Nazarbayev says Mangistau economy rests on oil production, there is need to develop other sectors05 october 2014, 13:31
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with entrepreneurs and community representatives in Aktau, a city in Western Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing the official website of the President.
During the meeting, Akim of Mangistau Oblast Alik Aidarbayev presented a report on socio-economic development of the region and the Minister for Investment and Development Asset Issekeshev reported on the course of implementation of the state-run industrial and innovation program in the area.
On his part, Nazarbayev touched upon a variety of topics.
First, he said there was a need to develop industries that are not related to oil, like logistics, transit, services and tourism in Mangistau.
“So far the region's economy rests on oil production, while the share of small and medium business makes only 18 percent. Therefore, we should pay more attention to other sectors," Nazarbayev said.
For example, he said the “significant deposits of uranium, strontium, manganese, copper and mineral salts” allowed boosting the metallurgical industry.
The president instructed forming an ad hoc working group and welcomed proposals for the development of Kenderli and other attractive areas.
Kazakhstan President stressed that the region showed a good fertility rate and life expectancy, as well as reduced infant and maternal mortality.
"However, the availability of medical personnel is 20 percent below the country's average. The deficit of places in kindergartens stands at 12 thousand, which is one of the worst country-wise. This region is one of the leaders in the country by the influx of people from other regions and neighboring countries," he said.
The President noted that the government needed to create conditions to encourage migration to other priority regions.
He also said that the region lies in the desert area, which made agriculture there difficult.
"Mangistau region consumes 20,000 tons of meat per year and produces 5.5 tons. 500 tonnes of fish are caught in the region per year, while the demand is 5000 tons. Meanwhile, neighboring Atyrau Oblast is self-sufficient with all the necessary products, including vegetables, fruit and meat. It is necessary to comprehensively solve problems of development of agriculture in the region. And small and medium-sized businesses should join this task," Nazarbayev said.
Nazarbayev addressed the issue of further development of the Special Economic Zone in Aktau.
"The first venue was built in 2012, costing $7 billion tenge of state budget money. However, of 31 registered projects in the zone only 5 now operate. The available enterprises produced goods worth more than 220 billion tenge (approx. $1.21 billion) and have paid almost 10 billion tenge (approx. $55 million) in taxes. There is pay off, so it is necessary to further realize their potential. It is necessary to seriously speed up all the other projects and start attracting new investors," the head of state said.
Nazarbayev also noted the positive dynamics in the development of the region connected to its geographical location. It is one of the only two Oblasts in Kazakhstan that have access to the Caspian Sea.
"The capacity of Aktau seaport has been increased from 12.5 to 16 million tons, and by 2020 it will be further increased to 22 million tons of cargo per year. Iran is ready to buy up to 6 million tons of grain per year. Agreements reached with the country in this and other areas are opening up new opportunities of access to foreign markets. With Aktau seaport, our country has a great export potential," he said.
In addition, the Kazakh President said that a logistics center in Aktau was to be built together with Azerbaijan will open access to quality cheap fruit and vegetables for all Kazakhstani consumers.
Nazarbayev once again drew attention to the importance of attracting foreign investment and using the available capacities for dynamic development of the region.
By Dinara Urazova