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Two years from the start of the pandemic, governments and businesses in Central Asia continue to face a challenging and uncertain outlook. While the region is recovering with the estimated GDP growth of 3.7%, 5.8% and 5.0% in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic in 2022 respectively, the path to recovery varied significantly across the region. Yet certain similarities about the challenges suggest that a new trend might start in which the region will focus on “localization” as opposed to “globalization”.

On 17 February 2022, the we launched our Central Asia in Focus webinar series, discussing trends, challenges and opportunities in the region. In our five-episode webinar series, we will be discussing a wide range topics with experts from Banking & Finance, corporate, regulatory and other practices.

Episode 1: Update on recent developments in Kazakhstan: Aviation

This webinar focused on the impact of Covid-19 and other developments on Kazakhstan’s aviation sector, including:

  • market update as driven by Covid-19 and other developments;
  • landscape for deal making;
  • Cape Town Convention;
  • aircraft repossession and remarketing issues; and
  • restructuring and insolvency processes.

Speakers: Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova, of counsel, Azamat Kuatbekov, managing partner


Please note, a passcode is required to access this content: y7?e9.i.

Episode 2: Data protection and Covid-19: Trends, insights and comparison with the GDPR 

This webinar focused on the following topics:

  • processing data in the face of challenges driven by Covid-19;
  • managing data protection compliance;
  • update on recent developments in Kazakhstan and certain other jurisdictions in Central Asia; comparison with the GDPR

Speakers: Azamat Kuatbekov, managing partner, Gulnur Bekmukhanbetova, of counsel, Michaela Nebel, partner (Frankfurt)



Azamat Kuatbekov is a managing partner in Baker McKenzie's Almaty office. He has been recommended by legal directories such as Chambers Global and Legal 500 for his litigation and transaction work. Mr. Kuatbekov has solid experience in the natural resources sector, advising clients on dispute resolution, acquisitions and financing. Before joining the Firm, he had worked with the legal department of the national oil company Kazakoil. He has authored numerous articles on oil and gas, corporate law, bankruptcy and litigation in Kazakhstan and has acted for many of the country's major power companies.


Dr. Michaela Nebel is a partner in the Frankfurt office of Baker McKenzie. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie she studied law at the University of Passau. She obtained her Doctor of Law degree on a topic related to privacy in the Web 2.0. From July until December 2014 she practiced at the San Francisco office of Baker McKenzie. She is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), since May 2015 a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E) and since May 2017 a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US). She is also the author of numerous articles on information technology law, in particular on data protection law and e-commerce law, and the co-author of an English language commentary on the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

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