Business news in brief

Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) Court Chief Justice Lord Harry Woolf presented his book “A Vision of the AIFC” at the court Sept. 17 to the legal and business community in Nur-Sultan, reported The book, edited by AIFC Court Registrar and Chief Executive Christopher Campbell-Holt, details the court’s 2018 launch as the first common law court in Kazakhstan and Central Asia for resolving commercial disputes modelled on the principles and procedures of English and Welsh courts. It also outlines a vision for its future as a leading commercial court that will contribute to enhancing Kazakhstan as an investment hub in Central Asia. The book is available in Kazakh, Russian and English and is the first in a series to be published by the AIFC Court in the coming years.

The Nur-Sultan Akimat (administration) and Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) signed an agreement Sept. 18 to cooperate in attracting investment to the capital and identify priority collaboration areas for the coming year. They seek to boost the city’s investment attractiveness, ensure its international transport accessibility and develop its Smart City project. AIFC will make every effort to promote the city’s business development by creating business-friendly conditions, said its governor Kairat Kelimbetov. AIFC participants are granted simplified currency, visa and labour regimes and the centre’s Astana International Exchange provides foreign and domestic investors with technologies that meet international standards.

QazTrade will serve as “a single window of support” for Kazakh exporters, said Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov at a Sept. 9 government press conference. QazTrade previously functioned as the Centre for Trade Policy Development, primarily engaging in research. It will now be the place where people can resolve any type of trade problem they encounter. QazTrade will also develop regional and cross-border trade by coordinating the activities of the soon-to-be-created regional export centres. In addition, Kazakhstan will “expand its network of trade missions abroad, which will be opened in China, Turkey, India, Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Poland and the Czech Republic” by the end of the year, said Sultanov.

Kazakhstan recently approved the Roadmap for the Development of Electronic Commerce for 2019-2025 to increase its share of e-commerce from 2.9 percent to 5 percent by 2025, reported The Ministry of Trade and Integration plans to develop e-commerce with the help of leading online retailers, such as Wildberries. The Russian company will open a branch within the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) and build a large distribution centre in the country. The facility will significantly reduce Kazakh manufacturers’ logistics costs, expand the range of local products and create new jobs in the country.

KazMunayGas (KMG) local content procurement was 78 percent in the first half of the year, much higher than the Kazakh oil and gas sector average, said KMG Procurement Managing Director Yessen Kairzhan at the Sept. 12-13 Machine Builders Forum in Nur-Sultan. The increase follows implementing a category-based procurement management system, a key part of the company’s business process modernisation programme. KMG has “similar procurement strategies pending for 67 more categories of goods and services,” he said. The company signed more than 40 billion tenge (US$103.21 million) in contracts with local manufacturers Kaskor-Mashzavod and KSP Steel for long-term tubing supply and also procured all its oil production tubing, sucker rods and transformers from local manufacturers last year. The company prioritises cooperation with local producers, creating a local import substitution office to develop and support new manufacturers in the country.

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