Economic news in brief

Kazakhstan has increased its gold reserves, reported the Tau-Ken Samruk national mining company press service. The state balance sheet registered the Gagarinskoye and Shokpar deposits as containing more than 21 tonnes of gold and 135 tonnes of silver. Specialists from Shokpar-Gagarinskoye (a subsidiary of Tau-Ken Samruk) completed exploratory assessments to approve the industrial conditions and reserves estimation of the fields in Zhambyl Region. The state commission on reserves approved the Gagarinskoye field reserves in the C1+C2 categories at 2.26 million tonnes of ore, 10,104.3 kilogrammes (kg) of gold with an average content of 4.48 gramme/tonne (g/t) and 84.2 tonnes of silver with 37.31 g/t in average content. The Shokpar deposit reserves were also approved in categories C1+C2 at 1.55 million tonnes of ore, 10,952.9 kg of gold with an average content of 7.05 g/t and 51.5 tonnes of silver with 33.14 g/t in average content.

The United Kingdom has increased its investments in Kazakhstan. According to results from the first half of 2019, the gross inflow of direct investments increased 17.2 percent to $336.5 million. In 2018, the figure was $593.1 million, an annual increase of 11.1 percent. During the past ten years, the influx of direct investment from the U.K. to Kazakhstan was $8.8 billion. In 2018, trade between the countries was $1.3 billion, a 1.9-percent decrease per year. The main share of the turnover is the export of Kazakh goods and services – 63 percent or $793.9 million.

The number of active small enterprises in Kazakhstan reached 160,200 by the end of September, a 4.4-percent increase year-on-year (yoy). At the same time, the number of newly established small businesses decreased 4.4 percent to 46,000. Almaty saw the largest number – 18,100 or 39.4 percent. The top three regions with the largest number of new small companies also included Nur-Sultan (5,100) and the Almaty Region (3,000). In his Sept. 2 state-of-the-nation address, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that small, and especially micro-businesses, play an important role in the country’s socio-economic and political life. Therefore, the state will continue to support them. In addition, a three-year ban on micro and small business inspections will come into force in January.

From January-September, investments in education increased 3.5 percent per year to 143.5 billion tenge (US$369.19 million), or 1.7 percent of the total investment in fixed assets. In 2018, educational investments decreased 22.7 percent to 204.9 billion tenge (US$527.16 million). The investments continued to decline in the first half of 2019 to 75.5 billion tenge (US$194.24 million), which is 12.2 percent lower than the same period of 2018. In the first nine months, however, public private partnership (PPP) development has gained momentum, especially in education. To date, 558 PPP projects are being implemented in the field, said Minister of Education and Science Askhat Aimagambetov at a recent government meeting.

From January-August, local budget revenues increased 18.4 percent to 3.7 trillion tenge (US$9.52 billion). More than half of the revenues, or 2.1 trillion tenge (US$5.40 billion), are the result of transfers, a 30-percent increase year-on-year (yoy). Most transfers went to the local budgets of the Turkestan (409.8 billion tenge or US$1.05 billion), Almaty (191.7 billion tenge or US$493.20 million) and East Kazakhstan (179.6 billion tenge or US$462.07 million) regions. Tax revenues, in turn, totalled to 1.6 trillion tenge (US$4.12 billion), an increase of 7.2 percent yoy.

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