Kazakhstan’s southern gate: high rate of development

Dec 13. Kazpravda


Kazakhstan’s southern gate: high rate of developmentOblast governor Askar Myrzahmetov reported at the briefing in the central communications Service on socioeconomic development of the South Kazakhstan region.

The South Kazakhstan region, despite the absence of hydrocarbons and large production facilities, for the last three years shows high dynamics of development, according to official ranking. On the results of last year the gross regional product reached 1.8 trillion tenge and this year it will exceed 2 trillion. In other words, over the past 4 years the GRP increased by 2 times, and the region in its share in the republic rose from 10th to 5th place. Such powerful economic effect, according to the head of the oblast, was achieved through the development of small and medium-sized businesses.

Industrial breakthrough

One of the confirmations of SME activity is the implementation of the program of industrial -innovative development. 150 projects or 40 % of the projects of the republic have been included in the Industrialization Map. They cover not only the districts and cities of the region, but also rural areas (65 % of projects). At present 80 projects were implemented. Before the end of the year, another 20 objects will be commissioned.

Industrial update of the economy has resulted in the industrial sector, where the volume of production reached 448 billion, which is more than in the corresponding period of 2012 by 47 billion tenge.

– In general, over the past 4 years the volume of industrial production increased by 2 times, in the result of which the share of gross regional product of the SKO grew from 15.4 to 24% — said A.Myrzahmetov.

In 2010 an industrial zone of 337 hectares was opened on the base of former phosphate plant. Here 123.5 hectares of previously privatized land were returned to state ownership and the infrastructure was restored. Today 21 from 59 selected projects have been implemented. Until the end of the year 10 projects will be launched.

And as the experience was successful, they decided to open industrial zones in all districts and cities of the region. A similar zone with 19 working projects was already created in Turkestan.

Privileges and preferences provided in the special economic zone Ontustyk with completely laid infrastructure are bearing fruits: 5 of 18 approved projects were commissioned. By the end of the year two objects, one of which is the factory making carpets will be put into operation.

In addition to republican programs the entrepreneurs are supported by local authorities.  The oblast budget each year allocates for them 3 billion tenge, and in general about 10 billion tenge was allotted to support small and medium size business. As of today, 8502 projects worth 18.7 billion tenge were approved taking into account the returned loans and more than 21 thousand new jobs were created. At that the lion’s share (90%) of the projects is implemented in rural areas.

The LLP “Shymkent innovation” created under the regional administration contributes to introduction of new technologies in production. It works in several directions, including Europe, America, Canada, Turkey, North Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia. The partnership created the base of more than 200 innovative projects and new technologies were introduced in production in 20 objects.

Small business – an engine of economy

It is difficult to overestimate the role of entrepreneurship in the region with the population of over 2.5 million people, according to official statistics. Therefore, the development of this sector is priority for executive authorities of the oblast. Thus, due to active implementation of the program Business Road Map, more that 67 thousand new jobs were created. 473 projects, including 197 – in the current year, were approved within the program.

In 2012, a new center for business services working on the principles “one window” was opened to create favorable conditions for entrepreneurship. Since the beginning of its work the center has provided services to 21 456 entrepreneurs, organized the adaptation courses for 7413 businessmen, financed 2,034 projects and registered permits to 1814 entrepreneurs.

In addition the “School of Business” was opened in the oblast center for those wishing to open their own business.

These measures have brought fruits: now 113 thousand active businesses have been registered in the oblast and the volume of their products increased by 74 billion and amounted to KZT 451.1bln.

The entrepreneurship provides a steady growth of investments in fixed assets. Thus, 292.2bln was invested in the development of regional economy that is by 28.4% more than in the previous year and the SME of the oblast accounts for half of these financial investments.

Records of farmers

Climatic conditions of the South Kazakhstan region are favorable for the development of agriculture. Gross output of the agricultural sector for 10 months amounted to 275.7 billion tenge, i.e. increased by 76 billion.

As known, the development of crop production in the oblast depends on irrigated land, and in 2009 over 5700 km of canals were repaired and 145 thousand hectares of irrigated land were involved in crop growing, which is 74 % of the republican figure. Without exaggeration it may be said that today the SKO involved in crop production all acreage formed in the Soviet times.

