Business news in brief

Chinese website China Economic Net and newspaper Economic Daily will moderate a televised debate at the seventh Astana Economic Forum (AEF). The agreement was reached during the Boao Forum for Asia 2014. Vice President of Kazakhstan’s Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists Association Maksat Kurbenov held several meetings with representatives of business and academic communities and high-ranking delegates at the Boao Forum. Mutually beneficial cooperation and active participation in the upcoming AEF and the second World Anti-Crisis Conference (WAC) became the main theme of negotiations between the Kazakh delegation and Boao Forum guests. China Economic Net is one of China’s main information and analytical resources and a major source of in-depth economic analysis of Asia. The portal is supported by the Economic Daily, founded in China in 1980, which also focuses on economic issues and business analysis. “The willingness of Chinese mass media, solid players in Asia’s huge media market, to take an active part in the AEF indicates the full support of our partners and the increasing role of the AEF on the world stage,” Kurbenov said.

On April 11, heads of government agencies and national companies, members of the National Chamber of Commerce and representatives of business circles attended a session of the National Investors’ Council chaired by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The session reviewed issues of national business and investment development. The President of Kazakhstan noted that entrepreneurship is a driving force of the country’s economy. “Small and medium-sized business is the foundation of a strong middle class. We observe positive dynamics in this sector. The number of self-employed increased by 8 percent and reached 2.6 million last year. The volume of output produced by small and medium-sized business accounted for 9 trillion tenge ($49.4 billion), with an annual growth of 3.3 percent,” the President told participants at the meeting. It was at that meeting that President Nazarbayev announced plans to organise the third so-called legalisation of finances in Kazakhstan’s independent history which is seen as an effort to reduce the size of the grey economy and channel more resources into the country’s banks and real sector.

Director of Russia’s Third Freight Company Yevgeny Scherbakov discussed the wide range of possibilities for cooperation between the business communities of the East Kazakhstan region and Russia’s Altai region in an interview with the Central Communications Service (CCS). “As we know, railways have always been considered an indicator of industrial development. During Soviet times, people used to say that railways are the arteries of industry and economy. Therefore, it is safe to say that there are great opportunities for export and import. This is an indicator of how Kazakhstan and the East Kazakhstan region, Russia and the Altai region that we represent, closely cooperation with each other,” he said. According to Scherbakov, the interest of Russian and Kazakh businessmen in cooperation and the integration of the economies of the two countries is growing steadily. “Despite having Kuzbass [one of the largest coal mining regions in the world] near the Altay region, coal exported from Degelen and Ekibastuz [in Kazakhstan] still finds customers in our region,” he said. Scherbakov also noted that construction materials manufactured in Kazakhstan are in high demand in Altai.

Businessmen in the East Kazakhstan region plan to open trade centres in Russia’s Altai Territory and launch production lines oriented at them, Akim (Governor) of the region Berdybek Saparbayev reported during an April 17 Central Communications Service (CCS) media briefing. “Now, we have opened a poultry processing plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk, one of the first among the CIS [Commonwealth of Indepenedent States] countries. Seventy types of products are made from one kilogramme of meat. The plant intends to open a factory in the Altai Territory. We also recently agreed to open a trade centre in Barnaul to sell products from the East Kazakhstan region,” Saparbayev said. “We analyse and compare the quality and prices of products. Several days ago, we held Days of East Kazakhstan in Barnaul [the capital of the Altai Territory]. We organised a fair there and sold food products. We sold meat for 1,000 tenge [US$5.50] and their usual price, converting rubles to tenge, is about 1,500-1,700 [US$8.23-9.33] per kilogramme. The situation is the same regarding dairy products. Thus, we have some businessmen in the region who would like to open trade centres there and sell our products,” he said.

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