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Washington Insight

August 02, 1993|PAUL HOUSTON

PROMOTING A BOOM: With the breakup of the Soviet Union, Washington has become Sales Central for a batch of new ambassadors representing former Soviet republics. Their main mission: getting Yankee capitalists to invest in their once-Communist economies. . . . One of the busiest diplo-salesmen is Alim Djamourchine of Kazakhstan, a tennis-playing former engineering professor who has been fielding a dozen business proposals a day from American firms. "Our economic situation is better than Russia and Ukraine. We have no political chaos," he said of Kazakhstan, a country two-thirds as large as the United States with rich mineral deposits and relatively high literacy rates. U.S. investment has focused on oil exploration, electronics and public works, but hotels and direct airline routes to the capital "would be very good areas for your business people to make money," he suggested between sips of coffee. . . . Washington is tough getting used to, he said, adding: "It is humid, has a very high level of crime and is not so clean."

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