Today in Ukimet Uyi, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin met with representatives of international financial institutions - Heads of the Asian Development Bank in Kazakhstan Giovanni Capannelli, the Regional Hub of the Islamic Development Bank in Kazakhstan Hisham Taleb Maruf, regional representative office of the International Finance Corporation for Central Asia Cassandra Colbert.

During the meetings, priorities for further cooperation and implementation of joint projects in various sectors of the economy of Kazakhstan were discussed.

The meeting with D. Capannelli addressed issues of bilateral cooperation, including the implementation of the Framework Partnership Agreement, initiated by Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev for the purposes of sustainable development and growth of the country.

The discussion covered approaches to the implementation of the new Partnership Strategy for 2017-2021, technical support of the Program for the exchange of knowledge and experience, projects for the modernization of urban infrastructure, transport and logistics, as well as a number of social projects.

“The Asian Development Bank is an important strategic partner of Kazakhstan, which makes a significant contribution to the implementation of the socio-economic modernization of the country,” – the Prime Minister said.

Hisham Taleb Maruf, Director of the Regional Hub of the Islamic Development Bank in Kazakhstan, discussed the implementation of new joint projects within the Astana International Financial Center, as well as increasing cooperation in the development of regional transport infrastructure, agriculture, energy, trade, food security, including the principle of public-private partnership.

Kazakhstan is the first country in the post-Soviet space to adopt legislative amendments to introduce the principles of Islamic banking and finance. An important step in the development of cooperation between the Bank and Kazakhstan was the entry of the President of the IDB Group, Dr. Bandar Hajjar into the AIFC Management Board.

“The presence of the IDB representative in the leadership of the AIFC will help create conditions for its development as a leading international financial center,” – A. Mamin said.

At the meeting with Cassandra Colbert, the successful implementation of the Framework Partnership Agreement, signed on the initiative of the Head of State to create a diversified economy was noted. This document has been extended until the end of 2020.

The parties also discussed the draft Country Partnership Strategy for 2019-2024, which meets the strategic development goals of Kazakhstan.

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By the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan,  Madina Abylkassymova was appointed to the post of First Deputy Minister of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, according to the press service of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.

M. Abylkassymova was born in 1978. She graduated from the Kazakh State Academy of Management with a degree in International Economic Relations, Columbia University with a Master's degree in International Relations with a degree in Economic Policy Management, and the Harvard Kennedy School with Master’s in Public Administration.

From 1999 to 2001 - Chief Specialist of the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Strategic Planning.

From 2003 to 2004 - Chief Specialist, Head of the Strategic Planning Department of the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

From 2004 to 2006 - Director of the Department of State Policy Analysis of the Center for Marketing and Analytical Research JSC of the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

From 2006 to 2008 - Deputy Head of the Socio-economic Department of the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

From 2008 to 2011 - Deputy Head of the Center for Strategic Research and Analysis of the Executive Office of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

From 2011 to 2013 – Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Since 2012 - Deputy Governor for Kazakhstan at the World Bank.

From 2013 to 2014 – Deputy Minister of Economy and Budget Planning of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

From 2014 to 2018 – Deputy Minister of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

From February 2018 to February 2019 - Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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During the meeting of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, the draft State Program for the Development of the Tourism Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2019-2025 was approved.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the adoption of the State Program for the development of the tourism industry of Kazakhstan for 2019-2025 and the accompanying draft law will make it possible to join the 50 countries most attractive for travel.

The state program includes 10 systemic measures with a significant socio-economic effect.

According to the Minister, it is planned to create priority tourist areas and management companies in the TOP-10 of the most attractive tourism sites, which will allow implementing more than 200 investment projects.

The draft State Program also proposes the development of specially protected natural territories with the involvement of business for the development of tourism infrastructure.

Another measure is the construction of sanitary facilities in tourist destinations within the framework of PPP.

For the marketing and promotion of Kazakhstan on the world map of tourism, by analogy with foreign experience, it is planned to introduce a tourist fee (“Bed Tax”) from foreign citizens in the amount of 2-4 dollars per night. The measure will take effect throughout Kazakhstan from the moment the State Program is adopted.

A. Mukhamediuly also noted that the draft state program paid special attention to the liberalization of the visa regime. A set of measures will be implemented here from the optimization of the introduced e-Visa mechanism, the expansion of 72-hour visa-free transit. Along with this, it is planned to introduce the e-Hotel system and consistently address the issue of canceling invitations for foreign tourists. These measures will significantly increase the flow of foreign tourists into the country.

