External news in brief

As of Jan. 1, Belarusian companies may participate in public procurement in Kazakhstan. Their participation is regulated by the Dec. 2010 agreement on public procurement between the Customs Union member states. For Belarus and Russia, this agreement came into force on Jan. 1, 2012. Information systems ensuring the process of conducting public procurement in an electronic format have also been introduced, Belarusian information agency BELTA reported. Since Jan. 1, the national regime of conducting public procurement in the Common Economic Space will have another member in Kazakhstan and business from all three members of the Customs Union may participate in each others’ public procurement processes. All business entities of all Customs Union member states will have the same rights. According to BELTA, the new status is expected to increase Belarus’s export potential.

On Jan. 9, the third meeting of the Kazakhstan-Iranian working group on trade and economic cooperation took place in Astana. Implementing agreements reached at the previous meeting was on the agenda, as were the prospects of bilateral cooperation in the sphere of trade and economy. “The issue is the cooperation of Kazakhstan and Iran in the industrial and mining sectors, agriculture and the agro-industrial complex, transport and logistics and tourism and culture,” Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning of Kazakhstan Kairat Torebayev said. Co-chairman of the meeting representing Kazakhstan was Deputy Minister of Economy and Budget Planning of Kazakhstan Timur Zhaksylykov and Co-chairman representing Iran was Deputy Minister of Industry and Mines of Iran Valiullah Afkhami. As a result of the meeting, the protocol of the third working group meeting was signed.

All labour migrants will have to pay taxes amounting to over 44,000 tenge (about US$284) per year in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has simplified the procedure for receiving permits for labour activity for foreigners. The only condition is the upfront payment of individual income tax, Kapital.kz reported. Foreigners arriving in Kazakhstan should apply for an individual identification number (IIN) at a taxation body in the area where they will be living. Every month, a payment should be made in the amount of two monthly calculation indices (MCI), which amounts to 3,704 tenge (about US$24). For a permit covering a whole year, the payment will be 44,448 tenge (about US$288). These funds will go to the state budget. Employers will not have to pay taxes, but simply sign employment agreements to hire foreigners. All tax payments will be made by foreigners themselves. On Dec. 10, 2013, the President of Kazakhstan signed the law “On amendments to several legislative acts regarding issues of labour migration.” The document can legalise labour migrants. “The adoption of this law will also reduce the factors allowing corruption to develop, working within the framework of the law, and thus foreigners will be taken out of the shadows,” Deputy Head of the Department of Migration Police of Almaty Aidar Belgibayev noted.

In 2013, 83 patients from Kazakhstan were sent abroad for medical treatment in the best foreign clinics at the expense of the state. Almost half of them were children under 18, the press service of the Ministry of Healthcare reported. Most patients were taken to the hospitals in Germany, Austria, Israel, Turkey, South Korea, Belarus and Russia. Twenty patients with blood disorders were sent for bone marrow transplants. The necessary conditions for rendering high-tech medical services at an international level are also being created in Kazakhstan’s hospitals. Four liver transplants have been performed on adult patients at the National Research Medical Centre in cooperation with specialists from South Korea. A kidney transplant for a child was performed at the National Research Centre of Maternity and Childhood and a six-year old child received a liver transplant at the National Research Centre for Emergency Medical Aid. The Ministry of Healthcare plans to take further measures to develop national clinics for rendering medical aid to patients currently seeking treatment abroad.

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