contracts amounted to about $19.7 billion, with a new focus on addressing environmental issues from its Soviet past and the challenges posed by global warming. In response, President Tokayev initiated the development of “green friendly” procurement rules in 2022, which emphasize quality and environmental impact alongside cost in government contracts. These new rules are undergoing legislative processes, with hopes for approval by mid-year.

Kazakhstan also joined the EU's SWITCH-Asia program in February 2024 to support sustainable procurement practices. This program helps integrate environmental sustainability into purchasing decisions, promoting cleaner technologies across various sectors. It also aims to enhance energy efficiency in residential buildings. The program underscores the broader societal and environmental benefits of prioritizing sustainable procurement beyond mere cost savings.

Ch-Aviation: Qazaq Air set to be sold to Vietnam's Sovico Group

Ch-Aviation reports that Vietnamese conglomerate Sovico Group, a major shareholder and founder of VietJetAir, is set to take control of Qazaq Air, a statement issued following a meeting between Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and the head of Sovico Group, Nguyen Thanh Hung.

The announcement declared that a definitive agreement outlining the terms of the acquisition of Qazaq Air has been signed between Samruk-Kazyna JSC, the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund, and Aviation Holdings Company, which is a part of Sovico Group.

According to the agreements, the Vietnamese investor plans to equip Qazaq Air with at least twenty B737-8s and A320/321 jets within five years. The signing of the sales agreement and subsequent closing of the transaction is expected to take place “soon”.

Furthermore, Nguyen Thanh Hung expressed the company's intent to manage several Kazakh airports and to invest in logistics warehouses across the country.

“Samruk-Kazyna has been trying hard to offload its 100% stake in Qazaq Air over the past 12 months. Following a lack of interest initially, it was forced to adjust its terms and conditions in February this year”, the article quotes.

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