ASTANA – President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the Aktobe and East Kazakhstan regions on June 23-24 touring and launching a number of industrial and social facilities and meeting with members of the public and local entrepreneurs.
In Aktobe, the head of state highlighted the region’s fast-paced development.
“In the past three years, domestic regional product increased by 1.5 times, reaching 1.8 billion tenge (US$9.8 million), and industrial production increased by 1.4 times. Seventy-eight construction sites worth 577 billion tenge (US$3.14 billion) in total were commissioned during the industrialisation programme. Revenue into the budget of the region increased by 1.5 times,” Nazarbayev noted.
The President also stressed that along with economic development, much attention is being paid to social development, which is very important for the population in the area.
“Thirty-one schools were opened [in the region,] along with 144 kindergartens, [so] the region is 85 percent covered by preschool institutions. The state supports healthcare, and over a span of 10 years, life expectancy in the region has increased by six years. This is the main component of all our work,” Nazarbayev said.
The President noted that the new Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will boost the region’s opportunities. The Aktobe region shares a long border with the EEU neighbour, Russia.
Nazarbayev also addressed a number of problems in the socio-economic development of the region. In particular, he pointed to the lack of dynamic processing industries when compared with mining industry facilities. Several facilities that were built through the industrial programme are idle or running at a reduced capacity.
“Over the past three years, the region imported $800 million worth of food [products.] This year alone, imported meat and dairy products totalled $94 million. It is necessary to develop your own capacity to form food reserves around Aktobe,” Nazarbayev stressed.
The President also visited Daru Hospital, the Dostyk swimming pool complex and the construction site of the new Nur Aktobe condominium complex.
He also launched the new ferroalloy plant by the KazChrome company, which is part of the ENRC group of companies. The design capacity of the new plant amounts to 440,000 tons of high-carbon ferro-chrome per year. It is expected to produce 226,500 tons of the product by the end of this year. The project, worth $843 million, is expected to produce the first metal in its furnace next month. The plant employs more than 500 workers.
The President’s next stop was Ust-Kamenogorsk in East Kazakhstan. He got acquainted with the industrial and innovative development of the region, visiting a manufacturing equipment plant that produces processing equipment and electric filters designed to purify exhaust gases. The products are used in thermal power plants, construction enterprises and the metallurgical industry. The percentage of particulate abatement and dust filtering of the plant’s products reaches 99.7 percent.
The President stressed that the region’s dynamically developing sector of small and medium-sized businesses is a priority for the whole country.
“The volume of products manufactured by small and medium enterprises has increased by two and a half times. These enterprises provide jobs for a third of all workers. This is important because large enterprises provide the main income for the economy, but they are not able to provide all the jobs needed. Small business is vital in this role,” the President said.
“The average life expectancy in the East Kazakhstan region has reached almost 70 years; the birth rate has increased by 41 percent. This indicates that the standard of living is rising and healthcare is working properly for the people,” he added.