Business News in Brief

Acting Deputy General Director of Gazprom Neft Kazakhstan Marat Malatayev reported April 15 that the company is currently considering the issues for Euro-4 domestic refineries gasoline quality in 2016. “If we compare the production technology, we should grow. For example, largeinvestmentswere madein the Omsk plant for five years. They have modernised the manufacturing for the production of Euro-4 and Euro-5 fuel,” he said. Today, Kazakhstan can produce Euro-2 standard fuel. The acting deputy general director said that investments in Kazakhstan are currently aimed at modernisingtheAtyrau oil refinery, which, as well as the Pavlodar refinery, will start producing Euro-4 fuelon Jan. 1, 2016. “Any production must strive to maximise their efficiency and produce fuel that will be demanded by the consumer,” said Malatayev. He added the company plans to increase its market share atthe Kazakhstan gasmarket from 7 percent to 12-14 percent. He found it difficult, however, to forecast fuel prices in Kazakhstan. “There are factors such as government regulation and the impact of the local and international market. Therefore, we cannot predict whether the price of gasoline will increase or decrease,” noted the acting deputy general director.

The Council on Competitiveness of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs (NCE) announced the list April 15 of the national champions among competitive companies in promising sectors of the Kazakh economy. Council chairman Yeldar Abdrazakov noted that the selection of national champions has been carried out by the members of the expert group on the basis of attributes of statistical and analytical data of the Expert Credit Rating Agency – Kazakhstan. “From the selection, state-owned companies and companies controlled by foreign legal entities were excluded,” he said. Rating agency general director Adil Mamazhanov said that studies have focused more on medium-sized companies which are rapidly developing in certain sectors of the economy rather than large multinational corporations. “This is due to the fact that the modern post-industrial society is based on the principle of meeting the needs of a variety of goods and services, which is dominated by small and medium businesses. The medium business is more mobile and sensitive to the needs of consumers and innovation and is less susceptible to global risks. The SMEs, by some estimates, are about 95 percent of the total number of enterprises in the world, thus providing most of the employment of the population of the planet,” he said. The national champion companies were Concern Tsesna-Astyk, Rodina Agricultural Company, the Centras group, KazMicroFinance, Central Asian Electric Power Corporation, RG Brands, Alina Pro, KSP Steel, Tang Media Holding, Logician, Astana Group Holding, Magnum Cash & Carry, Technodom Group, Globalink and Altyn Kyran.

The share of small and medium-sized business in the Gross Regional Product (GRP) exceeded 65 percent, Astana Akim (Mayor) Adilbek Dzhaksybekov said at the recent annual conference of entrepreneurs in Astana. “Goods worth 2.3 trillion tenge (US$12.4 billion) have been produced for nine months of 2014,” he added. Dzhaksybekov said that Astana is the city aimed at dynamic small and medium-sized business with high innovation parts. According to the akim, the number of active SME subjects in the capital is about 60,000units; 233,000 or half of working-age residents are employed in this sphere. According to Dzhaksybekov, the Astana–New City special economic zone (SEZ) provides a positive economic effect. “Fifty-four projects with investments worth 147 billion tenge (US$794.7 million) are being realised on the industrial park territory. To date, 21 projects have been launched and construction work is going on at 17 facilities,” he added.

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