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Senate Passes Innovations Cluster Laws

A plenary meeting of the Senate took place on 15 May under the chairmanship of House Speaker Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Senators ratified the Agreement between Kazakhstan and Russia on the Creation of a Joint Regional Air Defense System, which will be an integral part of the single air defense system of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The document identifies the authorized agencies on the implementation of the Agreement, the order of coordinating joint actions, as well as the rules of the Air Defense System's operation.

The House passed a Law On The Park of Innovative Technologies Innovative Cluster. The aim of the document is to set forth the special status of the "Park of Innovative Technologies" Special Economic Zone, the arrangements for attracting foreign labour, and requirements for registration and work in the Park.

The accompanying law amending legislation on the Park of Innovative Technologies was considered in two readings and passed.

Chairman of the House Kassym-Jomart Tokayev speaking in support for this legislative package pointed out that many advanced countries did not create innovations, but rather just use them. "In fact, the real innovations are produced mainly in the USA and Japan. Other countries borrow them. For instance, South Korea borrows to improve them, China borrows to reduce the cost. There is nothing frightful in borrowing, it is an advanced experience," the Speaker noted.

He emphasized that the development of science and innovation is a complex issue and President Nursultan Nazarbayev attaches great attention to the subject. "A unique institution, Nazarbayev University, was created where ambitious and knowledgeable scientists are working on this absolutely new field. Innovation means "new", absolutely new. Our television sometimes shows the production of noodles and yogurts as innovation. This, of course, discredits innovation", he said. The next day, 16 May, the senators discussed far and wide the issues of development of the national innovative system and the science-driven economy at the meeting of "Onir" (the Region) parliamentary group.

The Senate also passed the Law On Changes and Additions to Some Legislative Acts on Combating Legalization (Laundering) of Crime-Generated Incomes and Financing of Terrorism.

In addition, the Senate adopted a resolution to rename the Senate's standing Committee on Economic Development and Entrepreneurship into the Committee on Economic Policy, Innovative Development and Entrepreneurship.

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