WEEKLY REVIEW: Kazakhstan changes management and strategy of special economic zones' development and increases financing of the primary medical care

ASTANA. July 19. KAZINFORM Last week the Government of Kazakhstan has solved some issues concerning activity of the special economic zones and considered preparation for the heating season.

On Tuesday, July 15, Vice Minister of Industry and New Technologies Albert Rau reported that over the past four years Kazakhstan attracted about 170 billion U.S. dollars in investments. The package of investment preferences was expanded in order to improve the investment climate. Investment legislation is being improved. A platform for dialogue with investors has been formed.

Albert Rau also told about the performance of the special economic zones. "For the entire period of their functioning 97 billion tenge was allocated from the national budget. Private investments amounted to 308 billion tenge," Rau said. Kazakhstani SEZs produced goods worth 270 billion tenge. He noted that about 28 billion tenge was paid in taxes, so nearly a third of the allocated budget funds were returned.

Summing up the discussion, the Prime Minister supported the proposed approach in the development of special economic zones and noted the need for "continuous promotion of the country's attractiveness in terms of tough competition for global investment. Serik Akhmetov stressed the need for "a clear development strategy for each special economic zone. It is necessary to bring all the work done to a logical conclusion."

The Prime Minister also expressed the need for "specifying criteria for selection of projects to be placed in special economic zones, making the focus on high-tech and innovation projects and productions."

In this regard, Akhmetov instructed the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies together with the concerned government agencies and akimats of the regions, Astana and Almaty cities continue to attract investment and develop special economic zones. The Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning should study the issue of the financing mechanism of management companies. The Ministry of Regional Development in cooperation with akimats was charged to continue work on the development of industrial zones, as well as to prepare proposals for the next package of changes to the program "Business Road Map 2020".

In addition, the same day Serik Akhmetov visited ArcelorMittal Temirtau JSC and held a meeting on social economic development of Temirtau city.

On July 17, the head of the Government had a telephone talk with his Kyrgyz counterpart Zhantoro Satybaldiyev. Bilateral cooperation issues and Bystrotok situation were discussed.

On Thursday, Minister of Oil and Gas Uzakbai Karabalin being on a visit to Atyrau region informed that experimental commercial oil production at Kashagan deposit will begin no later than October of the current year. Besides, Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Yerbol Orynbayev visited a number of medical facilities during his working trip to Karaganda region on July 18.

In particular, Mr. Orynbayev and Minister of Healthcare of Kazakhstan Salidat Kairbekova got familiarized with the region's Center of traumatology and orthopedics named after Pr. Makazhanov.

"Due to introduction of the Unified National Healthcare System the sphere of medical services has become quite competitive. More than two thousand operations on replacement of hip and knee joints bear the witness to this," the Deputy Prime Minister noted.

Moreover, on July 18, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov received Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission (CMC) Fan Changlong. The head of the Kazakh Government noted, Kazakhstan lays emphasis upon good neighbourliness with China and expressed himself in favor of strenghtening of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

In turn, Fan Changlong also expressed interest in bilateral relations' deepening and spoke of the perspectives of cooperation in military education.

On Friday, July 19, state officials' delegation, headed by Alikhan Baimenov, Chairman of the Agency for Civil Service Affairs, paid a working visit to the UK and the Netherlands. The parties exchanged views on matters of senior civil service (similar to the administrative body "A" in Kazakhstan), ethical conduct of civil servants, professional development and training of staff, and provision of public services.

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