Korea-Kazakhstan Tax Forum Builds International Bridges

February 10, 2011

The Korea-Kazakhstan Tax Forum featured a variety of events related to comparative study and analysis of tax legislation and practice in the two countries, which are currently enjoying increasing trade and cultural connections.

On February 8, CATRC organized a student competitive session in which KIMEP students formed mixed teams with Korean students and jointly brainstormed several complex case studies involving Korea-Kazakhstan cross-border transactions. Students had to identify suitable solutions and then present them in "consultant-like" presentations. The winning team was awarded scholarships to pursue further studies in taxation.

"During the short period, I learned something academically and was motivated by students at KIMEP", said Seonmi Kim, "I learned so much more than I had expected and I can't sum it up in a word."

Of particular interest is the fact that a group of practitioners, professors and students from the University of Seoul joined the Tax Forum. After the KIMEP CATRC team, the lead contribution to the organization of the forum was made by Hyejung Byun, Assistant Professor, University of Seoul, who also brought her students with her. These students have specialized and focused on taxation throughout their studies.

On February 9, the Forum ran a series of lectures and discussions attended by the KIMEP community and visitors from the corporations.

Many students joined with faculty to present comparative research on several issues in Kazakhstan-Korea taxation. Bibinur Imankulova (CATRC Research Assistant) and Seonmi Kim and Daum Jung (University of Seoul) reviewed the two countries' investment climates and trade and investment relations. Anar Gabdul (CATRC Research Assistan) and Vladimir Tyutyuryukov, Visiting Professor at KIMEP, jointly with Hyunseung Lee, (University of Seoul) reviewed the countries' two domestic tax systems. Assel Sakieva (CATRC Research Assistant) made a joint presentation on international tax provisions in domestic legislation with Yongheon Jeong (University of Seoul). Natalya Pak (4th year KIMEP student and lead organizer of the Forum) identified previously ignored tax benefits in the Kazakhstan-Korea Tax Treaty.

Several more KIMEP students contributed reports.  Shynar Bitigenova (CATRC Research Assistant) made the audience familiar with suitable investment structures in Kazakhstan, while Assiya Yermukhametova (CATRC Research Assistant) discussed the special tax regimes in Kazakhstan in relation to recent developments in the region, especially the creation of the Customs Union.

Finally, Assistant Professor Seonghoon Moon of Hallym University concluded the investment session of the forum with a presentation on the topic "The Taxation of Financial Instruments in Korea."

"I saw unlimited potential in Kazakhstan and a shining future for KIMEP students," said Hyunseung Lee. "I won't forget these events in Almaty."

The Korea-Kazakhstan Tax Forum was generously sponsored by Shinhan Bank, a major Korean bank with operations in Kazakhstan, and Linkage Mind, LLP, a Kazakhstani law firm. From the KIMEP side, the organization of the Forum was supported by a team from the KIMEP College of Continuing Education.