Retail Chains in Kazakhstan Accused of Lobbying for Foreign Goods

Special correspondent of the "News" department
Foreign retail companies continue to push the local market

The vast majority of goods that various retail chains sell in Kazakhstan were made abroad, Bakhyt Sultanov, head of the Kazakhstani Ministry of Trade and Integration, said at the government session on March 2.

«We must not forget about the trends that contribute to the development of trade, both on its external and internal contours. In the domestic market, there is an expansion of foreign retail chains. On the shelves of foreign retail chains, the lion’s share is occupied by goods from their country of origin,» he said when presenting the draft concept of the national program on trade development for the years 2021 to 2025.

According to Sultanov, a very high level of foreign retail chain activity is fed by a lack of discounters as well as the weakness of retailers outside large cities like Almaty and Nur-Sultan.

The minister states that the number of foreign goods in local stores rose in recent years. «These are mainly low-quality goods, which affects the quality of life of our citizens.»

However, Kazakhstani goods that are exported abroad are not broad spectrum. The lack of effective ways to promote domestic products and services in the foreign markets, as well as other barriers, burden access of the local exporters to markets abroad.

Sultanov believes if Kazakhstan closes all gaps in supply chains from production to sales, a cohesive trade system might be created.

By 2025 the ministry of trade plans to achieve seven macro indicators, including a reduction of the grey economy (up to 31% in gross added value); an increase of national standards implementation up to 75%; and growth of non-resource export of goods and services up to $41 billion.

This draft concept should be agreed on by July 1.

Read also