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tv   This Is America With Dennis Wholey  PBS  September 16, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT

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>> recently, "this is america" visited the republic of kazakhstan and central asia. kazakhstan is one of the 15 countries formed by the breakup of the soviet union, and it is the most successful of them all. on december 16, kazakhstan celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence. it is the ninth largest country in the world, and its location, oil and mineral wealth, and government's vision, have all contributed to its rapid growth internationally, kazakhstan is a
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world leader in the goal of eradicating nuclear-weapons on earth. it is a beautiful country of snowcapped mountains, regions of deserts', and historic and futuristic cities. with a population of 16.5 million people, kazakhstan is home to more than 100 different ethnic groups, resulting in an incredibly rich and diverse culture. over the next few programs, "this is america" will look at the culture, people, government, s of has and sight standard we will look at its importance in the region and its relationship with the united states. "this is america" visits the republic of kazakhstan. "this is america" is made possible by -- the national education association, the nation's
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largest advocate for children and public education. poongsan corporation, forging a higher global standard. the ctc foundation, afo communications, and the rotondaro family trust. this year, kazakhstan celebrates its 20th anniversary of independence. on this program, we will learn about what it was like before independence 20 years ago, and how oil and a visionary president made kazakhstan the success it is today and why diversifying its economy will be the key to kazakhstan's even brighter future. >> it was a while the economy,
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while business economy, and a great economy mainly. today, we have a lot of public companies. our businessmen are doing international joint ventures. if you take the society as a whole, are people became much more open-minded, a free, outspoken people, and we are much different from what we were before. >> has that been exciting to be a part of? >> i was 20 years old when kazakhstan became independent. our generation of businessmen, they were not that successful because they probably did not get that much influence in communist times. good times, in a good country,
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to create such a career is possible only i think being born in kazakhstan. after the collapse of the soviet union, 20 guys started business here, like 20 guys who started and they all became visible businessmen. later on, it was time when our presidents was in the mid 1990's managing state companies. one guy, the head of the airline company, another guy, the head of an electricity company, and i was invited to be the head of a state oil company. so of course we all went so the
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country, and it was also very interesting to -- he later on, we all worked in the central government, being ministers, vice ministers, etc.. it helped me to change my view on the country and the economy. i am very thankful to our president, who allowed us, who gave us such an opportunity. today we are bringing business back, and this experience which we gained helps us a lot. and so it was possible i think only in such a country as
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kazakhstan, because we are just a 20-year-old country. >> this is the 20th anniversary of the independence of kazakhstan. what does that mean to a businessman? >> the cats extend business community is it -- the kazakhstan business community is a contemporary. in the early 1990's, i was a student, so i've witnessed all the phases of the development of our national economy and the business sector as well. so what did independence give us? it gave us the ability to communicate with the international business communities, to be able to see their experiences and their practices. >> would you say oil is came here? and there are many different
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companies focused on the oil and gas. is that true? >> in regards to this issue, i would like to emphasize that the industry does play a significant and crucial role for the economy of our country. but at the same time we have other clusters of attraction of different companies such as the mining industry, metallurgy as well. >> list some of the natural resources, some of the metals we're talking about when we're talking about minerals. >> kazakhstan is believed to possess almost all minerals on the table of elements. kazakhstan extract copper, zinc, gold, silver, manganese, and other minerals. but we are global leaders in
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copper and zinc extraction and production. >> tell me about this huge operation right here. >> it has been in kazakhstan since 1993. it is a partnership signed between the republic of kazakhstan and chevron in 1993. current shareholders are chevron, exxon mobil -- >> you have a couple that you would not recognize. >> a financial company of kazakhstan, and a russian company. >> so a heavy investment here by the united states. >> absolutely, yes, 75% ownership from the united states oil company. >> how big is this oil that you are sitting on right here? how big, how important is it to kazakhstan and the world? >> thank you for that question. at tco, we operate the biggest,
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super giant oil field in the world. it would take you two marathons to run around the perimeter, it is that large. it holds between 6 billion to 9 billion barrels of reserves. we produce currently 600,000 barrels of oil per day, about 750,000 cubic feet of natural gas. to use the term barrel of oil equivalent, it is more than 700,000 barrels of oil per day. >> is it fueling the economy here? >> that is a fair statement. s direct payments are brown $66 billion. a run 2011, we are -- a new record this year in the range
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of $13 billion or $14 billion. >> in addition to paying the government, is that for land use, royalties? >> payments to the national oil company for their interest in the operation here. also payments to government- owned railroads, pipeline. it is a huge amount of money. >> so it is a good deal, both directions? >> we think so. it is structured that way, and a fair deal. >> the history. when was of oil discovered in the area? >> i do not know the exact date, but it was our field, in the 1920's or 1930's. >> so really the big piece takes off with the u.s. investments? >> this was discovered before we came up. the discovery was here, and back in 1985 and 1986 they had a huge blow out, and that well was on
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fire for more than a year. that explains the bit of a technical difficulty of the field and why the cuts extend people were looking for partners in technology. >> where does the oil and up? >> a around the world. it is not a difficult crude to refine. it goes to refineries all over the world, sold on the open market. most of it goes through russia, sold on the open market. it is found in gasoline products that you use in the united states, europe. >> how does it feel to be a person from texas heading up this huge operation here in kazakhstan? >> it is a tremendous honor for me to be here. my wife and i have enjoyed our time here tremendously. we have more than 3000 employees that we cherish and love dearly, as my own children. 85% are kazakhstan citizens now.
