Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

KazCham



EBRD forecasts economic growth in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on May 15, 2017 by KazCham

Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 10
By Elena Kosolapova – Trend:
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) forecasts economy growth rate in Kazakhstan to increase to 2.4 percent in 2017 after 1 percent in 2016, Regional Economic Prospects report of the bank said.

The growth will be supported by stronger exports from the improved oil price outlook, targeted public investments and higher foreign direct investment inflows.

EBRD noted that monetary conditions have been eased in Kazakhstan, the exchange rate has stabilized and inflation is on a downward trend (inflation decreased from 17.7 percent year-on-year in July 2016 to 7.7 per cent in March 2017).

Meanwhile the legacy of high non-performing loans (around $9.6 billion, or 16.4 percent of the loan portfolio as of end-March 2017) continues to weigh on the banking sector, given the presence of off-balance sheet structures that have absorbed the legacy NPLs.

The bank noted that Kazakh government has allocated $6.5 billion to support banks facing insolvency risks, and a possible merger of several banks is being discussed.

“Continued implementation of the government’s reform agenda is likely to lead to further improvements in the country’s institutional capacity and its business climate,” the report said.

According to the EBRD, in 2018 growth in Kazakhstan is expected to increase to 3.5 percent, driven by accelerated production at the Kashagan oil field, boosting oil exports, and higher foreign direct investment from China and other countries.

The bank also noted that large state support programs, backed by significant fiscal buffers, will continue to drive growth. Inflation is expected to remain within the 6-8 percent range set by Kazakh National Bank in 2017, and decline further in subsequent years.

Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

Nazarbayev Suggests Unified Effort in Global Development at G20 Summit 0

Posted on September 12, 2016 by KazCham

Astana Times

It has been eight years since the 2008 global financial crisis made the G20 a “summit-level” primary platform for global economic governance. The most urgent task facing the current G20 Summit is to promote the steady recovery and growth of the world economy and guard against new financial risks.

As a major country, China needs to promote the reform and reshaping of the international economic system and the world order, thus joining hands with other countries to shape the prospects for the international economy with stable, strong and sustainable development.

In speaking at the summit, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the G20 meeting is being held in a complicated time.

“The rates of global economic growth, trade and capital flows are decreasing. It affects the welfare of millions of people. The formation of new transcontinental trade and investment associations may lead to a decrease of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) role and fragmentation of the world economy. These processes may become a start for a new stage of a war in the international markets,” he said.

Nazarbayev stressed the way of global development depends largely on the united actions of the entire world community. In his view, the leading role in international economy and finance regulation should be played by a single global organisation.

“Such kind of structure can be created through the transformation of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) into the Global Development Council, which should serve as a global economic regulator,” he said. The head of state presented the proposal at the 70th jubilee session of the UN General Assembly in New York last September.

Nazarbayev noted the current coordination of monetary and fiscal policies, as well as structural reforms are important. It is not sufficient, however, to ensure stability in the long term. He suggested developing more substantive proposals to stabilise exchange rates around the world, including the developing countries.

The President suggested a new industrial revolution, digital economy and innovation.

“I fully support this approach. Implementation of this task is only possible on the principles of inclusiveness. We need to determine the midpoint of the dialogue between the G20 and the developing countries. As an alternative, I suggest considering the Kazakh communication platform G-Global, which is open to all participants. This platform brings together more than 30,000 experts from 140 countries,” he said.

Nazarbayev added Kazakhstan actively supports implementing the UN’s sustainable development goals, the Paris agreements and the principles of green economy. In this regard, he invited the participants to take part in the upcoming international exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana, which will be held under the slogan Future Energy.

The President concluded by noting Kazakhstan’s vision of the world’s most pressing issues was presented in the Manifesto “The World. The 21st Century.” He expressed hope for support in implementing its ideas and formation of a world free from nuclear weapons.

Nazarbayev held a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, including with United States President Barack Obama, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Nazarbayev also met with Chinese business magnate and philanthropist Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of successful Internet-based businesses. They discussed cooperation issues with the company and the prospects of expanding its activities in Kazakhstan, including realisation of joint projects in the field of electronic commerce and payment systems integration.

