& METALLURGY CONGRESS EXPANDS KAZAKHSTAN’S INTERNATIONAL TIES IN THE FIELD
Astana, July 8:
Kazakhstan’s capital brought together representatives of mining and metallurgy
industry from around the world for the Second International Congress called
Astana Mining & Metallurgy (AMM-2011) on July 4-6.
The Congress included numerous events and resulted in new
proposals on the development of Kazakhstan’s mining and metallurgy complex
(MMC), important international inter-company agreements and memorandums.
More than 1,360 participants from 25 countries participated
in the Congress, which was dedicated to the celebration of three significant
events in the country: Kazakhstan’s 20th anniversary of
independence, Astana Day, and the professional holiday “Metallurgist Day,” the
organisers of the forum said.
The two-day forum consisted of the plenary conference and
three sessions. An Industrial exhibition was held in parallel to the main
events as well, where the attendees of the Congress were able to learn about
the “golden,” “innovative,” “educational,” and “service” potential of the
leading MMC companies. A total of 85 companies from 10 countries presented
their work at the exhibition.
Prime Minister Karim Massimov read out a welcoming address
from Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
“All these years, the steel industry has been one of the key
sectors of the Kazakhstan economy, demonstrating high dynamics of development.
Currently it accounts for more than seven percent of GDP, about 17 percent of
the total industrial production, and 20 percent of exports,” the President
said. Today, the steel makers are facing new challenges, he said adding that
the State Programme of Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development, which
is now being implemented in Kazakhstan, was designed to overcome these
challenges and strengthen the industry. “In the 21st century,
our country will strengthen its position as one of the world’s leading iron and
steel centres,” Nazarbayev said.
To this end, the Kazakh Government has adopted and begun
implementing an Industrial programme for the development of mining and
metallurgy complex until 2014, Massimov said at the opening. “We clearly
understand that the new investment in the MMC is a high-risk,
capital-intensive, and long-term endeavour, but we must and we will work to
increase its competitiveness,” Massimov stressed.
At the plenary conference, Deputy Chairman of the Board of
the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund Aidan Karibzhanov said Kazakhstan
intends to create a series of joint ventures with the world’s leading companies
in mining and metallurgy. “We understand that without international companies
we cannot do anything, since cooperation means new technologies for extracting
and refining, which we need.”
In his turn, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European
Union to Kazakhstan Norbert Jousten said the EU is considering a new
Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Kazakhstan that attaches
considerable importance to cooperation in mining and metallurgical sector. The
emphasis is put on issues of safe disposal of raw materials, the use of
energy-efficient technologies, and non-discriminatory access to EU markets for
Kazakhstan’s raw materials, Jousten said.
The first day of the AMM-2011 also included discussions on
topics such as “Prospects for consolidating the world’s mining and metallurgy
sector,” “State regulation of mining and metallurgy industry: effective
approaches and best practices,” “Innovation and scientific research as the way
to solve complex problems in the MMC,” “Restoring activities of markets of
metal and capital.”
As a result of the Congress, Kazakhstan’s National Mining
Company Tau-Ken Samruk and Slovakia’s Radington Industrial Consulting s.r.o
signed an agreement on cooperation principles for a joint project on the
development of lead ore deposits in the Karaganda region.
An awards ceremony for the winners of the national industry
contest “Golden Hephaestus 2011” closed the first day of the congress. The best
professionals and companies in the field were determined according to 10
general and one specific nominations.
A number of round table discussions were held during the
next day. One of them, entitled “Consolidation. Partnership. Development,” was
organised for the international industrial associations. Opening it,
Kazakhstan’s Vice-Minister of Industry and New Technologies Albert Rau said
business associations perform qualified expertise of draft laws and regulation,
without which no law concerning entrepreneurship can be adopted.
At present, the Ministry has about 19 accredited industrial
associations. Last year, for the first time, the industrial associations
received funding from the state in the form of social order to conduct expert
evaluation, Rau said. He called on representatives of the Association to also
take part in monitoring the process of implementation of the industrialisation
programmes. As a result of the round table, the attendees signed a memorandum
of cooperation of associations.
Participants of the other discussion table, entitled
“Personnel for MMC,” also completed their work with singing a memorandum on the
need to create a Sectoral Council for Human Resources. The Sectoral Council is
expected to include representatives of government bodies, educational
institutions, and employers. The new structure will offer a systematic approach
in solving personnel issues.
During the discussion, President-Rector of the International
Academy of Business in Kazakhstan Assylbek Kozhakhmetov said the country needs
to attend to the preparation of managers in order to develop innovation
economy. Thus, he proposed the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies to
consider a draft project called “10,000 managers for the implementation of
Kazakhstan’s Industrial and Innovative Programme.”
The third round table discussion held the same day was
dedicated to innovations in the MMC and concluded with the signing of a
Memorandum of Cooperation between Scientific and Business Associations.
“PricewaterhouseCoopers” company also organised a master
class within the AMM-2011 congress.