The draft law strengthens control over the activities of guide-interpreters with the introduction of mandatory mechanisms for their certification according to the experience of EU and OECD countries.

One of the points of the state program is the introduction of a mandatory classification of placements based on the standards of five stars. This measure will contribute to improving the quality of service and the availability of tourist products in Kazakhstan.

“It is proposed to introduce the mechanism of “KIDS GO FREE”, which fully corresponds to the appeal of the Head of State at the XVIII Congress of the Nur Otan Party to support children and promote their development,” – the Minister of Culture and Sport emphasized.

In addition, the State Program envisages the improvement of the work of checkpoints at the borders of the Republic, as well as the introduction of the TaxFree system from 2022 based on the experience of the European Union countries, Australia, Thailand, Singapore and some CIS countries. Thanks to this measure, many developed countries have increased not only trade momentum, but also shopping tourist flows.

During the consideration of the draft state program, the consultant of the Kazakhstan representative office of the international consulting company McKinsey, Jochen Berbner, delivered a speech, voicing an independent expert opinion on the development of tourist sites. At the same time, he noted that Kazakhstan has a high tourism potential and, if successfully implemented, tourism will become a new driver of the economy of Kazakhstan.

Akim of East Kazakhstan region D. Akhmetov, Deputy Akim of Akmola region K. Idrissov reported on the current situation and plans for the further development of tourism in the regions.

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At today’s Government meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, the First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Finance A. Smailov and Minister of National Economy R. Dalenov reported on the results of the socio-economic development of the country and the execution of the National budget for January-February of this year.

The Minister of National Economy, R. Dalenov, noted that in general following the results of two months of this year, GDP dynamics has accelerated, inflation remains within the corridor, investment has resumed growth, international reserves are stable.

“GDP growth accelerated to 3.5%. In January, it was 2.9%. Such dynamics are ensured by the growth of the production of goods, as well as the growth of the services sector,” – the Minister of National Economy said.

Meanwhile, there was a change in the dynamics of investment. If last month there was a decline, then in the reporting period, their growth was 4.2%. This is due to the acquisition of machinery and equipment, as well as the construction of a compressor station on the Beineu-Bozoi-Shymkent gas trunkline.

The growth of industrial production in January-February was 2.7%.

Agriculture is also showing steady growth. Here, the production volume increased by 3.6%. The growth is due to an increase in livestock production by 3.8%. At the same time, the volume of crop production remained at the same level as last year.

There was a turn in the dynamics in the construction sector. The volume of construction work increased by 2%. In general, the service sector is growing at an accelerated pace. During the reporting period, it increased by 3.9%. Significant growth was recorded in trade at the level of 7.6%. In the transport sector, growth accelerated to 4.4%. This is largely due to the increase in freight traffic.

In turn, the Chairman of the National Bank of Kazakhstan E. Dossaev said that the annual inflation slowed down. The current base rate level contributes to the achievement of the inflation targets for 2019.

“As of March 11, the tenge exchange rate was 379.48 tenge per US dollar. The National Bank will continue to adhere to the freely floating exchange rate regime. The volume of net interventions of the National Bank in the foreign exchange market in February 2019 was equal to zero,” - the Chairman of the National Bank said.

According to the data, in January 2019, deposits increased by 3.7%: in national currency they grew by 11.9%, and in foreign currency they decreased by 5%. Lending market continues to recover. In January 2019, new loans were issued by 8.2% more than the same period last year.

“The implementation of the 7-20–25 Program is carried out through 8 banks. As of March 1, banks approved 9,983 applications worth 114 billion tenge. Approved for the amount of 68 billion tenge. The National Bank conducts active outreach work, the course of the Program is covered in the media, in social networks, there is a 24-hour call-center,” - E. Dossaev said.

First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Finance A. Smailov said that according to the results of the past two months, there was an increase in revenues at all levels of the budget compared to the same period in 2018: state budget - 17.4%, National - 23.2% and local - 4.1%.

“State budget revenues were executed by 108.6% to the plan of the reporting period, including the National budget — by 102.7%, local budgets — by 128.4%,” – A. Smailov informed.

