Economic news in bief

Kazakhstan has the potential to be a leader in the development of corporate social responsibility in Central Asia said Mari-Lou Dupont, representative of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, at a May 22 press conference of Kazakhstan’s National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. She noted that Kazakhstan is only the second country in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on which the OECD has prepared a special report about the prospects of implementing the principles of corporate social responsibility. OECD experts have also participated in the drafting of Kazakhstan’s national concept of corporate social responsibility based on the economic motivation of business. The document provides recommendations for the implementation of corporate social responsibility principles and standards not only for the business community and government, but for all of civil society. Currently, the draft concept is being presented for public comment. After the adoption of the concept, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs plans to undertake a number of measures to implement the principles of corporate social responsibility. It will ensure continuous monitoring and implementation of the most important social programmes of employers and members of the chamber.

Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Bakhyt Sultanov discussed work undertaken to strengthen Kazakhstan’s cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with Chairman of the OECD Competition Law and Policy Committee Frederic Jenny in a meeting at the Astana Economic Forum. “Kazakhstan’s cooperation with the OECD provides us with an opportunity to have access to the best practices of state administration and to introduce advanced standards. It also helps to improve the investment attractiveness of the country and reduce the cost of attracting financial resources abroad,” Sultanov said. Jenny noted the OECD’s interest in strengthening cooperation with Kazakhstan.

Implementing Kazakhstan’s economic programmes is opportunity to expand exports of domestic goods to the markets of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan Kairat Kelimbetov said at a May 22 plenary session at the Astana Economic Forum, entitled “Twenty Years of Eurasian Economic Integration. Results and Prospects.” “In general, we consider the implementation of all programmes in Kazakhstan, including economy diversification programmes [and] implementation of the national innovation strategy, as an opportunity to export products to the markets of the EEU, and in the same sense we are working with foreign direct investment with the purpose of drawing investors not only to Kazakhstan, but also to the Customs Union common market,” Kelimbetov noted. In addition, he said that through the EEU, domestic business can gain access to the public procurement markets of Russia and Belarus, which are in aggregate 25 times larger than Kazakhstan’s.

The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will increase business competitiveness and improve access to finance projects in its member countries, Agris Preimanis, lead economist for Central Asia at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on the sidelines of the 7th Astana Economic Forum on May 22. “The volume of Kazakhstan’s banking sector is approximately $0.2 trillion. In the united sector of the three countries, the figure will be about $2.2 trillion. The level of competition will increase; the types of services will improve. If you think about the benefits of this integration process, companies will have access to funding and to services,” Preimanis said. According to him, the Kazakh capital market is now $25 billion. However, capitalisation of the combined market will reach $900 billion. “All of these things depend on the correct regulation. This means better access to capital markets, higher ability to raise capital from much more liquid markets at a good price. There will be access to various sources of capital. In my opinion, this is a very important aspect for economic growth in the Eurasian region,” he said.

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