In the course of the meeting, the President was provided with reports on the state of the country's armed forces and progress in implementing the Ministry's work plan for the current period.

The President of Kazakhstan paid special attention to the implementation of measures of social support of servicemen and stressed the importance of continuing work in this regard.

The Minister of Defence conveyed to Nursultan Nazarbayev words of gratitude from servicemen of the Kazakh army for the decision to raise wages.

In addition, Saken Zhasuzakov told the President about further steps to resolve the servicemen’s housing issue through the use of rental housing and the housing savings system.

The Defence Minister also provided the President with information on the material-and-technical equipment of the country's armed forces and the work carried out regarding the military-patriotic education of youth during 2017.

Following the meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev gave a number of specific instructions.

www.primeminister.kz

The Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved a bill ratifying the agreement letter between Kazakhstan and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, amending the agreement on the construction of the corridor "Western Europe - Western China".

"The basic agreement on the loan was signed on June 13, 2009 for the amount of 2 million USD for reconstruction of the sections of Kyzylorda and South Kazakhstan regions stretching 1056 km, and on May 23, 2012, Amendment No. 1 to the Loan Agreement was signed with the addition of a new section meant for reconstruction of the Shymkent - Zhambyl region highway stretching 80 km", - Minister of Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek said, presenting the bill.

According to him, currently construction work has been completed on these sections and the road has been put in operation.

The Minister said that tender results and the past devaluation allowed saving funds.

“The total amount of savings is 395 million dollars. The Government made a decision to use 271.2 million USD of the savings for the reconstruction of the Kurty-Burylbaytal (85 km) and Uzynagash-Otar (96 km) sections. These funds will be used to build a road with asphalt concrete pavement and four-lane traffic stretching 181 km, 14 bridges and 181 culverts. Taking into account that the implementation of the Kurty-Burylbaytal (85 km) and Uzynagash-Otar (96 km) projects is envisaged at the expense of the savings, there will be no changes in the loan amount and the obligations of the borrower. The project implementation period is 2018-2020,” – the Minister said.

The implementation of the projects is carried out within the Nurly Zhol Infrastructure Development Program for 2015-2019.

KAZINFORM

The Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan today at the plenary session approved the draft Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with amendments to some Constitutional Laws of the country.

According to Minister of Justice Marat Beketayev, the bill provides for amendments to six Constitutional Laws. It is designed to further improve legislation on the judicial system, state symbols, the activities of the Constitutional Council and the Astana International Financial Center.

“Namely, “On the judicial system and the status of judges” is amended in the following ways. A written guarantee for a candidate for the position of regional court judge is signed by the judges of the regional court. In the case if judges from other regions participate in the selection, the written guarantee is signed by the judge of the Supreme Court. Appointment of a judge to the judicial machinery without conducting a selection to the candidate pool and competition and preserving the judges’ seats. Inclusion of the hours spent working in the judicial machinery in the employment history of the judge and other amendments,” – the Minister said.

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Law "On the Astana International Financial Center" provides for the following changes. In order to bring it in line with the Constitution of the Republic, it is specified that a special financial legal regime is applied within the city of Astana.

“A center manager and an international arbitration center are established as the center’s bodies. The control routine for using budgetary funds allocated to the center will be carried out jointly with the Ministry of Finance and the center manager,” – he explained.

Also, amendments were made to the Constitutional Law "On the Constitutional Council" regarding the oath taking of the Chairman and members of the Constitutional Council in the order determined by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In order to bring the Constitutional Law "On State Symbols" in accordance with the Constitution, the concept of "central executive bodies that are not members of the Government" is excluded from the text.

"Adoption of this bill will ensure more precise regulation of the activities of state bodies," – M. Beketayev concluded.

KAZINFORM

A military delegation of the Republic of Kazakhstan headed by Deputy Minister of Defence Lieutenant-General Talgat Mukhtarov took part in the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference, which was held November 14-16, 2017 in Vancouver (Canada).

The conference was attended by more than 80 official delegations of UN member states and international organizations, as well as Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and the special representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie.

In his speech, the Deputy Minister of Defence highlighted issues of interaction between military departments of the UN member states in working out joint participation in peacekeeping missions in the context of Kazakhstan's upcoming chairmanship of the UN Security Council in January 2018.

"This work is aimed to effectively promote initiatives defined by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev in the Manifesto "The World. XXI century” and the Political appeal to the UN Security Council,” – Lieutenant-General T. Mukhtarov said.

Within the framework of the event, the Kazakh military delegation met with the Minister of National Defense of Canada, Harjit Sajjan and his First Deputy, Jody Thomas. The parties discussed promising areas for developing military cooperation between Kazakhstan and Canada. The host country warmly welcomed the intensification of Kazakhstan’s activities in peacekeeping affairs, as well as ensuring international security and regional stability.

Also, in order to discuss earlier agreements and further expand bilateral and multilateral defense cooperation, the delegation held a number of meetings with the leaders of the military delegations of Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Malaysia, the United States, Japan, as well as with the UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.

Press service of the Ministry of Defence

Today in Ukimet Uyi, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev held a meeting with representatives of Chevron led by John Watson, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the corporation.

The meeting focused on issues of further implementation of joint projects in the oil and gas sector.

For reference: Chevron is the world's fifth largest integrated energy company and the leading private oil producer operating in the Caspian region. The company is engaged in the extraction and processing of oil and gas, petrochemicals, electricity generation, geothermal energy and biofuel development.

In Kazakhstan, Chevron is a shareholder in Tengizchevroil LLP (50%), the Karachaganak project (18%), Caspian Pipeline Consortium (15%).

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During the Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population Tamara Duissenova reported on the ongoing work to digitalize the social and labor sphere.

T. Duissenova elaborated on the Single Information System, which covers the entire social and labor sphere, i.e. labor relations and employment, pensions, social security, social insurance, social services, migration.

“This system accompanies Kazakhstanis from birth through the whole life cycle and provides automated services at all stages,” – the Minister stressed.

The number of services provided is constantly growing. Over 19 million services have been provided this year, 17% of which was through the eGov portal. Data on all service recipients is updated online, which allows monitoring the security of social rights of citizens and, if necessary, making relevant decisions.

Within the framework of executing the instructions of the President, the Electronic Labor Exchange is operating since October 2017. In a month and a half, 15 thousand people have found a job by means of the Electronic Labor Exchange that corresponds to their specialization and experience. To date, more than 8 thousand resumes and about 30 thousand vacancies are posted in the electronic exchange. The exchange is already working, beginning next year all 199 employment centers (currently 4), about 10 employment websites (currently 2) will be connected to it and the number of involved private employment agencies will approximately double (currently 19).

"The introduction of the Electronic Labor Exchange will make it possible to double the employment rate to 20% by 2025 from the current 10% of the total number of people in need of employment (2.2 million people),” – T. Duissenova said.

At the same time, a simplified mechanism for registration in state revenue agencies will be implemented for the self-employed (with income below 12 MCI) on the basis of the Electronic Labor Exchange.

In addition, a single system will be introduced for the registration of labor contracts. According to the speaker, the transition of labor contracts into electronic form will allow abandoning paper work record books and will lay the foundation for introducing universal income declaration.

Regarding the social security system for people with disabilities, the transition to a composite service for medical and social examination has been carried out, that is, now a person applies only to one organization to receive the corresponding social services, instead of three. According to T. Duissenova, the services will become even more accessible - there will be no need to be personally present at the examination, the application will be submitted electronically via eGov. Another project is the social register of needy citizens.

Finally, T. Duissenova noted that further digitization of the social and labor sphere will be carried out in accordance with a number of topical challenges: updating the social status of citizens, preventing serious social risks and switching state services to a pro-active format. To successfully solve these issues, the development of the Ministry's information resources will be continued within the framework of the state program Digital Kazakhstan.

In addition, Minister of Information and Communication D. Abayev delivered a report on measures provided within the framework of digitalizing the social and labor sphere, in accordance with the draft state program "Digital Kazakhstan".

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Conservation and rational use of the biological diversity of the Republic of Kazakhstan were considered today during the Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev.  Deputy Minister of Agriculture Yerlan Nyssanbayev delivered a report on the work done and the operational and systemic measures taken in this regard.

According to Yerlan Nyssanbayev, the Republic’s total forest area is 29.4 million hectares. Only 4.7% of the country's territory is covered with forests. Taking this fact into account, roundwood exports have been banned since 2004; a moratorium on all kinds of saxaul felling has been declared in 2015 until the end of 2018, a ban was introduced in 2017 on selling saxaul in trade outlets and a ban on sanitary logging in coniferous forests, including the development of burnt forest areas.

In order to expand forest planting, the Ministry of Agriculture together with regional Akimats plans to approve a step-by-step Plan to amplify reforestation, taking into account the creation of green zones around regional centers.

Also, the Ile-Balkhash Nature Reserve in the delta of the Ili River in Almaty region and the national park Tarbagatay in the East Kazakhstan region will be created next year in accordance with the Plan for the Development of Protected Areas.

“The task given by the Head of State to create a green zone around Astana is under special control and here the planned work is in full motion,” - the Deputy Minister of Agriculture said.

Yerlan Nyssanbayev also spoke about the work on enhancing the fight against poaching. In 2017, the number of civilian weapons a hunter may own was legislatively fixed to 4. A ban was introduced on spring hunting; the number of game animals allowed to be taken was restricted to 5 per person per day.

To prevent the manifestation of corruption among the inspectorate of state organizations, the Sapsan operational group was established in June 2017. As a result of its activities, during the five months of this year, 16 violations of environmental legislation have already been identified. Yerlan Nyssanbayev also proposed to stiffen penalties for poaching.

In addition, measures are being taken to increase the number of saigas. To date, the number of animals has increased from 108 thousand to 152 thousand.

The Deputy Minister stressed that in the field of fishery development the main task is to prevent the decrease in the biological diversity of water bodies. It is proposed to introduce a norm obliging users to carry out stocking in quantities in proportion to the allocated fishing quotas.

