National news in brief

More than 15,000 fires have been registered annually in the country in the past years, reported Kazinform. Since 2015, 3,319 people have been injured and 1,410 died. Material damage to the properties was approximately 12 billion tenge (US$32 million). The highest number of fires has been observed in the Almaty, East Kazakhstan, Karaganda and Kostanai regions. “Currently, 422 fire stations operate and more than half of these are located in buildings that do not meet the requirements. Twenty-three of these are in disrepair and are subject to demolition. We need to build 137 additional facilities, including 111 in urban and 23 in rural areas,” said Minister of Internal Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kassymov at the Nov. 12 government meeting.

Huawei Technologies presented its innovative demo centre Nov. 6 at the Astana Hub. The company intends to invest in cloud computing, Internet of Things, big data, mobile broadband, software-defined networks and other promising areas to create an open, flexible and secure information and communication technology infrastructure. “Huawei is committed to becoming the best partner for building a digital society and an industrial digital transformation. The opening of the innovation centre is the major step. We are ready to provide help and support to improve competitiveness in Central Asia and around the world. It is not just a project, but a long-term investment in the Kazakh IT market, an intellectual contribution to the digitisation of the country’s economy,” said Huawei Technologies Kazakhstan General Director Zhang Qingguo.

Two cotton processing plants using more than 6 billion tenge (US$16 million) will be launched in the Turkestan region, reported the Turkistan Invest press service. “The production capacity of the first plant is 150,000 tonnes per year. Approximately 250-300 jobs will be created. The plant will be opened in late November. The products will be exported to China. An Uzbek company invested 890 million tenge (US$2 million) in the second plant. The facility is located on an area of ​​10 hectares in the Shardara industrial zone and 50 workplaces are expected. Currently, the construction and installation works are underway. The launch of the first phase is scheduled for December,” according to the release.

The Ministry of Social Development will release the road map to execute the Year of Youth, according to its press service. “We identified 11 key areas that we would like to implement in the coming year. It includes the development of youth infrastructure, education, employment, health, affordable housing, business development and improving financial literacy, legal culture, increasing the level of intolerance to corruption, strengthening the sense of patriotism, supporting talented youth, developing youth non-governmental organisations and informational support and state youth policy,” said Minister Darkhan Kaletayev.

Beginning Jan. 1, Kazakhstan will introduce a value-added tax (VAT) checking account on a voluntary basis for VAT payers using blockchain technology. “VAT payers can open a bank account used for separate accounting of money transfer on VAT amounts. A separate mode of transactions will be applied to these accounts by limiting the type of transactions performed for crediting VAT amounts to the Counterparty VAT Control Account for mutual settlements between buyers and suppliers for the supply of goods and paying VAT to the budget,” according to the release.

Kazakhstan has bid to host the World Petroleum Congress 2023, reported Atameken Business Nov. 14. “This year was favourable for the energy sector. World prices for raw materials allowed revising plans in expanding the activity of energy companies. We modernised the refineries ensuring supplies in the domestic market. Surplus plants now produce the necessary fuel. As a result, the prices for oil products in Kazakhstan are lower than in Russia and other neighbouring countries. We developed the concept of a new environmental code. We adopted the code on subsoil use and the law on standardisation and started to work on a renewable energy mechanism. We are confident that legislation, which contributes to the development of the energy sector, will create an attractive investment climate,” said Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Chairperson Timur Kulibayev.

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