Thursday, January 20
08:58 AM

Shades of progress

4 Sep 2021 By HUBERT VAZ

Beautiful images revealing three decades of economic progress of Kazakhstan, captured by talented photographers, are currently on display at the Art & Soul art gallery in Water Front mall, in Shatti Qurm.

The exhibition, organised by the Kazakhstan Embassy in Oman, titled  ‘Kazakhstan Recognised by the International Community’ – to mark the 30th anniversary of the independence of Kazakhstan – will be on till September 9. It also commemorates the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 2009, at the initiative of Kazakhstan.

The exhibition presents achievements of three decades of Independence which have become an era of economic progress and sustainable development for Kazakhstan. Over the years of independence, US$350bn of foreign direct investment has been attracted to Kazakhstan, The country has a GDP of above US$180bn, which has increased 16-fold since independence, an official statement said, adding that it is the largest economy in Central Asia accounting for more than half of the region’s GDP.

Kazakhstan is also considered one of the largest contributors to the world’s security and safety with its decision to voluntarily give up nuclear arsenal and promote nonproliferation initiatives.

The country had experienced all the devastating horrors of nuclear explosions detonated at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. For 40 years, 456 explosions were conducted, which caused immense suffering for 1.5 million of its people. After gaining independence in 1991, Kazakhstan made a voluntary choice in favour of abandoning the world’s fourth most powerful arsenal of nuclear weapons. It consisted of over 110 ballistic missiles with 1,200 warheads capable of reaching any point on the Earth.

Progress without nuclear weapons

Today Kazakhstan is a member of all fundamental international treaties on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including the most recent Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which entered into force in January 2021. Hence, this exhibition also showcases today’s Kazakhstan that presents the country’s progress and success ‘without nuclear weapons and nuclear tests’.

An official from the Kazakh Embassy in Muscat disclosed that the exhibition presents 35 photographs received from different sources such as KazakhTourism, Kaziform News Agency, Municipalities of Almaty and Turkestan Cities, etc. Some were created by Kazakh artists and some were done by foreign photographers.

The exhibition showcases the achievements of Kazakhstan over the years of Independence besides other facets of Kazakhstan’s amazing nature, especially the main tourist attractions in Kazakhstan which are very popular among foreign tourists.

Secondly, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, the exhibition shows that giving up voluntarily the 4th largest nuclear arsenal in the world in the early 1990s was the right decision of Kazakhstan’s First President Nursultan Nazarbayev. It gave Kazakhstan a necessary push to become a successful country with a fast developing economy and stable political system.

Common culture, strong ties

“Oman is also one of the leading advocates for nonproliferation. This is the absolute point for both nations to cooperate. Oman and Kazakhstan fully understand each other, since both nations are looking into making the world safer and peaceful,” the official said.

“Kazakhstan and Oman have inherited a common culture and civilisation. We have the same or similar views on most issues of bilateral interaction and international agenda. We appreciate this friendship and partnership and look forward to strengthening it for the benefit of the people of both countries,” he added.

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