National news in brief

The capital’s new main mosque will be built in the park area next to EXPO town, the Akorda press service reports. It will accommodate up to 30,000 people in a building of 57,000 square metres with a  minaret that reaches 130 metres. Citizens and businesses helped raise funds for its construction, which is expected to be completed in two years. “The mosque will be the largest mosque not only in Central Asia, but also in the Commonwealth of Independent States… A museum of Islam, a library, a craft workshop and other institutions will be located in the religious complex,” said executive director of the Astana 2020 foundation Nurzhan Mynzhasarov.

Kazakhstan’s low-cost airline, FlyArystan, will launch flights from Almaty to seven cities in May, according to the country’s Civil Aviation Committee. Tickets will go on sale at the end of March. “The airline will operate daily flights from Almaty to Astana, Atyrau, Kokshetau, Karaganda, Kostanai, Pavlodar and Taraz. At the initial stage, the airline fleet will consist of four Airbus A320s with only economy class for 180 seats, allocated from Air Astana. The number of aircraft will be increased to 15 by the end of 2022,” reads the release.

Kazpost delivered 18.5 million parcels in 2018, 4.6 million of which made up its domestic service, reported the company’s press service. The company introduced a franchise network of branches and digital offices last year, and expanded the range of its online services and drone deliveries. “This year, we will open a bonded warehouse at the Khorgos international service centre, develop transit mail from China to Europe and Central Asia, and promote e-commerce, franchise networks and digital projects. The company’s income was 54.5 billion tenge (US$144 million), an increase of 11 percent compared to 2017. Its net profit was 272 million tenge (US$718,683). We attracted 160 franchisee entrepreneurs, who opened 200 points of sale since we launched a partner network of branches last June,” said Kazpost Chair Saken Sarsenov.

The North Caspian Consortium (NCOC) will invest $150 million in the socio-economic development of the Atyrau and Mangistau regions from 2020 to 2022, report the regional press services. Most of the investment will go to the education sector. “The NCOC is the country’s largest project with direct foreign investment and has an impact on the economy through the creation of jobs and opportunities for local companies. More than 200 infrastructure and social projects worth $620 million were implemented in the regions over the last 20 years. Last year, the consortium’s total costs were more than $420 million for local goods, work and services, which is more than 43 percent of our total costs. The total amount of NCOC’s expenditures on local goods, work, and services has exceeded $14 billion,” said NCOC Managing Director Richard Howe.

The BI Group company has opened a mortgage centre in Almaty, reports Informburo. It offers a full range of mortgage lending services to participants in affordable and state housing programmes at a single service point. The company has built five residential complexes in Almaty. “Mortgage loans are available to most of the population. BI Group sold 98 apartments worth 2.2 billion tenge [US$5 million] using mortgage payments in 2018. This year, we have already sold apartments with a total value of 0.4 billion tenge [US$1 million]. We decided to make the property registration process convenient and comfortable for our clients,” said head of BI Development Almaty’s sales department Timur Sharzhau.

Kazakhstan will inaugurate a portal for export-import operations March 27. The website offers services to obtain e-permits and licenses, the status of a person who is involved in customs related business activities and customs declaration, and to issue customs preliminary decisions, integrated customs tariff and regulatory documents. “Participants in foreign economic activity will be able to provide information about the export-import operations in a standardised form through a single pass channel,” said a representative of the state revenue committee.

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