Business news in brief

Kazakhstan has terminated the contract with Spanish investor Talgo at the Kazakh plant that produces train wagons, Vice Minister of Industry and Infrastructure Development Berik Kamaliev announced Oct. 3, reports inbusiness.kz. The Kazakh government is considering three potential companies to run the plant. Relying on some initial price-quality assessments, Kazakhstan plans to purchase and test wagons from the Russian Transmashhoding plant in Tver in 2020. This is done to replace worn-out wagons and move away from coal to electric trains. Kazakhstan has already received 63 Russian wagons through BRK-Leasing, which were put on the Aktobe-Mangyshlak route. The government has requested an additional 18.7 billion tenge (US$46.26 million) through BRK-Leasing. These trains will circulate on routes Almaty-Mangyshlak, Aktobe-Mangyshlak and Nur-Sultan-Saryagash. 

The Kazakh Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development plans to increase the attractiveness of flights to Kazakhstan and a number of foreign carriers plan to enter the Kazakhstan’s market, said Minister Beibut Atamkulov at the Oct. 7 government meeting, reported inform.kz. There are plans to open for the airlines such as Qatar Airways (Doha, 2020), Emirates (Dubai, 2021), China Eastern (Shanghai, 2021), Ural Airlines and Pobeda Airlines. At the same time, Kazakh carriers plan to open flights to large cities such as Shanghai (2020), Singapore (2020) and New York (2021).

In the North Kazakhstan Region, the Bio Operations plant (formerly known as Biohim) installs the second line for gluten production, North Kazakhstan Region Akim (Governor) Kumar Aksakalov told inform.kz. This should double gluten production and processing to 250,000 tonnes per year. In addition to this, in December, the enterprise will start production of bioethanol, which is an alternative liquid biofuel.The plant is expected to create up to 500 jobs. Aksakalov proposed to export bioethanol to Afghanistan. Bio Operations also produces starch, Distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) feed and bioethanol products and delivers them to Almaty, Kostanai and Uzbekistan. 

Mambetov and K company launched a modern dairy farm in Minkeser village in the North Kazakhstan Region, the regional akimat (administration) press service reported. The farm is equipped with modern European equipment. The farm created 35 permanent jobs. Additional four modern dairy complexes will be launched in the region by the end of the year. This will increase milk production to 11,000 tonnes. Four farms were built in 2018 and ten more will be built in 2020.

The Kazakh government has prepared a set of reforms to improve the business climate and attract investors. As explained by Vice Minister of National Economy Zhaslan Madiyev at a meeting of the interdepartmental commission, the draft law consists of five main blocks: facilitation of work with tax authorities, opening of public access to information, corporate governance and work with shareholders, simplification of procedures, elimination of anti-competitive norms and development of competition. In facilitating the work with tax authorities, for example, the registration as a value added tax (VAT) payer will be done only online and will take one day to process. In total, the document should change and introduce additions to 11 codes and 43 laws. The draft law was developed in line with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s Sept. 2 state-of-the-nation address on intensifying the work to attract foreign direct investment. 

Kazakhstan will open green channel for Chinese agricultural products, the Kazakh Ministry of Trade and Integration announced at an Oct. 3 press briefing, reports inform.kz. This measure should ensure affordability and good quality products, especially perishable goods, said Vice Minister of Trade and Integration Kairat Torebayev. The system of conditional release of goods made quality check almost impossible. An importer of delivered goods is required to provide all certificates and documents for them within two months. Many unscrupulous business people abused the system as in the two months the goods “dissolve” in the market of Kazakhstan.