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the supervisors and managers are context and citizens as well. we have done very well over our 18-year history and we will do that going forward as well. it is a tremendous honor to lead this organization. >> oil and gas sector and occupies 26%. >> what percentage of oil and natural gas stays within kazakhstan for use here? what% is exported? >> the annual volume of oil production is about 81 million tons. out of that, 13.5 million intended for internal use in kazakhstan. otherwise, it is exported. >> what countries are the target of the exports?
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>> the most part is the european union, about 83%. about 15% for china, some small amount goes to russia. since russia is rich itself in oil and gas. >> what do you see happening in the area of energy in the next five or 10 years? >> after 2013, we think that the conception of energy from nuclear technology will increase. but before, we do not expect many changes. >> if the status quo will maines, kazakhstan will play a big role? -- if the status quo remains,
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kazakhstan will play the role? >> i think so. reserves are bigger than our current production. in a resource, for example, we are -- we are a producer of oil , we own a. 15/16.own >> agriculture is very important? >> yes, agriculture is very important to kazakhstan. a lot of people have employment in this sector. this means it is important not only from an economic
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standpoint, but also from the social standpoint, and the government has put a lot of effort to develop agriculture, paying attention to social and economic issues. an economic component is also very important. this involves the development of new technologies, and this also improves the economic opponent of the agricultural sector. the revenues are going up. we know that the product prices going up from year to year, and this is a problem for the whole world, and kazakhstan to some extent is in a beneficial situation due to that. another component in the framework of this sector is cattle breeding. we are putting a lot of efforts into this segment. this means we have to focus more
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on the development -- it means that we have to diversify the crops that we're growing right now, we have to think about cattle. this is also positively impact in -- >> i read that this has been a record year for agriculture here in kazakhstan. what made it so, and how does that impact the exports from kazakhstan abroad? >> any producer, any farmer of course desires to get as much yield as possible and to get as much revenue as possible. the record yield this year means that the revenues will get
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higher. the exports will get higher, too. this will result in an increase of capital investments, investments to other things, into equipment, and ultimately a personal level, individual level. within the last 10 years we are one of the big 10 producers, exporters of grain. in the last six years, we are 6 and 7. in terms of exports as well, and the last five years we are number one in the world. >> tourism in kazakhstan. is it growing? >> kazakhstan became independent 20 years ago, and we have had --
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during that period, we have achieved the main principles in our policies, such as we have to be united, we have to have stable and prospering countries, and we have to develop. as you might know, in april of this year, there was a government meeting where it was decided, according to the president, to develop tourism, which should be compared in terms of turnover, revenues, with the retina in the oil and gas sector. >> -- with the revenue in the oil and gas sector. >> so this is an opportunity for the government to increase productivity as far as gdp is concerned? >> no doubt. it is the sector where jobs creation has five times missed
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when compared with other industries. it is not only about the development of tourism but about job creation in the country. it is about exposing kazakhstan as an open country, a country known for its great hospitality. the government wants to develop tourism, and the government participates in projects in terms of financing, providing assistance in creating infrastructure. you might know about the mega kazakhstan, which deals with the construction of the highway, western europe, eastern china, which repeats the ancient way to bring goods back and forth. this is also about development of sightseeing and places of interest.
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another project which is dealing with the infrastructure development, such as the creation of a new city, the construction of international airports, an area intended to attract people to visit kazakhstan. >> it sounds to me like the film business is big business in kazakhstan. is that right? >> i would say the main mechanism of the industry of film and has extend started working in recent years. the reason why, last year the number of tickets sold grew five times bigger in comparison to the previous year. >> so not only the making of films, but people going to the films? >> i can give you only two
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figures. within the last three years, the number of kazakhstan films in theaters grew three times. the number of viewers grew six times. >> are you doing productions right here in this building? >> currently, it is the film studio of the country. this country is producing about 80% to 85% of all the films in kazakhstan. >> is it a private organization, a business organization? does the government support the arts? >> it is 100% government owned film company. >> so the government supports the arts here? >> very strongly supports the arts.
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>> it is not only a city, but it is a larger area. can you tell me about that? >> population is a round 553 -- is around 550,000, out of which zaks.s native cossackha >> the oil industry has fueled the growth of the area. >> of course, oil has contributed a lot to the development of our country. it puts the focus on small and medium business, which is the number one focus for the government. over 20 years, we've established 130, created 30,000
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jobs here. >> diversification is the name of the game, isn't it? >> this is the number one economy -- the number one priority. last year we put into operation seven new industries. this year, by the end of this year, we're going to come up with an additional 15 facilities. >> is that here? >> yes, of course. it is also in the construction, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and -- >> how do people feel in kazakhstan about the changing of the country as the 20th anniversary is now here? >> first of all, it is the
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quality of life, the quality of each person. housing became affordable 20 years ago and became possible. it seems to be normal now. 20 years ago, i entered the university, and i was a student. you know what, 20 years ago, because of the problems with insecurity, i had to do my homework using -- with electricity, i had to do my homework using candles. >> would you say context don is a democracy? >> no doubt. -- would you say kazakhstan is a democracy? >> no doubt. \ will notice that all the laws, that kazakhstan's democracy is going on, is
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developing. [music playing] >> special thanks to theitz hotels in kazakhstan. for information about my new book, "the chance of a lifetime," and online video for all this is america programs, visit our website, " "this is america" is made possible by -- the national education association, the nation's
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largest advocate for children and public education. poongsan corporation, forging a higher global standard. the ctc foundation, afo communications, and the rotondaro family trust. whether at home or traveling abroad, our goal is to use our weekly "this is america" program to learn about the social, political, and cultural lives about people around the world. we call it this is america and the world. in the desert of downtown singapore, we talk with guests who are learning about the entire world. you can see all of our programs at and
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