Economy News in Brief

The grain harvest is forecast to reach 18.5 million tons this year, Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan Assylzhan Mamytbekov said at a CCS media briefing in early October. “Taking into consideration the results of the harvest, we have raised the grain harvest volume outlook to 18.5 million tons. Accordingly, the export volume outlook will be increased as well. However, high export potential doesn’t always mean that it will be fully realized, as was the case in 2011. Everything depends on the demand and abilities of the main importers of Kazakhstan grain. In 2011, we had about 30 million tons of grain in bunker weight and could sell no more than 12.5 mn tons of it. Our domestic demand is 7-8 mn tons. Therefore, we expect export potential to be around 9-9.5 million tons,” the Minister told.

The lower house of Kazakhstan’s parliament, the Mazhilis, has approved a law allowing Kazakhstan to borrow $125 million from the Asian Development Bank to repair the Shymkent-Tashkent section of the Western Europe-Western China international transit corridor. “The length of the section financed by the Asian Development Bank is 37 kilometres,” Kazakhstan’s Transport and Communications Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev said while presenting the draft law in parliament. “The loan agreement was signed on May 28, 2013 for a total amount of $125 million. The interest rate is LIBOR+0.4 percent, with a three-year grace period. The loan is for 16 years.” The project will be completed by 2015, the minister said. The Shymkent-Tashkent section of the road financed by the Asian Development Bank will have a cement-concrete coating and four lanes. A barrier will be installed in the middle of the road to prevent vehicles from driving into the wrong lane. The road will also have a transport junction and five overpasses, the minister said.

On Oct. 5, Minister of Transport and Communications Askar Zhumagaliyev took part in the presentation of a data processing centre at the “Park of Innovative Technologies” Special Economic Zone in Almaty. The data processing centre will render services using cloud technology such as cloud server platforms, cloud data storage systems, a standby data processing centre, business software, a communications and information exchange system and cloud video conferencing. The data processing centre also offers its SDP allowing business to use all the infrastructure of Kazakhtelecom for the creation and promotion of ICT projects.

Belarus is interested in hosting major Kazakhstan companies, the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko said at negotiations with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Oct. 4 during his visit to Kazakhstan. According to Lukashenko, investment cooperation is a vital branch of bilateral cooperation. “Belarus is interested in Kazakhstan capital. We are ready to back proposals on cooperation in various areas at the state level,” noted the Belarussian leader. “Today, this is a priority task of our governments,” he said. Lukashenko stated that in the last few years, the two countries have managed to secure rather good results in manufacturing, research and technological cooperation. “Mutually beneficial cooperation allows us to replenish the domestic market of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space with our own products, raise the competitive ability of the economies, and create jobs,” the Belarussian leader believes. “At the same time, ways to improve the effectiveness of newly established enterprises are pushed to the forefront. It is advisable to step up localization and expand the choice of products in addition to starting the manufacturing of Belarussian-Kazakh products.” President Lukashenko also invited Kazakhstan to participate in joint projects in transport and logistics. President Lukashenko also believes that more cooperation opportunities emerged after the establishment of the Common Economic Space. “Our joint plans include logistics centres to transport Belarusian and Kazakhstan goods to Europe and Asia,” he said. “We are ready to construct logistics centres at the border with the European Union to store your commodities, especially EU bound grain.”

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