Economic news in brief

Kazakhstan began supplying flour to Afghanistan through a new railway route from Kostanai July 18, the press service of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) reported. The length of the Kostanai-Bolashak-Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) route exceeds 3,500 kilometres. The train includes at least 50 wagons with a net cargo capacity of 3,300 tonnes. “Kazakhstan holds the leading positions in the world for the production of grain. The main task of the railway is to ensure timely and high-quality transportation of agricultural products, including this strategic cargo. The development of transportation along the new route will increase the transit capacity of Kazakhstan, reduce turnover and accelerate the return of rolling stock by two to 2.5 times,” Mukhtar Zhambulov, deputy general director for operations of KTZ-Cargo Transportation, said.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan subjected second-tier banks and other organisations to 64 sanctions and other measures following the results of their analysis of the banking activities of the second quarter, 24.kz reports. The bank imposed 24 sanctions in the form of fines, 37 written orders and three written warnings. Qazaq Banki, Bank of Astana, Sberbank of Russia, ATF Bank and ForteBank are among banks that committed the largest number of violations.

A plant in Shymkent’s industrial zone has begun manufacturing supplies for plastic doors and windows, according to kazakh-tv.kz. The plant’s output is in high demand as customers from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan are ready to purchase high volumes of products made in Shymkent. The plant uses a special mixture prepared from locally produced powdered metals and cast parts that were previously imported from Turkey. Plant officials expect to manufacture approximately 6 million items annually. Modern equipment and advanced technologies ensure low production costs. The management of the facility plans to launch a second plant, which will double the current production volume and meet the rising demand of the market. The plant’s finished products are planned to be sold not only in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, but also Uzbekistan.

Construction of a large cement plant has begun in the Kerbulak district of the Almaty region, kazakh-tv.kz reports. According to investors, the enterprise has a favourable location, as the main highway and the major railway line pass through the district. “Most importantly, we are going to have locally produced cement and approximately 2 billion tenge (US$5.8 million) will be provided to the budget. The plant will occupy 40 hectares of land. Investment worth 50 billion tenge (US$145.2 million) was attracted to implement the Kazakh-Singapore project,” Deputy Akim (Mayor) of Kerbulak District Bolysbai Mombayev said.

Kazakhstan attracts 11 times more foreign investment than Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, according to Director of China’s International Economics and Finance Institute (IEFI) Zhou Qiangwu. “International investment in Kazakhstan reached $10 billion in 2013, while in 2015 it was $6.4 billion. In 2016, there was an upturn up to $16 billion. Industrial investment grows as the countries adjust their policies. Prospects for attracting investment in the Central Asian region will improve over the course of time,” said Zhou, as reported by kazinform. The flow of investment is also related to the important investment environment reforms Central Asian countries have been implementing, including changing administrative procedures and improving public services, tax incentives and state support.

ArcelorMittal Temirtau has suspended its export of hot rolled steel coils to Iran due to sanctions the U.S. has imposed on the country, kazinform reports. “Supplies will be suspended due to the sanctions introduced. As soon as sanctions are lifted the supplies will be resumed,” Alexey Agureyev, official representative of the company, said. ArcelorMittal Temirtau manufactures hot rolled steel coils and exports to more than 75 states. It manufactures at least 180 steel grades.

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