Business news in brief

A new strategy through 2023 adopted at the business incubator QazTech Ventures addresses the lack of funding available at the country’s business incubators, said Baiterek National Managing Holding (NMH) Board Chairperson Aidar Arifkhanov at a recent press conference. Organisations such as QazTech Ventures and Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund currently provide financial incentives for business projects in the country. The former, part of Baiterek NMH, was created to promote developing technology entrepreneurship through venture financing, business incubation and technology consulting tools. Kazakhstan’s negotiations with Singaporean companies to create a $20 million venture fund will be complete in the third quarter of 2019, he added.

Kazakhstan will have an internationally-accredited geochemical laboratory by year’s end, said Vice Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Timur Toktabayev at the 2019 Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable (KGIR) on mining. The country’s investors face the problem of the absence of an internationally-recognised database that provides quick access to qualitative and quantitative data on geological reserves and deposits and the laboratory is to be created in response to the issue. Scientists will conduct geochemical studies and laboratory analyses of samples with advanced technologies and according to international standards recognised by international financial institutions. The third annual KGIR, headlined by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, convened more than 1,100 business executives, influential policymakers and international experts from 41 countries to present Kazakhstan’s investment potential and introduce new technologies and global best practices for local implementation.

Kazakhstan will create the infrastructure for fifth-generation networks (5G) by year’s end, reported Primeminister.kz. It will provide the impetus to digitising housing and public utilities, agriculture, industry, healthcare and smart cities. According to the Ministry of Digital Development, Defence and Aerospace Industry, Kazakhstan is among the ten countries that have begun piloting 5G and its pilot projects will be implemented in Almaty, Nur-Sultan and Shymkent. Nokia and Kazakhtelecom hosted a 5G demonstration at the May 16-17 Astana Economic Forum, and Prime Minister Askar Mamin tasked ministers at the May 21 government meeting to develop an action plan to implement 5G in the country.

The Business in Three Days project was recently launched in the capital to support socially vulnerable groups, reported the Nur-Sultan Akimat (city administration). As part of the project, people from large families, families with children with disabilities or low-income backgrounds learn basic business skills. Participants also receive support in developing, producing, marketing and selling their products and services. The project was previously implemented in the Mangistau Region, where 150 people opened their own businesses, including workshops in baking, tailoring, home textiles and gardening.

The Swiss company Seedstars and Nur-Sultan Akimat (city administration) recently opened Seedspace Nur-Sultan, reported the akimat. The site is designed to cultivate young talent through educational programmes and engaging with the Seedstars global network, which includes 70,000 professionals and start-ups. The capital has 124,000 small and medium-sized businesses, the highest share in the country and a 24-percent increase compared to the previous year. At the May 17 opening ceremony, Nur-Sultan Akim (Mayor) Bakhyt Sultanov noted the ways in which the city has become more sustainable through innovative initiatives such as Sergek video surveillance, electronic cooperatives of home owners (e-KSK), smart city technologies and digitising housing and public utilities. Most recently, the city launched the Internet of Things project. Sultanov tasked entrepreneurs to use the platform to work on projects that will further improve living standards through technological innovation.

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