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  • 24 May 2017 3:47 PM | Alex Grichine (Administrator)

    Dear CERBA Members,

    Please be advised that at the time of the confederations Cup foreign citizens arriving to Russia will have to register with Federal Migration Service within one day.

    In accordance with presidential decree No. 202 dated May 9, 2017, in the period from 1 June to 12 July 2017 at the time of the Confederations Cup in Moscow, St.-Petersburg, Kazan, and Sochi, the timeframe for registration of foreign citizens with Federal Migration Service will temporarily be reduced to one day. Registration at the place of stay must be completed either by the receiving party or directly by the foreign citizen.

    This measure is temporary and applies to all categories of foreign nationals without exception (including highly qualified specialists). Companies and foreign citizens, who violated the rules of migration registration, may be brought to administrative responsibility, followed by deportation outside the Russian Federation.


  • 15 May 2017 8:38 AM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    The major conference, hosted by Chukotka Governor Roman Kopin and Magadan Governor Vladimir Pecheny, took place in Moscow on April 27. Kinross was a major sponsor of the event. The purpose of the conference was to boost the investment climate in the northeast of Russia by sharing best practices, along with raising investors’ awareness of the benefits of working in the region.

    Claude Schimper, Regional Vice President, Russia, speaking on the session “Realizing the Investment Potential of the Mining Industry in Russia’s Northeast”, emphasized Kinross major contribution to the development of local communities in Chukotka and Magadan region as well as the importance of the region in Kinross’ project portfolio. Stanislav Borodyuk, Vice President and Head of the Moscow Office, moderated the session.​

  • 15 May 2017 8:33 AM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    APF e-newsletter, May 12, 2017

    Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, will be in Beijing, China, May 14-15, to represent Canada at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. This forum provides Canada with an opportunity to discuss cooperation in key areas such as infrastructure connectivity, trade, investment, financial support and people-to-people exchanges throughout the Asia-Pacific region in the context of China’s Belt and Road development initiative. On the margins of the conference Parliamentary Secretary Goldsmith-Jones will seek to identify opportunities for Canadian businesses to take part in infrastructure investments in the region. While in Beijing, she will also participate in activities promoting Canada-China education programs.

    April 26, 2017

    China invites US to join Belt and Road

    China Daily reported that China encouraged the United States to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. China’s Ambassador to the US Cui Tian Kai said the Belt and Road Initiative is dedicated to boosting such ties between countries along the trade routes rather than formulating an exclusive group. The initiative aims to achieve benefits through consultation and cooperation. Meanwhile, other media including Finland-based GBTIMES quoted Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Jin Liqun as saying the AIIB values cooperation with US companies and welcome firms – especially those in the fields of technology – to take part in the bidding process for AIIB infrastructure projects. He added that the institution handed out loads worth US$1.7 billion in 2016, a quarter of which were funded by the AIIB alone, with the rest jointly funded by the AIIB and other international organisations. The US and Japan are the only major countries yet to join the bank.

    May 14, 2017

    1.      Xi, Macron have friendly phone call

    China Daily reported that President Xi Jinping and French president-elect Emmanuel Macron agreed in their first telephone call to maintain contact and meet each other at an early date.  Mr Xi congratulated the president-elect and said that China has always viewed France as a cooperative partner of great significance and priority. He added that China welcomes France’s participation in building the Belt and Road Initiative. Mr Macron was reported as saying that his administration will deepen cooperation with China on diplomacy, the economy, trade and industries, and collaboration within the framework of building the Belt and Road.

    2.      Belt and Road Opportunities

    The online platform Breaking News Live reported on the Thailand and Vietnam mission led by HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo.  Mr Lo was quoted as saying that China alone cannot shoulder the US$8 trillion Belt and Road infrastructure cost and recommends setting up a platform for international resources interested in Belt and Road projects to come through Hong Kong. He  added that such an initiative would provide a new breakthrough for the city’s economy and offer plenty of of opportunities for the younger generation. Mr Lo said the Council has chosen the most “investment-friendly” countries along the route. In Asia, the Council will start with places such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. In the Middle East, he cited the UAE and Saudi Arabia, while Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary will be the top priorities in Europe.

