Kazakhstan and the USA intend to intensify collaboration in order to increase the volume of trade between these countries. This intention was voiced at recent negotiations of Kazakhstani Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Vladimir Shkolnik and US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Samuel Bodman in Washington D.C. According to the Kazakhstani Foreign Ministry's information department, Bodman highly estimated the level of Kazakhastan's economic development and pointed out the interest of US businessmen in strengthening business ties with the country in various areas. The US Department of Commerce is planning to dispatch a trade mission to Kazakhstan this fall.
In 2002, trade between Kazakhstan and the USA amounted to about $940m, up 80 percent on 2001. There are over 500 private companies partly financed by US companies operating in the Kazakhstan. Moreover, US companies have accounted for one third of $21bn in direct foreign investments in Kazakhstan since 1991.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea