Economy News in Brief

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) has predicted that, in 2013, the Kazakhstan economy will grow by six percent, confirming its forecast of October 2012. In 2012, Kazakhstan’s GDP increased by five percent. The bank said the start of commercial production in the Kashagan oil field in the North Caspian Sea will boost growth this year.

Kazakhstan National Bank has approved the country’s basic monetary policies for 2013, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov said. The new plan has the goal of keeping the annual inflation rate within the six to eight percent range. “The National Bank’s main objective is to ensure stability of prices and retain the annual inflation rate within 6-8 percent,” the prime minister said. This year, the National Bank will work closely with the Finance Ministry to strengthen the government securities market. “The new mechanism will help reduce the dollarisation of the economy, harness the volatility of interest rates, cut speculation on the money market and, therefore, increase the flexibility and efficiency of liquidity regulation,” the National Bank said in a statement. The bank will continue to grow its long-term investment portfolio in government securities by buying them from sellers in secondary markets. The bank will intervene to regulate fluctuations in the tenge exchange rate, without influencing the overall trend of the exchange rate based on market conditions.

Kazakhstan export companies have signed contracts worth $1 billion over the past three years. More than 300 Kazakhstan entrepreneurs have entered foreign markets in that time. Domestic companies sold goods to five new countries last year. Kazakhstan-made goods are exported to over 100 countries. However, Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan remain the major markets. “We are ready to reimburse the costs related to companies seeking to sell their goods in foreign markets. If a Kazakhstan producer spends money on advertisement campaigns, makes video ads or places advertisements in foreign media, our agency will reimburse 50 percent of all those costs at the end of the year,” said Kaznex director Askar Arynov. “Half of the costs are reimbursed when a company takes part in exhibitions and trade missions abroad. Several Almaty companies have used this support and are now opening their representative offices, branches and stores abroad,” he said. Over the past three years, Kaznex has supported more than 300 Kazakhstan businessmen. Kazakhstan-made products popular in foreign markets include engineering equipment and food.

The government of Kazakhstan has announced plans to build 1.04 GW (gigawatts) of renewable energy capacity by 2020, including four solar photovoltaic (PV) plants. PV-Tech said the four PV plants will generate 77 MW (megawatts), Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov was told at a meeting on Feb. 5. The government also plans to build 13 wind plants and four hydroelectric plants by 2020.

The Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) expects Kazakhstan’s oil production to reach 1.73 million bpd (barrels per day) in the fourth quarter of 2013

The Science Fund of the Education and Science Ministry of Kazakhstan will finance a biological plant to make vaccines against influenza, poliomyelitis and brucellosis, as well as veterinary drugs. The new plant will be built at the Scientific Research Institute for Biological Safety in Almaty. Science Fund Chairman Kuatzhan Ualiyev said the plant would produce up to 10 million doses of vaccines a year.

Kazakhstan expects its grain exports to Russia to rise substantially to between 900,000 and 1.1 million metric tons in the period from Sept. 1, 2012 to Aug. 31, 2013, the head of the Kazakh grain trader said on Feb. 12. Russia imported 440,000 metric tons of Kazakh grain from Sept. 1, 2011 to Aug. 31, 2012, Kazakhstan’s state-owned grain trader, the Food Contract Corporation, said.

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