    3.      Belt and Road Initiative Sets Chinese Tone for Globalisation 2.0

    Bloomberg reported that China has prepared a draft communique to promote China’s trade and economic positions. The communique includes a statement of support for the Paris Agreement on climate change as well as pledges of support to 13 separate regional bodies and cooperation agreements. It cited that China will ask 28 world leaders to sign on to President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative on globalisation. State media have referred to the Belt and Road Initiative’s ambitions as "globalisation 2.0."

    4.      China set to build new port city for Sri Lanka

    The South China Morning Post reported that China is building a new city along Colombo’s coastline that will become its new central business district (CBD) by 2030. As part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the project will see an initial investment of US1.4 billion, making the Colombo Port City China’s biggest project to date in Sri Lanka. It will be built on 269 hectares of reclaimed land and become a modern city accommodating 200,000 residents. It will consist of apartments, hotels, offices, shopping malls, exhibition centres, providing 80,000 new jobs.

  • 09 May 2017 3:24 PM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    On April 7, The Embassy hosted a reception and concert by renowned Kazakh violin virtuoso Ms. Aiman Mussakhajayeva, who traveled approximately 19.000 kilometers from Astana to Ottawa and back, to perform at Global Affairs Canada.

    Two Canadian dignitaries Ms. Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, and The Honorable Mr. Robert Nault, Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, delivered their welcoming remarks, where they highlighted the strong and deepening bilateral ties between our countries, praised Kazakhstan's achievements within 25 years of its independence, emphasized its leadership in global issues, expressed their readiness to further expand the relations.

    H.E. Konstantin Zhigalov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Canada, briefly described the key achievements of a quarter century relations and emphasized Kazakhstan's desire to promoting even strong and friendly ties with Canada.

    Ms. Mussakhajayeva brilliantly performed the masterpieces of the great classical music composers such as Tchaikovsky's "Melody", Brahm's “Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in Re minor", Manuel de Falla's “Spanish dance" etc. The performance of Kazakh violin virtuoso was very well received and the guest gave her a standing ovation.

    Source: http://mfa.greengo.kz/kz/ottawa/content-view/reception-and-concert-to-mark-25th-anniversary-of-diplomatic-relations#sthash.ONnoGEQR.dpuf
  • 09 May 2017 9:54 AM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    By Christophe-Alfred Rouleau-Dick

    A new Canada Tariff Finder tool will allow Canadian companies to quickly find information about tariffs that may be added to the goods they export to foreign markets under the various free trade agreements (FTAs) Canada has made with other countries.

    The new online tool enables Canadians to quickly access information about tariffs. There is no fee to use the service which is available at www.tariffinder.ca. With just a few clicks, users can search for a product by keyword or by its Harmonized System code and quickly access the tariff data that applies to their products. The tool’s different functions make it simple to compare tariff information across various export markets, and to identify and forecast business opportunities related to the elimination or reduction of tariffs.

    Canada has concluded several trade agreements that open promising new opportunities for Canadian products, in part by eliminating or reducing tariffs, which may provide a competitive advantage for a Canadian company exporting to that market. However, because tariffs vary in each market and for each product—even under free trade agreements—precise information is crucial for businesses exploring possibilities in a particular market. Accessing specific tariff information has proved challenging for some companies—especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with limited resources.

    Aware of the need to make this information more accessible to Canadian companies, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) joined forces with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to develop the Canada Tariff Finder.

    “Trade agreements unlock new opportunities, and lower the overall costs of doing business. The Canada Tariff Finder will make it easier for Canadian businesses to access tariff information for their products when exploring export opportunities. This useful tool is part of a coordinated effort by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, BDC, and EDC to ensure Canadian businesses are ready to take advantage of Canada’s free trade agreements,” says Ailish Campbell, Chief Trade Commissioner at Global Affairs Canada.

