National conference to discuss the developed Concept and ways to achieve its goals

The Agency for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises is proposed to be created in Kazakhstan. This recommendation was developed by international experts on the basis of work on the Project of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan “SME Competitiveness”, implemented with the support of the World Bank.

“We recommend the establishment of the Agency for the Development of SMEs in Kazakhstan as an important body for the implementation of state policy on the development of SMEs and interagency coordination. Moreover, this agency should be of a sufficiently high level: under the Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan or the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” said Konstantin Karabanov, key international expert on the Project.

The project of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Improving the Competitiveness of SMEs”, implemented by Euroconsultants S.A. with the support of the World Bank, is a large-scale work of Kazakhstani and international experts. The main result of the project was the Concept for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises of Kazakhstan with the goal of increasing the share of SMEs in GDP up to 50% by 2050.

But before developing this document, experts conducted the National baseline Survey from June 17 to September 13, 2019. It should be noted that such a large-scale and in-depth analytical work in Kazakhstan was carried out for the first time. Experts managed to interview more than 1,500 small and medium-sized enterprises in all regions of the country. Having studied and identified a number of barriers that hinder the increase in the share of SMEs in GDP, analysts have developed a package of measures and recommendations that will help improve public policy in developing and increasing the share of small and medium enterprises in the economy.

In addition to creating the Agency for the Development of SMEs, in Kazakhstan it is recommended to create a specialized online Bank for Small Business Development. This will help solve the problem of business access to financing, that is, access to low interest lending. Thus, according to the results of the National Baseline Survey, 25% of respondents called access to financing the biggest obstacle to doing business.

“One of the barriers in Kazakhstan for entry of SMEs into highly profitable sectors is the lack of financial resources. In recent years, in the republic, the rate on loans in second-tier banks has been kept at a consistently high level. And one of the reasons for the high cost of bank loans for SMEs is the presence of significant risks in their financing associated with a high level of loan defaults,” stated Gulnara Davletyarova, a key expert of the Project.

These and other proposals were announced on June 18, 2020 during the final national online conference, where the main goal was to present and discuss the draft Concept for the Development of SMEs in Kazakhstan. The implementation of this Concept will help to increase the share of SMEs in GDP up to 50% by 2050. The event was attended by Chingis Akhmetov, Advisor to the Minister of National Economy, representatives of the World Bank, Damu Entrepreneurship Development Fund, QazIndustry, as well as the Expert Group of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan of “SME Competitiveness” Project, implemented with the support of the World Bank.

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