Business News in Brief

The state will subsidize half of the APR on car loans for Kazakhstan citizens to purchase Kazakhstan-made cars, reported, citing Andrei Lavrentiyev, Head of the Association of Car Making Businesses. According to him, about half of the APR will be subsidized after a borrower has been approved by a bank as eligible for a car loan. With the APR standing at about 15 percent, 7 percent will be subsidized. The state will be sending direct monthly payments to the respective bank. “This measure will be beneficial for domestic car makers, consumers and lenders as sales of domestically made cars are set to grow,” Lavrentiyev said, adding that the measure is short-term and the subsidy will be available only for approximately six months. The measure will be applied to locally produced cars under $26,000. Last week, the country’s media reported that Albert Rau, First Deputy Minister of Industry and New Technologies, suggested introducing state subsidies to bolster sales of domestically produced cars. He sent a respective request to Kazakhstan Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov for consideration.

Mobile operator Tele2 Kazakhstan has started serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in eastern Kazakhstan and Zhambyl regions. Partner, merchant and professional corporate tariffs are being offered. No subscription fee is charged under the partner tariff. Calls within the corporate group cost 4 tenge (3 cents) per minute, and calls to all Kazakshtan networks are offered for 8 tenge (5 cents) per minute. Under the merchant plan, the monthly subscription costs 490 tenge ($3.21), calls are free within the corporate group, outgoing on-net calls are offered for 4 tenge (3 cents) per minute, and calls and SMS to other Kazakhstan networks cost 8 tenge (5 cents) per minute and per message. The monthly subscription totals 9,900 tenge ($64.88) under the professional tariff, and this comes with 5,000 minutes of calls to Kazakhstan networks and 5 GB mobile internet. Calls cost 15 tenge ($.10) per minute after exceeding the monthly ceiling, and SMS cost 8 tenge (5 cents).

The main topic at the upcoming international Astana Smart Technologies Exhibition (ASTEX) exhibition-conference to be held in 2014 in Kazakhstan will be e-commerce, the ASTEX organising committee told Trend news agency. “In 2014, the ASTEX conference will once again gather eminent foreign speakers, including successful businessmen, the heads of international industrial organisations and analysts in Astana,” the organising committee reported. Traditionally, leading industrial work and the latest smart technology is displayed at the exhibition with the participation of large Kazakh and world brands. ASTEX is being held within the Astana Economic Forum. It is Kazakhstan’s largest ICT event. The most recent event in May 2013 was dedicated to promoting ICT in various spheres of modern life. Around 42 reports were heard at the two-day event in four sessions: Smart Government, Smart Industry, Smart Business and Smart Life. Around 25 exponent companies participated in the exhibition. Over 2,000 people took part in the event.

The Minsk Office of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) organized a recent visit of Belarusian businessmen to the Kazakhstan cities of Astana and Karaganda. The visit was held on Aug. 17-22, BelTA reported. The visit was aimed at finding new markets for Belarusian products, searching for new business partners and establishing new forms of mutually beneficial cooperation. The visit’s agenda included negotiations between representatives of Belarusian and Kazakh enterprises, discussions concerning mutually beneficial cooperation in different branches of industry and visits to several enterprises. The visit was organized jointly with the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Astana and Karaganda.

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