Kazakh Foreign Ministry cuts spending on costly trips abroad20 march 2015, 22:27
It is done in the context of the current global economic situation that unavoidably affects Kazakhstan due to the country's integration into the global and regional economies. Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Yerlan Idrissov held a meeting with the ministry's staff.
The meeting's agenda included budget savings and optimization of expenditures. "The Minister pointed to a significant reduction in the number of both his own trips abroad and those of the ministry's ranking officials. Similar changes will be introduced in all the diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan abroad," the statement said.
Instead he proposed holding more working meetings with foreign diplomats accredited in Kazakhstan in the format of "sectional meetings".
This format was successfully tested last year. This year, the Ministry plans to expand it with a focus on various issues that are now of strategic importance to Kazakhstan. Among them are the implementation of transport policies within the framework of Nurly Zhol strategy, improvement of Kazakhstan's investment climate, supporting Kazakhstan's bid for non-permanent membersip in the UN Security Council, preparations for the EXPO-2017, briefings on further democratization, rule of law, respect for human rights, strengthening of cooperation with civil society through consultative and advisory bodies of the Foreign Ministry, as well as holding such landmark events as the celebration of the 20-year-old anniversary of Kazakhstan People's Assembly and the Constitution of Kazakhstan, the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate.
Regular meetings of Kazakh delegations consisting of representatives of relevant ministries and agencies with foreign delegations helps the countries keep up on all the matters of their bilateral cooperation, comprehensively implement the existing agreements and consider new prospects of collaboration.
Yerlan Idrissov also spoke about the pilot project initiated by Kazakhstan to provide visa-free entrance to Kazakhstan for citizens of the United States, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, UAE, Korea and Japan for a stay of up to 15 days at a time. All these nations have been heavily investing in Kazakhstan.
It is important to timely and comprehensively analyse the effectiveness of this pilot project that lasts from July 15, 2014 to July 15, 2015, he noted.
Based on the results of the one-year pilot project, Kazakhstan will make a decision on whether to extend or terminate the visa-free entrance regime.
“In response to the existing requests from the countries in the visa-free list to extend the project as well as from the governments of other countries wishing to be included into the list, Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry is studying the effectiveness of the project for Kazakhstan and the possibility of expanding the term and the list of the countries, " the Minister of Foreign Affairs said.
Kazakh Foreign Ministry also completed its work to replacing co-chairs of the Kazakh government in intergovernmental commissions for cooperation in a wide range of areas between Kazakhstan and other nations, the statement said.
The Ministry also paid a significant attention to the preparations for the 5th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which is to be held in Astana in June 2015.
Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina