The 10 most important things you need to know on Caspian Sea Region for Wednesday, June 24:
1Azerbaijan Oil and Gas Strategic Analysis and Outlook to 2025 – Forecasts of Supply, Demand, Investment, Companies and Infrastructure. Amidst downfall in oil prices creating uncertainty on the future of Azerbaijan industry growth, the report details key strategies of government, oil and gas companies and investors in the country. Detailed outlook of the industry in terms of production forecasts of oil, gas, LNG, LPG, gasoline, diesel, fuel oil along with supporting parameters of primary energy demand, GDP and population are included. Current status of planned projects along with the possible commencement of the projects, feasibility of developing those projects in current market conditions, expected start up, impact of competing assets in other countries and overall industry developments, investments required and other related information on planned projects is provided in detail. The comprehensive guide provides analysis and forecasts of Azerbaijan oil and gas market for the period 2000 to 2025. Asset by asset details of all existing and planned projects across Azerbaijan oil and gas value chain are detailed in the report. [Research and Markets]
2Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Strategic Analysis and Outlook 2015-2025 – Forecasts of Supply, Demand, Investment, Companies and Infrastructure. The author, one of the leading research and consulting service providers for the oil and gas industry, recently published the Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Strategic Analysis and Outlook to 2025. The premier report provides analysis of key opportunities and associated challenges facing Kazakhstan oil and gas industry. Amidst downfall in oil prices creating uncertainty on the future of Kazakhstan industry growth, the report details key strategies of government, oil and gas companies and investors in the country. Detailed outlook of the industry in terms of production forecasts of oil, gas, LNG, LPG, gasoline, diesel, fuel oil along with supporting parameters of primary energy demand, GDP and population are included. [Research and Markets]
3Nato strategy shifts to face Russia. Lithuanian soldiers participate in Nato Noble Jump military exercises. The US is putting together a “new blueprint” for deterring Russian aggression against its Nato allies as it digs in for a potentially prolonged stand-off with Moscow. The emerging American strategy involves placing tanks and artillery across eastern Europe and providing fighter jets and commando units to a new Nato rapid reaction force which is being set up to respond to potential crises with Russia. While some of the measures have been designed as much for their symbolism as their immediate military impact, the announcements represent the beginning of a major reorientation of the Nato alliance which has spent more than a decade fighting in Afghanistan but which is now focusing more on defending its eastern frontier. [Financial Times]
4The Silk Road Superhighway: Kazakh Transportation as Geopolitics. “there are some interesting regional, transregional, and truly global infrastructure projects Kazakhstan is including alongside the standard local fixes that could carry significant geopolitical weight moving into the future. Indeed, just how successful Kazakhstan is in ‘fixing the potholes’ across its country could become incredibly important to countries like Russia, China, Turkey, Germany, and the United States. Who knew road work could be so exciting!” writes Dr. Matthew Crosston for the Modern Diplomacy.
5Presenting of Azerbaijan as a country with human rights violations is wrong, Samad Seyidov, the head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said. Seyidov made the remarks during the discussion of the report on “Activity of democratic institutions in Azerbaijan” on the second day of the PACE summer session.”It is enough,” he said. “Presenting of Azerbaijan as a country with human rights violations is wrong. You are talking here about the people detained in Azerbaijan. Why do not you talk about the rights of the people killed on the line of contact? You are calling us for fulfilling the obligations that we have undertaken. If you are working correctly, why can’t the countries, accusing Azerbaijan, ensure the observance of human rights in their own countries? Think about yourself before blaming Azerbaijan.”
6The Trans-Caspian Pipeline: Geopolitics Near and Abroad. “Peaceful discussions amongst Caspian members display a warm and sentimental approach towards an issue that can easily impact Russia’s economic and political success. Although Russia has gone on record to demonstrate public support of sea demarcations, behind-the-scenes negotiations with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan’s leaders appear to be fueling Russia’s agenda in Ukraine, providing a warning to the possibilities of a successful Trans-Caspian Pipeline initiative that does not offer Russia a significant role. The building of Caspian alliances communicates a desire for dynamic partnerships that are dismissive of one dominant player” writes Dianne A. Valdez for the Modern Diplomacy.
