Business news in brief

A pilot project on a tax-free shopping for foreigners will be implemented in Almaty’s Esentai Mall to boost tourist inflow and purchasing power, reported the Ministry of Finance State Revenue Committee. The committee developed the rules and terms in accordance with Article 68 of Kazakhstan’s tax code. Tax-free shopping is the ability to buy goods in a foreign country and obtain a sales tax refund. The country’s tax rebate programme will launch on a broader scale in 2022 at airports in the capital, Almaty and Shymkent. Refunds will range from 7-22 percent of the purchase price and depend on the size of the value-added tax and tax-free operator fee.

An investment agreement was signed Aug. 24 among the Turkestan Region Akimat (administration), Kazakh Invest, ECO-culture, Green Land Alatau and Eurasian Development Bank to construct a 500-hectare greenhouse complex in the Keles district, reported the akimat press service. The planned investment is $1.1 billion. Construction will be carried out in several stages and the greenhouse will be equipped with a modern climate control system. Approximately 50,000 tonnes of product will be collected from the greenhouse annually.

Pavlodar Region Akim (Governor) Bulat Bakauov charged the regional akimat (administration) with creating industrial zones in the region before year’s end to boost economic activity, reported Pavlodarnews.kz. Constructing new infrastructure for businesses in Pavlodar’s special economic zone (SEZ) is under way; for example, 2.2 billion tenge (US$5.67 million) has been allocated to construct communications needs, he said. Three large projects – a new power unit at Eurasian Energy Corporation, manufacturing reinforced concrete products at Bogatyr Invest and producing sand blocks at Pavlodar River Port – will also be implemented in the region in the near future, said akimat Industrial and Innovative Development department head Ganibet Aubakirov.

Kazakhstan recently approved the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) introducing a quota on importing hot-rolled steel to protect metal producers in member countries, reported Kazinform. A 12,029-tonne quota for Kazakhstan and a 20-percent duty will be levied for imports exceeding established volumes starting Dec. 1. Hot-rolled steel, used to manufacture metal structures and products and construction materials, is produced by the country’s ArcelorMittal Temirtau, which supported the measure.

The international rating agency Moody’s Investors Service changed the outlooks on the Development Bank of Kazakhstan (DBK) and Fund of Financial Support for Agriculture (FFSA) Aug. 28 from stable to positive, reported Moodys.com. Moody’s also affirmed their global scale ratings. FFSA’s national scale rating was upgraded from A2.kz to A1.kz. “The change in outlooks to positive on DBK and FFSA mirrors the change in outlooks on their parents’ (Baiterek National Management Holding (Baa3 positive)) and KazAgro National Management Holding (Ba1 positive)) long-term issuer ratings and reflects the very high affiliate support incorporated in their ratings,” noted the report.

The Centre for Attracting Investors and Promoting Investment Projects will launch in the East Kazakhstan Region in September, reported the East Kazakhstan Infocentre. It will seek to support new investment projects in the region, such as the 14 recently-approved projects in food production, furniture, light industry and tourism worth 1.1 billion tenge (US$2.84 million). Twenty-two projects worth 551 billion tenge (US$1.42 billion) are scheduled to begin in the region by 2022 and create 6,400 jobs.