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Kazakh PM Smailov

Kazakh PM Smailov Chairs Meeting to Boost Import Substitution and Export Potential

Astana, January 26, 2024, The Europe Today: Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov led a session of the Domestic Entrepreneurs Council, focusing on strategies to enhance import substitution and increase export potential. The meeting, attended by key officials, akimats, national companies, and representatives from the Atameken National Entrepreneurship Chamber and business sector, aimed at fostering a comprehensive approach to economic development.

Prime Minister Smailov emphasized Kazakhstan’s ample potential to establish local production for a significant portion of imported goods. He reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for the development of competitive enterprises and acknowledged the need for a favorable climate to promote domestic industries.

The discussion covered crucial aspects such as technical regulation, certification, the transfer and implementation of advanced technologies, localization, decarbonization of productions, financing accessibility, raw material availability, public procurements, state support measures, and legislative enhancements.

Minister of Industry and Construction Kanat Sharlapaev provided insights into the positive trends, revealing that in the first 11 months of 2023, the country’s foreign trade turnover in the processing industry reached $74.2 billion, marking a 12% increase. He highlighted the successful entry into 179 long-term agreements and offtake contracts worth 66 billion tenge with major customers.

To stimulate import substitution, the government initiated a mechanism for supplying raw materials to processing enterprises. Agreements on essential metals such as aluminum, copper, and lead have been concluded, enabling deeper processing and expanding the range of domestically produced goods.

The optimization of special economic and industrial zones is underway to provide enterprises with broader access to infrastructure. Investment projects in processing industries, focusing on import substitution and export, are being implemented, creating employment opportunities and fostering economic growth.

In 2023, 170 projects totaling 930 billion tenge were launched, creating over 12,000 permanent jobs. For 2024, plans include the implementation of 180 projects worth 1.5 trillion tenge, with employment opportunities for 18,000 people. These projects span various sectors, including a ferro-alloy plant in Pavlodar region, truck component manufacturing in Kostanay region, a forging and bandage complex in Pavlodar region, a household appliances plant in Almaty region, and production of components for wind-power plants in Karaganda region.

Prime Minister Smailov emphasized the ongoing importance of developing import substitution as a key factor in ensuring a sustainable economy. He highlighted government programs promoting in-country value and export-oriented productions, emphasizing the significance of timely renovation and the launch of new enterprises to drive economic progress.