During his working visit to the Mangistau Region on Oct. 1, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev had a meeting with entrepreneurs and members of the public sector where he noted the positive dynamics of the development of the region, drawing attention to the implemented infrastructure projects aimed at using the benefits of the local area.
“On my instructions, the capacity of the Aktau seaport was increased from 12.5 million to 16 million tones and by 2020 it will be increased to 22 million tonnes of cargo per year. Iran is ready to buy up to six million tonnes of grain per year. Agreements reached with Iran in this and other areas open up new prospects for entry into foreign markets. In general, taking into account the possibilities of the Aktau seaport, our country has a great export potential,” Nazarbayev said.
The President also stressed that construction of a logistics centre in Aktau, being implemented with the participation of the Azerbaijani investment, will pave the way to quality and inexpensive supplies of fruits and vegetables for all Kazakh consumers.
Nazarbayev addressed the issue of further development of the special economic zone (SEZ) in Aktau.
“The SEZ was established in 2002 and they started to build infrastructure in 2009. The first platform was finished in 2012, which took 7 billion tenge (US$38.5 million) of budgetary money. However, today in the SEZ, from among of 31 registered projects, only five work. The enterprises produced goods worth more than 220 billion tenge (US$1.2 billion) and paid almost 10 billion tenge (US$55 million) in taxes. There is the return and we should further realise their potential. For all other projects we should seriously speed up the work and start to attract investors,” Nazarbayev said.
He also drew attention to the importance of expanding the specialisation of the mining industry.
“In the Mangistau region, there are significant deposits of uranium, strontium, manganese, copper and mineral salts. Many of them have been explored, but production is not conducted. Meanwhile, there is the potential for whole sectors of the metallurgical industry, creating new industrial and innovative projects. The region’s economy has kept on oil production, while the share of small and medium business is only 18 percent. In this regard, we should pay more attention to other sectors,” the President said.
In this regard, the head of state pointed out the need for the development of industries not related to oil, in particular logistics, transit, services and tourism. He instructed the formation of an ad hoc working group and making proposals for the development of the Kenderli tourist zone and other attractive areas after preliminary discussion in the government.
Nazarbayev also noted that the territory of the region is in the desert area, making it difficult for agriculture.
“The area consumes 20,000 tonnes of meat per year and produces 5,500 tonnes. The region gets 500 tonnes of fish per year and the need is 5,000 tonnes. At the same time, the nearby Atyrau region is self-sufficient with all the necessary products including vegetables, fruits and meat. It is necessary to solve problems of agricultural development in the region and this will be needed to connect small- and medium-sized businesses,” he said.
He stressed that good fertility and life expectancy and reduced infant and maternal mortality are observed in the region.
“However, the availability of medical staff is 20 percent below the average for the country. The shortage of places in kindergartens is 12,000, which is one of the worst in the country, while this region is one of the leaders in the country on the inflow of people from other regions and neighbouring countries,” Nazarbayev noted.
According to him, the government needs to create the conditions to encourage migration to other priority areas.
In conclusion, Nazarbayev again drew attention to the importance of attracting foreign investment and also pointed out the need for the active use of the conditions that have been created for the dynamic development of the region.
At the meeting, Regional Akim (Governor) Alik Aidarbayev gave a report on the socio-economic development of the region and Minister for Investment and Development Asset Issekeshev spoke about the implementation of the industrial and innovation programme in the area.
In addition, the head of state was presented with a plan for the construction of Borzhakty-Yersai, a new railway line with a length of 13.8 kilometres. A live video feed conference from the Borzhakty station was organised, during which the President launched the construction of the railway.
Borzhakty-Yersai is focused on providing sustainable traffic to the construction projects and coastal infrastructure of the Kuryk port, supporting development of Kazmortransflot LLP, Tengiz-Service LLP, Globalink LLP, Yersai Caspian Contractor LLP and oil transshipment through the port.