Positive trends observed in real sector of economy - first quarter outcomes
ASTANA. April 23. KAZINFORM /Muratbek Makulbekov/ Indicators of socio-economic development of the country for the first quarter of this year, presented at a meeting of the Kazakh Government on April 21, show that Kazakhstan's economy is stable against the backdrop of deteriorating global financial and economic crisis. The past two months are marked with slowdown in the GDP reduction. This was possible because the Government started to pay more attention to those economic sectors that have competitive advantages potential. The growth performance in those sectors suggests a trend of turning them into leaders of the national economy in the post-crisis period. For example, in the current year in the framework of the “30 corporate leaders”, it is planned to implement “Reconstruction of Taraz Metallurgical Plant ferroalloys and steel products” project. To date, the first stage of the program is maintained in accordance with the network schedule. It should be noted that the company already shipments scarce export products. Since the beginning of the year the company has produced a commodity product to 141,158 thousand tenge. Six special economic zones operate in the country: “Morport Aktau”; “Astana - New City”; “Park of information technologies”; “Îңòүñò³ê”; “National industrial petrochemical technology park” and “Burabai”.Astana and Temirtau have their own industrial zones. Particular attention is paid to creating conditions for sustained growth of agricultural production. This year sown area of crops will be increased by 409.8 thousand hectares, and reach 16,600. The Government also supports such branches of agriculture like horticulture and viticulture. 1.9 bln tenge has been allocated to support the development of seed production in 2009. Gross agricultural output in January-March this year amounted to 134.9 bln tenge, including livestock - 130,5 bln tenge, crop production - 4.5 bln tenge, which is higher against the last year level. The total investment in fixed assets in January-March 2009, taking into account the extra-evaluation was 639.3 bln tenge. There has been an increase in investment in machinery, equipment, inventory and other capital works. The volume of investment has been increased by more than 1.2 times. The Government provides substantial funding to support the construction industry. During January-March 2009 the Government invested 54.1 billion tenge, or 40.3 percent more than in January-March 2008.One thousand square meters of total area of residential buildings, representing 92.6 per cent more than in the first quarter of 2008 were put into operation. An important part of the real economy is transportation. During the first quarter of this year, the number of transported passengers increased by 1.7 per cent and made 2,458 million passengers. Passenger turnover increased by 0.5 per cent and amounted to 27 billion passenger-kilometers. In the current year, 497 km long road is scheduled to be completed and commissioned. Number of routes and frequency of flights in civil aviation remains the same. Volumes of traffic through the ports of Aktau and Bautino have been increased. As a result of measures taken to stabilize the economy, the Government managed to maintain a long-term investment attractiveness of Kazakhstan for foreign investors. This is particularly important in the context of global economic crisis, when all banks in the world are experiencing difficulties and their credit policy is very prudent. Despite this, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development granted $180 mln loan to Kazakhstan for the construction of a transit road corridor “Western Europe - Western China”. Moreover, this year the management of the Bank intends to increase investment in Kazakhstan. During N. Nazarbaev’s visit to the People's Republic of China, the agreement was concluded on China's participation in the implementation of oil and gas projects on the shelf of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea. China provides loans to Kazakhstan in the amount of $10 bln. Furthermore, quite recently the representatives of the bank “Al-Hilyal” (UAE) announced the intention of the bank to invest $1 bln into the economy of Kazakhstan.