On 6th July 2015 British Expertise International held a meeting dedicated to the economic, political and commercial situation in the Central Asian countries. The guests of honour at the event were the British Ambassadors to Georgia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Alexandra Hall has been British Ambassador to Georgia since September 2013. Alexandra spoke to CATBIG members last May when she gave her initial impressions of Georgia and this time was able to give a mid-posting update as well as compare to her previous postings in Bogota (Deputy Head of Mission) and prior to that in New Delhi, Washington and Bangkok. Dr Carolyn Browne has been British Ambassador to Kazakhstan since January 2013. She has spoken to CATBIG a number of times, and her insights into the politics, economy and commercial opportunities in this key emerging market, a critical player in energy supplies to Europe, are always most sought after. Sanjay Wadvani OBE has been British Ambassador to Turkmenistan since December 2013. CATBIG has worked closely with Sanjay and his team on a range of commercial initiatives, including the Turkmenistan-UK Trade & Industry Council (TUKTIC), and focus events on technical and vocational education and business resulting from Ashgabat holding the Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in 2017.

An Unusual British-Iranian Experience

On 30th July 2015, Hertfordshire Press publishing house held an author talk on the book, “Land of Forty Tribes” by British-Iranian author, Dr.Farideh Heyat. The event took place at the Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies. Numerous guests attended, including students from SOAS University of London. The author made an interesting presentation of her new book and shared her experiences of travelling in Central Asia, good and bad. Her “Land of Forty Tribes” book was published in 2015 by British publishing house “Hertfordshire Press” and this latest talk is one of a number by the author. The first presentation was held on May in London, while in July another presentation was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

 Kazakh Khanate’s 550th Anniversary Celebrations

On 10th June 2015, the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and British company, Silk Road Media, held an author talk on the book, “Vanished Khans and Empty Steppes” by English writer, Robert Wight. The event took place at Yunus Emre Institute London Turkish Cultural Centre and was devoted to the 550th Anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate.

The welcome speech was made by the First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Askar Zhiymbayev. Numerous distinguished guests attended, including participants of the first Kazakh delegation from South Kazakhstan (Shymkent), which was visiting Stevenage on the occasion of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of twin cities status between Shymkent and Stevenage.

The event was also attended by British publisher, Marat Akhmedjanov, who told the audience about the work of his Hertfordshire Press publishing house. The company specialises in publishing books by authors from Kazakhstan and Central Asia. There was also an exhibition of books about Central Asia published by Hertfordshire Press. “Vanished Khans and Empty Steppes” was published by Hertfordshire Press in London in 2014.