WEEKLY REVIEW: Kazakhstan to step up volumes of housing construction, draw up development program of its transport potential


WEEKLY REVIEW: Kazakhstan to step up volumes of housing construction, draw up development program of its transport potentialKazakhstan plans to focus on the diversification of backbone industries and transfer of technologies within the second stage of its industrialization program. The Government takes measures to develop domestic tourism. Kazakhstan is to produce genetically modified crops.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev met with the Prime Minister of the country, Serik Akhmetov in the Akorda presidential residence on Monday (January 13). Results of Kazakhstan’s socioeconomic development, key macroeconomic indicators in 2013 and progress in implementation of the 2nd phase of the industrial and innovative development program were high on the agenda of the meeting in Astana. Prime Minister Akhmetov said economic growth totaled 6% upon results of 2013, investments increased by 6.5%, industrial output – by 2.3%, and volume of construction across the republic – by 3%. Moreover, unemployment rate amounted to 5.2% and inflation – 4.8%. The Premier also reported on the next phase of implementation of the domestic industrialization program with a special focus on the diversification of backbone industries, development of clusters, and transfer of technologies and innovations.

Following results of the meeting, the President gave a number of specific instructions, noting it was important to draw up specific ways of realization of the Kazakhstan-2050 Development Strategy and ambitious Kashagan and Karachaganak oil-related projects.

Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev chaired a session dedicated to the issues on development of domestic tourist in Kazakhstan the same day. The Minister tasked to draw up comprehensive recommendations for all regions of Kazakhstan on how to mark signposts, sights of tourism attraction and routes. Regional administrations were highly recommended to create special departments for development of tourism.

Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov held a Government session on the results of the program “Affordable Housing 2020” on Tuesday. The Prime Minister noted that 6.8 million square meters of housing was put into operation in 2013 in the course of implementation of the program “Affordable Housing 2020”, which was developed on the instruction of the Head of State. This is more than in 2012. At the same time, some regions showed worse budget development and delay in commissioning of rental housing.

The Premier harshly criticized the work of “Zhilstroysberbank Kazakhstan” on the implementation of the Program. The bank failed to put into operation housing in all regions of the country on time. Mr. Akhmetov ordered to activate the financing of construction and also reminded that construction of housing for young families lags behind the schedule.

As for the quality of construction, S. Akhmetov entrusted the Ministry of Regional Development with the task to create special laboratories that will control the quality of construction works and materials by yearend.

“By 2020, Kazakhstan should commission up to 10 million square meters of housing under the program “Affordable Housing” annually,” he concluded.

On Wednesday (January 15), the National Export Strategy developed by the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies together with Kaznex Invest was presented in Astana. Machine building, metallurgical, chemical and food industries will be the priority sectors for export in line with the strategy. The document defines the countries of the Customs Union, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, the European Union market, as well as China, with its border regions as the main markets for Kazakh products. In order to support Kazakhstani exporters Kaznex Invest jointly with the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs would set up a trade support network abroad, expand a range of financial services for exporters and improve transport and logistics services.

Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Serik Akhmetov received Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Maria van der Hoeven on Thursday (January 16). Further cooperation between Kazakhstan and the IEA in energy sector, implementation of the projects aimed at raising energy efficiency and introduction of green technologies were touched upon during the meeting in Astana. Prime Minister Akhmetov also invited the agency to partake in the preparations for the EXPO-2017 event themed “Energy of the Future”.

On Friday (January 17), President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev delivered his annual State-of-the-Nation Address at the joint session of the Kazakh Parliament chambers.

The President entrusted the Kazakh Government with a number of tasks to be implemented this year. GDP growth is to reach the level of 6-7%, whereas GDP per capita should total at least $14.5 thousand by yearend. The National Bank together with the Government is to draw up a package of measures by May 1 in order to down inflation by 3-4% in the mid-run. The Head of State also tasked to develop the production of genetically modified crops, and map out the development program of Kazakhstan’s transport potential for 2030 till September 1, 2014.