GOVERNMENT Weekly Review


Rizvana Sadykova

GOVERNMENT Weekly ReviewSlovak President visited Kazakhstan. OSCE Chairman-in-Office K.Saudabayev on tour in Eastern Europe. Russian Minister of Industry and Trade discusses Custom Union’s issues in Astana.

On Monday draft resolution on realization of the Law On revised national budget for 2010-2012, which was signed by the Head of the State on March 29, 2010, was approved by the Government. The document aims at fulfilling the major tasks outlined in the President’s Address to the Nation and provides for additional allocation of funds for carrying out the following activities:  KZT 53.8 bln – for raising the wages of the employees of state-run organizations by 25%, KZT 143.8 bln  – for accelerated diversification of economy and raising competitiveness of national economy; KZT 30 bln – for implementation of 2010-2014 forced industrialization plan and realization of Business Road Map 2020 program.

“According to preliminary calculations the effect from realization of the Program of Forced Industrial-Innovative Development of Kazakhstan for 2010-2014 will make up over KZT 7 trln”, Deputy Prime Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev said t at the session on the issues of the Kazakh content. “This is more than a half of the country’s GDP. 144 investment projects to the amount of over KZT 850 bln are planned to be accomplished during the first year of realization”, the Minister noted. Besides, A.Issekeshev stressed that much attention in realization of the program would be paid to the issues of the Kazakh content. He also reminded that due to the measures made by the Government in 2009, the rate of the Kazakh content in the commodity procurement of state bodies was up to 52%.

The national conference on development of domestic content in Astana was held on March 31. Domestic content and development of own productions is a key issue of Kazakhstan’s independence.  Prime Minister Karim Massimov said it welcoming the participants. “Any measures and any steps we take must be thoroughly considered and discussed”, the Head of the Cabinet said. “Kazakhstani entrepreneurship and production is an integral part of our independence”, Mr. Massimov stressed. Alongside, the PM reminded of the beginning of implementation of the country’s forced industrialization plan. K. Massimov also expressed gratitude to the holdings and the country’s leading companies who had joined the program.

This week Astana received President of Slovakia Ivan Gasparovic who arrived to our country with official visit. The main event was the Kazakh-Slovak business forum, which was successfully held in Astana. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev informed that according to the Kazakhstan’s program of industrial and innovative development it was planned to complete 144 projects and start new 47 ones with the budget of USD 26 billion. Besides, he told about large-scale infrastructural projects of Kazakhstan, particularly the highway “Western China – Western Kazakhstan”. He also announced that oil supply to Slovakia increased up twofold this year. As Kazakh First Vice Minister of Industry and New Technologies Albert Rau announced presently gross inflow of direct investments from Slovakia in the Kazakh economy made up USD 33.5 mln.  The President of Slovakia proposed to establish a trade representation of Kazakhstan in Bratislava. “We know that Kazakhstan plans to open its trade representation in Europe. If you are interested, we are ready to create conditions for opening of such representation in Bratislava”, he said. According to the Slovakian President, opening of such representation in Bratislava will benefit both countries. Besides, he suggested establishing additional consulates in our countries. The President also said that it would be good idea if Kazakhstan had its Embassy in Slovakia.  National companies of Kazakhstan and Slovakia reached an agreement on construction of rail wagons, locomotives and electric locomotives and signed a founding treaty on joint venture (LLP) between KazakhstanTemirZholy JSC and the company ZOS-VYVOJ. The forum was aimed at signing an intergovernmental agreement on military burials, an agreement on the establishment of Business Council between the Commerce and Industry Chambers of the two states.

According to Mr. L. Jahnatek, Minister of Economics “Slovakia signed main legal documents with the Kazakh side at the governmental level. They are the Treaty on Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, Treaty on Avoiding Dual Taxation and Agreement on Mutual Encouragement and Protection of Investments. The Slovak Government is interested in formation of correct and economically well-balanced relations with the Kazakh Government. Some believe that slow development of cooperation on the economic field is a result of geographical distance between our countries. The Slovak Government strives for simplification of conditions for entrepreneurs.” The minister assured that despite the global crisis, the Slovak economy remains stable owing to political stability, tax reform and efforts of the Government, competent departments and establishments to improve the entrepreneurial climate. The Slovak Government under Prime Minister Robert Fico adopted Law on investment incentive, Law on energy security of the Slovak Republic. The Slovak membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) is also a factor which influences stability. In spite of positive assessment of the situation, the economic crisis is not overcome. Slovakia as the EU member is identified with the issues of energy security of the EU. It is connected with diversification of resources and routes of energy sources. Kazakhstan in this direction is considered as a strategic partner, first of all, in the field of energy hydrocarbons for Europe.

Kazakhstan was high on the international agenda this week.  OSCE Chairman-in-office, Kazakh Secretary of State – Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev met Ukrainian President V.Yanukovich.  He said that Ukraine was a strategic partner of Kazakhstan, handed over best wishes of the Kazakh President to Victor Yanukovich and noted that the development of bilateral cooperation with Ukraine was of special interest. “Your coming meeting with Nursultan Nazarbayev will open a new page in the development of bilateral relations”, K. Saudabayev said. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko announced that the issues of the global security and frozen conflicts regulation can be on the agenda of the OSCE Summit. “I think that the OSCE role in the security sphere is underestimated. Hence an active dialog, including at the highest level is necessary”, K. Grishchenko said. He noted that the problem of frozen conflicts arouses Kiev. In his opinion, these issues could be included in the agenda of the OSCE Summit. He emphasized that this issue requireed coordination with all participants of the upcoming forum.

Yesterday within the framework of a final stage of the tour around the Eastern Europe countries OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Mr. K. Saudabayev held meetings with leaders of Moldova in Chisinau and Transnistria in Tiraspol. During negotiations with OSCE Chairman-in-Office Mr. Iurie Leanca noticed that Kazakhstan ranked eighth among trade-economic partners of the country.

Today Kazakh PM Karim Massimov has met with representatives of a government delegation of the Russian Federation headed by Minister of Trade and Industry Viktor Khristenko in the Ukimet Uiy.  The sides discussed a number of topical issues of development of bilateral economic relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia within the framework of the Customs Union. By the way, as it was earlier announced by Minister of Finance Bolat Zhamishev at the Government’s session “The national budget incomes increased against the similar period of the last year”. He noted that over two months of 2010 import from the non-CIS states decreased by 33 percent, import from Russia increased by 16.7 percent, from Belarus – by 2.8 percent. According to the Kazakh Minister, this year revenues to the national budget will increase by 66 percent or KZT 61 bln in connection with accession to the Customs Union.