The project "Improving the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises" (hereinafter - the Project) provides for the implementation of subcomponent 2.2. “Competitive Sectors” aimed at stimulating the development of cluster policy in the Republic of Kazakhstan through strengthening institutional capacity through the provision of training and advisory services.

MNE RoK in December 2016 completed international tenders and attracted Spanish consulting companies for cluster development - the European Fund for Cluster Initiatives (responsible for training the team of Kazakhstan Institute for Development of Industry JSC, the new name "QAZINDUSTRY" QAZAQSTAN INDUSTRY AND EXPORT CENTER JSC (hereinafter - JSC “KIDI”,) and the company “Infyde Ltd” (responsible for the technical support of work with the selected 6 clusters).

The implementation of this entire subcomponent depended on making changes to the rules for competitive selection of territorial clusters. The order of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter – MIID) on amending the Order of the MIID No. 1215 of December 18, 2015 “On Approval of the Competitive Selection Rules for Territorial Clusters” was adopted on December 23, 2016 as No. 873, registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan 1 March 2017 for the number 14857.

At the same time, in order to inform about the program of cluster development of all stakeholders in the regions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, diagnose the readiness of cluster initiatives, as well as assist in drawing up applications for participation in the selection of clusters, representatives of the Center for Cluster Development of KIDI JSC and Infyde Ltd in the period from July 2016 to May 2017 conducted 3 rounds of travel in all regions of Kazakhstan. As part of these trips, explanatory and consulting work was conducted with 264 enterprises and organizations, and as a result, 23 groups of enterprises interested in participating in the project and submitting applications were identified, 8 of them in the food industry, 6 - tourism, 2 - pharmaceuticals, 2 - construction industry and one by one: in light industry, chemical, mechanical engineering, furniture, production of paint and varnish products.

Announcement of the competition for the selection of cluster initiatives was published by MIID on April 10, 2017, applications were accepted until June 8, 2017. A total of 21 applications were filed, 3 of which were rejected due to non-compliance with the requirements for registration.

According to the results of the evaluation of applications filed by KIDI JSC together with Infyde Ltd and approved by the MIID and the World Bank, the following 6 clusters received the highest points:

  • Flour cluster of Kostanay region;
  • Milk cluster of Akmola region;
  • Construction cluster of the Karaganda region;
  • Tourism cluster of the Almaty region;
  • Furniture cluster in Almaty;
  • Pharmaceutical cluster of the South Kazakhstan region.

KIDI JSC, together with international consultants, in 2018 carried out the following activities planned for the Project:

  • carrying out individual work with each of the clusters on the analysis of the market and the state of the cluster industry;
  • involvement of a wide range of stakeholders in the work of clusters;
  • analysis and development of value chains for each cluster;
  • organizational work on cluster structuring and management.

The result of this work was the formation by the end of 2018 of strategic territorial development plans of 6 territorial clusters worked out with the MNE RoK (individual work plan for each pilot cluster) and the start of implementation of practical measures of these Plans for each cluster.

As of January 1, 2019, there were 166 participants in the 6 selected clusters:

  1. Furniture - 24;
  2. Milk - 25;
  3. Flour - 16;
  4. Pharmaceutical - 15;
  5. Tourist - 58;
  6. Building - 28.

Currently, the implementation of Phase 5 of the contract with Infyde Ltd (in December 2018, the 1st stage of Phase 5 was completed, and in May 2019, the 2nd stage of Phase 5 was completed), the indicators of the implementation of strategic development plans of 6 territorial clusters. At the same time, one of the main tasks facing today Infyde Ltd and KIDI JSC is the formalization of the creation of cluster organizations and the creation of a regulatory framework to ensure the possibility of presenting state support measures to clusters. (из-за отсутствия данной нормативной базы невозможна реализация большинства проектов, включенных в стратегические планы развития кластеров ввиду отсутствия необходимого финансирования).

In this regard, by the decision of the Commission for the implementation of the Project of February 5, 2019 No. 5, KIDI JSC set the following tasks:

  • preparation and submission to the MNE of the Republic of Kazakhstan of a detailed report on the work done on the development of cluster initiatives on time - no later than February 20, 2019 (done);
  • submission to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan proposals on the formation of the legal basis for cluster policy, including with a view to ensuring the possibility of presenting state support measures to clusters, by changing the existing and developing new regulatory legal acts by no later than 1 July 2019;
  • creation of cluster organizations on time - no later than May 1, 2019 (2 cluster organizations have been created: in the pharmaceutical and milk clusters);
  • implementation of the formed strategic development plans of 6 clusters;
  • availability of the necessary number of cluster coordinators for effective work (there are only 5 cluster coordinators, and 13 cluster coordinators were trained through the Project).

MNE contract with Infyde Ltd ends in August 2019.

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