by Georgiy Voloshin (05/29/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On May 22 and 23, Kazakhstan’s capital hosted two high-level annual events that have already become a local tradition. On Wednesday, President Nazarbayev chaired the 26th meeting of the Foreign Investors Council which is comprised of representatives of government bodies in charge of the country’s economic development and foreign companies actively investing in Kazakhstan. It was established in 1998 and initially included only 11 permanent members. Fifteen years later, the Council has expanded to 27 permanent members and also counts several observers on its board, such as the CEO of Glencore International plc Ivan Glasenberg. While Kazakhstan’s economy has attracted massive investment from hundreds of foreign entities during the past twenty years, the Council is open exclusively to the largest investors whose gross input is measured at US$ 500 million for those operating in the energy sector and at least US$ 125 million for non-extractive fields.
by Georgiy Voloshin (05/15/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On May 2, Kazakhstan’s Auditing Committee released detailed statistical data for 2012 concerning the state of the country’s budget and its evolution over the past calendar year. According to the information made public by the Committee’s chairman Aslan Musin who previously headed the presidential administration, the total losses incurred by state-owned or state-controlled companies amounted to over US$ 22.6 million. The survey of 300 companies with state participation effectively showed that more than 40 percent had not yielded any profits between January and December 2012. At the same time, the 40 biggest state enterprises account for 47 percent of the total losses or some US$ 10.7 million.
by Georgiy Voloshin (05/01/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On April 23, Kazakhstani media reported that a Russian-built Mig-31 military aircraft owned by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defense had crashed during a training flight near a small village in Karaganda province in the country’s center. Although both pilots took urgent measures to be catapulted out of the cockpit, the aircraft’s captain did not survive his wounds after an unsuccessful landing. While the prosecutor’s office opened an official investigation, the preliminary assessments of the incident showed that the onboard navigation system had malfunctioned. The Ministry of Defense quickly reacted to the news stating that the aircraft had undergone capital repairs in December 2012 at a Russian assembly plant in Rzhevsk and was under maintenance warranty at the moment of its crash. Two days later, Askar Buldeshev, the Deputy Commander in Chief of Kazakhstan’s Air Defense Forces, was arrested by the country’s law enforcement agents on charges of corruption related to the purchase of military equipment from third parties.
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.