NUR-SULTAN – In the first two months of 2022, exports of processed goods increased by 46.6 percent and reached US$3.5 billion, an official representative of the Kazakh Ministry of Trade and Integration Alisher Omirzak told in an interview with The Astana Times. The growth is supported by more than 20 financial and non-financial instruments implemented by the ministry.
In his state-of-the-nation address on March 16, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev set the task to increase the export of processed products and prevent price hikes in the food market.
“The head of state assigned to increase the volume of non-primary exports up to US$41 billion by 2025,” said Omirzak.
He noted that domestic business is expanding its presence in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Central Asia, and Europe, particularly by using e-portals.
“Since last year the QazTrade company is a one-stop shop for exporters which entrepreneurs use on a regular basis. The telegram channel export.gov is also available for the prompt solution of problems in foreign economic activity,” said Omirzak.
The QazTrade export acceleration program provides an expert assessment and full support of a domestic manufacturer on a pro bono basis before entering export-oriented activities. This year, 190 enterprises will participate in the program.
The plan is to bring Kazakh enterprises to the Alibaba global marketplace platform. Seventy companies are expected to enter the platform with the Gold Supplier status by September, which expands advertising opportunities.
The Kazakh government also conducts trade and economic missions for businesses as well as country export programs for the Kazakh diplomatic missions to bring domestic businesses abroad. They indicate tariff rates and optimal logistics and transportation solutions.
“Following the results of the trade and economic mission to Georgia this month, 17 companies in the food, construction, and metallurgical industries presented their products and concluded export deliveries worth more than US$11 million,” said Omirzak.
Second-tier banks and the Development Bank of Kazakhstan also subsidize the interest rate on loans and leasing transactions. This measure will increase the demand for domestic processed goods and services.
“It is expected that, by 2025, exports worth 370 billion tenge (US$831.7 million) will be supported through this financing tool,” added Omirzak.
Electronic commerce is also gaining momentum in Kazakhstan. Last year, Kazakh postal service Kazpost delivered over 14 million e-commerce parcels. In August 2021, its new transit warehouse was opened to store goods without paying customs duties and taxes before being sent to consumers.
“Since 2020, there has been a sharp rise in e-commerce worldwide. Kazakhstan is no exception. The culture of online shopping that took root during the pandemic affected the growth of e-commerce last year,” said Omirzak.
According to Kazpost, the volume of the B2C e-commerce market by the end of 2021 was 1.287 trillion tenge (US$2.9 billion), which is 187 billion tenge (US$420 million) more than in 2020. There was a significant increase in the total volume of retail trade by the end of 2021 – 13.4 trillion tenge (US$30 billion), 1.864 trillion tenge (US$4.2 billion) more than in 2020.
The share of e-commerce in the total retail trade by the end of 2021 was 9.6 percent.
Following the instruction of President Tokayev, the ministry has compiled a step-by-step algorithm for the interaction of state bodies to identify intermediary pricing schemes for food products.
In cooperation with the Kazakh Ministry of Finance, a draft law was developed to track the price of socially significant food products from the manufacturer to retail chains based on an information system of electronic invoices.