A bi-weekly online publication of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Kazakhstan
Issue # 57
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
National Unity Doctrine to Help Build Stronger ‘Kazakhstani’ Identity
(Government and civil society agree upon major document on state policy)
Kazakh Prime Minister Opens National Pavilion at Shanghai’s EXPO 2010
(On a visit to China Karim Massimov talks to President Hu Jintao, businessmen)
National Bank Chairman: Kazakhstan Focuses on Economic Recovery
(Grigori Marchenko describes state of affairs)
Samruk-Kazyna to Sell State Shares of Private Banks “In Next Few Years”
(Kairat Kelimbetov, Chairman of Samruk Kazyna, on the state’s post-crisis plans)
Kazakhstan’s Private Universities: Investment in Education Pays
(New generation of universities aims to provide the knowledge most in need)
SOS Children Charity Extends Parental Care for the Abandoned
(After 13 years, charity has a lot to show for its work)
National Unity Doctrine to Help Build Stronger ‘Kazakhstani’ Identity
Apart from its traditional connotations as the
Labour Day, May 1 is celebrated in Kazakhstan as the
Day of Unity of the People of Kazakhstan.
Congratulating the citizens at the Astana’s City Square
on the day, President Nursultan Nazarbayev underlined
the great value of peace and accord in the country,
allowing every individual to realize his or her potential
and opportunities in the atmosphere of equality and
“We have accumulated a priceless experience of
interethnic and interreligious peace and harmony. These
notions best fit the spirit of our celebration today, the
spirit of our people. Today, the Kazakh model causes a
growing interest from our partners in the OSCE, and in
the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference). We are ready to share our experience with everyone
who wants to use it,” the Kazakh leader said.
It was highly symbolical that on the eve of the Day of Unity of Kazakhstan People, the authorities
and civil society groups achieved consensus on the final version of the National Unity Doctrine, a
project initiated by President Nazarbayev in October 2008 at the 14th Session of the Assembly of People
of Kazakhstan and designed to reflect the common ideals consolidating all citizens of Kazakhstan into a
single nation, regardless of one’s ethnic heritage, religion, or social class.
The first draft, designed by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan and published in news media in
November 2009, created much public interest and encouraged a wide debate on the ways to enhance
social cohesion in the country of more than 140 ethnicities and 40 religious denominations.
A number of representatives of Kazakhstan’s strong-minded intellectuals, however, argued against
some provision of the draft, claiming the document underestimated the role of the Kazakh language and
ethnic culture in consolidating the nation.
Responding to criticism, the government engaged in a direct dialog with those intellectuals to
consider their proposals aimed at improving the initial draft. Later, some opposition parties and activists
also put forward their suggestions for the concept of national policy. Thus, a working group on
generalization of proposals and doctrine refinement was formed.
Last week, after the final resolution of the Council of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan
(APK), President Nursultan Nazarbayev has approved the Doctrine of National Unity. Deputy Chairman
of the Assembly, Head of the working group on the doctrine refinement Yeraly Tugzhanov announced
the news on a April 29 press conference, presenting the doctrine in Astana. Some authors consider the
doctrine to be one of the most successful projects accomplished as a joint effort of the civil society and
authorities in Kazakhstan.
The Doctrine of National Unity, a blueprint for strengthening the inter-ethnic harmony of
Kazakhstan for years to come in a country destined to maintain its multicultural character and
consolidation around common values, has caused a significant debate, which ultimately made good for
stimulating dialog between the government and civil society.
The final text states the modern Kazakhstan is a logical continuation of a long tradition of
statehood on this territory, which combines with a shared tragic and glorious history of all peoples living
here and those who made the country their hone.
The strategic priority for the contemporary Kazakhstan is achieving a national unity is based upon
acknowledging a common system of values and principles for all citizens of the country. The key ones
are embodied is the three stated National Unity Principles: “One country, one destiny”, “Various origins,
equal opportunities”, and “Development of a national spirit”.
The first one refers to the conscious identification of every Kazakhstan citizen with the nation-
state, one which is based upon embracing the idea of a common mission to create a better future for their
children in this country.
The second principle justifies the core value of a democratic society, i.e. equal opportunities to
achieving a better life for each individual regardless of their heritage, religion, or social class.
The last one considers the great role of the spiritual (cultural) component in shaping an inclusive
national identity. This heavily centers on the idea of developing the Kazakh language as the priority for
the national unity, with the strict provision of the legal right of all ethnic groups to safeguard and use
their own languages.
The Doctrine provides that implementing its provisions aims at activating and mobilizing the
country’s human and intellectual potential for the goals of a consistent development of Kazakhstan,
improving life standards for each citizen, delivering the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the country’s
“Economic growth, social progress and democratic development for the country are only possible
if accompanied by consolidation and maintaining the unity of our society”, the doctrine states in the
Talking about the final text of the Doctrine, many commentators called it a highly relevant and
adequate document, capable of encouraging better management of the country’s diversity and
developing a stronger national identification for all citizens of the country.
