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November 15, 2002
  Contact: Heather Layman
(202) 482-3809

Bush Administration Official Talks Trade in Kazakhstan

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration Faryar Shirzad today concluded a two-day trip to Kazakstan aimed at boosting trade between the U.S. and Kazakhstan.

On October 1, 2001, the U.S. Department of Commerce granted Kazakhstan market economy status under U.S. trade laws. This week, a U.S. delegation led by Assistant Secretary Shirzad hosted a trade law seminar for industry representatives and government officials designed to provide information to help Kazakhstani companies comply with U.S. laws and policies under the new market economy designation. Mr. Shirzad also met with key trade and economic ministers while in Astana, including Deputy Prime Minister Karim Masimov, Minister of Industry and Trade Yesenbayev and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Valdimir Shkolnik.

"With a better understanding of how our trade laws operate, and how they fit into President Bush's trade policy, we hope to maximize the opportunity for trade between our two countries," said Mr. Shirzad.

The seminar was attended by over 50 industry and government representatives and covered such topics as U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws and calculation methods, as well as provided guidance on preparing responses to questionnaires generated during such proceedings.

Assistant Secretary Shirzad further stated "As the first nation in the Commonwealth of Independent States to earn market economy status, the Government of Kazakhstan and the private sector successfully partnered to unleash the power of open markets. Embracing the principles of free trade, you have deregulated industries and created a new legal framework to provide the conditions necessary for a market economy to thrive. We applaud your progress."

U.S. based enterprises are the largest foreign direct investors in Kazakhstan, accounting for more than 50% of investments. U.S. based firms are engaged in about 300 registered joint ventures, 20 of which are large scale projects in the oil and gas, mining and energy sectors. These joint ventures are responsible for the bulk of Kazakhstan's oil exports.

As Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration, Mr. Shirzad is responsible for administering the U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws. He is also responsible for working with the Office of the United States Trade Representative in consultations with the World Trade Organization and other international trade organizations regarding antidumping and countervailing duty laws. In addition, he leads negotiations to promote fair trade in specific sectors, such as steel; heads the Subsidies Enforcement Office; and serves as Secretary Evan's delegate on the Foreign Trade Zones Board. Mr. Shirzad was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 1, 2001.


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