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  • 01 May 2018 10:56 AM | Bakytzhamal Jetmekova

    ASTANA – The former President of France and the former Secretary-General of the United Nations and other international thought leaders will gather in Astana May 17-19 for the 11th Astana Economic Forum (AEF). The name of the forum is being changed this year to the Global Challenges Summit (GCS) 2018, says a press release by AEF organisers.

    Former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee’s Ethics Commission Hans Timmer, Chief Economist for the Europe and Central Asian region of the World Bank and former French President Francois Hollande are among those who will participate. Other participants will include leaders in the worlds of business, science and art who will look at current global risks and opportunities.

    The technological revolution of recent years has created world-changing megatrends affecting countries, businesses and the world’s population. Economic growth and resource resilience, digitisation and urbanisation, longevity and financial revolution, global security and cultural shift will be among the summit’s topics.

    The summit will include more than 200 speakers from more than 27 countries to debate the world’s most important challenges and discuss solutions to create a safer and more sustainable planet. Participants will also include Michio Kaku, physicist, co-founder of the string field theory and populariser of science, Jim O’Neill, former Goldman Sachs chief economist known for coining the BRIC acronym, Parag Khanna, international relations expert and visionary strategist of urban development, Mikheil Janelidze, Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Toomas Ilves, Estonia’s former president, Krzysztof Zanussi, film director and winner of the Golden Lion, the highest prize of the Venice Film Festival and others.

    Kazakhstan’s senior executive officials and heads of state-owned companies and development agencies will participate in the discussion on the country’s strategies for adapting to the rapidly changing world and its role in developing the Central Asia region.

    GCS 2018 follows Astana’sEXPO 2017 with its subject of Future Energy, which provided the backdrop for Kazakhstan to announce its large-scale Third Modernisation aimed at pushing the country into the top 30 of the world’s strongest economies by means of breakthroughs in innovative development, institutional reforms and extensive international integration.

    The Astana Economic Forum will be held at the EXPO Congress Centre and Hilton Astana.

    We need more livestock, says Kazakh agriculture vice minister Astana Times, 26 April 2018

    ASTANA – Kazakhstan needs to increase its livestock population, according to First Vice Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniyev. The ministry expects the new cattle farming development programme will raise the population from seven million to 15 million heads.

    First Vice Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniyev. Photo credit: Agriculture Ministry press service

    He noted cattle farming is a “most optimal element” for agricultural production due to its relatively low cost and high quality, and the 10-year programme seeks to capitalise on these advantages.

    Possessing vast grasslands and ranking fifth in the world with more than 180 million hectares of pastures, livestock has been a key component of Kazakh agriculture as well as a source of income and employment for the rural population which accounts for roughly half of the nation’s total population.

    The new development programme addresses acute issues in the field, said Yevniyev.

    “We see a big potential for livestock development. The country has all the resources to develop the sector,” he added. “The infrastructure is there, but we need to increase the livestock.”

    The programme is meant to create a “new class of farmers” by growing the number of farms from 20,000 to 100,000 and raising rural employment from 100,000 to 500,000. With poverty in rural areas (4.9 percent) almost four times higher than in urban areas (1.3 percent), additional employment opportunities are of paramount importance.

    Export revenues are forecast to reach $2.4 billion, he added.

    Large meat industry companies, including Australian Cedar Group, Chinese Rifa Holding, Citic Group and Inalca Eurasia, will be investing in the programme. Developing cattle farming comes with certain challenges, however, including the search for money and land.

    “The first challenge for farmers that are thinking about starting their business is where to get money.

    There is no money [easily available]. The programme addresses this issue,” said Yevniyev.

    KazAgro, the leading Kazakh leasing company with a more than 70-percent share, will provide 15-year loans to farmers at a subsidised 4-percent interest rate. The funds can be used to purchase stock for further breeding and agriculture machinery and equipment or construct livestock housing.

    Approximately 50 billion tenge (US$152.2 million) will be allocated to support farmers this year, said KazAgro Board Chair Nurlybek Malelov.

    “There was no such thing before. The second question is where to get land. The programme has an answer to this question as well. Comprehensive work is being done. All the recent changes provide a mechanism to confiscate pastures and give them to those who need this,” he noted.

    Pastures will be given without competition.

    “We were reviewing the regions and some farms were found to be possessing hundreds or more than a million hectares and it is clear there is no livestock. This will be equal to irrational use of lands and will be subject to confiscation,” said Yevniyev.

    More specialists are needed, he added, as “lack of competency and knowledge” is hampering development.

    “With the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, we run the Bastau Business (Start Business) programme funded by the national budget, where anyone willing to take up the business can learn how to work with livestock and other specifics,” he added.

  • 23 Apr 2018 8:27 PM | Bakytzhamal Jetmekova

    Astana Times, 17 April 2018

    ASTANA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts growth of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP) at 3.2 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent in 2019. It is expected that inflation will slow to 6.8 percent this year and will be 6.2 percent in 2019, provided exchange rate stability remains.

    The report specifies that following a strong pickup in growth last year, the country is projected to slow to 3.2 percent this year but bounce back to 3.5 percent in 2019 as investment quickens, according to the ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2018 (ADO) report.

    A more stable exchange rate almost halved inflation in Kazakhstan, taking into account that average inflation in the region was 9.2 percent in 2017 and 10.6 percent in 2016. At that, inflation accelerated in the other seven economies of the Central Asian region, particularly in Uzbekistan, notice the report. Inflation in the region is projected to settle at 8.5 percent in 2018 and 7.9 percent in 2019.

    Average growth in the region rose to 4.3 percent from 2.7 percent a year earlier as the recession ended in Azerbaijan and expansion accelerated in six other economies, particularly in Kazakhstan.

    Growth slowed only in Uzbekistan, where sharp currency devaluation to unify the exchange rate and other economic reforms forfeited some expansion last year for future growth.

    Growth in the Central Asian region is forecast to slow to 4.0 percent in 2018, picking up somewhat to 4.2 percent in 2019, according to the report.

    GDP growth in Kazakhstan in 2018 was 3.3 percent, according to the previous forecast of the ADB, published in mid-December. (The Kazakh government statistics put the growth last year at 3.8 percent.) The Asian Development Outlook is the main annual publication of the ADB.

    The ADB was established in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world. The bank seeks to reduce poverty in the Asia-Pacific region through inclusive economic and environmentally sustainable growth, as well as regional integration. The bank’s headquarters is in Manila, Philippines. The bank’s shareholders are 67 countries, 48 of which are in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Astana to host World Mining Congress in June

    Astana Times, 21 April 2018

    ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry for Investment and Development will organise the 25th World Mining Congress, a large-scale event dedicated to mining and metal sector, June 19-21 in Astana. More than 2,000 delegates from 50 countries and 220 companies will participate.

    First held in 1958 in Poland, the World Mining Congress takes place every two-three years and unites industry experts and scientists from 49 member countries.

    The programme will include multiple sessions related to the mining and metal sector, ranging from exploration and production to enrichment, from risk assessment to the attraction of foreign investment.

    Simultaneously, there will be an exhibition of equipment and technologies applied in the mining industry and excursions to Kazakh scientific institutions and industrial enterprises.

    “Such a large-scale event of global significance is held for the first time in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Our country was not chosen randomly to host the anniversary congress. Kazakhstan is rich in mineral resources: there are 99 elements of the periodic table [in our soil], 5,000 deposits and 60 elements are used in production,” said Mazhilis Deputy (lower house of Parliament) Albert Rau.

    The organisers expect the congress to positively impact industry development in Kazakhstan and anticipate an increase in exploration and extraction projects, expansion of subsoil users’ base.

    The event will also help attract financial institutions and investors to the Kazakh mining and mineral industry given the investor protection provided within special legal regime of Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). The opportunities and nuances within M&A (mergers and acquisitions) in Kazakhstan’s mining sector will be disclosed.

    Within the framework of the congress, there will be Mines & Money international investment conference, a leading event for the attraction of capital and investment into mining projects, where investors and subsoil users negotiate, discuss investment opportunities and the market, and share knowledge. More than 2,000 delegates from 50 countries, 368 presenters, 58 associations, 62 universities and 220 companies are expected to attend the event.

    The speakers will include Global Mining & Metals Advisory Leader at EY Paul Mitchell, CEO of the Eurasian Resource Group (ERG) Benedikt Sobotka, Global Head of Primary Markets at London Stock Exchange Robert Barnes.

    Prime Ministers of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki and Australia Malcolm Turnbull are expected to attend as well.

    Astana to build waste recycling plant using French technology Astana Times, 20 April 2018

    ASTANA – Astana plans to build a garbage recycling plant using French technology by September 2019 that will use wet and dry fractions technology to process up to 75 percent of the city’s waste. The technology was presented at the recent EXPO 2017.

    “The construction of the plant worth 3.4 billion tenge (US$10.3 million) will begin in August and finish in September 2019. The technology will recycle 180,000 tonnes of organic wastes, or 50 percent of waste from the total amount,” Astana Akim (Mayor) Asset Issekeshev said at a meeting on Astana development with the participation of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

    The mayor also said that last year the company, which is going to construct the plant, spent more than 1 billion tenge (US$3 million) to purchase 30 garbage trucks and 2,000 containers. Two shops to process plastic and paper has been already launched.

    “As of today, 5.2 billion tenge (US$15.8 million) have been allocated for the modernisation of this sector this year. For the first time in the history of the country, the system of separate collection of waste using wet and dry fractions technology will be used in the city. For this reason, 25 garbage trucks and more than 6,000 containers will be installed in all yards until September 2019. The depth of recycling of waste will reach 30 percent. At that, great importance will be paid to explanatory work with the population,” Issekeshev said.

    The plant will be part of the unified system of collection, processing and disposal.

  • 08 Apr 2018 9:11 PM | Bakytzhamal Jetmekova

    ASTANA – The Kazakh Ministry of National Economy projects the nation’s real GDP will reach 3.8 percent this year, which is 0.7 percent higher than the previous projected indicator voiced in August 2017. The ministry also projects per capita GDP will rise to $9,200, Economy Minister Timur Suleimenov told an April 3 government meeting.Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov.

    “Nominal GDP in 2017 is estimated at 52.4 trillion tenge (US$163.49 billion). Real growth made 4 percent. Economic growth in January-February of this year also reached 4 percent,” said Suleimenov.

    “Taking into account the refined database for 2017, the nominal GDP is expected to reach 57.2 trillion tenge (US$178.46 billion) this year. This is 1.3 trillion tenge (US$4 billion) higher than what was approved in August (last year). Real GDP growth is estimated at 3.8 percent. GDP per capita will grow to $9,200,” he reported.

    The projected oil price for 2018 is up from $45 to $55 per barrel, he added.

    The Kazakh Ministry of Energy anticipates the nation’s oil production to reach 87 million tonnes. Last year, the oil-rich nation produced a record high 86.2 million tonnes of oil, which allowed it to mark a 4 percent economic growth.

    “The revenues in 2018 are estimated at 5.7 trillion tenge (US$17.78 billion), which is 190 billion tenge (US$592.8 million) higher than what the previously approved plan envisioned. The payments into the National Fund will grow 546 billion tenge (US$1.7 billion) and make 2.6 trillion tenge (US$8.11 billion) in total,” said Suleimenov.

    Boeing supplies first 737 MAX aircraft to SCAT

    Astana Times, 3 April 2018

    ASTANA – Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX 8 to SCAT, one of six such aircraft the airline is acquiring under its fleet and route network expansion plan. With the new planes, the airline will be able to achieve double-digit improvement in its fuel efficiency and environmental performance. In addition, SCAT will be the first airline in the Central Asian region to operate the MAX series aircraft.

    Photo credit:

    “Last year, SCAT celebrated its 20th anniversary, and for us the fact that we enter adulthood with the purchase of the latest aircraft models is very important. We are sure that the acquisition of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 will not only raise the level of service in the company, but will also give a new impetus to the development of the aviation industry of Kazakhstan,” said SCAT Airline President Vladimir Denisov, Tengrinews reports.

    “Today is a new milestone in our long-term partnership with SCAT airline. We are proud of our contribution to its growth and look forward to the 737 MAX allowing the airline to reach new heights,” said Vice President of Sales in the Middle East, Turkey, Russia, the Central Asia region and Africa Marty Bentrott.

    SCAT has been flying Boeing planes for a long time now, and the purchase of the next generation 737 was the result of this long-term cooperation. The company announced its order of six 737 MAX 8 aircraft at the Dubai Air Show in 2017. The agreement, worth $674 million according to Boeing catalogue prices, includes the right to purchase five additional 737 MAX 8s.

    Photo credit:

    During the official visit of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to the US in January 2018, the airline confirmed the purchase order.

    The 737 MAX family of planes will help SCAT by reducing passenger costs and increasing flight ranges. The aircraft will allow SCAT open new directions in the narrow-body segment of the market and provide passengers with competitive prices for flights. The 737 MAX airplanes are equipped with the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Wing tips, Boeing Sky Interiors, increased displays in the cockpit, and other improvements that aim at ensuring efficiency, dependability and maximum passenger comfort. The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling aircraft in the history of Boeing, having received more than 4,300 orders from 95 customers worldwide.

    As of today, SCAT operates 44 domestic and 25 international routes. With the MAX aircraft, the company is ready to significantly expand its route network and reach new cities and countries.

    SCAT Airlines receives IOSA security certificate Astana Times, 6 April 2018

    ASTANA – SCAT Airlines has become a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the company’s press service announced March 24.

    The association represents the interests of the air transport industry in such areas as flight safety, flight operations, tariff policy, maintenance, aviation security and the development of international standards in conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

    “Safety is the number one priority for IATA. The main safety management tool is the IATA Operational Safety Audit programme (IOSA). The IOSA was introduced in a number of countries, including Kazakhstan, as a state safety requirement,” reads the report.

    To date, two airlines operating in Kazakhstan have confirmed the IOSA, including SCAT Airlines.

    “Two years ago, the company passed an audit in which more than 1,000 elements of operational activity were examined according to international standards. Thus, the company was awarded the IOSA security certificate. On this basis, the airline is able to fly to Europe,” IATA representative Jordan Karamalakov said.

    He noted the availability of this certificate opens wide prospects for the airline. According to him, another air carrier holding the IOSA certificate in Kazakhstan is Air Astana.

    “From now on, the airline has great prospects in the field of cooperation with other carriers on a global scale, for example, in signing agreements on the exchange of passengers. This will raise the reputation of the airline. Now, 92 percent of passengers in Kazakhstan will fly by airline flights that have an IOSA security certificate. This is an achievement of Kazakhstan in the field of civil aviation,” he noted.

  • 20 Mar 2018 12:44 PM | Alexander Belyasov (Administrator)

    Alinga Consulting, a member of PrimeGlobal, are proud to announce that PrimeGlobal has been ranked as one of the top 5 associations globally, following the International Accounting Bulletin 2017 World Survey results published last month. The IAB Survey celebrates excellence in the accounting industry worldwide, and once again confirms PrimeGlobal as one of the top international associations, with member firms’ revenues of USD2.5B.

    This year, PrimeGlobal has retained its 4th position and achieved an impressive 18% growth in the member firm fee income. With this year’s growth following a year of 19% growth in 2016, the organization continues to prosper and grow in all of its’ 4 geographical regions. The 907 PrimeGlobal firm offices worldwide cover greater geography than any other accounting association, while the year-on-year growth in member firm fee income shows better growth than that of any other top 3 associations or networks worldwide.

    Please click here to view the full press release.

  • 09 Mar 2018 6:31 AM | Alexander Belyasov (Administrator)

    (London, March 8) - International law firm, Gowling WLG, walked away with two awards at this year's Managing Intellectual Property EMEA Awards. 

    The firm was successful in two categories, including Russian IP team was named (Contentious) Firm of the Year, whilst its UK IP team won Firm of the Year for IP Transactions & Advisor.

    MIP, one of the most notable IP publications worldwide, selects its winners based on a comprehensive firm submission, as well as feedback from peers and independent research.

     “We are thrilled to receive this award tonight”, says David Aylen, Managing Partner of GWLG in Russia. “We feel that our Russian IP strength is unparalleled because we always go that extra mile for our IP clients whom we hold dear and tonight’s award is a true testament to that.” 

    In 2016, Gowling WLG Russia/CIS office was awarded Russia IP Firm of the Year by Managing Intellectual Property.

    Gowling WLG's global IP team has seen many recent successes, including 16 of its experts being recognised in the WIPR Leaders guide and a firm listing in the World Trademark Review's WTR 1000 annual guide.

    The team is also nominated in various categories at this year's MIP Americas Awards, which takes place in New York on 15 March.

  • 26 Feb 2018 9:24 PM | Bakytzhamal Jetmekova

    The lure of work, tourism and study in the EU is growing fast among Ukrainians, according to a public opinion survey conducted in December by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology. From February to December the percent of Ukrainians who plan to work in the EU jumped from 17% to 27%; to visit friends and relatives, from 8% to 21%; to study in the EU, from 7% to 12%; and to open a new business in the EU, from 4% to 10%. Eastern Ukrainians registered marked attitude changes in the survey, "Opinions and Views of Residents of Ukraine Regarding the Visa-Free Regime with the European Union." Among easterners, the belief that Ukrainian entrepreneurs now have better access to the EU market jumped from 25% one year ago, to 38% in December. The belief that visa-free travel attracts discount airlines was supported by 39%, up from 25% at the start of 2017.
    Ukraine could become a "European China" for producing electric cars and batteries for the EU, Oleg Boyarin, board chairman of Eurocar, tells Boyarin, whose company makes Skoda cars in Uzhgorod, said he works with the Infrastructure Ministry to work out an electric car strategy for Ukraine. With government support, Ukraine could develop an export-oriented car industry in partnership with American, Chinese or European brands.
    Ukraine’s industrial output surged 3.6% yoy in January, the State Statistics Service reports. Manufacturing accelerated by 9.7%. The manufacturing jump was due to machinery – up 22.1%; metallurgy – up 8% ; chemicals – up 6%; and food – up 3%. Growth was the strongest in Lviv – up 18%; Mykolayiv – up 16.5%; and Chernivtsi – up 16%.
    Mobile operator Kyivstar intends to launch this year its first 4G networks in: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Odesa, Uzhgorod, Vinnytsia, Khmelnitsky, Ivano-Frankivsk, Ternopil and Lviv. There also will be 4G connections near border crossings in Volyn and Lviv regions and in resort towns in Odesa and Zaporozhye. 4G tariffs will be unrolled in late summer and will be “10, 15, 20 UAH more expensive than existing ones," Peter Chernyshov, Kyivstar president, tells reporters. According to the company, Kyivstar’s 3G network now reaches 9,800 settlements, or 80% of the population.
    Kyivstar, Vodafone Ukraine and lifecell are authorized to bid in the March 6 auction of six lots of 4G communications licenses, the National Commission for State Regulation of Communications and Informatization reports. reports that Ukraine’s “4G lag” will be eliminated by the end of this year. An earlier 4G auction was held Jan. 31.
    Renovating its rolling stock, Ukraine Railways added 907 ‘open top’ wagons in the first two months of this year. These cars are used for transporting bulk goods such as coal, scrap, steel, wood and other cargo that can be tipped, dumped or shoveled.
    Ukraine’s highway construction boom has prompted Poland’s Mirbud S.A. construction company to open a subsidiary in Kyiv. Mirbud President and majority shareholder Jerzy Mirgos says on his company’s website: “We see here a great potential for our activities in the field of engineering and road construction.”
    Betting on a driving upswing, Poland’s UNIMOT S.A. plans to open 100 gas stations across Ukraine under the Switzerland’s Avia brand. By 2020, UNIMOT intends to open the Ukraine network and an equal number of Avia stations in Poland.
    German furniture company Polipol plans to build an upholstered furniture factory in Lviv region, according to Oleg Synyutko, head of regional administration. Herbert Vitver, a Polipol representative, tells Ukrinform that by 2021, the company will employ 1,000 people with an average salary of 500 to 600 euros.
    Ukraine exported 357 new goods to the EU last year, and the number of exporting companies grew 5%, to 14,136, Natalia Mikolskaya, Ukraine’s chief trade representative reports. The fastest growing items were: artificial fabrics, apricots, cherries, milk, condensed cream, fructose, projectors and electric kettles.
    Polish egg producers worry that egg exports to EU by Ukraine’s Avangard and Ovostar will have "serious consequences" for Polish producers. “A significant deterioration in the profitability of egg exports from Poland should be expected," warns Poland’s National Chamber of Poultry and Fodder Producers. Avangard is shifting from the Middle East to target the EU. In October, Ovostar Union’s Yasensvit plant started exporting Class A eggs to the EU. Today, Ukraine accounts for one half of the EU’s egg imports, up from 4% in 2014.
    Ukraine will mount a large exhibition stand at the first China International Import Expo, Nov. 5-10 in Shanghai, Stepan Kubiv, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, tells Ukrinform. Kubiv says: "China is a multi-billion-dollar consumer market, where Ukraine can supply many products, ranging from food to industrial goods, clothing, various equipment and services." Although China has a large trade surplus with Ukraine, Ukraine exports to China, largely food, increased by 11.3% last year.
    The State Property Fund will auction 25% of PJSC Sumyoblenergo shares on the PFTS stock exchange on March 30, according to Vedomosti. The initial value of the block of shares is $4 million.
    About one third of Ukrainian workers, or 5 million people, are paid in cash, without being enrolled in health and retirement plans, the State Labor Service reports. Offering a lower estimate, Andriy Revi, Social Policy Minister, says the number of ‘shadow’ workers is 3.7 million.
    Venture capital investments in Ukraine start-ups tripled last year to $300 million, Andrey Kolodyuk, board head of the Ukraine Venture Capital Association, tells This year will be even higher, predicts Kolodyuk, managing partner of AVentures Capital. On Monday, AVentures announced that it is investing in CoreValue, a fast-growing IT-outsourcing company. With 350 employees and R&D offices in seven regions, CoreValue specializes in pharmatech, fintech and healthcare.
    President Poroshenko is preparing to sign a bill regulating limited liability companies, the most common form of business in Ukraine. Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy tweeted after submitting the bill to the President: “I am convinced that this law will improve the business climate and attract foreign investment in the Ukrainian economy.”
    Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan wants to double traffic in and out of Boryspil to 20 million passengers by 2020. At the same time, he tells reporters, he wants to promote Lviv, Odesa and Kharkiv as regional air hubs.

  • 19 Feb 2018 9:19 PM | Anonymous

    Astana Times, 16 February 2018

    The Ministry of National Economy leadership outlined Kazakhstan’s economic results for 2017 and shared its plans for the current year at a Feb. 12 press conference, reported the ministry press service.

    National Economy First Vice Minister Ruslan Dalenov (С)

    Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4 percent in 2017, said National Economy First Vice Minister Ruslan Dalenov. The outcome was determined by the following factors: two-thirds of the growth was provided by non-extractive industries, almost all sub-industries showed growth (31 against 22 in 2016), manufacturing hit a five-year maximum (5.1 percent), the “desired” industries showed a significant increase (e.g., pharmaceuticals grew 41.8 percent) and non-primary exports and deeply processed goods also grew.

    “The contribution to the country’s economic growth in 2017 was also made by the implementation of the Nurly Zher programme, due to which 11.2 million square metres of housing were commissioned, 4,000 kilometres of roads were reconstructed within the Nurly Zhol programme and 120 projects were implemented as part of the Industrialisation Map. The Export Strategy provided support to 400 exporters and 192,000 business entities were supported within the Business Roadmap 2020,” he noted.

    The ministry’s tasks for 2018 include ensuring the country’s macroeconomic stability, improving intergovernmental fiscal relations, strengthening the tax policy, expanding the tools and approaches of public-private partnership and effectively managing the country’s debt.

    “To date, 1,145,994 SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are operating in the country, manufacturing products worth 14.44 trillion tenge ($44.5 billion) and employing 3,118,448 people,” said ministry representatives.

    In the past year, the ministry developed systemic measures aimed at deregulating businesses, including reducing the administrative pressure and significantly improving conditions for doing business. A full-scale audit of governmental bodies’ control and supervisory functions was carried out to reduce and optimise them. “To date, 114 spheres of control and 18 spheres of supervision have been revised, with 25 control and three supervision spheres proposed for exclusion due to duplication and lack of efficiency. In addition, 17,654 requirements for SME inspection were proposed for exclusion,” said the ministry.

    A new concept of state control and supervision has also been proposed by introducing preventive control to replace selective inspections. The main tasks of preventive control will be identifying the reasons and conditions for unlawful conduct, explaining the legal consequences of offenses and reinforcing law-abiding behaviour.

    In order to ease the burden on businesses of presenting various papers, information requirements are to be reduced 30 percent. Certain new legislative amendments have also been elaborated to improve the business climate. “Our long-term objective is to let the private sector take the leading role and increase the share of the SMEs in the GDP to 50 percent by 2050,” said the ministry.

    Kazakhstan’s external trade showed good results in all categories in 2017, noted Ministry of National Economy Vice Minister Baurzhan Bekeshev. “We observed a significant increase of 25.1 percent in foreign trade turnover compared to 2016. In monetary terms, the 2017 indicator amounted to $69.5 billion (in 2016, the indicator reached $55.5 billion),” he said.

    He added Kazakhstan’s foreign trade structure changed significantly in 2017, with an increase in non-primary products and some new export items. Export volume increased 31.6 percent to $43.1 billion compared to $32.7 billion in 2016. The share of non-raw materials increased 22.1 percent. Kazakhstan exported more than $14 billion in non-primary products, which represented 32.7 percent of the total export volume. Export growth was seen in timber, paper and paper products, busses and medicine.

    Bekeshev also dwelled on the digitisation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) economies that are Kazakhstan’s main trade partners. The key aspects have been determined to implement the union’s 2025 digital agenda, which primarily affect the speedy launch of initiatives and project approach to executing the EAEU digital agenda.

    Using the EAEU platform allows expanding access to the markets of third countries through trade agreements, he said. “For example, exports to Vietnam, with whom we concluded a free trade agreement in 2015, rose to $274.2 million in 2017, which is 25 times higher than in 2015 (before the conclusion of the free trade agreement). To date, we have also completed negotiations on a free trade agreement with Iran and on trade and economic cooperation with China. This will help increase the volume of trade with these countries in the future,” he said.

    In 2018, the ministry plans to enhance the access of Kazakh goods to wider markets. “We are actively negotiating free trade with Israel, Serbia and India. In addition, this year we will continue working on the implementation of the provisions of the treaty with the EAEU and improving the regulatory framework, as well as removing obstacles in mutual trade in order to create favourable conditions for doing business,” he added.

    Vice Minister Aibatyr Zhumagulov spoke about the ministry’s work on developing local self-government (LSG). According to the LSG development law adopted in 2017, LSG budget and municipal property have been introduced since Jan. 1 in rural districts with a population of more than 2,000 people. The rule will be introduced throughout the country starting Jan. 1, 2020. Rural district budgets have already received seven types of tax revenues and five types of non-tax revenues. “The main peculiarity of LSG budgets is the obligatory participation of citizens in LSG budget and municipal property management,” he said.

    Kazakh Investment Ministry to focus on manufacturing, exports and labour productivity Astana Times, 16 February 2018

    The Ministry for Investment and Development will concentrate this year on manufacturing, focusing on export-oriented sectors and labour productivity under the Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development programme, said Minister Zhenis Kassymbek during a Feb. 13 weekly government meeting.

    Minister Zhenis Kassymbek (Photo credit:

    “To meet the tasks given by President Nursultan Nazarbayev during the Feb. 9 extended government meeting, we will start working on the industrial projects to back export-oriented sectors and increase labour productivity. This year, we plan to introduce 150 projects worth one trillion tenge (US$3.06 billion) and create 15,000 jobs,” he said.