In conclusion, the issue of developing a draft document on biological resources for the medium term was considered. It will reflect the development of interrelated sectors - forestry and woodworking, settlement greening, creation of green zones and planted forests, conservation of biological diversity in general.

In the course of the meeting, reports were also made by Director General of the state forest reserve "Yertis Ormany" Kuandyk Baibolov, Director of the Upper Ubinsk forestry of East Kazakhstan region Grigory Chemodanov, Akim of Akmola region Malik Murzalin, Akim of Atyrau region Nurlan Nogayev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Askar Myrzakhmetov.

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During today’s Government meeting, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev gave a number of tasks on improving the export policy.

First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Kairat Aituganov reported on measures aimed to improve export policy in the agricultural sector. Exports of agricultural products and derivatives amounted to 1.3 billion USD in January-August 2017. Taking everything in consideration, compared with the same period in 2016, there was a 10.6% increase in exports of agricultural products (from 1.2 billion USD to 1.3 billion USD), including 9.9% in agricultural processing.

According to Kairat Aituganov, within the framework of the Roadmap, work is underway to harmonize veterinary and phytosanitary requirements with China, the Middle East, and European countries. In the 9 months of 2017, exports of agricultural products to China increased 20%. Veterinary requirements for the supply of live sheep, frozen and chilled lamb from Kazakhstan to Iran have been coordinated with the Iranian side.  

This year, a standard veterinary certificate was agreed upon jointly with the UAE for the export of meat and meat products derived from large cattle, small cattle and poultry to the Emirates in accordance with the requirements.

“All in all, it should be noted that exports of agricultural products to Saudi Arabia increased 50 times compared with the same period of last year. It is especially worth noting the growth in exports of agricultural products to European countries. In particular, there has been a surge in exports to European countries of oilseeds (flax, rapeseed, sunflower seeds), wheat, and dried legume vegetables,” – Kairat Aituganov said.

There was also an increase in exports of agricultural products to the countries of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Exports of agricultural products to Vietnam have significantly grown. 240 tonnes of flax seeds were for the first time exported to Singapore. It is worth noting the two-fold increase in exports to Turkey compared with the same period of last year.

In addition, to promote exports, the "NC" Food Contract Corporation” JSC was transformed into an export center for the sale of all agricultural products in foreign markets. As of November 20, 2017, the Corporation exported cereals and oilseeds in the amount of 84 thousand tonnes for a total of 16 million USD to the following countries: China, Iran, the countries of Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Belgium.

In total, by the end of 2017 the Corporation plans to export 120 000 tonnes of grain crops, 2000 tonnes of sunflower oil and up to 2000 tonnes of meat for a total of 31 million USD.

Reports on the measures taken were additionally made by Minister of National Economy T. Suleimenov, Chairman of the Board of the NCE Atameken A. Myrzakhmetov; Deputy Prime Minister E. Dossaev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture A. Myrzakhmetov also commented on the issues.

Following the consideration of the issue, Bakytzhan Sagintayev gave a number of instructions to the relevant Ministries on improving the export policy, developing mechanisms for supporting non-resource exports. The Ministry of National Economy is also instructed to develop a roadmap on removing barriers, obstacles and restrictions that arise when exporting Kazakhstani products to foreign markets.

Special attention was paid to the importance of creating conditions for the export of organic products.

www.primeminister.kz

During the Government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Minister of Investments and Development Zhenis Kassymbek elaborated on the progress  regarding the fulfillment of the objective set by the Head of State on doubling non-resource exports by 2025.

According to Zh. Kassymbek, Kazakhstan today ranks 52nd among the largest exporting countries. In total, more than 800 products of the manufacturing sector are exported to 113 countries.

In the first nine months of 2017, exports of processed goods grew 22% to 11.1 billion USD. Supply increased of ferroalloys, oil products, copper, rolled metal, propane and butane, and zinc. The share of processed goods in total exports is 32%.

According to the Minister, in order to improve export support, the "National Export Strategy" government program was developed. Also, regional plans of support measures for industries with export potential will be adopted by the end of the year.

To achieve the goals set in the strategy, additional mechanisms will be introduced to stimulate export among agricultural producers - this will increase the competitiveness of domestic products in foreign markets.

“All in all, the successful implementation of the National Export Strategy of Kazakhstan, along with the achievement of the objectives of the Industrial and Innovative Development State Program for 2015-2019, will allow successfully fulfilling the task of the Head of State on doubling non-resource exports by 2025," – Zh. Kassymbek concluded.

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Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov took part in signing a memorandum, according to which the Ministry, the National Management Holding "KazAgro", and the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs "Atameken" will work on developing a "one-stop-shop" for measures of state support for SMEs within the digital platform.

The Memorandum contains agreements according to which the parties will work together to create a one-stop-shop Single Digital Platform that combines all measures of state support for small and medium-sized businesses within the framework of the Digital Kazakhstan program.

The parties will also interact and exchange the necessary information to optimize and automate state support measures, and then integrate them with the one-stop-shop Single Digital Platform for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses.

Earlier, in October this year, a similar trilateral memorandum was concluded between the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the National Management Holding "Baiterek", and the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs "Atameken".

Press Service of the Ministry of National Economy

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