State budget expenditures were executed by 94.9%, the National budget — by 95.6%, and local budgets — by 95.9%. The National budget expenditures amounted to 1 trillion 870 billion tenge. Not executed - 86 billion tenge, of which savings amounted to 11 billion tenge. The amount of non-disbursement - 75 billion tenge. This is 54 billion tenge less compared to the same period last year.

It was noted that the expenditures of local budgets amounted to 559 billion tenge. Not executed - 24 billion tenge. The main reason for the lack of execution in all regions: the long conclusion of contracts and their late registration with the treasury bodies, backlog of work. The main reason for Almaty is a change in the structure of Akimat administrations.

In addition, in-house review through the public procurement web portal covered more than 220 thousand of public procurement procedures, and violations in the amount of 81 billion tenge were prevented.

370 audit activities were carried out. Violations in the amount of 11 billion tenge were eliminated by supplying goods, rendering services and performing work, reimbursement to the repayment budget and accounting reflection.

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On March 12, 2019, at the Government meeting chaired by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, the Forecast for the socio-economic development of Kazakhstan for 2019-2023 and the National budget for 2019-2021 were updated. The forecasts of the main macro indicators and budget parameters were reported by the First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Finance A. Smailov and Minister of National Economy R. Dalenov.

According to the Ministry of National Economy, the main factors in adjusting the macro indicators for 2019 are the publication of GDP data for 2018, changes in the dynamics of the mining industry and the service sector.

“The volume of GDP in 2018 amounted to 58.8 trillion tenge. This is a good base for the 2019 assessment. Compared to 2018, oil production will decrease by 1.4 million tons or by 1.5%. This leads to the formation of a lower growth rate of the mining industry. At the same time, higher growth is expected in the services sector. The basis for the growth of the service sector is an increase in domestic demand,” - R. Dalenov said.

Taking into account external and internal factors, the basic parameters for 2019 within the framework of the Forecast are kept at the previously approved level:

- the price of oil is $ 55 per barrel;

- Tenge exchange rate - 370 tenge per US dollar;

- annual inflation target corridor - 4-6%.

Based on the adjusted macroeconomic forecast, the forecast of the budget parameters for 2019 was updated to financially support the implementation of the new social initiatives of the Head of State, including the Address to the People of Kazakhstan and the instructions given at the XVIII Congress of the Nur Otan Party.

First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan A. Smailov said that a draft revised National budget has been developed.

“One of the main tasks facing us is, firstly, the submission to the Parliament of the draft of this revised National budget and ensuring its adoption. Secondly, for the timely delivery to the recipients of funds provided for in the revised budget, the urgent implementation of all budget procedures. Thirdly, the control over the full execution of budget revenues and the continuation of online monitoring of budget expenditures,” – A. Smailov said.

The draft budget provides for the distribution of funds in 3 directions.

First. Realization of social measures of the Head of the state “Aleumettik Qamqorlyq”, announced at the XVIII congress of the Nur Otan Party for the total amount of 444.3 billion tenge.

“Within the framework of these funds, it is planned to strengthen social support for certain categories of citizens, including raising wages for low-paid workers, disability benefits, changing the parameters of targeted social assistance, building rental housing for low-income large families and introducing concessional lending through the HCSBK, as well as developing regional infrastructure and the special project “Auyl - Yel Besigi,” – A. Smailov said.

Second. Implementation of activities in the framework of the “Year of Youth” - 24.6 billion tenge.

Third. Implementation of the instructions of the President, voiced in the Addresses of 2017 and 2018 - 286 billion tenge.

As the Minister of Finance noted, within the framework of these funds, it is planned to implement the Comprehensive Development Plans for the Turkestan Region and Astana, the construction of the Scientific and Oncology Center in Astana, the Saryarka gas pipeline, as well as the implementation of measures related to ensuring the country's security.

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The draft State Program for the Development of the Tourism Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025 was approved today at the Government meeting. Reports were delivered by the Minister of Culture and Sport, Akims of a number of regions, and in addition, opinions of independent experts were heard.

A. Mamin noted that the Head of State has repeatedly noted the great importance of the development of tourism.

“As part of the development of the tourism industry, we face a difficult, ambitious, but doable task,”- Prime Minister A. Mamin said.