Iran and Kazakhstan discuss launching energy trade zone 0

Posted on August 31, 2015 by KazCham

Colibri Law Firm

Iran and Kazakhstan’s provincial officials have discussed their mutual ties, including the possible establishment of a free trade zone for energy, oil and gas.

Rabi’ Fallah Jolodar, the Governor-General of Iran’s Mazandaran province, and Rakimbek Amirjanov, a deputy Governor-General of Kazakhstan’s Mangystau province, have conferred over ways to further develop the bilateral ties between the two countries.

During the meeting the two sides focused on the establishment of a free trade zone for energy, oil and gas in the Caspian Sea. Jolodar also urged the directors of local companies to enhance relations with their Kazakh counterparts.

Kazakhstan Contributes to Ebola Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund 0

Posted on November 08, 2014 by KazCham

Kazakh Foreign Ministry

As a responsible member of the world community, the Government of Kazakhstan has joined the international efforts to combat Ebola. To that end, it made a voluntary contribution to Ebola Response of Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

Kazakhstan presents a new package of incentives for foreign investors 0

Posted on July 14, 2014 by KazCham
Colibri Law Firm
Minister of Economics and Budget Planning of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Erbolat Dosaev presented a new package of incentives for foreign investors at the International Investment Conference in Astana on 2 May 2014. The set of the following amendments to the respective laws and regulations of the Republic of Kazakhstan will be introduced to the Parliament in June-July 2014.
– Visa facilitation; unilateral visa-free travel for the citizens of certain developed countries with the period of stay up to 90 days; as well as issuance of investors visas to the management of local subsidiaries of the foreign companies.
We note, that beginning 15 February 2004, certain types of business, tourist and private visas are issued to the citizens of 45 developed countries without official invitation.– Investors will have an opportunity to employ foreign stuff for the period of the investment project and one year after its completion outside the quota and without work permit.
We note, that currently foreign employees are required to obtain a work permit, except for the secondees who are entitled to a 120 days stay under a regular business visa within one calendar year.– Legislative 10 years stabilization clause, freezing the forecasted and regulated tariffs and prices in tax, migration and ecologic spheres.– Implementation of the OECD recommendations re international commercial arbitration. 

– Additional incentives for the investment projects of TNCs: investment subsidies of the State compensating up to 30 per cent of capital expenditure upon putting the facility into service; exemption from corporate income tax for 10 years; long-term secured order of goods and services from national companies and state authorities. 

– One-window procedure for all licenses and permits as well as queries of the investors will be carried out by the Committee for Investments of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies. 

We note, that in accordance with the existing Kazakhstan law, foreign investors refer for licenses, permits and queries to respective Ministries and other state authorities. – State subsidies covering utilities and transportation costs, increase of lease period of agricultural land.

Cameron inks $1bn deal in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on July 02, 2013 by KazCham

Courier Mail, July 01, 2013

BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron signed a strategic cooperation agreement as well as $US1.0 billion ($A1.10 billion) in deals with Kazakhstan on Monday during his first visit to the energy-rich ex-Soviet state.

Cameron and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev also unveiled an oil and gas processing plant on the shores of the Caspian Sea which is intended to provide a new reliable source of energy for European countries.

The British PM played up the importance of Kazakhstan to regional security as he wound down a swing through the region that included visits to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Kazakhstan is on the rise … a country that wants to play a bigger role in the region and in the world. Not just an emerging market, but an emerging power,” Cameron said on Monday.

He also noted that the Kazakh government had recently ratified an air route agreement that offered Britain “a new northern route to bring our kit home from Afghanistan.”

Cameron added that the two countries “have opened a new chapter in our relationship” by signing a strategic partnership agreement that underscored the importance of their growing ties.

Plans to construct a European- and US-backed natural gas pipeline called Nabucco have already fallen through and Western powers are now seeking to hammer out a new strategy to establish closer contacts with nations such as Kazakhstan.

Officials said the deals besides energy also covered infrastructure projects as well as those in the IT field.

“Our country is interested in having close relations with Britain,” Nazarbayev said at a joint press appearance with Cameron.

