Business news in brief

Baiterek Holding has joined the global initiative of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) to implement the principles of socially responsible investment, reports Baiterek.gov.kz. The IFC Principles are in line with Baiterek Holding’s new investment policy, which aims to achieve social and environmental outcomes, in addition to financial ones. This commitment opens up greater opportunities for attracting foreign capital to social and environmental issues, sets up a new level of engagement with global investment companies and allows Baiterek Holding to receive methodological support regarding responsible investment on a permanent basis from the World Bank, said Baiterek Holding Deputy Chair Galymzhan Tajiyakov at the April 11-13 annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in the United States.

Kazakhstan’s low-cost airline, FlyArystan, has launched a competition among Kazakhstan’s 18 airports to become its airport terminal base, reports FlyArystan’s press service. The airport that proposes the best commercial offer by the end of May will win, getting annual passenger traffic of up to 1 million people and the possibility of launching new domestic and international flights to eight to 10 destinations. The base is to also create hundreds of jobs at the airport and develop local tourism and infrastructure. The first FlyArystan flights will launch May 1. Operating daily, the airline will offer more than 130,000 seats annually on Airbus A320 aircraft on each of its routes. It follows the low-cost airline model of airlines Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, easyJet and Indigo.

KazMunayGas increased gasoline production 34.9 percent last year, reports Kmg.kz. Within the same period, diesel fuel production increased 13 percent, and jet fuel production increased 57.4 percent. Overall, the volume of petroleum product production increased to 12.15 million tonnes following the large-scale modernisation of Kazakhstan’s three refineries. Oil and gas condensate production in 2018 was 23.6 million tonnes and 8.14 billion cubic metres, respectively, and the volume of oil and gas transportation was 75.04 million tonnes and 111.6 billion cubic metres, respectively.

The umbrella brand “Made in Kazakhstan” will launch in May to raise awareness of and demand for Kazakhstan’s products abroad, Kazakh Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Roman Sklyar told a recent government meeting. Exporters under the umbrella brand will enjoy state support, which will allow for reduced advertisement and promotion costs and simplify their entry into new markets. Sklyar noted that the price competitiveness of Kazakhstan’s exported products is significantly affected by costly transportation, often shouldered by businesses.

Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states will switch to a unified system of electronic passports for vehicles Nov. 1, reports Almaty.kgd.gov.kz. For example, Russian government agencies will only be issuing electronic passports from Nov. 1 and will have a capacity of 170,000 electronic passports per month. Car users will be able to use paper-based vehicle passports for as long as they see fit and until they want to switch to an electronic passport or lose their current passport. A transition to electronic passports will simplify vehicle movement, registration procedures and databases in EAEU countries.

Kazakhstan’s embassies will launch front offices for managing investment projects, reports the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs press service. The front offices will provide consulting and governmental services and facilitate investment projects. An online system for investors and project support also recently launched in a customer relationship management mode and will be used as an information platform by front offices. It provides information on investors and projects in a single online electronic database and allows for progress on investment projects to be monitored.