    The next stage of industrial expansion involves transitioning to a new level of technological development with key elements of Industry 4.0. Last year, basic industries were re-equipped in an attempt to create an ecosystem to introduce digital technology under the Digital Kazakhstan state programme. “Some support measures will be partially revised for a more targeted stimulation of digitisation in terms of determining the types of costs when reimbursing enterprises, providing grants, etc,” he added.

    Kassymbek said the ministry will also concentrate on the third five-year industrialisation plan focused on the digital-era industry to fulfil the tasks set by the President in the state-of-the-nation address “New opportunities for development under the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

    “In general, the implementation of scheduled activities will increase the value of processed exports by 10.3 percent (compared to the level of 2017), boost labour productivity of the manufacturing industry by 6 percent and attract investment worth one trillion tenge (US$3.06 billion) in fixed assets of the manufacturing industry,” he said.

    Within the Nurly Zhol programme, the ministry will strengthen control over the efficient and transparent use of funds allocated for road construction and repair. Mechanisms will be revised to continue executing the Nurly Zher programme. “We have begun work to improve the national standards in architecture, urban planning and construction,” he added.

    This year, commercial banks will grant real estate developers 125 billion tenge (US$382.5 million) in subsidised loans and 105 billion tenge (US$ 321.3 million) in mortgages. The banking sector revival will increase the annual loan volume to 350 billion tenge (US$1.07 billion) and investors’ share of the House Construction Savings Bank to the economically active population up to 12 percent. “Planned measures are supposed to increase housing construction volume 6-8 percent, or 11.2 million square metres of housing,” said Kassymbek.

    Oilfield service companies seek state support to increase competition in industry Astana Times, 16 February 2018

    The Union of Kazakhstan Oilfield Service Companies wants to increase the involvement of domestic businesses and state support for the $45 billion in projects underway by Tengizchevroil, Karachaganak Operating Company and North Caspian Operating Company, according to a Feb. 13 press briefing.

    “Proper use of resources is an essential task for all parties. In this regard, the Union of Oilfield Service Companies Union traditionally acts as an important dialogue platform for protecting the interests of Kazakh companies. Domestic enterprises face a number of challenges including low margins of service-based businesses, closed tender procedures, certain preferences proposed by foreign companies and other things. They believe that the effective measures will be taken to resolve all existing disputes,” said union presidium chairperson Rashid Zhaksylykov, adding the three operators account for 75 percent of all the domestic oilfield service purchases.

    He noted the companies need state support, as they currently must compete in unequal conditions with foreign enterprises that are exempt from import duties and have access to finance.

    “Our oilfield service market is profitable for foreign companies. More than 20 out of the 100 largest contracting companies operate in Kazakhstan. Domestic companies have been able to improve their competences due to competition in the local market. At least 1,000 companies with a total number of more than 170,000 employees work in the oilfield service industry. Turnover of oilfield services averages $7 billion per year in the subsoil use sector. The share of the three large operators accounts for 77 percent of the oilfield services. There are 66 oilfield service companies in the list of top 500 largest companies in Kazakhstan with a total tax payment of 280 billion tenge (US$868 million) by the end of 2016,” he said.

    Kazakhstan Oilfield Service Companies Union Presidium chairperson Rashid Zhaksylykov.

    Photo credit:

    Foreign investments enable local companies to improve their competencies as part of the joint ventures and consortia. “One of the conditions proposed by the government is that the subsoil user provides the transfer of knowledge, technology and experience. The increase of local content share through the participation of Kazakh companies in major oil and gas contracts is an important part of bilateral cooperation,” said Zhaksylykov.

    Russia remains an important market for Kazakhstan’s oilfield services. Domestic companies participate in the projects in Moscow, Sakhalin, Yamal and other oil and gas regions, providing construction, engineering and drilling services. They also operate in Georgia, Iran, Iraq and Jordan.

    The active phase of the future expansion project at Tengiz field will start this year. Tengizchevroil has obligations that the share of local content should be at least 50 percent. The company purchased goods and services from Kazakh suppliers for $494 million in the first quarter of 2017.

    Precision agriculture technology, digitisation introduced to boost productivity Astana Times, 16 February 2018

    The Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture has presented plans to focus this year on introducing precision technology and intensive irrigation, livestock development and renewing agricultural machinery. The four key areas are expected to increase labour productivity in the agro-industrial sector. To increase technical equipment, 5.5 billion tenge (US$17 million) will be allocated to subsidise the agricultural leasing interest rate and raise the investment subsidy by 20 billion tenge (US$62 million) by reducing inefficient subsidies.

    “We plan to introduce electronic field mapping, accurate weather data and wireless sensors, space monitoring and other solutions to validate precision agricultural practices. We will develop an economic model for introducing precision technologies for different types of farms and an entirely new system of subsidy. We will launch pilot projects in certain farms in cooperation with local executive bodies. The educational institutions, research institutes and the world’s leading companies that are engaged in agriculture digitisation and development of technologies will assist in training farmers,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Umirzak Shukeyev during the Feb. 13 governmental meeting.

    Minister of Agriculture Umirzak Shukeyev

    The approach to cooperatives will also be revised to increase meat export. The action is expected to encourage cooperation of small and medium-sized businesses with large feedlot sites to ensure marketing, technology distribution, knowledge and access to financing. “We expect to ensure the investments in technology up to 240 billion tenge (US$742 million) by 2021 with a gradual increase of support measures. The renewal of agricultural machinery will reach approximately 6 percent in three years; now, it stands at 2 percent,” he added.

    Measures will also be taken to rehabilitate irrigation. Water supply will be restored this year to 65,000 hectares. The agricultural producers and processing enterprises will join as meat cooperatives to solve the issues concerning processing agricultural products. Agricultural science aims to focus mainly on introducing new technologies rather than inventing livestock breeds.

    “There are three universities and 23 research institutes at the ministry. This number will be reduced to 12 due to consolidation. Agricultural universities will become research institutions with research institutes and farms,” said Shukeyev.

    An effective system ensuring epizootic, veterinary and sanitary well-being will be developed to increase the efficiency of state control and supervision. Veterinary border control will be established and unified approaches developed in cooperation with Russian and Kyrgyz veterinary services to combat transboundary animal diseases, monitor quality control of vaccines at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) laboratories and implement against nodular dermatitis and foot and mouth disease.

    January’s agriculture, forestry and fishery gross output was 113.4 billion tenge (US$350 million), a 3.7-percent increase compared to the corresponding month in 2017, reported the committee on statistics.

    China's CSRC signs MOU with Kazakhstan's AFSA, 15.02.2018

    China's top securities regulator has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its Kazakhstan's counterpart to enhance cooperation on securities and futures regulation.

    The document was signed by Liu Shiyu, chairman of China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and Stephen Glynn, chief executive officer of the Astana Financial Services Authority (AFSA) in Beijing last week.

    With the signing of the document, China-Kazakhstan cooperation on securities and futures regulation has entered a new stage, the CSRC said in an online statement.

    The MOU also signed against the backdrop of growing economic, trade and financial cooperation between the two countries in the past several years, said the CSRC, adding that the two sides had achieved positive progress in capital markets cooperation.

    In May 2015, CSRC signed an MOU with the National Bank of Kazakhstan on securities and futures regulation cooperation. In May 2017, Shanghai Stock Exchange and Astana International Exchange established a strategic partnership, and the former became a shareholder of the latter.

    The MOU between the CSRC and AFSA will help bilateral exchanges, cooperation and coordination in regulations, promote financial and economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, and support the real economy and the building of the Belt and Road, the statement said.

    CSRC has signed 67 MOUs on regulation cooperation with 61 countries or regions, according to the statement.

    Kazakhstan launches online platform to monitor greenhouse gas emissions Astana Times, 12 February 2018

    The Kazakh Ministry of Energy and the World Bank recently launched an online platform to monitor and report greenhouse gases (GHG) emission sources.

    “Kazakhstan’s emissions trading system is the first of its kind in the Central Asia region,” said World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan Ato Brown. “With support from the Partnership for Market Readiness, the country has made a great effort to develop policy options for mid- and long-term emissions pathways and to develop an action plan on GHG emissions reductions by 2030. The World Bank will continue to support the government during the crucial stages of policy implementation.”

    According to the press service of the World Bank in Kazakhstan, the system has no analogues in the Commonwealth Independent States and meets all information security requirements.

    This platform is an essential part of the National Emissions Trading System of Kazakhstan, which was launched in 2013 as the main instrument for regulating internal CO2 emissions and developing low-carbon technologies. Today, the system covers all major companies in the energy, oil and gas, mining, metallurgical and chemical industries.

    The platform enables Kazakhstan’s major emitters to transmit and record data on GHGs emissions, as well as trade online.

    “The electronic platform undoubtedly proves the evolution of the Kazakhstan emission control system, which will allow the monitoring, reporting and verification system to be upgraded to a much higher level,” said Deputy General Director of Zhasyl Damu Sergei Tsoi.

    Emissions data is confirmed by accredited bodies for verification and validation and transferred to a registry using an electronic digital signature. To date, there are seven verification companies accredited in Kazakhstan, with five more in the process of accreditation.

    Zhasyl Damu developed the platform with the support of France’s Technical Centre on Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases. Since 2014, the World Bank has provided technical assistance to Kazakhstan in the implementation of this system and related measures to mitigate the climate change impact.

    Green Bridge Partnership Programme offers tool for Paris Climate Agreement implementation

    Astana Times, 13 February 2018

    President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, in his state-of-the-nation address earlier this year, as a priority, underlined the importance of increasing requirements for energy efficiency and energy saving by enterprises, as well as the environmental friendliness and efficiency of the energy producers themselves. The implementation of this objective requires the enhancement of environmental and energy programmes at the national and regional levels and strengthening international cooperation in these areas. A dynamic acceleration to this process was the successful holding of the EXPO 2017 and Kazakhstan’s participation in the Paris Climate Agreement.

    Dr. Bakhyt Yessekina

    As is known, the 23rd UNFCCC Conference on global climate change (COP-23) was held in Bonn on Nov. 6-17, 2017, where all countries agreed that climate change is a real challenge for the world economy. Numerous activities of COP-23 were discussed, including low-carbon initiatives and successes at the level of sub-national actors: states, provinces, cities, companies and associations. Successes of low-carbon development and examples of solving climate problems were demonstrated.

    For other Kyoto mechanisms that exist up to 2020 – Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI), – they are yet to be recommended for use, but with a number of features in the new context of the Paris Agreement. Now, emission-buying countries (mainly developed countries) must adopt nationally defined goals, and their projects will be considered primarily as a tool for promoting business and technology and not as an instrument for acquiring emission reduction units.

    Future implementation mechanisms can encompass a wider range of activities that contribute to reducing emissions and sustainable development in general. Accounting for activities can be, in particular, financial resources transferred for action in another country.

    It should be noted that the costs of reducing of greenhouse gas emissions for different countries and sectors of the economy will be different. Those countries where economic growth is traditionally provided by the development (expansion) of industries with high specific emissions, more significant structural and technological changes will be required, and hence more time for transition to a low-carbon development model.

    World experience demonstrates that the transition to low-carbon development at the first stage will require significant financial costs. In terms of value, measures on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions include: the costs of developing and implementing high-performance, climate-friendly technologies that reduce emissions, and consumers’costs of switching from goods and services whose production and/or consumption involve significant greenhouse gas emissions, to low-emission products and services. Together, these costs and expenses are estimated to average 1 percent of global GDP and, in the worst case scenario, 3.5 percent of global GDP. It should be noted that under certain scenarios, measures on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale may not lead to a decrease, but, on the contrary, to additional GDP growth. Costs can be further reduced by increasing energy efficiency, demand management as well as through the use of energy-saving technology in the production of energy, heat and in the transport sector.

    For the most developed and richest countries the agreement will optimise their financial and technological role in the global effort. As for the less developed countries, but with a large carbon potential, such as China, Brazil, Turkey, the financial component of agreement is secondary for them, since international assistance is relatively small or approximately equal to their help to weaker states. The economy of these countries depends significantly on the global trend on development of low-carbon, and, to a large extent, they shape it by themselves, especially China.

    For Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA), then for the Trans-Caucasian countries, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, the agreement should be a powerful factor of international support; and for Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, it should help their integration into the global investment process and encourage a deep modernisation of economy structure.

    International experts have identified at least three trends within the framework of the Paris Agreement, which now underpin and strengthen its implementation.

    Firstly, planning the development of economy and energy taking into account possible changes in the 2020-2040. In many cases, it leads to delays in the approval of international and national projects while maintaining the current situation would have been profitable.

    Second, introduction of carbon price (fees for greenhouse gas emissions in a particular stimulating form), carried out or expected in the future, which shifts the competitiveness of various projects and trade flows. This is clearly demonstrated by the results of bilateral meetings of major issuers (China, the U.S., the EU and India).

    Third, a global trend towards choosing low-carbon solutions, if they are not more expensive than traditional solutions, when the planning horizon is set for 20-30 years. This is clearly confirmed by signing partnership deals and the choice of investment options in virtually all countries of the world and in state and private companies in all sectors of economy.

    In general, COP-23 has achieved the understanding of the leading role of global low-carbon development trends and its impact on the economy. The outcome document, the Fijian moment for implementation (Fiji was chair of COP-23), reflects the need to accelerate work on the set of rules of the Paris Agreement and its adoption at the COP-24, the organisation of special session of the subsidiary bodies in the second half of the 2018, Dialogue-2018 on consideration of the actions and goals of countries in the field of greenhouse gas emissions and the summing at COP-24 of the intermediate results of activities of countries until 2020. As a result of COP-23, the 20th partnership initiatives were presented, including cities, infrastructure, transport, waste, education, risks assessment, financial support and tools.

