By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Kazakhstan aims to increase the country’s economic growth by 4.7-5 percent in 2020, Prime Minister Askar Mamin said during a government session on the results of the socio-economic development for 2019 and the tasks for the current year.
Mamin noted that the government has been tasked with creating 430,000 new jobs, bringing investments in fixed assets to 20 percent of GDP, increasing non-oil exports to $18.6 billion (+ $3 billion), and increasing real household income by six percent (+0.5 percentage points), bringing the share of SMEs in the economy to 30 percent.
“The main priority of the Government’s work is the transformation of economic growth into a real increase in the standard of living of our citizens,” Mamin emphasized.
Mamin underlined that the main priority of the government is to increase real incomes and the quality of life of the population.
In 2020, he added, the government will continue to work in seven strategic areas: attracting investment, creating jobs with high productivity, developing infrastructure, export-oriented industrialization, fuel and energy and agro-industrial complexes, and digitalizing the economy.
As for the end of 2019, real incomes of the Kazakh population grew by 5.5 percent, while GDP growth amounted to 4.5 percent. Over 85 percent of the growth was provided by non-resource sectors.
The main growth drivers were construction (12.9 percent), trade (7.6 percent), transport (5.1 percent) and industry (3.8 percent). In the manufacturing industry, growth was 4.4 percent, which was achieved through the automotive industry (63 percent), the production of machinery and equipment (22 percent), pharmaceuticals (12 percent), light industry (14 percent) and the production of beverages (10 percent). The mining industry grew by 3.7 percent as a result of an increase in metal ore production by 16 percent.
Investments in fixed assets increased by 8.5 percent, including private investment (9.5 percent). Inflation is in the planned corridor of 4-6 percent at the level of 5.4 percent (in 2018 5.3 percent).
Real incomes increased by 5.5 percent. In 2019, wages were increased for 2.7 million citizens, including due to measures to increase the minimum wage (1.5 times to 42.500 tenges), which received wide support among businesses. The labor market remains stable. The unemployment rate was 4.8 percent. More than 423,000 new jobs were created, including 279,000 permanent ones.
Revenues to the state budget excluding transfers amounted to 9.688 trillion tenges (101.2 percent of the plan), which is 1.5 trillion tenges more than in 2018. Foreign trade turnover rose to $97 billion, including export - $60 billion; import - $37 billion.
In 2019, about $25 billion of foreign direct investment was attracted. The share of SMEs in the economy reached 29.5 percent. The number of operating enterprises grew by eight percent. By 1 January 2020, the comprehensive privatization plan was implemented by 93 percent.
“In the context of increasing global competition for investment, the Government focuses on attracting a new wave of investment in the country's economy. Our strategic task is to increase the volume of investments in fixed assets annually by 15 percent and bring its level to 30 percent of GDP by 2025 (18.2 percent in 2019),” said Mamin.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz