Tuesday, 19 November 2019, 16:26:05
The Head of State in the Address “Constructive Public Dialogue – the Basis of Stability and Prosperity of Kazakhstan” set the task to increase the efficiency of state support for export companies. It was instructed to support small and medium-sized businesses, primarily in the field of sales of domestic products. In an interview with PrimeMinister.kz, Deputy Chair of the QazTrade Center for Trade Policy Development Assel Egemberdiyeva gave more details about the measures taken to increase the export potential of Kazakhstan.
— QazTrade was created in September 2019 as a single window for working with all export-oriented entrepreneurs and business entities. Tell us more about your company, what are its main functions, how is the work structured?
— The President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed to build a high-quality support system for exporters. Recently, a single window for exporters has been created on the basis of the Trade Policy Development Center, which suggests that today an exporter can come to us and receive information and analytical support on support measures, access to foreign markets, and any potential goods. As part of a single window, a single portal export.gov.kz will operate, which we plan to launch in December 2019. This will be a resource for feedback from exporters. They may apply for support measures. The portal will be interesting for importers of Kazakhstani products, who can find potential exporters, suppliers of Kazakhstani products on this portal.
— In the Address to the people of Kazakhstan, the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed to strengthen efficiency measures to support exporters. We often hear about grants, microcredit, and preferences. Could you tell us what measures of state support of exporters generally exist and how effective they are?
— The success of developed countries in trade policy depends on the support measures for exporters that they provide. Today in Kazakhstan, as in many developed countries, financial and non-financial support measures are provided. Financial support measures are provided by Kazakh Export, the Development Bank of Kazakhstan and the Damu Fund. Non-financial support measures are provided by Atameken NCE, the Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which organizes trade and economic missions, exhibitions abroad, which conclude export contracts. Also, on the basis of KazIndustry, reimbursement of part of the costs of exporters for the promotion of products is provided. It can be advertising, certification, rent of exporters ’premises, that is, such a large set of support measures that exporters receive today.
I also want to note that, probably, the most necessary measure of support is obtaining information and analytical support. As the President noted, today it is necessary to strengthen the analytical support of exporters in order to protect their national interests. Therefore, QazTrade will become a platform for providing such informational and analytical support to exporters.
— Regarding the information and analytical work of QazTrade, have there been any proposals for new measures of state support for business entities that are export-oriented?
— At present, we are developing and implementing the Export Acceleration Program. This is a new measure of support that will be offered to exporters from next year. This year we are developing a methodological basis, studying international experience. We have already studied the experience of Canada, Australia, the USA, which are advanced countries in implementing this program. Today we have about 460 exporters. We believe that the figure is small. There is great potential for enterprises to enter foreign markets. The export acceleration program should help exporters from production to entering foreign markets and concluding export contracts. That is, we will attract international business consultants who will train our exporters in export activities and general economic activities. In principle, international practice shows that the effect of the program is good. This will help us grow new exporters. The program will be launched next year, and we will see the first results of the program.
— Could you name the key problems that exporters face today, what are their main requests?
— In fact, there are many problems, and the problems probably depend on the specifics of entering foreign markets. That is, the problem depends on the market. The main ones are the high transportation costs, the complexity of logistics, and non-compliance with international standards. In this regard, the government has developed a Roadmap for the promotion of non-primary goods, which provides a set of measures to remove external and internal barriers for exporters. However, recently, the Ministry of Trade and Integration launched a pool of seminars to train domestic producers, laboratories on meeting the requirements for entering foreign markets with the involvement of international experts who will help to comply with all the rules.
Also, on behalf of the president of the country, we are now conducting a survey of exporters to identify pressing problems in accessing foreign markets, as well as those needs that they need. Upon completion, the Ministry will develop proposals for further improvement of support measures.
— Please tell us about the export of non-primary goods.
— Today we see that in the structure of Kazakhstan's export, the share of raw materials exceeds the share of processed goods. For example, if Kazakhstan exports about 80 finished products, then our neighbors: Russia — 360, Belarus — 700, China — 1,400. We have huge potential for the development of export of finished agricultural and industrial products. The President has set the task for us to double the share of non-oil exports by 2025. Therefore, now the Ministry is actively developing measures to develop and promote the export of non-primary goods. In particular, a state program of industrial and innovative development is being developed, which is focused on export industrialization and which should ensure the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry in the domestic and foreign markets.
— Lately, we hear more often about the development of online trading. This is a global trend that is developing quite dynamically in Kazakhstan. Regarding the development of electronic commerce, how are export support measures developed?
— We see a huge potential for the development of electronic commerce. Today we can say that electronic trading floors are another export channel for our non-primary products. In conjunction with the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs, the Ministry of Trade and Integration recently held an Exporters School, which resulted in the selection of 50 manufacturers who will be provided with gold accounts for the Alibaba site. They will have access to sell their products through this platform. That is, within the framework of the seminar, active producers were identified with the potential, necessary resources, to which the state will provide gold accounts.
— Will Kazakhstanis be able to contact QazTrade for advice on developing their business in online trading?
— This will be a new direction in the development of QazTrade. Next year we plan to become an operator. If we bring 50 domestic manufacturers to Alibaba this year, then next year, if the experience is successful, it is planned to bring the same number of entrepreneurs to this site. In principle, QazTrade will provide full support for producers.
— The Prime Minister Askar Mamin instructed to develop a Roadmap of E-Commerce until 2025. Will QazTrade make proposals in terms of its own competence?
— Now we are actively working in this direction. In terms of export development and promotion on electronic platforms, we also give our proposals and actively participate.
— Assel Erikovna, what recommendations can you give to novice businessmen who want to start a new business in the e-commerce industry?
— On the basis of QazTrade, we will teach entrepreneurs to develop e-commerce specifically in terms of export. Also, within the framework of the Acceleration Program, training is provided, increasing the competence of producers in terms of electronic commerce.
— At the end of the interview, could you tell me how citizens can get to you for a consultation, where can they go, are there single call centers or a telegram channel?
— In December, the portal will begin to function. Generally, we plan to manage all communication with exporters through this channel. A call center will be provided. Starting next year, QazTrade will actively and fully provide all the necessary services within a single window, including in the regions.
— Thanks for the interview!