“Some critics of the Doctrine claimed it was redundant as there is the Constitution to do the job. I
have always supported, however, the need to develop such a document. Constitution is a Law, but
Doctrine is a Spirit. We need a spiritual consolidation of people of Kazakhstan around the principles that
we all share and understand,” a prominent intellectual and philologist Murat Auezov said.
“The doctrine’s final version proved that we can reach agreements and understand each other. This
wasn’t forced upon us, people discussed it and felt it through their hearts”, he said referring to the public
debates around the draft.
“The words we have written there we need to support with real deeds and political will. Only then
will it be implemented and help consolidate the nation and people… The Doctrine is an example of
document that came into existence thanks to mutual understanding. When we all gathered at the round
table, people with absolutely different credentials, we all, nevertheless, believed we could understand
each other. And that’s what happened,” said Aydos Sarim, a journalist and politician, one of the
members of the joint working group responsible for the final version.
“What we have achieved in maintaining interethnic friendship in Kazakhstan, we must fix through
documents, provide a solid fundament for that. I believe we already have a spiritual unity in Kazakhstan.
We shouldn’t, however, simply boast about our accomplishment. We must move further. And that is
how we developed this doctrine,” Kazakh Senator Anatoliy Bashmakov stated.
“Everyone needs to grow up, including myself. I feel discomfort that I don’t know the Kazakh
language. I am confident that for non-Kazakhs learning the state language should be a criterion of being
a cultured person. I understand Kazakh but I cannot speak. The Doctrine lets us all feel we can learn
Kazakh, and I see that our youth, our children understands that,” the ethnically Russian lawmaker added.
Now that the Doctrine is approved by the President, the Government has been tasked with adapting
its provisions to the operating policy acts and other documents.
“The Doctrine is not a declarative project, but has a real mechanism of implementation within the
existing programs of the republic’s ministries and state agencies”, Yeraly Tugzhanov noted.
Kazakh Prime Minister Opens National Pavilion at Shanghai’s EXPO 2010
Kazakhstan has made another step
along the path of integration in the
international community, as the country got
actively involved in truly global events such
as Expo 2010, which opened last week in
Shanghai, China. The country’s national
pavilion, themed “Astana, the Heart of
Eurasia”, was opened by Prime Minister
Karim Massimov, who used his visit Shanghai
to hold talks with President Hu Jintao of
China and the neighboring country’s leading
The Kazakh pavilion at the world’s
largest fair representing the most spectacular
achievements of 190 nations promises to be one of the most attractive and interesting ones. The
exhibition presents Astana as one of the youngest and dynamically developing capitals of the world.
Located in Zone A, the pavilion neighbours the prestigious national pavilions of Japan and South Korea.
The interior part of the Kazakh pavilion comprises eight zones: Territory of Knowledge, 4D
Cinema, Urban Matrix 2030, Interactive Entertainments, Area of Astana, Soft Tribune, Art-Zone (photo
gallery) and Farewell to Kazakhstan.
In 2006, China’s State Council has sent an invitation to the Government of Kazakhstan to
participate at the exhibition, two years later in Shanghai a formal agreement was signed with the
organizers which has set aside a land for the construction of Kazakh pavilion with a total area of 1,000
Getting acquainted with exposition of the two-storey pavilion, Prime Minister Karim Massimov
praised its design and execution.
“I think EXPO 2010 in Shanghai demonstrates that the world’s economic development is at the
new technological stage. Therefore, according to the assignments of President Nazarbayev on further
development of Kazakhstan’s economy, the government needs to study and introduce innovative
technologies to make the nation and its companies more competitive [at international markets]. EXPO-
2010 shows Kazakhstan is on a right way but still has to keep moving forward,” he said.
Prime Minister Massimov also visited the national pavilions of China, Russia and Japan.
Certainly, Kazakhstan’s participation in such a large-scale event is important not only as an
opportunity to improve the image, promote cultural and economic potential of the state, but also to
expand business contacts, enhance investment cooperation.
Following the official ceremony Massimov
held talks with China’s President Hu Jintao, where
they discussed economic cooperation between the two
nations in areas such as oil and gas, energy,
infrastructure development and border trade.
They were satisfied with the rapid
development of bilateral good-neighbourly relations
and mutually beneficial cooperation in the course of
almost two decades of relations. As noted at the
meeting, a high level of mutual political trust, close
economic ties, active security cooperation and mutual
support in international affairs correspond to the
national interests of both countries.
Massimov congratulated the host country
with the launch of EXPO-2010, while Hu Jintao highlighted Kazakhstan’s successful efforts to tackle
the effects of global recession, which resulted in a notable economic growth in the first quarter of the
The Kazakh delegation’s program in Shanghai also featured a visit to the Research Center of the
Huawei Corporation, which is the largest company in China’s telecommunications industry. For ten
years it has been successfully operating at the Kazakh market, supplying high quality equipment for
telecommunications services. The Kazakh company Kazakhtelecom and Huawei concluded a
cooperation agreement on joint projects during President Nazarbayev’s official visit to Beijing last year.
Prime Minister Massimov’s participation at the opening ceremony of the National Pavilion of
Kazakhstan was an important event since the experience of organizing EXPO in Shanghai is of great
value for Kazakhstan as Astana plans to bid for hosting the World Exposition EXPO-2017.
This year 189 countries and 57 international organizations take part in EXPO-2010 which is a
record in the history of the event also known as “World Fair”. Organizers expect "EXPO" will attract
more than 70 million people, which is also a record in the history of world exhibitions. The pavilions
will be open from May 1 to October 31.
The first world fair took place in London in 1851. It showcased industrial products and crafts and
resembled a funfair. Since 1928, world exhibitions have been officially registered with and recognized
by the Bureau International des Expositions (B.I.E.), which has its headquarters in Paris. The 2012
EXPO has been awarded to the Korean city of Yeosu; the 2015 event will be hosted by Milan.
National Bank Chairman: Kazakhstan Focuses on Economic Recovery
Kazakhstan’s National Bank is playing a key role in
orchestrating the country’s economic recovery from the
credit and debt crisis that has gripped the country since 2007-
08. The crisis has focused officials’ attentions on the
stabilization of the country’s economic situation.
Kazakhstan was one of the first countries to experience
the global economic meltdown of credit. As a result, it was
one of the first to respond with a comprehensive program to
deal with problem sectors, such as banking, financial services
and property development — the industries that created an
economic ‘‘bubble’’ whose collapse the country is still
Grigori Marchenko, the head of the central bank since 2009, says the bursting of the bubble
radically changed Kazakhstan’s economic prospects. ‘‘After the eight-year period of real gross-
domestic-product growth of more than 10 percent a year — a blistering pace buoyed by very high
natural resource prices and intense speculative investment, especially in the real estate sector — in 2008
and 2009, GDP growth was only 3.3 percent and 1.2 percent.’’
Marchenko says that ‘‘in spite of the fact that the macroeconomic situation in Kazakhstan remains
difficult, it is under control.’’ He adds: ‘‘A difficult situation required active measures from state
authorities. In the framework of this plan, over the period of the end of 2007 and the first half of 2008,
more than 540 billion tenge [$3.6 billion] has been allocated from the state budget to support collective
property holders, agriculture, and small and medium enterprises through banks.’’
The National Bank chairman says the foundation for the Stabilization Program rests on the
government’s decision to release the equivalent of $10 billion from the State Oil Fund, a move that
enabled the government to recapitalize four of the country’s biggest and most critical banks. ‘‘Four
banks received resources in the amount of about 480 billion tenge, or about 3 percent of GDP,’’ says
Marchenko. ‘‘With a limited access to the external borrowings, in 2008 Kazakhstani banks curtailed
credit activity and increased interest rates for credits. As a result, the development of industries
dependent on banking credits almost stopped. The consumer demand, being previously stimulated to a
greater extent by banking credits, sharply shrank.’’
Marchenko says that although the government had to intervene forcefully in the financial sector, it
does not intend for its involvement to become permanent. ‘‘The state will not be a long-term participant
of the recapitalized banks,’’ he says. ‘‘As the global financial crisis weakens and global capital markets
open, the stocks belonging to the government will be sold out in accordance with market principles.’’
Over the past two years, a comprehensive ‘‘Anti-Crisis’’ plan was worked out across a number of
ministries and agencies, with a carefully defined ‘‘Road Map’’ aimed at specific sectors. Says
Marchenko: “The Road Map defines the measures directed on employment maintenance through new
jobs creation, labor training and retraining, business stimulation and creating conditions for sustainable
post-crisis development. Total funds required for implementation of the Road Map will be about 200
billion tenge, the funds allocated from the state budget.’’
Exchange-rate policy is also likely to play a key role in Kazakhstan’s post-crisis development.’ At
the moment, the exchange rate of tenge is on an appreciation trend,’’ Marchenko says. “The National
Bank has already started to accumulate international reserves — starting from November 2009, more
than $ 8.5 billion over the past six months. Taking into consideration the situation on the world
commodity and currency markets, we believe the current dollar peg around the parity of 150 tenge to the
U.S. dollar is appropriate. In the future, moving from the peg toward greater exchange-rate flexibility is
desirable. From Feb. 5, the trading band was widened to 150 plus 10 percent, or plus 15 tenge, and
minus 15 percent, or minus 22.5 tenge. The band will be effective until March 20, 2011.”
