Baiterek Holding to Launch Small Business Support Programme

Baiterek Holding is hoping to launch a pilot version this year of a new plan to support Kazakh small businesses, said Chairman of the Board Kuandyk Bishimbayev. The project is aimed at creating competitive and export-oriented industries in Kazakhstan by establishing companies of regional and global scale.

BUR_6502-1

Kuandyk Bishimbayev

The plan embraces three sectors of the national economy: agro-industry (including the food industry), machinery and production of construction materials. The plan is expected to be expanded in the future after incorporating revisions based on the results of the first year’s implementation.

“Kazakhstan joined the Eurasian Economic Union on Jan. 1, 2015 and is only one step away from becoming a new member of the World Trade Organisation. Thus, the competition intensifies both in local and international markets. We want to select companies that are able to increase their development volume supported by national institutions for development,” said Bishimbayev.

He noted that the support measures consist of three main areas, beginning with financial support involving the use of Baiterek-offered tools such as direct lending, interbank lending (lending through second-tier banks), financing of leasing transactions, interest rate subsidies, loan guarantees, export insurance, pre-export financing and trade financing, as well as grants for innovation.

“The second area is consulting support. Participants of the plan will learn about best practices in the field of management in order to obtain specific practical recommendations, as well as to be able to conduct specialised training courses for their employees,” explained Bishimbayev.

The last direction concerns coordination with state authorities. The programme supports a close cooperation with government agencies on different activity issues concerning participating companies and the removal of administrative barriers.

Earlier this year, Kazakh First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev announced the government plan to support local entrepreneurs in 2015 by allocating 200 billion tenge (US$1.1 billion) for this purpose from the state budget. The announcement was made at the Almaty city akimat meeting organised to discuss measures for further improvement of the country’s business environment.

“There is a tranche worth $100 billion available for this year and the same amount allocated for the next year, but in light of current economic difficulties it was proposed to redistribute the funds and use both tranches in 2015. Taking into account the funds allocated in December2014, we will have about 300 billiontenge (US$1.6 billion) and this is a good start to support national businesses,” said Sagintaev.

He also noted that the government made a proposal to increase the scope of Nurly Zhol, programme. The suggestion was to offer an additional 200 billiontenge (US$1.1 billion) to strengthenthe programme in the future. These measures will be discussed with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev before the final decision is made.

As for non-financial support measures, Sagintayev recalled the decision made in 2014 to introduce a bill on permissions and notifications, which would simplify the entrepreneurship licensing system.

“We approved the cancellation of 123 permits. But this is only the beginning. All in all, 350 permits will be cancelled before July 1,” he said.

According to Sagintayev, the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs plays a key role in this process.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter and Telegram!