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China, UAE agree to Facilitate Cooperation in Energy, Industrial Parks, Ports under Belt and Road Initiative

Beijing, July 20: China and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to facilitate cooperation in energy, industrial parks and ports under the Belt and Road Initiative.  This was stated during meeting of visiting United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 19, 2017. China is confident that Gulf countries have the wisdom to resolve divergence and is willing to play a constructive role to help ease tensions according to the will of regional parties.

China is a good friend of the Gulf countries, said Wang, expressing the hope that the current Gulf crisis can be properly resolved.
Wang said that China stands by the principle that the crisis should be resolved through political and diplomatic means and all relevant parties should take due responsibility.
According to Wang, the crisis should be settled within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and outside countries should play a constructive role.
"Concerned parties should sit down for talks as soon as possible and show flexibility in dealing with each other," Wang said, adding that reaching a consensus on fighting terrorism of all forms is the first priority.
Al Jaber said that the UAE is committed to resolving the crisis through political and diplomatic means and has no intention to interfere in the domestic affairs of Qatar or other countries.
The UAE hopes that relevant parties can reach consensus on fighting terrorism and honor the agreements already signed and their commitments already made, he said.
"China is an influential and responsible country," said Al Jaber, adding that the UAE appreciates China's objective and impartial position on Gulf affairs.
Source: Xinhua

Azerbaijani, Turkish and Turkmen Agree to Develop a 2017-2020 Cooperation Roadmap

BAKU, July 19 : Azerbaijani, Turkish and Turkmen foreign ministers have agreed to develop a Road Map for Future Cooperation for 2017-2020, Azerbaijan’s FM Elmar Mammadyarov said on July 19, at a briefing held after the meeting with his Turkish and Turkmen counterparts, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Rashid Meredov in Baku.

“We had interesting and fruitful negotiations. The three countries are carrying out numerous regional projects and we have discussed the progress in their implementation,” said the Azerbaijani FM.

He noted that the project for building the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will be completed by the end of 2017, and subsequently great opportunities for cooperation will emerge.

Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan also intend to use other ways for cargo transportation, via trunk lines and sea routes as well, Mammadyarov said, adding this issue was today discussed at the trilateral meeting.

“Next year, the work will be completed on expansion of the port in Turkmenbashi, which will increase cargo transportation between the ports of Alat and Turkmenbashi up to 25 million tons per year,” he said.

Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, today hosted the 4th meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan, Elmar Mammadyarov, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Rashid Meredov.

The agenda of the meeting of the three countries’ FMs included the development of cooperation in the political, economic, energy, transport and humanitarian spheres, and the implementation of regional projects.

Source: Trend

Trade between Russia and China Saw Boom in First 6 Months of 2017

Beijing, July 16: Trade between Moscow and Beijing has increased significantly in the first six months of the year, according to the Chinese customs administration.

Through June, trade between Russia and China was worth $39.78 billion. Russian exports increased 29.3 percent to $20.34 billion, while Chinese exports to Russia were up 22.2 percent to $19.44 billion.

thumbnail Trade between Russia and China Saw Boom in First 6 Months of 2017

In 2016, trade between Moscow and Beijing grew only 2.2 percent to $69.52 billion. The countries have set a goal to boost trade to $200 billion by 2020.

In July, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the China Development Bank (CDB) agreed to establish a Russian-Chinese investment fund worth 68 billion yuan ($10 billion). It was created to make settlements in ruble and yuan easier.

Both Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly talked about the importance of payments in local currencies for bilateral trade.

The agreement was signed at a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, while he was in Russia on an official visit.

The countries are also jointly building the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic.

Over the past year, Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia as China's top oil supplier.

China is building a new transport corridor to Europe as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (also known as the New Silk Road), which goes through Kazakhstan and Russia to Europe.

Source: RT

Russia has extended an invitation to Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Saudi Aramco to participate in the Arctic LNG-2 project, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.

Russia offers Saudis a part in Arctic LNG 2 project

Cooperation between the two countries that are leading respectively the OPEC and non-OPEC nations into the collective crude oil production cut deal, have “top-flight” energy cooperation, which could further deepen if the Saudis were to take up the offer for a role in Arctic LNG-2, according to Novak.

“Saudi Aramco was offered different options of participation in Arctic LNG-2,” the Russian minister told Reuters, but did not specify what the planned role for Saudi Arabia was.

Saudi Arabia will consider investing in Russia’s Arctic LNG project, especially if it could be used to deliver LNG to the Middle Eastern country, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Russian news agency TASS in an interview in early June.

“At this stage, of course, it is too early to talk about specific projects,”al-Falih said back then.