Inflation is always a worry for central bankers, as it can dramatically undermine confidence in the
business community and create a state of uncertainty among ordinary consumers. “Price stability in
Kazakhstan has always been and remains a main target for the National Bank,” says Marchenko, who
notes that the government has a number of tools at its disposal to contain inflationary pressures. The
bank has seta year-on-year inflationary target for 2010 in the 6 percent to 8 percent range. In 2009, it
was 6.2 percent.”
The increase in consumer prices in January-March 2010 was caused mainly by nonmonetary
factors, which do not reflect changes in the macroeconomic situation, as well as the seasonal rise in
prices for some products,” he says. “It is expected that the situation on the consumer market will
stabilize on the fact that fundamental factors put limited pressure on inflationary processes in
Kazakhstan.” Overall, Marchenko says, “the period of greatest weakness in the Kazakhstani economy is
probably past,” and the economy is likely to continue on a path of gradual expansion during 2010, with
real GDP growth forecast at the level of 2 percent to2.5 percent.”
In conducting monetary policy, the objectives of the National Bank of Kazakhstan will be the same
as they were in the previous periods, says Marchenko. He lists the priorities as keeping inflation low, the
capacity and ability “to react in a measured and prompt fashion to changes in the risks facing the
economy, and in so doing to play our part in fostering a long, sustainable period of growth.”
This article by Robert Corzine first appeared in the International Herald Tribune’s “Kazakhstan”
supplement on April 26.
Samruk-Kazyna to Sell State Shares of Private Banks “In Next Few Years”
Kazakhstan intends to return the bulk of its banking sector to
private hands within three to five years, according to Kairat
Kelimbetov, head of Samruk-Kazyna, the country’s sovereign
wealth fund. Samruk-Kazyna was forced to intervene strongly in
the economy after the on set of the international financial crisis in
Samruk-Kazyna is the holding company for many of the
country’s most strategic industrial companies. It was forced to
intervene in the mainly private-sector banking industry in order to
stabilize the country’s economy after the global crisis erupted and
the government adopted a wide ranging ‘‘Anti-Crisis’’ program,
with Samruk-Kazyna — which has assets equal to 70 percent of
Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product—assuming the leading role.
‘‘The holding Samruk-Kazyna is the operator of the ‘Anti-
Crisis’ program,’’ Kelimbetov says, ‘‘and the government
provided us with funds in the amount of $10 billion from the Kazakhstan Stabilization Fund for solving
problems such as the banking sector, construction, small and medium-sized enterprises, and the
As a result, Samruk-Kazyna made capital injections into the four biggest banks in Kazakhstan.
‘‘We became the shareholders of the top four of the top banks of Kazakhstan,’’ he says. ‘‘Now we are
the minority shareholders in Kazkommertsbank and Halyk Bank. We hold more than 75 percent of BTA
Bank and 67 percent of the shares of Alliance Bank.’’
The status of BTA Bank and Alliance Bank became especially contentious last year, when the
government launched a restructuring plan that would accommodate the needs of both domestic
customers and international creditors. “Let me tell you broadly about the situation in BTA and Alliance
Bank,” Kelimbetov says. “After becoming the owner of BTA Bank, we started discussions with the
creditor community regarding how together we could save the bank. Recently, we reached an agreement
with the creditors on all issues of the debt restructuring. We agreed that more than 80 percent of shares
should belong to Samruk-Kazyna because we have invested a lot of money, and we understand our role
in order to support this bank in the future. As for Alliance Bank, we have already finished the
restructuring process and the bank is operating in normal mode.
“But I strongly believe that the banking sector should be in private hands. We have a special
strategy by which we should leave all these banks during a three-to-five-year period, and in order to do
so we will sell our shares. In my opinion, Halyk Bank is the first bank that we will sell, because it is in a
better position than the other banks. Then we will sell the shares of Kazkommertsbank. And of course,
after the restructuring process in BTA is finally over, we will sell the shares of both banks.”
Although Samruk-Kazyna has been absorbed in dealing with the fallout from the collapse of the
financial and property-development sector, it has continued to pursue its strategic path to develop the
Kazakh economy overall. Diversification is a priority, both within the natural resource sector for which
the country is best known and in new industrial fields.
Kelimbetov says the first type of diversification is “to use our competitive advantages in the raw-
material sectors. For instance, if we have an oil and gas resource, we should develop a refinery, develop
the petrochemical sector and chemical sector. If we have mining, we have to develop a modern
metallurgy sector. If we have uranium Kazakhstan is among the largest reserve holders in the world and
is already the world’s largest uranium producer — we should develop the atomic energy sector.”
Kelimbetov emphasizes, however, that Kazakhstan wants to be innovative in how those natural-
resource-related industries are developed. Samruk-Kazyna, which controls more than 400 companies, is
also eager to develop industries that are not directly related to natural resources. “The second type of
diversification is the creation of industries that are unrelated to raw materials,” Kelimbetov says.
