Tenge depreciation not enough to help Kazakh exporters17 november 2015, 14:01
The depreciation of the Kazakh tenge does not solve all the problems of Kazakhstan businesses, deputy chairman of the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs Atameken Nurzhan Altayev is quoted by Tengrinews as saying.
On August 20, Kazakhstan shifted to a free floating exchange rate of the Kazakh tenge. Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said the government and the National Bank made the decision at the request of Kazakhstani exporters, the National Chamber Atameken, and small and medium-sized businesses. However, Altayev said at the recent press-conference in Astana that the devaluation of the Kazakh tenge was not enough to help the national exporters out of the crisis.
Since the fall of 2014, the Russian ruble has lost value dramatically, pushing down the prices of Russian products. Therefore, Altayev said, Kazakhstani businesses were experiencing a strong pressure from Russian producers. “Even in southern regions of Kazakhstan, where Russian goods had rarely been seen before, domestic manufacturers began to experience problems because of the influx of goods from Russia,” Altayev said.
According to Altayev, to solve the problems of Kazakhstani businesses, policy-makers had to achieve purchasing power parity between the Kazakh tenge and the Russian ruble. He admitted that the depreciation of the Kazakh tenge had had a positive effect on Kazakhstani entrepreneurs who used local primary products. However, the new exchange rate did not help the local producers who use imported components in their businesses.
The depreciation of tenge, on the opposite, had a negative impact on the businesses that use imported components. A solution, according to Altayev, could be to substitute the imported components with local primary materials. “The issue is, our producers need to increase local content in their manufactured goods. Then they will not experience problems when the dollar rises,” Altayev said.
Thus, devaluing the tenge was not enough to help the domestic manufacturers. According to Altayev, a further set of measures is needed to help Kazakhstani businesses out of the crisis. One of the measures that could help the domestic producer would be to assist them in substituting imported components with local components.
Reporting by Assemgul Kassenova, writing by Indira Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina