Kazakhstan Increases Number of Programmes to Support Small Business

ASTANA – Kazakhstan plans to increase the number of programmes meant to support small- and medium-sized businesses, according to Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) member Aigul Solovyova.


Solovyova said recently that the foundation of economic anti-crisis measures is the new Nurly Zhol economic policy, which includes entrepreneurial development. In addition to the new programmes, the continued implementation of the Business Road Map programme will be a key tool in the anti-crisis programme, she added. The state will allocate a budget of 100 billion tenge (US$539.4 million) for these programmes in 2015 and 2016 and an additional 500 billion tenge (US$2.7 billion) on agribusiness.


“There will be an increase in the instruments of support [for businesses]. There will be 20 of them.  Twelve of them will be financial and eight non-financial. The financial part includes active work with second-tier banks, which will be engaged in lending, guaranteeing, and subsidising, whereas the non-financial segment will provide business advice, consulting, training,” said Solovyova.


According to data provided by Solovyova, the loan amount allocated for small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) support in 2011 amounted to 677 million tenge (US$3.7 million), in 2012 5 billion tenge (US$27 million), in 2014 23 billion tenge (US$124 million) and os of Feb. 1 – 38.9 billion tenge (US$209.8 million).


“Statistics of supported employment shows that if in 2011 13,200 people [were prevented from losing their jobs], at Jan. 1, 2014 that level stood at 172,700. The number of jobs created in 2011 was 4,800 and currently it’s 50,600,” said Solovyova.


The measures taken by the government after the financial and economic crisis of 2008 have also helped to increase output. So if in 2010, there were 409.3 billion tenge (US$2.2 billion) worth of goods produced, in 2013 this figure doubled to 852 billion tenge (US$4.6 billion). In 2010, taxes paid were 8 billion tenge (US$43.2 million), in 2013 77.6 billion tenge (US$408.5 million).


“It is no coincidence that the President said that the Business Road Map must be developed. The programme should bring a significant contribution to the economy. When it comes to starting a business, in 2011, the programme trained 2 percent of SMEs, in 2012 8 percent, and in 2014 17 percent. The increase in the contribution of SMEs to economic development is apparent. That is, the regions of Kazakhstan actively use these instruments to support their business,” she concluded.

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