According to preliminary estimates, as a result of the implementation of the State Program for the Development of the Tourism Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2025:

- The share of the tourism industry in GDP will reach 8% by 2025;

- The volume of investments for the development of tourism in the next 7 years will be 2 trillion tenge;

- About 200 thousand new jobs will be created, including 72 thousand permanent ones;

- The number of tourists will increase from 7 to 15 million people per year.

The Prime Minister noted that the tourism sector should become a driver of Kazakhstan’s economy, and all the necessary conditions and opportunities have been created for this.

The Ministry of Culture and Sport has been entrusted to submit the draft State Program for approval to the Government after consultation with the Head of State.

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Today’s Government session summed up the socio-economic development of the country and the execution of the National Budget for January-February of the year. The reports were delivered by the First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Finance A. Smailov, Chairman of the National Bank E. Dossaev and Minister of National Economy R. Dalenov .

Prime Minister Askar Mamin noted positive growth in the mining, chemical, mechanical engineering, trade, transport and agriculture sectors. In general, GDP growth for two months amounted to 3.5%.

In addition, by the end of February of this year, compared to January of this year, there is also a positive growth trend in the construction sector, attraction of investments in fixed capital, manufacturing, and metallurgy sectors.

At the same time, some regions are lagging behind in investments in fixed capital and indicators in the industrial and construction sectors.

In this regard, the Prime Minister instructed the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development, jointly with regional Akims, to study the reasons for the non-achievement of indicators and take concrete measures to achieve planned positive growth in the first quarter.

“Stable economic growth is our main task. And we must achieve at least 5% of GDP growth during the current year. To do this, we should mobilize everyone,” – A. Mamin said.

In addition, given the problems of last year’s budget disbursement at the beginning of the year, it was instructed to intensify efforts to ensure the planned monthly disbursement of allocated funds.

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The Forecast of the socio-economic development of Kazakhstan for 2019-2023 and the National Budget for 2019-2021 were updated during today’s Government session chaired by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, A. Mamin. The forecasts of the main macro indicators and budget parameters were reported by the First Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Finance A. Smailov and Minister of National Economy R. Dalenov.

The Prime Minister noted that the introduction of the submitted changes is related to the implementation of social initiatives of Yelbasy “Aleumettik Qamqorlyk”, which are aimed at improving the quality of life of the population.

“All initiatives of the President are financed, and will be implemented in full,” - Askar Mamin said, stressing the need for timely, effective and high-quality implementation of the tasks set.

Following the consideration of the issue, the relevant state bodies were tasked with submitting bills to the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the established manner.

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Today in Ukimet Uyi, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Askar Mamin, held a meeting with the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, Mammetkhan Chakiyev.

During the meeting, the sides discussed issues of deepening and expanding trade, economic and cross-border cooperation, the use of the transit-transport potential of countries, and the intensification of cooperation in the scientific, technical, cultural and humanitarian spheres. The priority is the project to create a special border trade zone on the border of Mangystau region and Balkan velayat. In addition, prospects for the implementation of a joint project to create a remote sensing system for Earth in Turkmenistan were considered.

“The Heads of our States - President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov - have instructed to achieve the billion mark in mutual trade. It is necessary to intensify the work of the joint Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation. It is necessary to gradually increase the volume of mutual trade, using tools to stimulate mutually beneficial export supplies between the two countries and expand the range of goods supplied,” – the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan said, noting the need to increase trade in such industries as metallurgy, engineering, construction materials, food, chemical products , light industry, pharmaceuticals and others.

Askar Mamin also expressed confidence that the 10th meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission, held today in Astana, will give additional impetus to cooperation and will allow solving topical issues of the bilateral agenda.

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Today in Ukimet Uyi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin received the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Kazakhstan, Alexei Borodavkin.

The discussion covered issues of further enhancing bilateral trade and economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.

A. Mamin and A. Borodavkin reviewed plans for holding the anniversary EAEU summit in Astana this year in May, the XVI Forum of interregional cooperation of Kazakhstan and Russia in Omsk in the autumn of this year. In addition, prospects for deepening cooperation in the space sector were considered. In particular, joint approaches of countries in cooperation on the Baikonur complex, including the modernization of the infrastructure of the city of Baikonur, and the implementation of the Baiterek project.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, A. Mamin, noted that the cooperation of Kazakhstan with the Russian Federation is one of the priority directions of Kazakhstan’s foreign trade activity. There is a high level of investment interaction, as well as the necessary potential for the successful implementation of the outlined tasks.

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