The Arctic LNG-2 project is led by the biggest private gas producer in Russia, Novatek, which aims to begin construction of the first LNG train in 2022 or 2023. Novatek has yet to pick partners for this project.

READ MORE: Chinese investments shore up Russia’s Arctic LNG project – Total CEOCurrently, Russia has just one operating LNG export facility, Sakhalin, whose majority shareholder is Russian gas giant Gazprom. But soon, the Yamal LNG project in the Arctic will become operational. The project plans to begin selling LNG on the sport market this year, and start deliveries under long-term contracts next year, Leonid Mikhelson, the chief executive of Yamal LNG’s majority shareholder Novatek has said.

According to a Wood Mackenzie report from April, this year will be a decisive year for Russian LNG, when the first ever multi-train Arctic LNG project—Yamal LNG—is commissioned. The Arctic LNG-2 project in northern West Siberia will be the second large-scale LNG project led by Novatek, after Yamal LNG.

Despite its huge conventional gas reserves, Russia’s share in the global LNG market is small, at around 4 percent, WoodMac says.

Source by: rt.com

MAKS-2017 Airshow to Promote Russian Aerospace Products on Global Market Says Putin

MOSCOW, July 18 :The 13th International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) in Russia will facilitate further cooperation in the aerospace industry and promote Russian products both at home and abroad, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

"An extensive exposition will be deployed. Leading Russian and foreign companies will present their achievements," Putin said in a speech at the opening ceremony of the MAKS-2017 airshow, which runs from Tuesday to Sunday in the Russian city of Zhukovsky on the southeastern outskirts of Moscow.

MAKS 2017 Airshow to Promote Russian Aerospace Products on Global Market Says Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the opening ceremony of the MAKS-2017 (the International Aviation and Space Show) in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, Russia, Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Over 790 aviation and aerospace companies from 26 countries and regions are expected to showcase thousands of products and design projects at the airshow in search of cooperation opportunities.

"Conferences and seminars will take place on topical issues of the industry development. A number of negotiations and signing of major contracts are planned," Putin said.

thumbnail MAKS 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the opening ceremony of the MAKS-2017 (the International Aviation and Space Show) in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, Russia, Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

"We expect that all this will contribute to the strengthening of production cooperation, the growth of international cooperation, the promotion of Russian products in the domestic and foreign markets. We have something to offer," the president said.

More than 73,000 professionals have signed up for a visit at the airshow so far, and the total number of visitors is expected to reach hundreds of thousands, according to the organizing committee of the airshow.

thumbnail MAKS 2017 in Russia 7

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the opening ceremony of the MAKS-2017 (the International Aviation and Space Show) in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, Russia, Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Founded in 1993, the MAKS is a biennial event aimed at displaying Russian aerospace-related high-tech products and promoting business cooperation with foreign partners in the aerospace sector.

The entire event usually lasts for six days, exclusively accessible to research and development institutions, business organizations and the press in the first three days, and then open to the public for the rest of the time.


WALINI, Indonesia, July 16 :The Walini tunnel project of the High-Speed Railway (HSR) linking Indonesian capital Jakarta to Bandung was launched here Saturday.

Indonesian State-owned Enterprises (SoE) Minister Rini Soemarno attended the ground-breaking ceremony and visited the project in Walini in Bandung Regency.

"I am optimistic about this project which would be in full swing at the end of August. It means that any obstacles we are facing now need to be cleared," Rini told Xinhua.

thumbnail Walini Tunnel Project for Indonesia27s Jakarta Bandung High Speed Railway Starts

The minister said she will immediately coordinate with state power firm PLN and the Ministry of Public Works to overcome the obstacles.

"I am pleased with these developments so far. I have heard about results of cooperation with the Chinese firms here, such as recruitment of locals in the projects," she said.

The project was previously delayed due to official permits and land compensation issues, she said.

"But as the state enterprise minister who is a shareholder of this project, I will make it sure this project would be completed as we have planned," she said.

Praising the Indonesian minister's commitments, Zhang Wei, general manager of the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway project, said that the commencement of the tunnel project will offer a significant demonstration and give experience for other tunnel constructions in the HSR project.

"As the first formal project of the Jakarta-Bandung HSR project, the commencement of the tunnel in Walini marks an important step in the overall construction," Zhang told Xinhua.

The CREC will cooperate with other Chinese contractors so as to contribute to the accomplishment of the HSR project and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

The Jakarta-Bandung HSR project contract was signed in Jakarta in early April between consortium joined by Chinese and Indonesian firms and KCIC, a China-Indonesia joint firm tasked with monitoring the project.

The 142-km-long railway project is the first of such in Indonesia as well as in the whole region of Southeast Asia.

It is expected to be built in three years and the high-speed train could reach a speed of 350 kilometers per hour.

The HSR would shorten the traveling time between the two cities from three hours to 40 minutes and spur economic activities along the line. (Xinhua)

ASTANA – The Astana Declaration was signed June 23 at the second meeting of European Union (EU) and Central Asia ministers of education at the capital’s Rixos President Hotel in Astana. The declaration intends to expand educational cooperation between the EU and Central Asian countries.

Kazakhstan has made progress implementing the national system of qualifications in the self-certification process of the National Qualifications Framework and is nearing completion for comparability with the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education area. The Professional Teacher Standard was adopted this month, which provides a framework to determine the professional competencies of educators for each skill level.

Delegations included representatives from the European Commission, EU and Central Asia ministers of education, senior officials, the European External Action Service (EEAS), rectors of European and Central Asian higher education institutions as well as Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Erlan Sagadiyev, Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko and Ambassador and EU Special Representative for Central Asia Peter Burian.

In his keynote remarks, Sagadiyev outlined Kazakhstan’s priorities for educational reform.

“We need to make formalised education available to much greater amount of people. All the kids from 3 to 6 year olds are to go through pre-schooling. Today, they’re 85 percent, showing an increase of about 6 percent from last year,” he said.

He also said kids need to start formal schooling earlier than the current six or seven years of age as it is today.

“[It has to start] at the age of five or six with the introduction of 0 grade, which starts this year in a limited scope, but is planned by September 2019 on a national scale. So, it will be a 12-year schooling program from zero to 11.”

“We had 20,000 kids per year leaving after the ninth grade (about 6-7 percent) that neither went to the 10th grade of school nor went to college,” he said.

Sagadiyev believes Kazakhstan can become a true educational hub in Central Asia. “We see academic mobility on an exponential rise. We see a number of parents willing to send their kids to study abroad rising dramatically. We don’t believe it will stop in a globalised world.”

“In parallel, we would love to help our Central Asian partners benefit from educational cooperation in any way we can. As one step, we propose to establish the Central Asian Bureau of the Bologna Process in Kazakhstan. The creation of such a bureau will promote the exchange of experiences between our countries and the European Union, will bring closer education systems of Central Asia,” he stressed.

“Central Asia has rich natural and human resources, transit-transport potential and a favourable geographical position,” Vassilenko said in his welcoming remarks. “In this regard, it is in our common interest to preserve the politically stable, economically sustainable and safe development of the Central Asian region.”

According to Vassilenko, such meetings can initiate broad international dialogues and improve the national education system and pave access to quality education.

“In our opinion, the realisation of the idea of creating a joint ‘incubator of educational products and services,’ could be promising. It should unite talents and ideas as well as use the potential of existing educational products to improve educational systems in our countries,” he said.

Kazakhstan can also offer international partners experience implementing the Bolashak international educational programme.

“Some 12,000 Kazakh students were able to use this programme to study in some of the best universities in the world. The cluster of Nazarbayev University and the network of intellectual schools in Kazakhstan could also interest our international and regional partners,” he said.

Vassilenko believes it is important to include the “concepts of cultural tolerance and adherence to peaceful dialogue” in the educational programmes of primary and secondary schools around the world.

“We are convinced that this will allow us to form a generation of a new humanistic thinking, which is critically important for the future of mankind, given the aggravation of crises and conflicts in many parts of the world today,” he stressed.

In his turn, Burian noted that a few days ago the EU reconfirmed Central Asia is a significant partner for the EU in its Council Conclusions updating the EU Central Asia Strategy adopted 10 years ago.

“The EU reaffirmed its commitment to develop a strong and durable relationship, based on joint ownership and aimed at fostering peaceful, prosperous, sustainable and stable socio-economic development of the Central Asia region in line with the recently adopted EU Global Strategy and the joint commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said.

“We have also witnessed over the last years in Europe and in Central Asia what damage can bring the exclusion and consecutive radicalisation among the younger population,” he went on saying. “I believe we all agree that education plays a critical role in forming a person, his world views and in preparing him for a quality adult life as an integral part of a broader society. With this in mind it can be surely said that investing in education we are investing in the security and stability of our societies.”

He noted officials in Brussels and in European capitals “see Central Asia as a major gateway between Europe and Asia representing a young and growing market with significant potential for investment and trade, infrastructure and people-to-people contacts.”

Vassilenko added that to unleash this potential should be the guiding principle for future cooperation. “I believe the cooperation on education is a corner-stone in this endeavour.”


Source by: astanatimes.com

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