He points out that the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus to take effect in 2011 will hasten
their development, especially in the small and medium-sized enterprise sector, as companies in the
region broaden their investment horizons.
Kazakhstan is also investing heavily in a number of strategic projects. President Nursultan
Nazarbayev started the State Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development Program, which aims
to develop and implement 237 investment projects totaling about $ 40 billion. As part of the country’s
development program, Samruk-Kazyna is to invest over the next five years in 42 strategic infrastructure
projects and industrial projects totaling $24.2 billion.
Kelimbetov says that the investment climate in Kazakhstan is ‘‘very warm,’’ and that the country
has one of the most liberal investment climates in the Commonwealth of Independent States. “In pre-
crisis time,” he says, “the role of the state of Kazakhstan was very close to the liberal model and, I think,
was the most liberal model among all CIS countries, including Russia.”
He notes that Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev created and chairs the Foreign
Investment Council, where key foreign investors have the ability to interact directly with senior officials,
including the president himself. Kelimbetov says Kazakhstan is also trying to set up a number of tax
incentives for foreign investors, and that any outstanding issues in that regard should be resolved soon.
Kazakhstan’s proximity to the rapidly growing Chinese market also offers unique possibilities,
according to Kelimbetov. “I also have to mention the growing economy of China,” he says. “It is
becoming one of the key drivers of economic growth in this part of the world. In this case, we should
develop Kazakhstan’s competitive advantages. Our competitive advantages are, again, oil and gas,
petrochemicals, metallurgy, uranium, mining. Definitely we are oriented to export, and the most
promising exports will go to the Chinese market, as demand in the Chinese economy is growing.”
The bursting of Kazakhstan’s banking and real estate bubble, which has dragged own the economy
over the past two years, continues to have repercussions, but Kelimbetov says the government is
determined not to allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated. “The role of the financial sector should
be as a real intermediary between savings and really productive investments in Kazakhstan,” he says,
“We all know about the results of the banks’ ‘support’ of construction companies.”
He adds that a revamped financial supervision agency will work ‘‘mostly in terms of how to
manage future lending and where we really should bring investments — not to a hot speculative sector
like real estate, but to a broader diversification of the economy of Kazakhstan.”
Kelimbetov voices optimism about Kazakhstan’s macroeconomic situation, although GDP growth
is unlikely to return anytime soon to the 8 percent-plus level of a few years ago, during the global
commodity boom. The ‘”Anti-Crisis” program launched by the government has started to give results;
according to data from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, GDP growth reached 6.5
percent in the first quarter of this year. Kelimbetov hopes that the growth rate will recover up to the pre-
crisis level and says that the government and Samruk-Kazyna will continue to focus on economic
growth. ‘‘There is no sovereign default situation,’’ he says. “Our government has a special Stabilization
Fund of $ 25 billion. Our gold reserve is also $24 billion, so we can surely say that we have a lot of
reserves. We have no budget crisis. Economic growth will be more than 2 percent this year, compared
with 1.2 percent last year, and inflation is 7 percent.”
The article by Robert Corzine first appeared in the International Herald Tribune’s “Kazakhstan”
supplement on April 26.
Kazakhstan’s Private Universities: Investment in Education Pays
Does it pay to invest in education? Until
recently, few major-scale investors would
have answered positively, and many of those
who did merely would have been paying lip
service to the idea. Today, as the global
business climate shifts from the speculative to
the rational, international investors are
increasingly aware of the importance of
skilled staff - not just for core tasks but also
for governing a business with a maximum of
effectiveness and a minimum of conflict.
Those engaged in business and
management education in Kazakhstan could
hardly agree more. For them, the idea is far from new, and the number of institutes in Kazakhstan
focusing on entrepreneurial skills has multiplied. Among the latest initiatives is the academy under the
umbrella of the Regional Financial Center of Almaty, a governmental think tank and logistics-
management organization whose aim is to develop Kazakhstan’s former capital into Central Asia’s
leading business center.
“It is high time for Kazakhstan to catch up,” says Dr. Olga Kuznetsova, rector of the RFCA
academy. “There are a number of disciplines for which we are still in desperate need of experts. Risk
assessment is one of them. Every Western manager knows that risk assessment consists of a tripod:
‘optimistic’ on the upside, ‘pessimistic’ on the downside and ‘realistic’ in the middle. Kazakhs are born
optimists, and this is why estimates on growth in our country’s economy have been, and still are, by and
large based on the upside part of the story, especially where mineral resources are concerned. High
yield, however, means high risk. They want guarantees from all parties involved. This simply cannot be,
and corporate education is the only way to breed a new generation of executives aware of realities. This
is just one of many reasons why good business education is in everybody’s, including investors’
The first institute in Kazakhstan to put management skills at the top of its agenda was the Almaty-
based Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research (KIMEP). Established in
1992, the institute now admits thousands of students from all parts of Central Asia and beyond for its
programs in business administration, economics, political science and international relations, law,
journalism and public administration. Following a momentary slump in student interest in the wake of
Kazakhstan’s financial setback, the institute has been among the first to recover, according to its
officials, mainly thanks to its strong commitment to quality education.
