Business news in brief

Turkestan opened a new information technology centre, Turkestan Hub, Feb. 19. The centre is intended for use by young IT professionals and investors, the press service of the regional akimat (administration) reports. Regional Akim (Governor) Zhanseit Tuimebayev and Kazakh Deputy Minister of Social Development Zhuldyz Omarbekova attended the centre’s opening ceremony. At the hub, IT classes and project support are available for individuals aged 14 and up. Students can learn about modeling, programming, mobile app use, website development, content monetisation and attracting investors.

International start-up technopark Astana Hub has carried out three accelerated start-up programmes, through which 47 start-ups were supported and more than 180 million tenge (US$478,620) was attracted, Kazakh Minister of Information and Communications Dauren Abayev told a February government meeting. Kazakh Vice Minister of Information and Communications Dinara Scheglova and Zerde National Infocommunication Holding are developing a roadmap to help the hub achieve its aim of attracting 4.8 billion tenge (US$12.76 million) in investment. Abayev noted that the ministry had worked on and will continue creating legislation on venture financing and fostering favourable conditions for informational technology firms and investors. In particular, a draft law amending and adding to the country’s regulations regarding digital technologies is being developed with the intention of creating a legal basis for regulating the implementation of blockchain, big data, artificial intelligence and robotisation.

An entrepreneurship service centre will open in the capital in May, Astana Akim (Mayor) Bakhyt Sultanov told a February meeting with city residents, according to Inform.kz. The centre will serve entrepreneurs in simplifying business procedures for obtaining funds and public services to implement their products. State support for entrepreneurs also includes the commitment of 186 billion tenge (US$494.6 million) to 1,090 businesses under the Business Roadmap 2020 state programme. According to the city akimat (administration), more than 120,000 businesses are currently operating in the capital, 20 percent more than in the previous year. Today, 57 percent of tax revenues in the city budget are contributed by small and medium-sized businesses.

Eight new schools will be built in Almaty through 2022, Almaty Akim (Mayor) Bauyrzhan Baibek told a February meeting with city residents, according to Inform.kz. Six schools will be located in the Alatau district, one in the Auezov district and one in the Nauryzbai district. The akim noted that schools are becoming more crowded as the city grows by an average of 50,000 people annually, with the number of schoolchildren growing by 10,000 to 12,000 every year. More than 100 billion tenge (US$265.9 million) is allocated toward education in the city annually. This money goes toward the salaries of more than 32,000 teachers and the maintenance and construction of 221 schools, 182 kindergartens and 20 colleges.

Eurasian Bank has reimbursed approximately 35.2 billion tenge to Astana Bank clients, which is 93.7 percent of Astana Bank’s obligations to depositors, reports the Kazakh National Bank. Reimbursement payments by Eurasian Bank will continue until July 26, after which payment applications will be directed to the Kazakh Deposit Insurance Fund for compensation via bank transfer.

A national mineral resource database is under development in Kazakhstan, Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Zhenis Kassymbek told a February government meeting. The ministry and KazGeology are creating the database to consolidate field reports, mineral reserve balances and territory exploration data. The database will facilitate greater investment in the industry of geology and subsoil use. Implementation of the database and the ministry’s other projects is expected to increase investment in the exploration of solid minerals to 96 billion tenge (US$255.2 million).

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