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Exclusive: Alpha Telecom Embezzlement Schemes Revealed
Written by , Monday, 21 Mar, 2011 – 22:01 | No Comment

nik_3000-570x381Translation of Mirbek’s post (RUS)

Azamat Murzaliev: “The numbers [see below] are based on documented evidence obtained as part of the company’s internal audit. These figures may change should additional or new information come to light. […] At the moment, the company’s financial operations are being audited by Ernst & Young and separate audit for fraud is being carried out by the independent international company KPMG.”

Alpha Telecom, it turns out, employed a number of embezzlement schemes:

1) Using front companies that would submit invoices for services they never performed, or using affiliated companies whose delivery of services has been called into question.

Total: $4,224,801 Read the full story »

Kyrgyzstan: Political Games Kill Businesses and Investment Climate
Written by , Sunday, 20 Mar, 2011 – 10:44 | 7 Comments

For the last several days, one of the largest cellular operators and taxpayers of Kyrgyzstan – MegaCom (Alfa Telecom) – has changed its CEO three times.  The company has fallen victim of the nationalization process that was launched immediately after the April revolution.  However, nationalization without clear national government led to the situation when all interested parties are trying to get a piece of the pie.   Read the full story »

World Bank will sponsor better access to reliable electricity supply for more than 4 mln people in Uzbekistan
Written by , Thursday, 17 Mar, 2011 – 1:58 | 3 Comments

More than 4 million residential and business consumers of electricity in the South-Western part of Uzbekistan will have better access to reliable electricity supply thanks to World Bank financing, WB press-service reports.

The World Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a US$ 110 million IBRD loan for Uzbekistan’s Talimarjan Transmission Project. The Project aims at improving the reliability of the electricity supply in four regions of Uzbekistan including Samarkand, Kashkadarya, Navoyi, and Bukhara regions. This will be achieved by strengthening the network and reducing transmission losses.

The country’s electric power sector is key to the Government of Uzbekistan’s welfare improvement strategy (WIS); it seeks to sustain growth, reduce poverty and raise living standards through regional development. To achieve these goals, the WIS aims to improve the power supply in the country and efficiency of the energy sector utilities. The Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for the period covering fiscal years 2008-2011 supports these efforts of the Government.

At present, significant potential exists for increasing electricity exports, which would promote the country’s economic growth. Since January 2009, the country has been exporting about 150 MW of electricity to Afghanistan. This is expected to increase to 300 MW in future years with further development of Afghanistan’s power system. Read the full story »

Don’t Joke with China
Written by , Wednesday, 16 Mar, 2011 – 17:22 | 4 Comments

164563215_f6a205209e_m-150x150Translation of Tynyk’s post (KAZ, RUS)

Experts see the Chinese economy as a danger to Kazakhstan. We are currently working with the West to build a new railroad; however, a Chinese railroad already passes through Kazakhstan, which could have an adverse impact on the plans.

Today, China is Kazakhstan’s number one strategic partner. In the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the World Trade Organization it is our strongest ally.

China’s economy focuses on quantity over quality as it mass-stamps millions upon millions of products every year. Read the full story »

Tajik President’s Son Will Tackle Customs Crime
Written by , Monday, 14 Mar, 2011 – 20:00 | 4 Comments

rustami-emomali-wordpresscom-big-150x150Translation of TajikVoice’s post (RUS)

In late February, the Tajik President’s son Rustam Emomali was appointed to a newly created government post within the Customs Agency to tackle contraband and customs violations. The public found out about this fact in early March. The appointment caused widespread debate on the Internet and in Tajik media. The people were clearly against the decision. Not only was the son of the president appointed to a kind post that takes years of service to earn, he was also instantly promoted to the rank of major. Read the full story »

Big Brother is Watching Kyrgyz Politicians
Written by , Sunday, 6 Mar, 2011 – 21:01 | No Comment

12Translation of Mirbek’s post (RUS)

Bishkek Business Club is announcing the start of its Big Brother campaign!

The government influences business using numerous monitoring bodies and does not allow entrepreneurs to act without its supervision.

HOWEVER…

The government lives on taxes paid by entrepreneurs; thus, the business community is a kind of “Big Brother” for politicians and has the full right to monitor and evaluate their activity.