    The famous environment partnership initiative presented by Kazakhstan on the global level is the Green Bridge Partnership Programme (GBPP) proposed by President Nazarbayev at the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly in 2011. This initiative was entered to the final declaration of the UN Summit in 2012. The GBPP was also supported at the sub-regional conferences by ESCAP, UNECE, ISESCO and was supported by more than 120 states of Europe, Asia and the Pacific. The reason for this interest in the GBPP is its potential to support the transition to a green economy and sustainable development, including the following.

    The international status establishes a more reliable political and legal framework for long-term green investments and additional guarantees for investors in conditions of political instability in countries with economies in transition. Agreements on projects that have been granted a status of the GBPP –between countries and investors – must be long-term, and international agreements must not depend on changes of governments, decision-makers or withdrawals from international agreements (similar to agreements of UN, EU, WB, etc.).

    It establishes a broader regional and inter-sectoral basis for mutually beneficial cooperation (water-energy-food-climate). Within the GBPP, there are mutually beneficial regional agreements between countries on interregional green business and trade with maximum productivity of water, energy, land or in sharing ecosystem services among Eurasian countries, for example, within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

    It allows to create more trustful business environment, to involve additional parties for mutually beneficial solutions of problems, i.e. go out in search of solutions beyond the limited formats of regional agreements (IFAS, ICWC, etc.).

    It creates a more professional basis for analytical work and searching for best solutions through participation of authoritative and internationally recognised experts of the GBPP, working groups, including elimination of cases of lobbying for “dirty” technologies, equipment or environmentally unfriendly programmes and laws.

    It provides a special status of international expertise of projects and technologies that have a status of the GBPP – international, professional and neutral. This expertise will substantially complement the capacity of local, national and regional organisations in the interests of saving budgetary and other resources as well as to prevent mistakes in implementing green reforms, procurement, etc.

    Presently, the GBPP Charter has been signed by 16 countries and 16 NGOs from Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Austria, Turkey, Estonia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

    The GBPP and Paris Climate Agreement have a common goal – the need to find joint solutions to the problems of the transition to low-carbon development and adaptation to climate change. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution is one of the main areas of the GBPP at the global level.

    In this regard, Kazakhstan could re-start activity in GBPP promotion in terms of the Paris Climate Agreement implementation and to suggest to UNFCCC to register this global Partnership. This step will allow Kazakhstan to strengthen cooperation with global financial institutions and to join Dialogue-2018 in terms of COP-24.

    The author is a member of the Green Council under President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Director of the Green Academy Scientific-Education Centre.

  • 19 Feb 2018 10:24 AM | Alexander Belyasov (Administrator)

    The IP team of international law firm, Gowling WLG, has been nominated in multiple categories at this year's Managing Intellectual Property (MIP) Awards.

    MIP is one of the most respected intellectual property publications, globally. This year, the team has been recognised across several of its key jurisdictions and acknowledged for many of its core IP expertise.

    The MIP EMEA Awards will take place on 8 March 2018 at The Savoy, London.

    The Gowling WLG Russia/CIS IP team has been shortlisted in 3 categories of the MIP EMEA Awards: 

    •           Eurasia

    •           Russia Contentious

    •           Russia Prosecution

    In addition to the Russia/CIS nominations, Gowling WLG has been nominated in 10 additional jurisdictions/categories for both MIP EMEA and North America Awards.  For more information on the MIP Awards short lists, please see:

  • 01 Feb 2018 3:49 PM | Anonymous

    4G mobile service could start in Ukraine as early as March, telecom providers said after winning licenses at auction Wednesday. Kyivstar, Vodafone and Lifecell together will pay $85 million to provide the services. At first, according to, service will be launched in Ukraine’s five largest cities -- Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa and Dnipro. By 2022, 4G service is to be available in all Ukrainian cities with populations over 10,000.

    On 4G, Olha Ustinova, general director of Vodafone Ukraine, told Ukrinform: "We are ready. We are testing it so far. And we’ll start in March-April." Kyivstar, the nation’s largest mobile provider, prepared for the auction by erecting more than 500 4G towers in Ukraine’s largest cities, sea resorts, and border crossing points, the company said. This year, it plans to double that number, erecting another 600 towers. Additionally, the operator has 7,300 3G towers

    In February-March, a second tender is to be held to sell 4G licenses for 150 MHz frequency band. The starting price is to be $137 million. Concorde Capital’s Alexander Paraschiy writes: “The purchase of the licenses will stimulate mobile operators' investments into new technologies and may have an overall positive effect on Ukraine’s economy in the mid-term. This also may improve the country’s investment attractiveness.”

    Ukraine’s grain harvest fell 7% last year, to 61.3 million tons, according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. Last year, Ukraine threshed 26 million tons of wheat, down from 26 million tons in 2016. The corn crop fell to 24.1 million tons, down from 28 million tons. Barley fell to 8.3 million tons, down from 9.4 million tons. Poor rains and lack of irrigation reduced crops from the levels of 2016, a bumper crop year.

    Indonesia has unexpectedly traded places with India as the world’s largest buyer of Ukrainian grain, UkrAgroConsult reports. Indonesia is taking 16% percent of Ukraine grain sales, while India’s take has plummeted to 4%. India’s wheat harvest has recovered making the country more self reliant. Ukraine competes with Russia, which is pumping cheap grain from a bumper crop into international markets, Bloomberg reports. Russia has dominated this season’s tenders in Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat buyer.

    Ukraine’s trade deficit in good and services increased by one quarter last year, to $6.8 billion. The trade deficit in goods jumped 32%, to $9.2 billion, according to the State Statistics Service. This was offset by a surplus in trade in services – largely IT – which increased 60%, to $2.3 billion.

    Imports from Russia jumped last year 40%, to $7.2 billion, largely due to imports of coal, oil products and fertilizers. Exports increased by only 10%, to $3.4 billion.

    The U.S. displaced Russia last year as the leading source of official private remittances to Ukraine, the National Bank of Ukraine reports. The rise in payments from the US was largely due to the increase in the export of IT services. Overall, remittances to Ukraine – largely from US, Eastern Europe and Russia – increased last year by 30%, to $5.2 billion.

    Ukrainian workers in Poland may have sent home $5 billion last year, equivalent to 5% of Ukraine’s GDP, Deutsche Welle reports from Warsaw. Work permits more than doubled last year, to 250,000. Another 1 million Ukrainians work temporary jobs on the 90-day visa free regime. Almost half of employers sought Ukrainians because no local hires were available and 40% of firms in sales and services rely on Ukrainians, according to a survey of 300 companies in January by Work Service, a Warsaw recruitment company. Analysts cite labor shortages as the major threat to Poland’s continued high economic growth.

    One week after the central bank raised interest rates, Prime Minister Groysman called on the bank to cut interest rates. Groysman said Wednesday at a televised cabinet meeting that Ukraine should target annual economic growth of 5-7 percent. Groysman said: “At the moment we’re thinking that the interest rate on loans needs to be lowered, as loans need to be available for the national economy.” Last Thursday, the National Bank of Ukraine raised the main interest rate 1.5 percentage points, to 16%, to contain inflation, was 13.7% last year.

