Business News in Brief

French supermarket chain Carrefour, the second largest retailer in the world, will be expanding into Kazakhstan, Forbes.kz reports. The first Carrefour store is expected to open in Almaty in October, with 15 more planned over the next five years. The Almaty Carrefour store is expected to be 12,500 square metres.

Female entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan employ 795,000 people, President of the Association of Businesswomen of Kazakhstan and member of the National Commission on Women Affairs, Family and Demographic Policy Raushan Sarsembayeva announced at a recent press conference in Central Communications Service. According to recent data, 41.5 percent of the nation’s 1 million individual entrepreneurs are women, she said, and more than 52,000 Kazakh women have taken part in government programmes to support business. Developing small business in the country through the 100 concrete steps to implement President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s five institutional reforms would be impossible without the participation of women, Sarsembayeva commented.

Kazakhstan’s national atomic company, Kazatomprom, and the Akimat (regional administration) of the South Kazakhstan region agreed during a visit of Kazatomprom Chairman Askar Zhumagaliyev to the region to support domestic producers. Under the agreement, signed by Zhumagaliyev and Akim of South Kazakhstan Askar Myrzakhmetov, uranium mining companies in the region plan to conclude contracts totalling $24.6 million with domestic producers in the region. In 2015 and 2016, Kazatomprom will purchase electrical equipment, fuel and lubricants, clothing, pipes, paper products and other materials from local entrepreneurs. Zhumagaliyev and Myrzakhmetov also discussed the relocation of the subsidiary offices of Kazatomprom from Almaty to Shymkent at their meeting.

Innovative enterprises should make up 20 percent of businesses in Kazakhstan, and innovation should produce 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, Deputy Director of the Department of Technologic and Innovation Development of the Ministry of Investment and Development Laura Sadykova announced at a recent Central Communications Service briefing. Both indicators are expected to be met by 2020, she said. The focus will be on implementing modern technologies and using local materials, services and infrastructure. Emphasis will be placed on innovation in developing automation, alternative energy, home energy use solutions, intelligent transport solutions, bioengineering and bioinformatics, water management solutions, robotics and software solutions.

Kazakhstan has expanded expedited customs clearance to 300 large, tax-paying importers of foreign goods, Chairman of the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance Daulet Yergozhin announced at a press conference at the Central Communications Service. The State Revenue Committee has introduced a system of categories for participants in foreign economic activities based on risk management principles, Yergozhin explained. The committee and the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs worked together to create the corridor, which will allow select importers to pass customs clearances after entering the country. The list of select importers is constantly growing, the chairman said. He also added that the list of documents required for export-import operations had been shortened to no more than three documents to export, no more than five to import.

The first batch of commercial benzol was produced at the Atyrau complex for the production of aromatic hydrocarbons (KPA) on July 3, Ak Zhaik reports. CEO of the refinery Kairat Urazbayev called it a present to Astana on its birthday. “In order to produce higher standards of [fuel], we need to recover from automobile gasolines the most harmful, from an ecological point of view, component: benzol,” Urazbayev said. “Today the first batch of benzol has been recovered, the product that is in great demand in the world market. … The Atyrau refinery was the first plant that processed crude oil of Kazakhstan, and today it became the first in petrochemistry.” When operating at full capacity, the Kazakh-Chinese venture is expected to produce 133,000 tonnes of benzol and 496,000 tonnes of paraxylol per year.

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