GOVERNMENT. Weekly review: Constructive dialogue maintained between Government and business community in Kazakhstan


Muratbek Makulbekov

GOVERNMENT. Weekly review: Constructive dialogue maintained between Government and business community in KazakhstanThe Kazakh business community as well as the Kazakh economy in whole have confirmed their viability for the period of the global financial crisis. The financial system was fully stabilized.

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov made such assessment of the country’s economy at the national business forum held on Monday, February 28. The constructive dialogue maintained between the Kazakh Government and the business community is another positive factor, according to the Premier. Addressing the representatives of the business community K.Massimov also said that big funds would be allocated by the Government for the national business support through “Business Road Map – 2020” program this year. The Government will try to make this program more efficient taking into account the exiting experience.

The Prime Minister informed that the Government planed to start realizing the agricultural development program this week as well. The Premier called on the business community and financial sector to take more active participation in its realization. In two weeks the Government is also expected to prepare a list of companies participating in the national IPO. The program itself is still under development.

Minister of Environment Protection Nurgali Ashim informed on Monday that Kazakhstan and China signed Agreement on water quality control in trans-boundary rivers. There are 24 trans-boundary rivers between the countries. In this regard, the issue of water quality control is of special importance for Kazakhstan as long as the rivers flowing from China to our country are subjected to heavy pollution. 

On Tuesday, March 1, First Deputy Minister of Industry and New Technologies Albert Rau said that the Industrialization Map of Kazakhstan would be supplemented by new projects. Some of these projects are planned to be accomplished this year. Totally 71 new productions are expected to be put into operation this year within the State Program on Forced Industrial-Innovative Development. The total cost of these projects is KZT 715 bln. 18.6 thousand jobs will be created after their realization.

30 out of 152 enterprises launched last year have already reached their designed capacity. A.Rau added that the Ministry together with the Kazakh Statistics Agency will conduct monthly statistics of reaching the designed capacity by the enterprises launched within the Industrialization Map.

The second joint session of the boards of the Kazakh and Russian Agriculture Ministries was held in Uralsk on Tuesday as well. The sitting was chaired by First Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Umirzak Shukeyev and First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Government Igor Shuvalov. The participants discussed the state and prospects of cooperation in agriculture, interaction in veterinary and phytosanitary control and technical regulation in agro-industrial complex. First Vice Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Umirzak Shukeyev said at the session that the Customs Union has brought its first positive results over the first year of work. He reminded that the volume of trade of Kazakhstan with the CU member states had increased by 28.1 percent last year and made almost 20 percent of the total trade turnover of the country. According to him, the production of home appliances in Almaty increased by 41.6 percent in 2010, production of metal pipes increased by 56.5 percent, production of lead-acid batteries by 78.7 percent, pasta by 39 percent, pastries twofold, rice fourfold.

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov gave an interview to Russian RBC Channel. He said in the interview that the fundamental causes of the crisis in the world have not yet been overcome. In this regard, we should be prepared to difficulties. 

Karim Massimov also told about the newly adopted Kazakhstan employment program which would focus on vocational and technical education. Speaking about competitive advantages of Kazakhstan and development of education, the Premier noted that “our country has certain competitive advantages … I believe that during the years of independence we created incentives for the creation of the cult of knowledge, the cult of education.” K. Massimov reminded that at the beginning of the 1990s Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev took a decision on massive training abroad. We have an opportunity to send about 3000 people a year at the expense of the state abroad, primarily to English-speaking countries as the USA. Then we expanded the program. “Another important aspect in educational policy is vocational and technical training. We open special centers in light of the country’s rapid industrialization. Without competent specialists the industrial program will not work,” K.Massimov added. The Premier also told about the country’s plans on establishing People’s IPOs. According to him, revenue sharing and establishment of an average investor in the country has a very important economic, political and social aspect. “We do not set tasks of profit maximization for the state in sale of shares. We think more of the investor – the citizen and pension fund. It is a unique opportunity. Revenue sharing and establishment of an average investor in the country has a very important economic, political and social aspect. Not all can be entrepreneurs. But having small savings – USD 100-500, you can participate in equity capital. It is the first step,” the Premier noted. Speaking of the small and medium business development he said that the main issue for SMEs was not so much the allocation of financial resources as the transparency of decision making in the economy as a whole. “No country can develop steadily without strong small and medium businesses, including Kazakhstan,” he noted. “SMEs turned out to be the most vulnerable part of business exposed to positive and negative influences amid crisis. The Government of Kazakhstan adopted a number of programs on business support. We hope to see practical results of these programs in a couple of years,” the Premier emphasized. K.Massimov also addressed the issue of establishing the Single Economic Space, emphasizing that Kazakhstan and Russia had much in common. Conducting reforms in Kazakhstan provides great opportunity for Russian business, the Prime Minister believes. He noted that the negotiations on establishment of the Single Economic Space were quite uneasy as long as the experts, ministers and prime ministers had to take decisions which will have far reaching consequences.

Later in the day Prime Minister Karim Massimov met with Managing Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for Turkey, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Olivier Descamps Ukimet Uyi. The issues of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EBRD in the sphere of realization of transport, infrastructure projects and cooperation in financing sphere and in energy field were discussed at the meeting. Implementation of big investments projects was discussed at the session of the State Commission for Economic Modernization under the Kazakh Government held on Wednesday as well.

Later the Prime Minister met with chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Kazakhstan Siyazbek Mukashev. Issues of implementation of the tripartite General Agreement for 2009-2011, participation of the trade unions in realization of the Employment Program – 2020 and vocational training of personnel for forced industrialization program were discussed at the meeting.

The Kazakh Ministry of Justice recommended the state bodies – bills developers – to post the texts of the bills on their sites. They also were recommended to provide the population with an opportunity to introduce amendments to the bills. Thus, the Kazakh people will be able to influence on the legislative process in the country.