    Ukraine’s digital economy can create 300,000 to 400,000 new jobs and over 50 new professions, according to the Economic Development and Trade Ministry. At present, only 17% of Ukrainian industries use digital innovations, far below the EU indicator of 49%. Through public-private partnerships, Ukraine can reach 80% broadband coverage in five years.

    Ukraine’s government has fired tax and customs service chief Roman Nasirov 11 months after he was suspended from his post after his arrest on suspicion of embezzlement. Nasirov is being investigated on suspicion of defrauding the state of the hryvnia equivalent of $70 million. After his arrest, Nasirov was released on bail, but ordered to wear an electronic bracelet and barred from leaving Kyiv. He is one of a handful of high officials to face prosecution after Ukraine’s 2014 Revolution of Dignity.

    Denmark’s Maersk and Ukrainian Railways started Wednesday what is to be a twice a week container train running 500 km between the TIS terminal at Yuzhny port and the Kyiv Liski container park on the Dnipro left bank. In practical terms, this will take 12,000 tractor trailer trucks off the Kyiv-Odesa highway each year, Egor Grebennikov, co-founder of TIS, tells Interfax. The train will take 19 hours, three times as long as a truck. But shippers can load 28 tons in each container, 17% more than the 24-ton truck limit.

    Container traffic by rail is set to grow in Ukraine, Ukrzaliznytsia CEO Yevhen Kravtsev tells Interfax. Ukrainian Railways plans to build container terminals in Vinnytsia and on Ukraine’s EU borders. Last year, rail container traffic grew by 10% to 291,900 containers. Next summer, the TIS stevedoring and logistics company plans to start a container rail line from Yuzhny to Dnipro, a 600 km distance.

    Work is to start next year on a 5-year, $500 million ski resort in the 1,000-meter high Carpathian mountains surrounding the village of Verkhnia Rozhanka, 145 km south of Lviv. The resort “should become the best one in Ukraine,” asserts Volodymyr Beha, head of the Slavske united territorial community, which includes the village. The project is being financed by Galnaftogaz Concern, owner of Ukraine’s 400 Okko gas stations. Vitaliy Antonov, chairman of Galnaftogaz, is a rock climber, mountaineer, and native of Lviv Region.

  • 29 Jan 2018 10:16 AM | Anonymous

    Uzbekistan plans to involve Deloitte in developing long-term strategy

    The Uzbek Ministry for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications held negotiations with the representative of the regional department of Deloitte Christopher Armitage which focused on the involvement of Deloitte in developing a national concept in the field of ICT.

    In particular, the issue of studying best international practices and applying it in Uzbekistan was considered, according to the message on the ministry's website.

    The future concept should cover such areas as telecommunications infrastructure, e-government, information security, innovation, mail, logistics and e-commerce. This will also include the issues of education, training and retraining of personnel.

    Deloitte is the brand under which tens of thousands of dedicated professionals in independent firms throughout the world collaborate to provide audit & assurance, consulting, risk and financial advisory, risk management, tax, and related services to select clients. These firms are members of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee ("DTTL").

    Each DTTL member firm provides services in particular geographic areas and is subject to the laws and professional regulations of the particular country or countries in which it operates.

    In 2015, Fortune magazine included Deloitte in the rating of the 100 most outstanding companies in the world.

    Since 2018, Uzbekistan has refused to approve annual investment programs, preferring long-term investment strategies. The industries and regions are tasked to develop a ten-year investment attraction strategy. At the same time, forecasted demographic indicators and unique "growth points" for each region or industry should be taken into account.

    Later, long-term plans for the development of industries and regions will make it possible to compile short-term three-year programs. It is planned to start operating in accordance with them in 2019.

    Uzbekistan imposes moratorium on inspection of entrepreneurs

    Uzbekistan has imposed a moratorium on inspections of financial and business activities of business entities, with the exception of inspections conducted in criminal cases and in connection with the liquidation of a legal entity.

    This is stipulated by the presidential decree "On the State Program for the Implementation of the Action Strategy on five priority development directions of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021" in the Year of Support of Active entrepreneurship, innovative ideas and technologies."

    Under the decree, the President abolished the Republican Council for Coordination of the Activities of the Control Authorities from April 1,2018. At the same time, the head of state handed over 228 authorized units of the state tax service to the prosecutor's office.

    Since April 1, the duplicating functions and powers of the justice bodies to protect the rights and legitimate interests of small businesses, private entrepreneurs, foreign investors and enterprises with foreign investment are excluded.

    Under the presidential decree, the audit of financial and economic activities conducted within the framework of criminal cases should not exceed one month, in exceptional cases, the period of verification may be extended for not more than one month by the General Prosecutor of the Republic of Uzbekistan or his deputy.

    The launch of criminal cases on facts related to offenses in the conduct of entrepreneurial activity is carried out exclusively with the consent of the prosecutor of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional prosecutors, the city of Tashkent and equal prosecutors.

    Information on violations in the activities of business entities, information about the inspections and monitoring (the basis, time of inspections or monitoring, employees who conducted them, and others) and the measures taken to eliminate the violations are included in mandatory manner into a special electronic information system of the prosecutor's office.


    WB issues loan to Uzbekistan for modernization of the district heating sector

    The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved financing of the District Heating Energy Efficiency Project, through which over 240,000 residents in five cities across Uzbekistan are to benefit from improved efficiency and quality of heating and hot water services.

    The Project will be financed by a $140 million credit from the International Development Association, a part of the World Bank.

    "The World Bank is pleased to support the modernization of the District Heating sector," said Hideki Mori, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan. "These measures will improve the living conditions of hundreds of thousands of people across Uzbekistan."

    Uzbekistan often experiences cold and harsh winters. A stable heat supply is therefore critical for ensuring the well-being of its citizens and for preventing environmental, safety, and health-related hazards.

    The District Heating Energy Efficiency Project aims to address all challenges in this field by introducing, for the first time, a modern District Heating model for Uzbekistan. The Project will specifically benefit residents living in multi-apartment buildings in the cities of Andijan, Bukhara, Chirchik, Samarkand, and Tashkent (Sergeli district), and which are connected to or will be connected to the District Heating service.

    Users of public and administrative buildings, including kindergartens, schools, hospitals, and municipality offices, will also experience an improvement in the quality of heating services. The Project will also invest in District Heating infrastructure, enhancing their capacity, and improving the regulatory framework to make selected District Heating companies more viable, efficient, and sustainable.

    The electricity distribution subsidiaries of the state-owned energy company Uzbekenergo will experience a reduced overloading of their power networks and consequently there will be lower technical losses, fewer breakdowns, and less power outages in the five participating cities. The Project is expected to reduce natural gas and electricity consumption, as well as CO2emissions, in the cities.

    The World Bank is helping Uzbekistan to reach a wide range of development goals by supporting 16 projects worth $ 2 billion. These projects support agriculture and water resources management, energy, transport, healthcare, education, urban development, water supply and sanitation.

    The American-Uzbekistan 
    Chamber of Commerce  
    1030 15th Street, N.W., 
    Suite 555W  
    Washington, DC 20005  
    phone: 202.509.3744