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Kazakhstan's new measure to boost tourism, investment

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Kazakhstan adopts new measure to boost tourism

Kazakhstan has lifted visa requirements for citizens of the European Union, OECD countries and a number of other states as part of efforts to boost investment and tourism.

The measure adopted earlier by neighboring Uzbekistan comes as Kazakhstan as Central Asia's largest economy has been battered by low oil prices and financial distress in neighboring Russia.

According to Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry, since the beginning of 2017, citizens of EU and OECD countries, as well as Malaysia, Monaco, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, could travel to Kazakhstan for up to 30 days without a visa.

In a statement, the ministry said the initiative was meant to "promote an even more favorable investment climate" and "develop the country's tourism potential."

"The move will open up additional opportunities to the business community for cooperation with the outside world and facilitate international contacts in different spheres," the statement said.

Kazakhstan's landscape is dotted with mountains, lakes and desert, and the glitzy capital Astana is home to futuristic architecture.

Back in December, neighboring Uzbekistan announced plans to roll back its highly restrictive tourism regime by cancelling visa requirements for 15 countries. That move followed the election of interim leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who succeeded the late Islam Karimov.


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