National news in brief

Astana Invest plans to implement the smart street lighting project through a public-private partnership, according to the company’s press service. “We announced competition to select an investment company that will replace and install 30,877 lightning with controllers, 329 operating boxes, create a station and the Internet of Things platform. The initial investment is 3.6 billion tenge (US$9.5 million),” said Deputy Chairman of the Board of Astana Invest City Investment Development Centre Zhanara Mussatayeva. The city administration will pay management remuneration due to the savings from the updated lighting system. If an energy savings of 60 percent is not achieved, the amount of remuneration will be reduced. The private partner will also receive compensation for investment expenses of 40 percent from the initial investment overall and compensation of 10 billion tenge (US$26.5 million) in 11 years.

Kazinform reports that Almaty city administration invested 1 billion tenge (US$3 million) in the development and promotion of the tourism potential. Trainings were held for airport employees, taxi and station services. “The city accounts for one fifth of all visits to our country including domestic ones and 40 percent of these are foreign tourists. The largest flow of tourists comes from China and Russia. We collaborated with the BBC, Euronews and TripAdvisor website. We made eight information kiosks at the airport and train stations. We developed the Almaty Pass card,” said head of Department for Promotion of Tourism Aslan Konyrkhanov Jan. 24.

Aktobe will open the Centre for Intellectual Resources at Aktobe State Regional University, reported the regional press service. The centre will develop retraining and training programmes for local employees to become a platform for educational and infrastructural support for youth entrepreneurship. “Aktobe is now one of the four agglomerations and our population will grow. The university can become a centre of attraction for young people. We are ready to promote the university brand. The city can become a start-up region. We have extensive experience in this area. Our experts will conduct MBA and DBA programmes especially in the field of healthcare,” said Rector of Almaty Management University, Gulmira Kurganbayeva.

Kazakh Ministry of Labour and Social Protection will launch a social services website at the end of 2019, reported the press service of the ministry Jan. 24. Overall, the Digital Kazakhstan programme will create 300,000 jobs. “The website will create an opportunity to purchase rehabilitation tools including strollers, canes, which passed qualifying selection from suppliers. Public procurement procedures will be excluded, which delay the receipt of the necessary means of rehabilitation. A list of accredited suppliers will be available on the website. A training portal will be launched at the electronic labour exchange in the near future,” said Vice Minister of Labour and Social Protection Nariman Mukushev at a press conference.

The Astrakhan district of the Akmola region will develop a livestock cluster worth more than 11 billion tenge (US$30 million), according to Kazinform. “Last year, the gross agricultural output exceeded 25 billion tenge (US$66 million). The crop production was 1.8 billion tenge (US$5 million). Livestock products worth 6.9 billion tenge (US$18 million) were produced. Some 1,150 small and medium-sized enterprises with more than 4,000 people operate in the district.  Five projects applied for investment subsidies for purchased equipment. Ten business facilities in trade service sectors were opened in the rural districts. The retail turnover exceeded 2.5 billion tenge (US$6.6 million),” said Akim (Mayor) of the Astrakhan district Nurlan Seilov.

Approximately 1,500 unemployed persons have received microloans for businesses, according to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. “In the end of 2018, 3,033 women or 21 prevent of the total number of participants, received microloans and 1,849 of these are beginning entrepreneurs. Approximately 2,048 young people were engaged in entrepreneurship including 1,008 people who received loans for start-up projects. More than 9,000 people were registered as individual entrepreneurs with the tax authorities. This creates important social effect for employment,” said Minister of Labour and Social Protection Madina Abylkassymova.

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