“I am confident that the documents that we have prepared, as well as our negotiations, will give a new impulse to economic and political cooperation between our countries.”

Kazakhstan is seen as one of the more neutral Central Asian countries that enjoys equally good relations with Russia and China as well as the West — despite periodic criticism by Washington and Brussels of its human rights record.

Nazarbayev has also hired former British prime minister Tony Blair as the nation’s image consultant who has been tasked with improving Kazakhstan’s attraction to investors.

The British PM and Nazarbayev jointly unveiled the Bolashak on-shore oil and gas processing facility that operates with involvement from the Anglo-Dutch giant.

The plant is stationed on the Kashagan oil and gas field — one of the largest deposits found in Central Asia.

It is due to process 450,000 barrels of oil and 8.8 million cubic metres of gas daily by the time it becomes fully operational.

First motorway toll in Kazakhstan 0

Posted on June 08, 2013 by KazCham

D.Mukhtarov, Trend, May 30, 2013

In Kazakhstan the fare for passenger vehicles on the route from Astana to Burabai on the Astana-Shchukin motorway will be 200 tenge ($1.3), which is about one tenge per kilometre, the press service of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Kazakhstan reported.

According to the report, the fare per kilometre for buses will range from five to 10 tenge depending on the number of seats and five to 20 tenge for trucks on the basis of carrying capacity. However for motorcycles this road will remain free. Emergency services, ambulance, fire, police cars and machinery working on the road are also exempt from the toll.

For cars registered in the areas adjacent to the road, there is a 50 per cent discount. They will also be free for moving within one district.

The international experience has been studied in preparation for the introduction of road tolls in Kazakhstan. Today, these exist in more than 30 countries around the world particularly in Russia, Belarus, Germany, Turkey, Malaysia and other countries. Considering the high budgetary expenditures for construction and operation of high-speed lanes, the introduction of the toll roads will reduce the burden on the national budget and the released funds will be spent on repairing other roads.

Kazakhstan set the lowest fee on such roads. This is due to the fact that only the cost of annual maintenance and repair of the highway was taken into account in the calculation of the tariff, not the money spent on its construction.

The motorway is divided into five zones the length of which is determined by territorial boundaries of surrounding districts where there are special arches fixing the movement of vehicles. The fare will consist of charges for travel on each intersected zone.

As for the payment mechanism, a hybrid system of charging is being introduced on the road for the convenience of drivers. They will be able to pay the fare at the exit from the highway via the terminal by cash (notes and coins), bank cards, or using special transponders. Change cassettes with different denominations are installed for the convenience of car owners.

In the case of movement of vehicles between the districts, payment will be charged by the control arches. Paying the fare will be possible on the bill sent to the place of registration of the vehicle or in a remote way via a transponder.

In order to avoid queues at payment points at the early stage, special consultants will help drivers use the terminal in case of complications

Kazakhstan diversifying economic base, looking forward to hosting 2014 ADB meet: Minister 0

Posted on May 09, 2013 by KazCham

May 6, 2013, ANI

New Delhi, May 6 (ANI): Kazakhstan’s Minister for Economy and Budget Planning, Yerbolat Dossayev, has said that his country is looking forward to hosting the 47th meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Astana in the first week of May 2014.

Participating in the 46th meeting of the ADB Board of Governors in the National Capital Region (NCR) here this past week, Dossayev said his country is carefully monitoring the measures taken by the world community, including efforts by the G-20 states and euro-zone countries, and their efforts to cope with the challenges that they currently face.

He informed participants that Kazakhstan has managed to attract over 160 billion U.S. dollars in foreign direct investments since 1993.

Dossayev further revealed that Kazakhstan is in the process of economic modernization.

“Our President has initiated a large scale industrial and innovation development program, which epitomizes our efforts to diversify our economic base away from the natural resources dependence. The key priorities of this program are agricultural, metallurgy, chemical, pharmaceutical, construction, transport and communication sectors,” he said.

He further revealed that economic policy is focused on diversification of the economy and its export structure.

