by Georgiy Voloshin (07/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On June 30 and July 1, British Prime Minister David Cameron paid his first official visit to Kazakhstan. This was also the first ever visit of a head of the British government to this Central Asian country. Accompanied by Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Cameron took part in the inauguration of an oil-processing plant off the Caspian coast in the Atyrau region. The launch of this industrial facility whose construction had lasted for more than eight years coincides with the resolution of a months-long conundrum surrounding the Kashagan oilfield, one of the largest oil deposits in the world discovered during the last 40 years.
by Sergei Gretsky (07/10/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The recent visit of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Uzbekistan on June 13-14 was closely watched in the capitals of other Central Asian states as well as Central Asia’s neighbors. The visit continued the discussions started last year during Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov’s visit to Kazakhstan when the two presidents initiated a process of closer alignment between Astana and Tashkent in regional security matters. This time the two leaders have taken relations between their countries a step further by signing a Treaty on Strategic Partnership.
by Georgiy Voloshin (the 06/26/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On June 21, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed into law a bill introducing a comprehensive reform of the country’s pension savings system. The main novelty of the bill is a provision increasing women’s retirement age from 58 to 63 years, thus ensuring full equality with the working male population. Earlier in April, the chairman of Kazakhstan’s National Bank, Grigory Marchenko, made public the results of an independent assessment made by international experts according to which the state budget might lose US$ 19.6 billion worth of potential tax revenue by 2023, should a similar reform not be adopted by the end of this year.
by Sergei Gretsky (the 06/26/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In recent years, Kazakhstan has taken a number of steps to raise its international profile and firmly plant its flag on the world stage. The first success was scored when the country became Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010 and hosted the OSCE Summit in December of that year. The next accomplishment was hosting the 7th Asian Winter Games in January-February 2011. Earlier this year Astana successfully outbid Liege (Belgium) to become the venue of Expo 2017. The Astana Economic Forum and its G-Global online platform, however, may turn out to be Kazakhstan’s most significant imprint on global politics and economics.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.