GOVERNMENT Weekly REVIEW. Cabinet sums up country's development in Jan-Sep 2009. Common customs space approved. EurAsEC Customs Union Commission. President Nazarbayev visits Turkey.

ASTANA. October 23.KAZINFORM /Rizvana Sadykova/ This week Kazakh government led several important meetings. First of all, the results of the socio-economic development of Kazakhstan over nine months of 2009 and tasks for the fourth quarter of the year were discussed at the session of the Government. As Kazakh Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Bakhyt Sultanov informed, KZT 42 billion will be budgeted through the Stress Assets Fund into boosting of processing industry.

Another "KZT 20 billion will be allocated for business loans in 20 subsectors of processing industry through the second-tier banks that will invest additional KZT 8.5 billion of own assets as well", the Minister noted. According to him, another KZT 20 billion will be invested through the Development Bank of Kazakhstan in low-profit industries. The Bank will allot KZT 30 billion more of own assets for these projects. KZT 2 billion will be given to small and medium businesses for equipment leasing. Kazakhstan economy will be maintained also due to the Fund of Stress Assets.

The money of the Fund will be directed to crediting business, especially enterprises of processing industry, and to support housing investors, he said. According to the PM, KZT 20 bln of the Fund and KZT 8.5 bln from the banks will be spent for refinancing standard loans in processing industry at 8% per annum. KZT 2 bln is envisaged for financing leasing deals in processing industry. The rate for the borrowers is fixed at 8%. He has charged to achieve GDP positive growth Tuesday at the session of the Government on the results of nine months of 2009.

Giving a lecture at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Head of the State Nazarbayev said: "The current crisis is a new level phenomenon. The whole world was covered with it. The losses of the global economy are estimated at USD 3.5 trln. In these conditions our decisions were quite right and timely". Kazakhstan shows the signs of economic renovation indeed. This could be reached due to two factors primarily - timely allocation of funds for financing economy and authorities' hard work. The country adopted a package of stabilization measures and the National fund has allotted additional USD 10 bln for this aim. As a result, in the 3rd quarter of 2009 unemployment made 6.3% countrywide that is 0.1% less than in the same period in 2008.  In August the number of employed people was 8.1 mln that is 186, 700 people more than in 2008. In this view the president highlighted that due to the anti-crisis measures the unemployment rate was reduced by 6% while in many countries it rose. Besides, real income of the population, wages and social benefits keeps growing amid inflation slowdown. On Jan 1, 2009 the size of minimum wage was fixed at KZT 13, 470 (12% higher than in 2008). Since Jul 1 it has been raised up to 13, 717. Alongside, the wages of public sector employees rose by 25%, pension payments were raised by 22-30%. Basic pension payments were increased up to KZT 5, 487, public welfare benefits rose by 12% in average.

Commenting on the situation Prime Minister Karim Massimov noted that despite the economic slowdown we could avoid catastrophic consequences of the crisis due to the operative measures in this period. In addition, K. Massimov determined three major directions of Cabinet's actions in future: "Control, quality and personnel training are three priorities for us". The Majilis of the Kazakhstan's Parliament has approved the draft law "On guaranteed transfer from the National Fund for 2010-2012" at its plenary sitting today. Minister of Economy and Budget Planning B. Sultanov noted that the National Fund revenues are expected to make KZT 1.371 trillion or 7.9% to the GDP in 2010. "The guaranteed transfer from the National Fund to the budget makes about KZT 1 trillion annually. It is not more than 33% of all assets of the fund as of the end of the year", the Minister said. He also informed of the accumulation of assets of the National Fund to USD 31 billion forecast till the end of 2012.

Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus will access the WTO together and on agreed terms, First Vice Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeyev has announced following the ninth session of the EurAsEC Customs Union Commission in Moscow. "Our position on the WTO is unchanged - we will hold talks within a joint group of negotiators headed by Maksim Medvedkov. Kazakhstani side will be led by Zhanar Aitzhanova", the Vice PM said. As Igor Shuvalov, First Vice Chairman of the Russian Government, pointed out, the WTO Secretariat had already received all necessary information. "The Customs Union member countries intend to carry out active work on changing their common tariff plan in order to let their major trade partners set to negotiations regarding certain positions, customs duties which will be  agreed within the Customs Union", he noted. Shuvalov also added that the negotiating group debated the issues both on behalf of the Customs Union and each member country. "In case if it is necessary to change this format we will adopt appropriate decisions but they will be coordinated among our countries", he said. The Agreement on common customs tariffs, Document on common Customs Code of the Customs Union and Agreement on common conditions of non-tariff regulation as Kazakh Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Zhanar Aitzhanova announced it on Thursday. As was earlier informed, these documents will be signed by presidents of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus in Minsk on November 27. "We discussed the issues of coming into force of the Customs Code.  We had to cancel customs control at the Kazakh-Russian border on July 1, 2011", Kazakh First Vice Prime Minister Umirzak Shukeyev said.  "The Kazakh delegation proposes to make it one year earlier, from July 1, 2010. We decided to discuss all issues and return to the mechanism of such acceleration in January, 2010", Mr. Shukeyev added. Also he added that the sides considered the issue of introduction of common customs tariffs. All issues connected with transitional periods are agreed. Common customs tariffs are agreed on 100 percent and are ready for discussion by our presidents.

Thursday Nursultan Nazarbayev arrived in Ankara, Turkey. The Head of the State began his visit form flower laying to the Mausoleum and visiting the museum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and First President of Turkey. As earlier reported, the program of visit includes meetings of the Kazakh President with Turkish President Abdullah Gül, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chairman of the Parliament Mehmet Ali Shahin, and heads of the leading political parties and public organizations of Turkey. The Head of the State will meet with Former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, visit headquarter of TURKSOI in Ankara, take part in the opening of joint business forum in Istanbul.

The President was accompanied by State Secretary - Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, Head of "Samruk Kazyna" Fund Kairat Kelimbetov, Minister of Tourism and Sport, Co-chairman of the Kazakh-Turkish intergovernmental commission Temirkhan Dosmukhambetov, Minister of Education and Science Zhanseit Tuimebayev, Minister of Culture and Information Mukhtar Kul-Mukhammed, Minister of Industry and Trade Asset Issekeshev, Mayors of Astana and Almaty Imangali Tasmagambetov and Akhmetzhan Yessimov and other officials.  The same day Turkey and Kazakhstan signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement. Kazakh President noted that Turkey was one of the first countries that recognized independence of our country. At present 1.400 joint enterprises in the sphere of construction, agriculture, metallurgy, oil and gas function in Kazakhstan. The Turkish companies took active part in the Astana construction. Activity of the International Kazakh-Turkish University named after K.A.Yassawi in Turkestan, Suleyman Demirel University, 24 Kazakh-Turkish lyceums are examples of successful interaction in the education sphere. "Annually 200.000 Kazakhstani tourists visit Antalya", President Nazarbayev said. Turkish President Abdullah Gul, in his turn, noted that the Strategic Partnership Agreement is the only document signed between the Turkic countries and Central Asian states. He noted the fact that in 2010 Turkey will chair the CICA, Kazakhstan - the OSCE. Both countries will ensure the European and Asian security vector. In the course of the visit agreements in the field of military-technical cooperation, in the sphere of tourism and environmental protection were signed. According to Kazakh Leader Transit of the Kazakhstani hydrocarbons to Europe via Turkey is beneficial to both countries. "Turkey is situated between Europe and Asia, and will be a transit country and, if the Kazakh oil and gas go through this corridor, it will be beneficial to Turkey and Kazakhstan", he emphasized. According to the Head of the State, bilateral trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Turkey makes USD 3 bln, and there is big potential for its expansion. According to President Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan investments in Turkey make USD 4 bln while Turkish ones make USD 1 bln. More than 1, 400 joint enterprises are functioning in our country to date. "These results are quite positive however our potential is not limited", the Kazakh President concluded.

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