    Markets covered by the tool include the 28 countries of the European Union (EU) under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Mexico and the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), South Korea, Peru, and two of the four members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA): Switzerland and Iceland. New countries will be added over time to create a more comprehensive list of Canada’s free trade partners. The Canada Tariff Finder already contains the tariff information that will apply upon provisional application of CETA.

    It is important to note that the tariff information contained in the tool is for information purposes only. The customs authorities from the importing countries make the final decision on what tariffs apply to imported goods. Users must verify these tariffs with the customs authorities of the country to which they intend to export.

    Source: Government of Canada, Trade Commissioner Service

    http://tradecommissioner.gc.ca/canadexport/0001488.aspx?lang=eng


  • 01 May 2017 11:01 AM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    Astana Times, 28 April 2017

    Kazakh Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev and other top officials presented April 27 the outlines of the draft National Investment Attraction and Retention Strategy and the recently created Kazakh Invest national company as part of efforts to further attract foreign capital.

    “Today, we are ready to present our vision of the solution to the task set by the President. Kazakh Invest has been formed on the basis of the old KAZNEX Invest with its complete restructuring. I was appointed the chairperson of the Board of Directors of the company. We deliberately raised its status to the level of a prime minister in order to stress the importance of our priorities in investment policy,”  Sagintayev  said  during  an  April  27  briefing  for  the  diplomatic  corps  at  the  Ministry  of Foreign Affairs on the strategy and company, noting both are still under development.

    Sagintayev  told  the  gathering,  which  included  ambassadors  and  top  diplomats  from  around  60 countries as well as international organisations, the strategy and company are an attempt to reload Kazakhstan’s  approach  to  attracting  foreign  investment  to  maintain  the  lead  in  this  sphere  and increase  non-oil  investment.  He  said  the  new  strategy  and  company  would  also  assist  investors operating in the regions.

    Head of  the  Vienna Office of  the Investment  Climate Practice  Group  of  the World  Bank  Group’s Trade  and  Competitiveness  Global  Practice  Ivan  Nimac  presented  the  draft  of  the  National Investment Attraction and Retention Strategy.

    The strategy is a roadmap to diversify the share of investments with high added value focused on increasing efficiency, he said. “The  types  of  investments  must  be  changed  to  facilitate  the  process  of  economic  diversification. They should be focused not only on raw materials or natural resources, they should move towards other  types  of  investments:  qualitative  and  quantitative.  We  are  looking  for  more  effective investments to ensure economic growth and modernisation,” Nimac said. Nimac  said  the  strategy’s  goals  would  be  achieved  by  attracting  new  types  of  investments, increasing the benefits of existing foreign direct investments, conducting strategic privatisation and using more widely public-private partnerships (PPPs).

    Kazakh Minister for Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek said the new strategy will be developed by the end of June and focus on defining priority investment industries and developing an Investment  Project  Map,  identifying  target  companies  and  international  investment  funds  and improving the investment environment, investment attracting mechanisms and financial instruments.

    The strategy was developed with the help of World Bank experts and incorporates recommendations from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, said Sagintayev. Chairperson of the Board of Kazakh Invest Maksat Kabashev and Kassymbek briefed the diplomats on the company’s goals, tasks and interaction with state bodies and investors. “Kazakh Invest is not only a new name; it is the emergence of a whole new paradigm. Our focus is on investors. We find new investors, but we don’t forget about the existing ones. We know what they want and we want them to work in Kazakhstan. The main principle of Kazakh Invest is to help, without hindering,” Kabashev said. “This means moving to a more efficient, rational and business- oriented form of attracting investment to the country.”

    Kazakh Invest will operate on a “one-stop shop” and will accompany investors through the entirety of  their  projects,  from  pitching  them  opportunities,  to  preparing  investment  proposals  to  the implementation and functioning of the business, Kassymbek said. The company has offices abroad and in all Kazakh regions. The board of directors headed by the prime minister also includes heads of ministries and top-level foreign consultants. “To date, nineteen sectors have been created in the regions to provide services to investors. In the regions,  representatives  of  Kazakh  Invest  will  be  given  the  status  of  external  advisors  to  akims (governors and mayors) of the regions and cities of Astana and Almaty,” Kassymbek added. Kassymbek said a monitoring system will also be introduced allowing investors to monitor online the progress of the services they receive.

