23/04/2012 14:08 BST | Updated 23/04/2012 14:18 BST

Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Borat' Is Good For Tourism, Says Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov

According to Kazakhstan’s foreign minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat has actually been good for the country’s tourism.

"After this film the number of visas issued to Kazakhstan grew by ten times. This is a big victory for us and I thank Borat for attracting tourists," he told a session of parliament.

The controversial mockumentary caused outrage on its release in 2006 and was subsequently banned from Kazakhstan by authorities.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, portrays the country as behind the times, homophobic and anti-Semitic. It follows the enthusiastic native around America posing as a television reporter hoping to learn from American values and bring them to his country.

The film was a huge box office success elsewhere, and the scope of its influence on popular culture is still widespread.

At a sports event in Kuwait, the film’s spoof national anthem was played by mistake. Kazakhstan launched a formal complaint with the Olympic Committee of Asia and gave ‘strict instructions’ to their embassies around the world to ensure that all foreign offices remain aware of the country's true national anthem.

Here's the national anthem as Kuwaitis had it...and an impressive poker face from the medallist