Astana to be among the cities convenient to live in

April 26. Kazpravda

By Yulia Mager

Astana to be among the cities convenient to live inAt the meeting on further development of Astana, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the capital continues to grow as rapidly as in the previous years.

– We have built a new capital and are now raising the bar for it – it has to be among the cities most convenient to live in, – the President said.

He noted the improvement of some economic indicators of Astana, in particular, the growth of industrial production by 7% – up to 260 billion tenge. Small and medium business is developing and accounts for a 40 % share in the gross regional product. The city has developed into a major cultural, athletic, shopping and tourist center; a million tourists have visited it, 100 thousand of which are foreign nationals. Income from Astana to the state budget over the last five years has doubled, exceeding 60 billion, Nazarbayev cited.

– Starting next year, the capital becomes a donor to the country’s budget,- he went on, pointing at that to the need of stepping up work to attract foreign capital and to more rationally use the capital’s land -a most important economic asset. The problem of disused land plots needs be tackled.

The President also pointed to imbalance in the architecture and infrastructure development of different quarters of the city, some of which have a very unattractive appearance. The outskirts need be developed on par with the center of the capital of the city; they and the marketplaces should not be in a deplorable and unsanitary condition, – he urged.

Further on, he drew attention to a poor quality of road construction, the need to develop parking system and bring down crime rate. Astana must be a safe city for the population, and given the target of the Strategy 2050- of Kazakhstan joining the ranks of 30 world advanced states, it should become one of 10 most successful cities in the world by 2050, – he tasked.

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The mayor of Astana says the capital reached sustainability

April 26. Kazpravda

By Yulia MAGER

The mayor of Astana I.Tasmagambetov said in his progress report at the meeting on socio- economic development of Astana that the city has reached sustainability in its development, as evidenced by systemic changes in the economy of the city.

He cited figures: Astana accounts for 9.4% of the gross domestic product, 12 % of total budget revenues and 9 % of all the investments in the fixed capital of the country. Its GRP in 2013 stands at 2.7 trillion tenge. In the last year alone, the city’s industrial output went 6.7 % up to make 263.2 billion tenge; the share of high-tech manufacturing sector increased to 55%.

The number of active SMEs has grown- more than 56 000 businesses. They account for about 60% of the city’s GRP and constitute its economic basis. Among other regions Astana is 1st in terms of output per worker.

I.Tasmagambetov also accounted on the steps taken to bring down the administrative barriers, in privatization of communal property, establishment of modern trade-logistics facilities and detailed on the work of the Industrial Park, currently implementing 49 projects with a total investment of 180 billion tenge.

By the end of 2016 all the announced projects will have been launched in the IP that will open over 7.5 thousand new jobs already in 2017 and quadruple the tax revenues.

Construction sector remains a strategic priority: in 2013, 1 million 100 thousand housing square meters were commissioned in the capital, including on the state program. Construction of social facilities continues. In 2013 8 kindergartens were commissioned, and another 17 preschools are still abuilding. This year a vocational school, training professionals in construction is opening, with another – training professionals in energy- shortly coming out.

Over 2012-2013 two hospitals and two clinics were built, in 2014 – a clinic on the left bank for 500 visits will be ready, as well as 2 health facilities in Ilyinka township and Dosmukhamedov street. By the year 2016 the capital will have three more specialized healthcare facilities.

I.Tasmagambetov also listed the cultural facilities to be launched in the capital: the Foundation and Library of the First President , National History Museum , the Palace of Martial Arts, second line of the Scientific and Educational Complex of the Nazarbayev University , the Nazarbayev Intellectual School , Rehabilitation Medical Center , Marriott and Hilton hotels, administrative building of the KEGOC, in 2015 – the Space Research Centre , a multi-purpose ice palace and the National Defense University, in 2016 – the Abu Dhabi Plaza complex, Zhastar palace, National Research Oncology Center, Four Seasons and St. Regis hotels, in 2017 – a student campus , Olympic Training Center , Academy of Choreography ( Dance Palace ).

Particular attention is paid to the landscaping of the capital, laying of parks; the feasibility study is ready for the Botanical Gardens. To address the shortage of public transport vehicles, more buses will be acquired, the mayor said. Construction of a new railway and two bus terminals is slated.

The short-term focus is preparations for EXPO 2017, Tasmagambetov said.