Economy News in Brief

A regular meeting of the Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan intergovernmental commission on economic, scientific and technical, and cultural cooperation will be held soon in Ashgabat, the government of Turkmenistan announced on April 20. The meeting will discuss implementing current intergovernmental agreements and expanding bilateral cooperation. Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have signed more than 60 agreements including an agreement on trade and economic, scientific and technical and cultural cooperation to 2020.

Oil and Gas Minister Sauat Mynbayev said on April 19 that Kazakhstan will be self-sufficient in domestic oil needs by 2016. “Concerning the fuel, lubricants and petroleum products, we have set more close terms for the goal of supplying our domestic market fully with 100 percent domestic products,” he told an online conference on the Kazakhstan 2050 national strategy. “This is due to the reconstruction of three oil refineries: Work on this is already underway in Atyrau and will begin soon on the refineries in Shymkent and Pavlodar. The products will meet Euro-4 and Euro-5 standards.”

The National Economic Chamber of Kazakhstan Atameken Union and the Regional Economic Cooperation project of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) plan to hold round table talks with government officials and business leaders from Uzbekistan in Tashkent on April 26. They will try to establish close trade cooperation between businessmen in both countries and find ways to solve existing problems in bilateral trade.

Investment in fixed capital grew by 8.5 percent to 852.8 billion tenge ($5.64 billion) in January-March 2013 compared to the same period last year, Statistics Agency of Kazakhstan chairman Alikhan Smailov told a briefing in the Central Communications Service on April 15. Short-term economic growth indicators for January-March 2013 were 103.7 percent compared to January-March 2012.

The Ministry of Industry and New Technology (MINT) believes Kazakhstan-based car-assembling plants will be able to produce 300,000 cars a year, MINT First Deputy Minister Albert Rau told a round-table conference on the auto industry on April 16. He said that in 2012, 100,000 new cars were sold in Kazakhstan, 20,000 of them domestically produced. Rau said domestic demand was far greater and that most of the 4 million cars currently registered in the country are used imports from abroad.

Representatives of the 40 biggest companies of Switzerland took part in a meeting on trade and economic cooperation with Kazakhstan in the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies (MINT) on April 14. The Swiss business delegation was led by Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, a Swiss federal councillor and head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER). The meeting explored cooperation in tourism, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, engineering, ore mining, agriculture, railway transportation and logistics. The Swiss group said it would prepare proposals for cooperation.

Kazakhstan needs to invest at least 1 percent of its annual gross domestic product in the green economy, Environmental Protection Minister Nurlan Kapparov told the Creation of the Green Economy in Kazakhstan conference on April 12. “Kazakhstan is already ready to introduce the green economy financially and psychologically. The programmes are being prepared,” he said. “After our new green economy strategy has been approved, we will begin this transition. It will be a long program implemented over 20 to 30 years.” The minister said it was still difficult to speak about the exact ways the transition would be made. “China has pledged to invest 1.5 percent of GDP in its green economy. South Korea has accepted the plan of green development and pledged to invest 2 percent of its GDP in it. Therefore, we think there are a lot of models. I think a 1 percent of GDP figure will be necessary for us.”

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