Strong business – strong country

Apr 11. Kazpravda

By Laura Tusupbekova, Rysty Alibekova

Strong business - strong countryThe Business Council under the President has been transformed into the national investors Council. It was resolved in President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s meeting in Akorda yesterday with the home businessmen.

Transparency in privatization

Opening the meeting Nursultan Nazarbayev re-emphasized a special role of the home business as a driving force of the national economy in meeting the targets of Strategy- 2050 and Kazakhstan’s joining the club of 30 most developed world economies. Therefore support to business is a priority direction in the Strategy comprising a set of system actions. A 50% increase is sought in the share of small and medium business in the economy, and in the second wave of privatization, he added, its subjects must be viable and efficient Kazakhstani businessmen.

In the government a list is already in the making of the privatization tools and objects. New opportunities will open up for Kazakhstani businessmen in education, medicine, information, social services. Privatization has to be absolutely transparent, that’s what the Government and local authorities should bear in mind in the first place, besides varied public-private partnership tools need be tapped.

The Government will take care of legal protection of business and seek out ways to boost it. -I repeat: privatization is carried out by the State, not by a governor, a minister or a department, – N.Nazarbayev underlined, urging for a speedier transition of small businesses and individual entrepreneurs into the category of average ones. -The state must create conditions for co-operation of business, especially at the regional level, he added.

Support to business is gaining new momentum to meet the strategic goals of the state. In accordance with the business roadmap nearly 3 thousand projects are subsidized, 409 businesses were accessed to the engineering infrastructure, which cost KZT 78 billion.

Inspections are banned into businesses in their first three years. Today, Kazakhstan is the leader of reforms on building the enabling conditions for doing business, and a qualitatively new level of state support to enterprise is sought. With electronic invoicing the Kazakh business saves at least KZT 5 billion annually.

Why control all and sundry?

Another important goal is the development of domestic investment’s capacity. It should become the basis of the Concept on business regulation for the period up to 2020, which is now being developed by the Government.

– The government should finally withdraw from the archaic habit of controlling all and sundry. The object of control can only be the quality and safety of the final product, compliance with regulations. The state’s task is to develop and establish quality standards for products and services, technical indicators and regulations for safety, – the President said.

He stressed that another important aspect of state regulation of business is connected with a permanent analysis of the state licensing system.

In this regard, President Nursultan Nazarbayev instructed the Government before 1 September of this year to develop a draft concept for reforming the regulatory framework in the construction industry.

The President touched on such important topic as the support of local entrepreneurs in a single economic space and future participation in the World Trade Organization. The strategic benefit for Kazakhstan from the membership in the CES and the future Eurasian Economic Union is obvious. The President has repeatedly noted that the Customs Union and Common Economic Space for domestic business is, above all, the question of competitiveness of domestic products. He instructed the Government jointly with the “Union” Atameken” to adopt a joint action plan to promote and protect the interests of our producers within the CES.

Nursultan Nazarbayev also noted that the NEP “Union” Atameken” together with the Government should create a new rating of “business climate.” The question is the assessment of work of central and local executive bodies, and the publication of its results in the media.

Another task assigned by the head of state was to develop such a resource as electronic commerce. The weakness of this segment in Kazakhstan is conditioned by two reasons – inefficient development of local Internet resources and lack of appropriate legislation.

– I instructed the Government by the end of this year to develop a draft law “On electronic commerce”, as well as sectoral Perspective Plan for the development of online trade in Kazakhstan for up to five years, – he said.

In the new phase

The agenda of the meeting also included such important issues as provision of business with information and the necessary online support.

– The state and the National Economic Chamber should combine resources to create a single powerful Internet portal for Kazakhstani business, – he said.

No less topical is the issue of patriotic duty of the Kazakh businessmen, i.e. their investing in the domestic economy, and not in real estate abroad.

– It is a matter of social responsibility. The accelerated industrialization, privatization, state support create massive niches for this. Thousands of objects in the regions require investments. For example we can calculate how many mosques, chapels and churches were built by our entrepreneurs in recent years. They should pay more attention to the repair and construction of rural culture objects, the creation of new local history museums, and domestic clubs or sport facilities for young people. And we should encourage such activities, – said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The President also spoke of the creation of the National Chamber of entrepreneurs. Participation in it must be, first of all, profitable for every businessman: they will feel more protected and see in this structure a secure base for the development of their business.

Speaking at the meeting entrepreneurs supported the creation of such body with representative offices in the regions.

In general, as Nursultan Nazarbayev noted, Kazakhstan’s business is entering a new phase in its development and its main content is increasing responsibility of local entrepreneurs for steady growth of the national economy.

– In the Strategy-2050 we identified the domestic business as the most important source of growth of domestic investment. Accordingly, I consider it important to raise the status and role of our Board. In this regard a decision was made to transform it into the Council of national investors and to establish within its new status a permanent working group led by the co-chairs from the government agencies and business representatives. The working body of the Council is the Ministry of Regional Development. I instructed the Government to draft in a month’s time new regulations and proposals on the composition of the Council of national investors – said the President.

Driving force of economy

Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development Bakytzhan Sagintayev made a performance report on President’s orders on the development of enterprise.

Thus an instruction was given on the institutional strengthening of business, including a compulsory membership in them. The bill, involving the introduction of a compulsory membership in the National Chamber of entrepreneurs has already been developed in close cooperation with NEPK “Union” Atameken “. Now the document is being agreed in the state bodies, and then it will be submitted to the Parliament.

A comprehensive concept of business regulation by 2020 is also under development. Its main principle is the balance of interests of government, business and consumers.

As for the instruction to cancel all permits, which do not affect the safety of life of citizens, first deputy prime minister said that this year a law “On permissions and notifications” with a single list of all existing permits for business will be drafted. Today the issuance of all licenses has been transferred to e-format, and 80 most popular business licensing procedures were automated. In 2013 it is planned to automate another 175 permits and the rest 200 will be automated in 2014.

A tiered support infrastructure for entrepreneurs, covering all regions is being created for financial and non-financial support with the business service centers.

The tasks and functions of the SEC have been reviewed. The main goal is to make them real regional institutes of development.

Ablai Myrzakhmetov, chairman of the National Economic Chamber of Kazakhstan “Union “Atameken” reported on measures to improve the business climate in the country, taken together with the government. In particular, he spoke about the benefits of creating the National Chamber of entrepreneurs.

This, according to him will allow the examination of all the regulations and government programs in a zero cycle. Also it is planned to open in the cities and regions of the country over 200 service offices for entrepreneurs, which will help to improve the competence of businessmen. The offices will provide consulting, legal, accounting, marketing services and will assist in making business plans.

Responding to the President’s question about the benefits for the members of the Chamber, A. Myrzakhmetov said that in the first five years small businesses will be exempted from payment of contributions, but at the same time they will be provided a comprehensive assistance through the branches.

The participants of the meeting making presentations, exchanged views, shared experience and made proposals.

At the end of the meeting the Head of State expressed confidence that the Kazakh businessmen will support new initiatives to increase the contribution to economic growth and prosperity of the people.