Economic News in Brief

The Sept. 11 government meeting chaired by Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev included a discussion on the issues of attracting business in the organisation and operation of the international exhibition EXPO 2017. The meeting was attended by the heads of central government agencies and representatives of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. The meeting considered the action plan to attract business in the organisation and conduct EXPO 2017 and included elaboration by the Ministry of National Economy in cooperation with the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. Following the discussion, Sagintayev instructed state agencies and the akimat (mayor’s office) of Astana to continue to work within the plan.

“In the context of Kazakhstan’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and World Trade Organisation (WTO), special attention should be paid to improving the competitiveness of Kazakh companies in international markets,”Kazakh Minister of National Economy Yerbolat Dossayev said Sept. 10 after the meeting of the government. The minister noted the deterioration of Kazakhstan’s position in the international rankings compared to last year due to poor development in the field of technology and innovation. In particular, Kazakhstan moved down on the World EconomicForum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report on such indicators as procurement of high-tech products, ability of companies to use modern technology, foreign direct investment and technology transfer and collaboration between universities and businesses in research and development. The limiting factor in institutional development is still a high level of corruption, Dossayev noted. “Kazakhstan moved down 15 places to 80th place on the informal payments and bribes indicator. According to WEF surveys, the areas most prone to corruption are the housing and utilities sector, judiciary system and customs procedures,” he said. According to him, low positions among the macroeconomic indicators at the end of 2013 were on the share of imports in the GDP,with a reduction from 22.8 percent to 21.8 percent, and average annual rate of inflation,with an increase from 5.1 percent to 5.8 percent. He noted that in order to improve Kazakhstan’s position in the international rankings in February,consideration must be given to the government-approved master plans to improve the republic’s competitiveness on five factors – macroeconomics, institutions, business, technology and innovation andhuman development.

“According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report, Kazakhstan maintains leading positions in the effectiveness of the labour market and macroeconomic environment,”Kazakh Minister of National Economy Yerbolat Dossayev said at a Sept. 10 briefing following the meeting of the government. “The leading factors in 2014 are labour market efficiency (15th place) and macroeconomic environment (27th place),” Dossayev noted. He also said that in the report, Kazakhstan retained 50th place out of 144 countries with an average score of 4.42 points (4.41 points and 50th place in 2013, 4.38 points and 51st place in 2012) and remained in the group of countries that are in transition from the second stage of effective development to the highest, third stage of innovation development. “The World Economic Forum ranks economies on the basis of 12 factors, intwo of which Kazakhstan is among the top 30 countries,” the minister said.

“GDP growth in Kazakhstan was 4.1 percent for eight months of 2014,”Kazakh Minister of National Economy Yerbolat Dossayev noted at a Sept. 10 media briefing in the Central Communications Service (CCS) after a regular meeting of the government. “According to the forecast, for eight months this year the GDP amounted to 104.1 percent as compared to the beginning of the year,” he said. According to him, the physical index of industrial production for eight months was 99.9 percent. The growth was observed in agriculture (102.5 percent), construction (104.7 percent) and communications (109.7 percent). Growth of investment in fixed assets was up to 105.7 percent. Inflation over the past month was 0.4 percent;on an annualised basis, 5.4 percent.

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