Says KIMEP’s founder and rector, Chan Young Bang: “Ever since the crisis broke out, 90 percent
of KIMEP graduates have received employment offers within one month of graduation, finding work
with world renowned businesses like Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst and Young,
HSBC Bank and Procter & Gamble. Moreover, up to 80 percent of new employees at these companies
are KIMEP graduates. Local businesses consistently rate KIMEP as the highest-quality academic
institution in Kazakhstan. They have stated that KIMEP graduates are the best prepared to enter the job
force, having significantly better English and business skills than graduates from other universities”.
These days, management education faces the huge task of creating a different mentality among
executives. “The model post-crisis manager should have been taught to turn his attention to communities
first of all,” says Kuznetsova. “After all, this is where any entrepreneur’s end-clients are. But corporate
education does not end with executives alone. Business education should be available to everybody,
including consumers. The government of Kazakhstan is putting programs in place to teach all its citizens
not to put too much trust in enterprise in order to prevent corporate abuses in the future. To generate
such a business-wise citizen’s prototype, teachers are needed.”
Bang of KIMEP adds: “In order to make a crisis-resistant organization, management must create a
culture of trust between its clients, its staff and the leaders of the organization. To do so, the
organization’s leadership must be transparent and credible in all of its activities while possessing the
ability to take decisive action in a time of need. In order to be successful, restructuring must be based on
purely objective criteria and must involve as many of an organization’s stakeholders as possible.
Managers who are able to successfully lead their companies during a time of crisis have created the
proper culture of trust long before the crisis emerges.”
The rector of KIMEP also underscores investor interest in educated and experienced middle
managers born and raised in the host countries. “Becoming crisis-resistant is a demanding daily process
that goes on in both good times as well as bad,” says Bang. “When I look to invest in a business, I assess
the company’s leaders as well as its more general features. A CEO who is trustworthy and honest creates
companies that are transparent and credible, which in the long run are always the most successful. As for
Kazakhstan, I firmly believe that it will continue to develop and attract investment as long as all of its
institutions remain credible and inspire faith in investors. There has been remarkable progress over the
last 20 years, and I have full confidence that Kazakhstan will continue to lay the necessary groundwork
to become one of the world’s 50 most developed nations.”
Part of that groundwork was the recent opening of a new institute in Almaty recently -
Kazakhstan’s first IT University. The new institute works with the Carnegie Mellon University of the
United States as well as with companies such as Google, Intel and Microsoft. Degrees obtained at the
International Information Technologies University enjoy worldwide recognition on a par Carnegie
“We are racing against time, looking at the government’s industrialization plans and the
requirement of synergies in terms of human resources,” says the IITU’s rector, Damir Abdulkhaliyevich
Shynybekov. “Our aim is to deliver not less than 7,500 graduates within a period of five years in order
to satisfy job demand. This year alone, new industries in Kazakhstan need not less than 4,500 specialists.
The national industry initiative also requires a much wider scope of disciplines - not just oil and gas but
also medical services, civil engineering and agro-engineering.”
Shynybekov says Kazakhstan has 145 higher-education institutes, 67 of which engaged in high-
tech education and research. “The quantity looks impressive,” he says. “But we have to work hard on
quality. At present, we have 367 students on a full-time basis and another 40 part-time. All our students
passed an entry test, and the average result stood at 89 on a scale of 100. On the teaching side, we had
52 candidate instructors from all over the world, out of which we selected 12. There will be room for
more, since we are still at a build-upstage. We are soon to open a master program and expand our list of
disciplines with e-journalism, telecom, cyber technology and security device programming.”
Shynybekov emphasizes that his institute is not just for the rich but is open to everybody with the
necessary talent and motivation.
“Last year, the government provided 300 grants,” he says. “This year, they promised to add
another 200, and KazakhTelecom provides another 120. We need more, though. I call not just on
domestic organizations and enterprises but also and especially on foreign investors to make some
efforts. Foreign partners in Kazakh ventures will have a huge advantage if they can get a skilled work
force here in Kazakhstan rather than bringing them in at considerable costs. Generally speaking, I can
say that investment in education pays.”
The article by Charles van der Leeuw first appeared in the International Herald Tribune’s
“Kazakhstan” supplement on April 26.
SOS Children Charity Extends Parental Care for the Abandoned
SOS Children, the world’s largest charity for orphans
and abandoned children, opened its doors in Kazakhstan
nearly 13 years ago and since then has helped thousands of
children without parental care and children from families in
difficult circumstances to get a sense of home.
