Business News in Brief

Kazakhstan intends to significantly reduce its carbon footprint, Minister of Energy Vladimir Shkolnik said at an April 30 meeting titled “Improving the legislative acts in the sphere of green economy: waste management and emission control.” Kazakhstan’s index on carbon dioxide emission per capita is above the world level and requires a search for effective ways on emissions reduction. According to the minster, Kazakhstan is one of the active participants of international negotiating processes and fulfils duties under the convention and agreement on changing climate and reducing carbon footprint. As a result, in 2014 the country implemented the first national plan on greenhouse gas emissions and changes were made to current legislative acts.

Beginning in May, the Kazakh Ministry of Finance will set quotas for individuals to import goods from Russia. The ministry specified that the quotas are applied to 16 categories of goods. Goods of the same name (even clothes of the same size and style) will have duty-free import on two garments, two pairs of shoes, one fur and/or leather product, three perfumes or cosmetics, five jewelleries, two mobile phones and/or laptops, one bike or carriage and 10 kilogrammes of food. The Kazakh state revenue committee believes that the order of movement of goods for personal use should be regulated in national legislation. The country would follow with such a position in deliberations with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). The EEC regulations were just discussed regarding the import of goods for personal use in the new customs code of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The question is the criteria by which imported refers to goods for personal use and quantitative quotas for certain items. The position of Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh customs services was united: there is need for quotas. Belarus and Kazakhstan have already introduced them at home. In the three countries, unified restrictions now operate only by cost and weight (but are quantitative for alcohol and tobacco). Air travellers can import products duty-free and without bills for 10,000 euro and the rest for 1,500 euro; by weight, not more than 50 kilogrammes. These rules are established by the agreement of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but the customs of each country may determine what is considered as personal, i.e. not for sale.

The Astana Financial Centre, to be created based on the infrastructure of EXPO 2017, will be given specific status, head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev announced at the April 29 inauguration ceremony. “Based on the high technology infrastructure of EXPO 2017, the financial centre called Astana will be created,” Nazarbayev stressed. According to the President, cardinal structural reforms will be carried out as part of the industrialisation process to ensure economic growth. “The health and education sphere will meet standards of member states of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Our country will become a transparent and logistics centre of Eurasia,” the President highlighted. “Our community comprises many independent cultures and becomes stronger and more unified. Today, all of us have the common values of Mangilik Yel (Kazakh for Eternal Nation) – civil society, strong work ethic, honesty, science and education, tolerance, honesty and patriotism,” noted the head of state.

The Ministry for Investment and Development reported April 30 that a number of Kazakh companies get discounts on rail freight. At the end of 2014, discounts for transportation of goods were provided for SSGPO, Aluminium of Kazakhstan, ArcelorMittal Temirtau, Orken, Taraz Metallurgical Plant, KazAzot, Kazphosphate and Kazzinc. In 2015, reduced rates will be provided to the following enterprises: KSP Steel, Aluminium of Kazakhstan, SSGPO, ArcelorMittal Temirtau, KazAzot and Bapy Mining. According to the ministry, applications for discounts from other companies are under consideration.

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