    Kassymbek  also  updated  the  diplomatic  corps  on  measures  that  have  already  been   carried  out, including  simplification  of  licensing  procedures  reducing  required  permits,  encouraging  public-private  partnerships,  establishing  free  economic  zones,  adopting  a  new  law  on  arbitration  and appointing an investment ombudsman.

    These measures have resulted in foreign investment in 2016 of $20.6 billion, which is a 40 percent increase over 2015. Kazakhstan currently ranks 35th on the World Bank’s (WB) Doing Business Index.

    Kassymbek  also  praised  the  activities  of  organisations  such  as  the  Council  of  Foreign  Investors under the President, the Council for Improving the Investment Climate under the Government, the Kazakhstan  Foreign  Investors  Council  Association,  the  European  Business Association  of Kazakhstan and the Investment Ombudsman Institute. 

  • 21 Apr 2017 3:30 PM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    Dear members, please find below the links to the articles from the Financial Times that may be of interest to you:

    Russian oil groups brave cold of western sanctions to explore Arctic

    Russian agriculture sector flourishes amid sanctions

  • 17 Apr 2017 1:39 PM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    From "Diplomat & International Canada"  by Paul Robinson |  April 11, 2017 

    Read the full article here: http://diplomatonline.com/mag/2017/04/repairing-canada-russia-relations/

    Dealing with the Trump administration will no doubt be the top priority of Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s newly minted foreign minister, but it was the question of her attitude towards the Russian Federation that generated the most headlines when she took the job in January.
    Those hoping that Canadian-Russian relations might improve under the current government reacted very negatively. Her nomination was a “catastrophe,” professor Michael Carley of the Université de Montréal told Sputnik News. Similarly, Piotr Diutkiewicz, Carleton University’s distinguished professor of Russian studies, told the CBC that dialogue with Russia under Freeland’s leadership was hard to imagine. “I believe it will be a period of frozen relations on both sides … Ms. Freeland is heavily anti-Russian biased,” he said.
    During Stephen Harper’s final term in office, the Canadian government pursued a policy of cold-shouldering Russia. On the rare occasions when Canadian officials found themselves in the same room as their Russian counterparts, they used the opportunity to deliver lectures. Not surprisingly, constructive dialogue about matters of mutual interest proved to be impossible.
    The Liberals’ victory in 2015 brought hope that things would change. To some extent, this did indeed happen, as foreign minister Stéphane Dion carried through with a promise to engage with Russia. Mark Gwozdecky, Global Affairs Canada’s assistant deputy minister for international security and political affairs, visited Moscow in November last year and met Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov. Junior diplomats and military officers have been spotted at functions at the Russian embassy in Ottawa; and Global Affairs and the Russian embassy co-sponsored a conference at Carleton University on the subject of Canada-Russia; Dialogue and Co-operation in the Arctic.

    In an interview for this article, Kirill Kalinin, spokesman for the Russian Embassy, said that prior to the 2015 general election, Russian diplomats “did not have contact with our colleagues in the Department of Foreign Affairs.” Now, however, “professional contacts have resumed” and “people have started to discuss issues.” This constitutes a “big improvement,” Kalinin said.

    However, the choice of Freeland as foreign minister has sparked fears that the brief détente might come to an end. Freeland is a long-standing critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and has often called for even stronger measures to be taken by western states against Russia. Before the 2015 election, for instance, she criticized the Harper government for being too soft and demanded that Russia be excluded from the SWIFT international banking system.
    Despite this, it appears for now that Freeland is unlikely to halt the Canadian government’s policy of incremental, “controlled engagement.” In a statement for this article, Michael O’Shaughnessy, a spokesman for Global Affairs Canada, said, “Canada believes in the importance of engagement, dialogue and diplomacy; including with countries where we have profound disagreements.” According to O’Shaughnessy, Canada will continue to condemn Russia for its actions in Ukraine and will work with allies to maintain sanctions and economic pressure on Russia. But it will also “continue to engage with Russia for the purpose of advancing Canadian interests and expressing Canadian values on issues such as the Arctic and international security.”...