In its joint efforts with child sponsors and donors
worldwide, the organization provides a new family and
home for more than 78,000 children in 500 unique
Children’s Villages in 124 countries. Kazakhstan is one of
those countries, where the charity’s activity focuses on
family-based, long-term care of children who can no longer
grow up with their biological families.
As the global financial crisis impacted the Kazakh
economy, the activity of the organization has seen a
considerable scarcity of funding. Hardships followed.
Under existing economic conditions the Government
of Kazakhstan, however, makes steady efforts to raise the
pace of national development and improve the country’s standards of living. One of the main results of
co-operation between the authorities and the charity was an agreement on state subsidies allocated
regularly to the SOS Children since January 2009. Today, it provides an opportunity to cover the
significant part of the organization’s annual expenses.
The SOS Children charity started working in Kazakhstan in 1997, after the first community was
established in the former capital of Almaty. The village is located in a residential area in the suburbs of
the city, with hospitals, schools and shops nearby. Almost 100 children between eighteen months and
fifteen years of age live in the eleven family houses with their SOS mothers. A small SOS clinic
provides medical care and treatment for both children and mothers. In addition, in Kapchagay, 70
kilometres north from Almaty, an SOS social centre has been established to provide holiday
accommodation for children and mothers during the summer months.
Later, the charity launched a number of villages in several other regions of Kazakhstan. The SOS
Children Astana was established in 2000 in the new capital. Today, it comprises twelve family houses
and a nursery school, situated in a residential area convenient for schools, hospitals and shops. In 2004, a
third SOS Children’s Village opened in Temirtau, a small industrial city not far from Karaganda. The
community, likewise, involves twelve family houses, a Playbus and an SOS Family Strengthening
Programme destined to support vulnerable children and their families in the local community.
In all three Kazakhstan’s SOS villages, children of different nationalities and religions experience
care and love, which means they are able to recover from their previous traumatic experience.
Children grow up in a stable family environment, and are supported individually until they become
independent young adults. As the main aim of the organization’s work is to respect, promote and stand
up for children’s rights, the villages offer various forms of support to strengthen and stabilise families as
much as possible, so that they can once again manage their lives and care for their children.
The best evidence for the charity’s effect is, of course, the good upbringing and success of its
children. Kymbat, a girl from Almaty SOS village, who studied at the United World College in Costa
Rica, entered the College of Idaho in autumn 2009. During her three years at college, Kymbat
participated in Special Olympics program - a project, where every day hundreds of volunteers support
people with mental and health disabilities without expecting compensation.
Kymbat said: “I have never seen these people before, only on TV. I was really shocked by their
courage and will. Particularly I remember a 24 year-old girl, Fabiana. She couldn’t even walk or speak
well. We did special exercises and massage on her legs, I talked to her two hours per week. After six
months she did her first steps. I was so impressed and touched that I decided to continue this activity in
The charity’s supporters, including private companies and individuals, help thousands of children
and their families through SOS community outreach programs. During these difficult times, the
organization’s sponsors and donors lend a helping hand to children whose parents are not there for them.
Those who may want to support the charity through sponsorship or other assistance, could contact
SOS Children’s Villages in Kazakhstan at contacts below:
SOS Children’s Villages Kazakhstan
Samal 9, Apt. 13
Astana 010000 / Kazakhstan
Tel +7/3172/22 15 83 or +7/3172/22 25 34 or +7/3172/22/22 25 35
Also in the News:
• Prime Minister Karim Massimov of Kazakhstan ordered to check the safety of oil facilities in the
Caspian Sea due to the crash of BP platform in the Gulf of Mexico. “The Ministry of Oil and Gas
and the Ministry of Environmental Protection must establish a joint working group and check
again how we produce oil in the Caspian Sea, with account of the existing problems [in
ecological safety],’ he said at a May 4 government meeting in Astana.
• In 2010-2011, the state will allocate 3.7 million tenge (KZT 146 = US$ 1) in support of refugees
in Kazakhstan, Vice-Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Birzhan Nurymbetov said at a press
conference in Astana. He reminded that the Law “On Refugees” entered into force in the country
on January 1, 2010. The document defines the criteria and procedures for refugee status
determination, set out basic rights and duties of refugees on the territory of Kazakhstan. The
head of the Kazakhstan Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees Saber Azam pointed out
at the press conference that he welcomed the adoption of this law by Kazakhstan and would
provide the requested assistance for it to be used in practice. According to Nurymbetov, as of
May 1, 2010, Kazakhstan has officially recognized 615 individuals and 236 families as refugees
on its territory, with the vast majority coming from Afghanistan, and the rest from Ethiopia,
Nigeria and Somalia.