“Today, more than 700 projects with the cost of more than 80 billion U.S. dollars are implemented in Kazakhstan. Implementation of this program creates 180,000 workplaces. Kazakhstan also has a significant agricultural potential. In this regard, much attention is paid to the agro-industrial complex development. The main goal is to bring the agrarian sector on a new level of quality, and thereby, provide high competitiveness of the agro-industrial complex. We are planning to invest more than 20 billion US dollars for these purposes up until the year 2020,” Minister Dossayev revealed.

He said that considering its geographic location between Europe and Asia, Kazakhstan has a significant transit potential.

“If the early development objectives were economic structure transformation, then today, the main tasks are aimed at boosting competitiveness and modernizing our economy. The key objective of the coming development stage is providing tools and direction for Kazakhstan’s entering into the top 30 most developed world countries by 2050,” he said.

He said that the Prime-Minister of Kazakhstan has already formed an organizing committee for next year’s 47th ADB annual meeting, the main theme of which would be “New Silk Road Connecting Asia and Europe in the Changing World”.

According to the World Bank, Kazakhstan ranked 47th in the “Doing Business” rating. According to different estimates, Kazakhstan ranks 6th in the world by total amount of its mineral resources, roughly around 46 trillion US dollars. The largest numbers of which are oil and gas, chrome, uranium, zinc and iron. It is 9th largest country in the world in terms of territory, but has only have 17 million people.

Overall, Kazakhstan has managed to increase its economic potential more than twofold in the last decade. GDP of the country in absolute terms increased from 11 billion US dollars in 1993 to 203 billion US dollars in 2012. Per capita GDP increased from 696 US dollars in 1993 to 12,000 US dollars in 2012. According to different estimates per capita GDP by 2020 will be over 20,000 US dollars. The unemployment and inflation rate have not exceeded five percent. Projected GDP growth rate in 2013 is six percent. (ANI)

 

News Bulletin of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, No. 10 May 8, 2013

Transformation into a regional powerhouse 0

Posted on October 23, 2011 by Alex

The energy and industry of Kazakhstan’s population have turned the country around during the past two decades, writes Ben Aris

A huge country the size of Western Europe, Kazakhstan has vast mineral resources and enormous economic potential. But perhaps its biggest boon has been the energy and industry of its people, who in just two decades have transformed this country from an agricultural backwater in the middle of the Central  Asian steppe to a regional powerhouse and a major player  on the global energy markets.

The varied landscape stretches from the mountainous, heavily populated regions of the east to the sparsely populated, energy-rich lowlands in the west; and from the industrialized north, with its Siberian climate and terrain, through the arid, empty steppes of the center, to the fertile south.

Mineral wealth provides cash, but money alone is not enough to ensure the prosperity of a country. As the republic enters its third decade of independence, the combination of natural-resource wealth and liberal  economic reforms are starting to bear fruit.

With an average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of around 10 percent since 2000, the country is among the fastest-growing economies of the world and outpaces all other Central Asian states by far. By 2010, per capita GDP was estimated to have grown more than tenfold since the difficult transition period in the mid 1990s. In 2002, Kazakhstan became the first country in the former Soviet Union to receive an investment-grade credit rating.

Quick rebound

As in many other nations, the global economic crisis resulted in a lot of damage, but the backdrop of political stability, heavy investment, lower taxes and a transparent business environment have combined to fuel a quick recovery.

In response to the crisis, Kazakhstan’s authorities devalued the currency, the tenge, to stabilize the market,  and injected $19 billion in economic stimulus. Rising commodity prices also helped to revive Kazakhstan’s  economy, which registered seven percent growth in 2010.  Barring a dramatic decline in oil prices, strong growth is expected to continue in 2011.

Foreign investors are returning not only to the traditional extractive industries, but also to new areas such as train- building and the service sector, which are helping to diversify the economy. At the same time, the key sectors of energy and mining continue to receive investment to drive them forward.

Oil and mineral wealth

Kazakhstan is the most prosperous of the Central Asian states, and oil has played a key role in its development. The opening of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium link in October 2001, which connects the oilfields in western Kazakhstan with the Marine Terminal on Russia’s Black Sea coast, marked the start of the republic’s rapid growth. In 2008, Kazakhstan began pumping some oil exports through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline as part of a drive to lessen its dependence on Russia as a transit country. A pipeline to China opened in late 2005.

But the republic is also home to plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals, such as uranium, copper and zinc. Indeed, in the first years following independence in December 1991 – Kazakhstan was the last of the 15 former Soviet states to declare independence – the republic initially earned most of its export revenues from exporting metals. It remains the world’s largest producer of uranium.

New beginnings

The economy remains geared towards the extractive industries, but the government, realizing that its economy suffers from an over-reliance on these, has been making concerted efforts to diversify and modernize the economy with the development of other sectors.

Over the past decade, the republic created arguably the region’s most liberal and sophisticated banking sectors. Its high exposure to the international debt markets meant that it was badly wounded when the credit markets started seizing up, as the mortgage crisis in the United States began unfolding and the global financial crisis struck in the fall of 2008. However, rapid action by the National Bank of Kazakhstan contained the damage, and by 2010 the sector was already starting to recover.

Kazakhstan has also embarked on an ambitious diversification program. This is the central goal of the National Strategy until 2030, adopted in 1998, and the State Industrialization and Innovation Program until 2015, which was launched in 2003. In 2006, Kazakhstan additionally announced a major drive to enter the top 50 most-competitive nations in the world within 10 years.

With food prices increasing around the world, Kazakhstan will benefit, thanks to its large agricultural sector. The government has also launched programs that are aimed at developing targeted sectors, such as transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals, and food processing.

The future of the Kazakhstan economy will be fueled by further integration into the international economic community. To that end, the republic has been building up relations with its neighbors. In 2010, the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan was formally launched – the first stage in creating a regional common economic space.

SOURCE: Invest in Kazakhstan 2011 (an official publication of the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan), p. 21-23.

INTERVIEW-Kazakhstan sees GDP growth at 7 pct for 10 years 0

Posted on September 29, 2011 by Alex

Reuters, Sept 23, 2011

* GDP expected to double in 10 years – minister

* Kazakhstan not pursuing ‘resource nationalism’-minister

* Says country remains stable despite recent violence

By Megan Davies

NEW YORK, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Oil-rich Kazakhstan aims to maintain economic growth at 7 percent for the next decade, helped by diversifying beyond the dominant energy industries that fuel its economy, its foreign minister said on Friday.

Kazakhstan, central Asia’s largest economy, holds about 3 percent of the world’s recoverable oil reserves and is the world’s largest uranium miner.

“We think that we have enough investments to the hydrocarbon sector, and now the time has come that we have to put more emphasis on the industrialization of the economy of Kazakhstan,” said Yerzhan Kazykhanov, speaking to Reuters after addressing the International Peace Institute in New York.

He hopes that Kazakhstan’s economy — which was hard hit by the credit crisis — would keep gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 7 percent for the next 10 years. If that happens, it could “increase our GDP by twofold,” he said, adding that is a pace which would not cause the economy to overheat.

Kazakhstan’s GDP rose 7.3 percent last year, a dramatic improvement from the 1.2 percent recorded in 2009.

Kazykhanov said Kazakhstan was concerned about the delays of the Kashagan exploration and development but “now things are moving”.

“We will continue to work hand in hand with our oil partners,” he said.

Kazakhstan, for so long a bastion of stability in volatile Central Asia, has experienced several suspicious bombings and shootouts this year.

“Unfortunately in these days no one country can be immune from the religious extremism,” said Kazykhanov. “Kazakhstan was lucky for a number of years preserving peace and stability.”

Officials in Kazakhstan have voiced concern over the possible advent of radical Islam, which is on the rise in the overpopulated and impoverished Ferghana Valley shared by its former Soviet neighbors Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Kazykhanov said that the “overall situation is under control” and law enforcement agencies were working hard to keep stability.

“But I don’t think the events … influenced the investment mood with regards to Kazakhstan,” he said. “Kazakhstan remains a stable country and we fully control the situation.” (Additional reporting by Robin Paxton in Almaty; Editing by Eric Walsh)

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=779&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201



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