Over the course of the coming year, the Bishkek Business Club will be vigilantly observing the activity of officials and deputies and selecting winners in six categories: Read the full story »

Turkish Business Unwanted in Uzbekistan
Written by , Thursday, 3 Mar, 2011 – 19:46 | 7 Comments

Translation of Avicenna’s post (RUS)

Another Turkish shopping and entertainment giant has fallen in Uzbekistan. The victim this time is Turkuaz, which had occupied the former GUM building near Chorsu market and the metro station bearing the same name.

“Yesterday morning there were lots of policemen here, including the “masquerade” [special services wearing facemasks]. Several dozen people were escorted out and loaded into police vans,” a local taxi driver told Uznews.

When asked what had happened and why the supermarket was being closed, a police sergeant cut off, “That’s it, no more supermarket.” Read the full story »

World Bank funds another “global” project in Uzbekistan
Written by , Wednesday, 2 Mar, 2011 – 15:51 | 2 Comments

More than 340 000 people in Uzbekistan will benefit from a US$88 million IDA Credit, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Directors today, to improve water supply operations in the Syrdarya region of Uzbekistan. The credit forms the basis of the Syrdarya Water Supply Project which aims to improve the availability, quality and sustainability of public water supply services in selected six districts of the region, World Bank news service reported.

The Government of Uzbekistan has assigned high priority to improving environmental and public health conditions associated with seriously deficient water supply services in the province of Syrdarya. The project covers nearly half of the total population of the Syrdarya region, which has a total population of about 700 000 people.

Currently the towns are supplied with treated water through regional transmission schemes or from around 250 individual wells which have now reached a state of acute disrepair causing a breakdown of water supply in many towns. It is estimated that 25% of the project towns receive no piped water and have to rely on water tankers. Out of those who have access to piped water, only about 10% receive 24-hour service; for all others service is unsafe and costly and consumers have to invest time and money in alternative supplies, including drawing raw water from irrigation canals.

Read the full story »

Tough times for the largest market of Central Asia
Written by , Monday, 28 Feb, 2011 – 7:08 | 3 Comments

DORDOI

Editor’s note: Dordoi is the largest market of Central Asia, but with the establishment of the new Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, it’s experience a fall in sales, reports neweurasia’s Rahat. “While the debate goes on among Kyrgyz politicians and private sector, Dordoi businessmen ponder on their future,” he writes. “Once a certain and profitable trade now seems doomed, and sadly, may be headed in the direction of legends.” Photographs by Rahat (CC-usage).

Dordoi is a huge market made of metal containers with the total square of equal to 250 hectares. The monthly rent for a container ranges from 2,000 soms to 175,000 soms (40 USD to 3500 USD) depending on the location within the market. Dordoi consists of several markets, dozens of food courts, mosques, exchange offices, baths, small sewing factories, huge warehouses and taxi stations. The market employs around 100,000 people.

Read the full story »

Be rich, be cool. And get dethroned
Written by , Sunday, 27 Feb, 2011 – 18:37 | 2 Comments

Under a strong people’s pressure Ben Ali of Tunisia and Mobarak of Egypt had to leave their beloved palaces and run away from those who just wanted to tear them up to small pieces.

Unfortunately, new authorities will not be able to get all their money back they stored in advance outside of the countries. Kyrgyzstan still tries to find the Bakievs’ treasures.

Another unfortunate is that we still have this kind of rulers in many countries around the globe. They keep enriching day after day and enjoying the power. Handelsblatt, leading German language business newspaper, has counted former and current leaders’ wealth and rated them according to how big is their wallet. (Note: One of the Central Asian leaders is closing the rating. Guess who and find the answer by reading this piece to an end).

So the Top 3 is as following:

1. King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia with more than $40 billion. Oil rich country can afford monarchy’s whims. Forbes reports approximately $1 billion a day from oil exports (as of 2008) which automatically brings the King to the magazine’s The World’s Richest Royals list.

2. Hosni Mubarak, ex-President of Egypt, with around $40 billion. ABC News indicated that experts believed the personal wealth of Mubarak and his family to be between US$40 billion and $70 billion founded on military contracts made during his time as an air force officer. Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported that Mubarak and his family might be worth up to $70 billion due to corruption, kickbacks and legitimate business activities.

3. Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the 29th Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, with $20 billion and whose famous for his vast automobile collection of 3,667 cars, which included unique modifications of Ferraris and Bentleys, worthy over U.S.$789 million. Read the full story »