• Kazakhstan and Russia have signed a full package of contracts for the parallel operation of their
power grids, the press release of KEGOC (System Operator of the Unified Power System of
Kazakhstan) reported on April 30. The sides signed a contract to provide transmission services of
electric power to the grid of Kazakhstan, as well as purchase and sale of electricity to offset the
hourly volume variations that arise when transmitting the power across the two borders between
• The delegations of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the Almaty oblast of
Kazakhstan last week met on the Sino-Kazakh border at the point that was identified as the
junction of two sections of the highway connecting two countries. To date, China has finished its
part of the high-speed motorway. The Kazakh side has started its work as part of efforts to
develop an international speedway from Western Europe to Western China. Once the two parts
are connected, a new Euro-Asian transport corridor will be created with a total length of more
than 8,000 km, staring in the East in Lianyungang, a Chinese port on the Yellow Sea, and
finishing in the West in St Petersburg, Russia’s main port on the Baltic Sea.
• Throughout May 2010, the Transport Control Committee of the Ministry of Transport and
Communications of Kazakhstan will hold a “Clean Air” action. It is aimed to detect violations by
car drivers of environmental norms and acceptable standards of pollutants in the emissions of
their vehicles. Testing will be carried on mobile and stationary posts. For example, last year,
10,082 vehicles have been tested and 1,623 of them have exceeded the pollution limits.
• On April 30, Almaty hosted an International Conference “Supercomputer technology in
education, science and industry”, organized by the Foundation of the First President of
Kazakhstan. The conference discussed possibilities of high-performance supercomputer
technology, advantages of their use in various fields of education, science and industry and
experience of their practical application. Special attention was paid to the report of the “Geolab”
company on the use of supercomputers in the petroleum industry.
• A novel by prominent Kazakh writer Nemat Kelimbetov titled “Never Give Up” was released in
the Kazakh and Chinese languages in Beijing, People’s Daily (Renmin Ribao) reported. It tells
about the will to live of a paralyzed person. “The publication of the “Never Give Up” marks a
new stage of exchange and cooperation in the field of folk literature between China and
Kazakhstan,” the publisher, Yu Bingxi, said.
• A 16 year-old Kazakh singer Masha Mudryak will sing the lead role in an opera by Luigi Gatti
“Uninhabited Island” in Teatro Dal Verme of Milan, Kazakhstanskaya Pravda reported. This
opera was written 300 years ago but this is going to be its premier show. As noted by
musicologists, for the first time the lead role that requires vocal mastery of belcanto is given to
such a young singer. Now Masha is studying at the Milan Academy of Music at the famous La
Scala and at the Giuseppe Verdi State Conservatory, where she will soon pass the exam and
receive an opera singer diploma (See Astana Calling issue#10 for a previous story on the issue).
• On the International Day of Press on May 3, more than fifty journalists of Almaty participated in
painting previously grey concrete walls in the Almaarasan gorge with graffiti depicting apples,
Kazakh ornaments, and slogans hailing the freedom of speech. The performance was jointly
arranged by Adil Soz Foundation for Free Speech, Kazakh Union of Journalists, and Almaty City
Things to Watch:
• On May 8-9, President Nursultan Nazarbayev will visit Moscow to attend the celebrations
dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe, which is known
in the post-Soviet are as the Day of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. The Kazakh
leader would also participate in an informal meeting of CIS heads of states, which would
consider a number of issues on further development of cooperation within the CIS and
mechanisms to improve the organization’s functionality.
• Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze of Georgia on May 6 will visit Astana. He is
scheduled to hold talks with Secretary of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs, OSCE
Chairperson-in-Office Kanat Saudabayev. The sides will discuss cooperation in economy, trade,
transit and transport sectors, agriculture, tourism, as well as international issues, including
interaction within the OSCE.
• On May 6-7, the first Supplementary Human Dimension meeting of the OSCE of 2010 titled
“Promotion of Gender Balance and Participation of Women in Political and Public Life” will
take place in Vienna. The event will be attended by more than 100 representatives of the
participating countries’ governments, NGOs, and business community. The Kazakh delegation is
headed by Gulshara Abdykalikova, Minister of Labour and Social Protection, and Chairperson of
the National Commission on Women’s Issues, Family Planning and Demographic Policies under
• From May 7 through 23, Germany will host IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship. Team
Kazakhstan will play in Group A, where its rivals will be the teams of Belarus, Slovakia and
Russia. This is the fourth time when the Kazakhs participate in the most prestigious annual event
in the international ice hockey.
• In the framework of the UN International Year of Rapprochement of Cultures, Almaty will host
an international conference “Intercultural relations in the era of globalization” on June 7-8.
Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Culture Gaziz Telebaev said the conference will help identify
effective ways to solve problems in communication between people of different cultures.
• The first Russian industrial exhibition “Expo Russia-Kazakhstan 2010” will be held in Almaty
from June 28 through 30, 2010. The exhibition is organized to facilitate direct contacts between
Russian and Kazakh entrepreneurs with the active support from the government, financial and
industrial organizations of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
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