Open borders = more business

I love getting my monthly update email from the Air Astana Nomad Club. It has marginal practical value to me as I’ve never flown on the carrier nor even looked at their award charts. But I find that most months there is at least one useful bit of information offered up. This month it is the launch of twice weekly service between Almaty and Hong Kong on a 757. Why is that relevant? To be fair, it probably isn’t in most cases. Odds of me flying that route or seeing direct value from it are basically nil. But there is a footnote to the service announcement which is what really interests me:

Effective from July 26, 2012, nationals of the Republic of Kazakhstan may visit Hong Kong visa-free for a stay of up to 14 days. Likewise, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) passport holders will also enjoy 14 days visa-free access to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The two governments relaxed immigration restrictions and business followed. It is certainly too early to judge just how significant the impact of this move will be on either economy. It will likely be minimal at best. But at least they’ve got a chance. That’s better than with many government policies these days.

Random and mostly useless; that’s the way we roll in these parts. Smile

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Seth, your posts are far from useless. Your blog is the only BA blog worth following. At least there is some interesting content instead of mindless pimping of credit cards and tricks stolen from FT.

  2. Thanks Seth. I find free trade initiatives very interesting…they typically foreshadow increased business activity when it includes a “frontier” jurisdiction and a well developed one.

    So, now, how to monetize this information:
    A) offer citizens of kazakhstan credit card links 😉
    B) figure out what the biggest exports are from Kazakhstan and reconcile with demand in the hong kong market….and find companies/funds to invest in which would benefit from this liberalization.

    B might be a toughy, but worth a look.

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