7Why are Saudis in Russia? “Saudi Arabia is raising the level of its political action and putting its interests firmly on the table. It was no surprise that Saudi Arabia is directing its interest toward Russia. The cold relations of the past years needed a push to encourage warmer dealings and an improved relationship. The phone call between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and President Vladimir Putin on April 20 indicated that warmth had returned to the relations between the two countries” writes Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi for the Arabnews.
8The Hydra of the Caspian Sea: Iran’s Naval Strategy. “The Iranian chain of command is decentralized in that small unit commanders have enough autonomy to carry out the overarching strategy even with infrequent communication between itself and central command, which creates capacity to absorb attempts to decapitate the command structure from its constituent units. The Iranian military copies this strategy with all of its serving units beyond the navy, meaning its entire military could operate in this manner within a Caspian Sea conflict” writes Taylor Morse for the Modern Diplomacy.
9Iran ready to partner Turkey in $10 billion plan. Iran is ready to give partnership stakes to Turkish companies in its construction of roads, airports and railways for which the country has put aside $10 billion. Over the next three to five years, Iran has many transportation projects on offer which it is ready to award some to “internationally proven Turkish companies,” Iranian Ambassador to Ankara Alireza Bigdeli said. He said prospective Turkish corporations would be awarded contracts based on work partnership with Iranian companies without bids.
10Tele2 Kazakhstan appoints new CCO. Mobile operator Tele2 Kazakhstan has appointed Daniel Karpovich the new CCO of the company, reports Profit.kz. Karpovich will replace Mindaugas Ubartas in the position in a month. The operator didn’t give a reason for replacing Ubartas, who has worked in the position since 2013. Karpovich earlier worked as head of product development at Tele2 Kazakhstan.
EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: Solid progress in supporting refugees
The Commission reported today good progress in the implementation and programming of €6 billion of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey. More than 80 projects are currently up and running delivering tangible results to refugees and host communities in particular on education and health. Out of the €6 billion, some €4.2 billion has been allocated, of which €3.45 billion has been contracted and €2.22 billion disbursed to date.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations,said: “We continue to make good progress in the implementation and programming of the Facility. More than 80 projects to date provide vital assistance in the areas of education, health, protection and socio-economic support, and more projects are in the pipeline. We remain committed to continue our support to refugees and host communities in Turkey, addressing current needs and increasing resilience and self-reliance for the longer term.”
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management,added: “The European Union is continuing to support refugees in Turkey, in line with its commitment. 1.6 million refugees are receiving humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs. Looking ahead to the future, we are working to make our support more sustainable. We remain committed to continue working closely with Turkey to make this possible.”
Today, the twelfth Steering Committee meeting of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey took place in Brussels. It was chaired by the Commission and brought together representatives of EU Member States and Turkey.
The Committee reviewed the third annual monitoring report on the implementation of the Facility and confirmed the progress made in the programming of the second €3 billion tranche of the budget of the Facility. It completed the evaluation of project proposals in the areas of socio-economic support and municipal infrastructure to the tune of €845 million.
The 84 projects set up in the framework of the Facility bring forth concrete outcomes and a significant positive impact for refugees and host communities alike, facilitating the integration of refugees in the Turkish society.
For education, one of the priority areas of action, the EU signed a €400 million contract to continue its support to existing programmes, which is to be complemented by a further €100 million before the summer. This involves the construction of 136 school buildings and 50 prefabricated schools well under way. This progress in education infrastructure goes hand in hand with the implementation of the project for Promoting Integration of Syrian Children into Turkish Education System (PICTES), which benefits 400,000 students.
In the area of health, 5 million healthcare consultations have been carried out, with 178 migrant health centres now operational, employing over 2,600 staff, two thirds of which are Syrian refugees.
The EU is highly focused on ensuring the sustainability of the Facility’s humanitarian and development activities, which aim to support the Turkish authorities in a structural manner and to facilitate refugee integration. Under the humanitarian strand of the second tranche, the EU is implementing projects for a total of €50 million in addition the ongoing projects under the first tranche, those have already delivered tangible results for refugees and host communities.
The EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey was set up in 2015 in response to the European Council’s call for significant additional funding to support Syrian refugees in Turkey.
It has a total budget of €6 billion divided into two equal tranches of €3 billion each, allocated over two periods: 2016-2017 and 2018-2019.Out of the operational funds of €6 billion, €2.22 billion has already been disbursed, €3.45 billion contracted, with over 80 projects rolled out.
The Facility provides a joint coordination mechanism, designed to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. The support seeks to improve conditions for refugees in Turkey as part of the EU’s comprehensive approach to addressing the refugee crisis inside and outside the EU.
European Union and World Bank Support to Help Enhance Georgia’s Innovation Ecosystem
The European Union (EU) and the World Bank launched today the Increasing Institutional Capacity for Innovation (IICI) project, at an event held at Tech Park Georgia. Nika Alavidze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Mercy Tembon, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, and Stig Kjeldsen, First Secretary at Delegation of the European Union to Georgia offered opening remarks at the event.
“The World Bank is proud to continue to stand by GITA as it transforms from a young ‘startup’ agency into a mature framework for Georgia’s coordination of its innovation and entrepreneurship policy and practice,” said Mercy Tembon, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. “With support from the EU, and the Bank’s technical assistance, this project will allow GITA to take the next step toward greater institutional capacity and effectiveness, test the potential for technology transfer, and improve opportunities for investing in innovative, early stage companies in Georgia.”
“Innovation increases SME competitiveness and creates jobs, and innovation policy is actually at the heart of the EU’s own Europe 2020 strategy for growth and job creation,” said Stig Kjeldsen, Cooperation Officer at the EU Delegation to Georgia. “Further assisting GITA in building Georgia’s innovation ecosystem falls naturally in line with the EU’s commitment to supporting business development in Georgia.”
The IICI project is financed by the EU to the amount of €2.7 million and will be implemented by the World Bank. The overall objective of the project is to increase GITA’s capacity to develop and implement innovation and entrepreneurship policies and programs with medium- and long-term strategies and results; test and demonstrate the viability of technology transfer between educational institutions and the private sector in Georgia; improve the deal flow of innovative start-ups ready for investment, and fund availability for early-stage companies.
The IICI project is expected to generate important results, including: easier access to support and finance for a greater number of small and medium enterprises and innovative firms, a more coherent public approach to supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs and a boost in overall innovative economic activity.
World Bank Group Releases Little Data Book on Gender
The World Bank Group today released the Little Data Book on Gender 2019 to provide an easily accessible entry point to statistics tracking gaps between men and women, boys and girls for 217 economies around the world with comparable data for 2000 and 2017.
In addition to demographic and economic information, the Little Data Book on Gender indicators include the proportion of women and men who use the internet, sex-disaggregated smoking prevalence, and the percentage of female graduates from science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs in tertiary education.
The book includes two indicators from the Women, Business and the Law database: the length of paid maternity leave and whether women are legally able to work in the same industries as men.
“Progress in eliminating poverty and ensuring shared prosperity can be enhanced and accelerated when we have good data,” said Caren Grown, World Bank Group Senior Director for Gender. “The Little Data Book on Gender offers policymakers and development practitioners easy access to data on males and females in the domains in which we work – health, education, and economic life. As sex-disaggregated data becomes increasingly available, there is no excuse to not use it in our policy dialogue and to inform choices about interventions.”
This edition of the Little Data Book on Gender also features online tables that will be updated quarterly.
“Regular online updates will make it easier than ever to see how women and men are faring across a range of global indicators, and to track progress over time,” said Haishan Fu, Director, Development Data Group. “This supplements the fuller, curated data and analysis tools provided by the World Bank Group, including through the Gender Data Portal.”
The Little Data Book on Gender shows remarkable broad progress toward gender equality in education enrollment and health, while gender inequality remains stubbornly persistent in access to economic opportunities. On virtually every global measure, the Little Data Book on Gender reveals that women are more likely than men to be engaged in low productivity activities, and to work more in vulnerable employment.
The Little Data Book on Gender can be accessed online through the World Bank’s Gender Data Portal, and can be used by researchers, journalists, policy makers, and anyone interested in gaps between men and women.
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