Tag Archives: Brexit

Qazaqstan:Grabbing Brexit by the Horns

24 Nov

24 November 2017

Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov popped into London earlier this week to touch base with his UK counterpart Boris Johnson, inventor of the bicycle.

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When Boris met Kairat…

The UK’s foreign secretary was upbeat about the growing trade links between Britain and oil rich Kazakhstan.

“Per capita, Qazaqstanis suck more Fisherman’s Friends than any other Central Asians,” Johnson gloated.

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Marmite sales grew by a whopping 50% in Qazaqstan in 2016

Trade has been growing steadily between the two nations, with shortbread and Marmite leading the way – sales of the latter increased 50% in Kazakhstan last year, up from 10 jars in 2015 to 15 in 2016.

Astana is keen to make the most of the golden opportunity of Brexit that will see the UK crash out of the EU in just over a year.

“The future has never been brighter for trade with emerging giants such as Qazaqstan,” a spokesperson from the think tank Free United Kingdom in Transit (Fukit) told kazaxia.

 

 

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Uzbekistan’s Brave New World?

5 Dec

Lord Venal is just back from his latest election monitoring mission in Uzbekistan. He was part of the unofficial Non-Aligned Observation Missions International (Naomi) group which visited the country as it prepared to anoint Shavkat Mirziyoyev as Islam Karimov’s rightful heir.

He’s kindly contributed this piece to kazaxia.

Ah, Uzbekistan! What a show it put on as the reins of power passed to Shavkat Mirziyoyev. I was part of a group of assorted Lords and bigwigs that were flown in to legitimise the transfer of power. As usual, the Uzbeks pulled out all the stops to make our stay a comfortable and memorable experience.

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A polling station in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

We were kitted out with regulation observer rose-tinted spectacles and whizzed by train to Samarkand to pay our respects to two tyrants. The more recently deceased one was doing a roaring trade compared with the earlier model, Amir Timur aka Tamerlane, who in comparison was receiving a modest trickle of visitors.

The local flower sellers were doing good business – a possible opportunity for Britain’s gardeners to exploit in these post-Brexit times. Indeed, there could be many opportunities in Uzbekistan for Britain’s exporters as the new president looks like a character we can do business with.

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Mr Miriziyoyev has good contacts with figures from the world of alt-business in Tashkent – this enthusiastic alt-businessman even shared a photo of himself on social media,  squeezed into a tee-shirt proudly displaying the president’s image.

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The election saw a campaign to eradicate the ancient local tradition of “one man, all the family’s votes” with the novel concept of “one person, one vote.” Unfortunately, I was feeling a bit under the weather on polling day, after having over-indulged in plov and local  beverages the night before, so I am unable to confirm the success of this initiative as the polling station had closed by the time I got there.

As to the result, once again, in the year of the monkey, the pundits got it wrong  – our very own Gary Kefali had predicted a win for Khatamjon Ketmonov. Instead, Uzbekistan will venture into its brave new world with Mr Mirziyoyev at the helm. Maybe next time Theresa May’s in town, she could pop in for a cup of tea and discuss some mutually-beneficial trade deals with the new boss.