Economy News in Brief

In July 2013, 8.6 million people in Kazakhstan were actively engaged in employment. This represents an increase of 56,400 since July 2012 or 0.7 percent. Of this total, 5.9 million (69.1 percent) are employees, while the rest are self-employed. On the other side of the coin, almost 468,000 people were registered as unemployed, resulting in a national unemployment figure of 5.2 percent, according to primeminister.kz.

Sir Tony Baldry has been elected the new chairman of the largest Kazakhstan paper producer Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc, the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE) announced. Sir Baldry has been a member of the British Parliament for the last 30 years. He also worked in the governments of John Major and Margaret Thatcher for eight years. He is not the first foreign chair in the company. “Clearly, these are important developments in the longer-term future of Kazakhstan Kagazy. … The arrival of Sir Tony Baldry is a significant one for the company, which will, undoubtedly, help us continue to build Kazakhstan Kagazy into a highly respected, world-class business,” the company’s Chief Executive Officer Tomas Mateos Werner said.

For several reasons, Kazakhstan is ideally suited to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress, according to Ambassador of France to Kazakhstan Jean-Charles Berthonnet. “(Competing to host the Congress against the) USA (Houston), Turkey (Istanbul) and Denmark (Copenhagen), Kazakhstan is ideally placed to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress for several reasons. Firstly, Kazakhstan has never hosted this forum before,” Berthonnet told Trend news agency. “Turkey and Denmark also have never hosted this forum, but Kazakhstan is a global oil power compared to these counties.” Berthonnet also said that as of 2012, Kazakhstan had become the 18th oil producer in the world (1,605,900 barrels per day) and is in 11th place possessing 2 percent of world oil reserves and in 14th place for gas reserves at 1.3 percent. According to the ambassador, the simultaneous holding of a 2017 exhibition under the theme “Energy of the Future” and the World Petroleum Congress would fit into the process of energy transition. Kazakhstan joins this process with plans to increase the share of renewable energy in the energy mix to 10 percent by 2030, compared to the current 0.5 percent, thus combining traditional and new methods of energy production.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the best countries to cooperate with to achieve Kazakhstan’s goal to join the club of the world’s 30 most developed nations by 2050, Askar Shokybayev, Kazakhstan’s Consul General in Dubai, told Gulf News. In his words, Kazakhstan is looking to boost foreign investment and increase trade with foreign countries, and the UAE market has a potential Kazakhstan can benefit from. The UAE has investment projects in Kazakhstan worth around $3 billion, Shokybayev said, adding that some of them were implemented with the help of UAE funds including Aldar Properties at a value of $1.1 billion and Islamic bank Al Hilal with an investment worth $500 million, Gulf News reported. A cooperation agreement has been signed between Kazakhstan’s national railway company, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and Dubai’s DP World to develop transport and logistics system in Kazakhstan, Shokybayev said. “Dubai has extensive experience in port operation and logistics services, which could play an important role in upgrading these business sectors in Kazakhstan,” he said. He added that despite trade volume between the two countries being relatively low – $300 million in 2012 – the sides intend to double the figure in coming years.

Kazakhstan produced 84,000 tonnes of sugar in the first five months of calendar 2013, up sharply from 2,300 in the corresponding period last year, the Agency on Statistics reported. Imports fell to 48,000 tonnes during the period from 116,000 in the corresponding period a year ago, while exports rose to 3,500 tonnes from 100.

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