Business news in brief

Kazakhstan adopted a decree according to which freelance workers are to pay into the Unified Accumulation Pension Fund (UAPF), said Kazakh Minister of Labour and Social Protection Madina Abylkassymova. The system for the payment of contributions is ready for use, according to the state company Government for Citizens. Payments may be made through banks to the company’s account, after which they are transferred to the UAPF. All major banks have been informed and have confirmed their preparedness. The call centres of the Government for Citizens and the UAPF may be contacted in case of any issues.

Kazakh Senate deputy Bakytzhan Zhumagulov proposed the creation of a new structure for the selection of research projects for commercialisation at the Oct. 4 international forum “Commercialisation of Technology: a Tool for Integrating Science and Business.” Currently, the National Scientific Council’s (NSC) decision is binding at the final selection stage. The proposed structure would involve the active participation of business representatives, with the decisive word resting with businesses and not the council. According to Zhumagulov, granting greater freedom to businesses would result in more effective and efficient outcomes of commercialised research projects.

The Business Road Map 2020 programme will be extended until 2025, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his Oct. 5 state of the nation address. The programme was launched in 2010, and its extension will aid in establishing stable sources of business growth and stimulating private investment. Two hundred and twenty four billion tenge (US$610.2 million) of taxes will be alloted to its budget, and approximately 30 billion tenge (US$81.7 million) will be additionally allocated on an annual basis for its implementation. Twenty-two thousand new jobs are to be created in the next three years.

Kazakh professional boxer Gennady Golovkin was named brand ambassador of the world’s first blockchain smartphone, FINNEY, reports the company’s press service. Joining the FC Barcelona football player and FINNEY brand ambassador Lionel Messi, the middleweight boxing champion will promote the product by Sirin Labs. The smartphone’s 2017 Initial Coin Offering (ICO) attracted $157.9 million, and its planned release is December 2018. Sirin Labs was co-founded by Kazakh businessman Kenges Rakishev and Israeli entrepreneurs Moshe Hogeg and Tal Cohen.

The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) received three awards at the 2018 Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA). The awarding ceremony for the prestigious competition in Islamic banking was held this year on Sept. 29 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov received “Institutional Support of Islamic Finance” award, AIFC Islamic Finance Department Director Alibek Nurbekov was awarded for “Policy Development in the Field of Islamic Finance” and the AIFC Bureau was awarded for “Initiatives for the Development of Human Capital in the Field of Islamic Finance.”

More than 150 businesspeople gathered at the Oct. 2 Kazakhstan Global Investment Forum in London to explore new business and investment opportunities for bilateral projects in Kazakhstan’s high-growth economic sectors, reports Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev noted that Kazakhstan seeks to attract British investors who may bring assets, technologies and best business practices crucial to the country’s economic diversification. Issues discussed at the forum included tax and customs privileges, the state assets privatisation programme, the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) and participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

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