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Kazakhstan adopts decree on measures to liberalise economy

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed the decree on measures to liberalise the economy on May 10 aimed at ensuring freedom of entrepreneurship by developing competition, reducing state stakes in the economy, and decreasing business costs.

Firstly, it is envisaged to create a National Privatization Office at the Kazakh Agency for Protection and Promotion of Competition. This office will be responsible for developing the standards for state assets that are eligible for privatization and compiling a list of those assets.

Secondly, steps are taken to enhance the Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and its subsidiaries’ corporate governance autonomy, quality and independence, as well as to improve the procurement procedures they carry out.

Thirdly, a number of specific measures are envisaged to develop competition in product markets.

Fourthly, measures are proposed to improve regulatory policies and liberalize procedures for opening and running a business. Thus, it is planned to simplify and automate (digitalize) consumer access to commercial services provided by quasi-governmental organizations, procedures for obtaining technical conditions and connecting to utility networks.

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It is instructed to provide the opportunity to use projects that meet advanced international standards for the construction of facilities without the mandatory development of design and estimate documentation in accordance with Kazakhstan standards.

Fifthly, the decree includes a set of measures aimed at strengthening the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of business, including through the decriminalization of criminal offenses in economic activity, coordination with prosecutors of prohibitive and restrictive measures initiated by government agencies, etc.

The decree’s implementation will expedite and significantly reduce the state sector’s share in the economy while also creating more room for private enterprise.

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