At the same time to increase the irrigated land the oblast adopted a special action plan, according to which the crop areas of the region will be increased by another 292 hectares.

In the result of these measures, last year the farmers of the Southern Kazakhstan oblast received a record harvest of vegetables and melons, and collected 2.2 million tons of green grocery, which is by 250 tons more than the previous year’s volume.

Crop area under fruit and grapes reached 30 thousand hectares, from which 163 tons of fruit were collected. By the way this is by 30 thousand ton more than the highest level which was achieved in 1990. 3.6 million tons of feed was stored which is higher than in the previous period by 1 million ton.

Also as it was reported at the press conference, this year 13 thousand ha was sown with cotton on the technology of deep cultivation, due to which the yield compared to the previous year increased by 3 times and the framers who applied this technology received by 30% more products. Thus, if the average yield of cotton in the region is 27 q / ha, in the Maktaaral district it reached 30 kg / ha. And undoubtedly the construction of canals on the instruction of the Head of State to address the problem of water scarcity in the south of the republic played a significant role in it.

The emphasis is on the construction of greenhouses. Their total area has already approached to 720 ha and now they produced 150 thousand tons of vegetables.

The area of drip irrigation lands is steadily increasing — from 2.1 to 26.1, i.e. by 12.2 times.

9 926 heads of cattle was purchased under the program Sybaғa. The volume of processed agricultural products grew by 28 % and amounted to 109.5 billion tenge.

Progress in social sphere

Positive changes have been also observed in the social sphere. Thus, in the current year 86 education objects were under construction, including 56 facilities were built on the means of the republican budget. As of today 38 facilities were commissioned and before the end of the year nine educational objects will be put into operation.

543 thousand schoolchildren attend 1021 schools in one of the largest regions of the republic.  Therefore, the demand for schools is very high there.

251 education objects were put into operation in the recent years, and the number of schools built from adobe decreased from 324 to 209. All this allowed solving the problem of 62 unfit and 29 three-shift schools and completing the construction of 9 unfinished objects.

According to the oblast governor 50 preschool objects were opened within the program Balapan and their total number now is 1178. For comparison: only 5 years ago, there were 181 such objects in the oblast.  Over the past period 997 preschools were put into operation and the coverage of children with preschool education has increased from 14 to 61.5%.

In the health sector this year 69 medical facilities are under construction, 54 of them — at the expense of the regional budget. Today 50 medical objects were commissioned and 15 such objects are planned for opening in December. Material and technical equipment of health facilities increased from 25.3 to 57.4 % and reached the national average figure. In the result of these steps, the total mortality in the oblast decreased from 9.7 in 2009 to 7.3, maternal mortality — from 31.9 to 12.2, and the infant mortality rate reduced from 25.5 to 12.9.

Due to the program Employment -2020, which involves in the SKO 30 thousand people, the annual unemployment decreased by 0.1% and made up 5.5%. Per capita income of poor people rose by 12.3%.

In addition, 47 water supply facilities were constructed in 2013 in the frames of the program Ak Bulak, which means that 16 settlements with the population of 18.8 thousand were provided with potable water.

Also 48 gas supply facilities are currently under construction and by the end of the expiring year 28 villages will receive natural gas. Besides, in the near future six automated gas distribution stations on the main gas pipeline Beyneu — Bozoi — Samsonovka will be built to deliver natural gas to 284 settlements in 8 districts of the oblast. Their construction is scheduled for completion in 2014.

75 houses are erected on the program Affordable Housing in 2013. By the end of the year it is planned to put into operation 30 residential houses with the total area of 91.9 thousand square meters, thereby providing 7.3% of the total need. Remaining 45 houses will be commissioned in 2014.

In conclusion the governor informed on the construction in the oblast center of a new administrative and business facility on the area of 364 hectares. On its territory there will be the oblast administration building, Drama theatre, congress hall and other social objects.  This year the Regional Central Library Otrar and the Exhibition Centre were commissioned. The new center will be built partially at the account of regional and national budgets, but primarily on the funds of private investors. In general, the first stage of the project will cost 60 billion. Thereby, in the near future Shymkent promises to become an ultramodern metropolis.