    Read more: http://diplomatonline.com/mag/2017/04/repairing-canada-russia-relations/

  • 17 Apr 2017 1:36 PM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    On April 4 the Embassy and Carleton's EURUS organized a round table seminar dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of the Diplomatic Relations between Kazakhstan and Canada. Kazakhstan's Ambassador to Canada, H.E. Konstantin Zhigalov, Former Ambassador of Canada to Kazakhstan,  Senior  Fellow  at  CIGI,  Ms.  Margaret  Skok,  and  Director  for  Eastern  Europe  and Eurasia  at Global  Affairs  Canada  discuss  the  development  of  a  quarter  century  Kazakh-Canada relations. The event was moderated by Professor Piotr Dutkiewicz.

    Ambassadors  and  Heads  of  diplomatic  missions  of  Armenia,  Belarus,  Cuba,  Mongolia,  Russia, students  of  the  University  and  general  public  attended  the  round  table.  Ambassador  Zhigalov highlighted Kazakhstan's  achievements  in  socio-economic  and  political  spheres,  including  the recently declared Third Modernization program that will help Kazakhstan rich its ambitious goal to enter the list of 30 competitive economies of the world. He stressed the importance of the Kazakh-Canada Business Council in promoting economic ties. Today 104 companies of the two countries work under the umbrella of KCBC. Ambassador  Zhigalov  stressed  the  active  political  dialogue  and  interparliamentary  cooperation between Kazakhstan and Canada, citing the recent visit of Canadian Parliamentary delegation led by the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the House of Commons, The Honourable Robert Nault to Astana, the capital of the Country of the Great Steppe.

    Ms. Skok shared her memories of putting the first bricks of Kazakh-Canada relations in the early 90s of the last century on a fundament that was laid even before the break-up of the USSR. Mr. Kevin Rex noted Kazakhstan's economic development and political stability. He emphasized the significance of Kazakh-Canada cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

    Source: Embassy of Kazakhstan to Canada Weekly News Review, April 1-15, 2017, Issue No. 215 

  • 03 Apr 2017 9:53 AM | Julia Tikhomirova (Administrator)

    Astana Times, 30 March 2017 

    Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) has partnered with Vantage Financial Centres (VFC), an  exclusive  association  of  international  financial  centres.  The  partnership  will  grant  AIFC  the privileges of the association and is to boost its profile internationally. The  association  includes  such  well-known  international  financial  centres  as  Tokyo,  Toronto, Shanghai, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. Members of the VFC receive consulting support and assessments of their activities from other members of the association. Also, all the centres can take an active part in international high level events which are used for the exchange of experience and expert opinions on increasing the competitiveness of financial centres.

    Joining the association is a timely step towards the establishment and development of the Kazakh centre, the press service of the AIFC reports. Members  of  the  VFC  have  created  Global  Financial  Centres  Index  (GFCI)  since  2007,  which  is based on more than 29,000 evaluations of financial centres from the online questionnaire. The index also  takes  into  account  more  than  100  indicators  of  organisations,  such  as  the  World  Bank,  the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and reflects the competitiveness of financial centres.

    The ranking examines five key areas: business environment, infrastructure factors, financial sector development, reputation and general factors, and human capital. The  AIFC  aims  to  create  favourable  conditions  for  investment  and  finance  and  to  develop  the securities market, ensuring its integration with international capital markets. The AIFC also intends to  develop  insurance, banking and  Islamic finance markets  in  Kazakhstan. The centre provides a special  legal  regime  based  on  the  principles  of  English  law,  independent  financial  regulation  in accordance with international standards, tax preferences for a period of 50 years, simplified visa and labour conditions and English as an official language in the territory of the AIFC.

    The AIFC seeks to become a financial hub for the Central Asian region, member states of the EAEU, the Caucasus, Western China, the Middle East, Mongolia and Europe. It is planned that the centre will  be  located  within  EXPO  2017  and  supported  by  modern  infrastructure  and  cutting-edge technologies.

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