On January 25, the government of Kazakhstan has madea decision on the social and economic development of the western region of the country for 2022-2025.
As Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov noted the development of the economy and social sphere, increasing the welfare of people in the western regions is very important for Kazakhstan since those regions are key contributors to the country’s economy as a whole.
“Last year we already approved the overall plan for the Mangystau and Atyrau regions, so now we need to update these plans and start financing. Regarding the Aktobe and West Kazakhstan regions, such plans are just waiting to be approved,” he said.
According to Alibek Kuantyrov, minister of the national economy, the overall amount of funds to be transferred to those regions for social and economic plans is about $35 billion, including $3.9 billion from the national budget. In the Aktobe region the government is going to implement 92 actions with $3.9 billion of investments; in the West Kazakhstan region – 116 actions with $5.9 billion of investments; in the Atyrau region – 185 actions for $20.4 billion and $4.8 billion of investments for 226 actions in the Mangystau region.
The Aktobe region’s plan for 2022-2025 was first reviewed during the cabinet meeting. The authorities are going to establish here a special industrial zone of 450 hectares in area; to build a new plant for producing and processing 2.2. million tons of titanium-zirconium ore per year; to open a cement plant with a capacity of 1.2 million tons of product per year; to build a 250-megawatt wind power station, two dairy farms, two feed yards, a poultry plant and fish farms. It is expected that all these actions will create more than 40,000 jobs, causing the Aktobe region’s economy to surge 30% by 2025. The share of good roads must increase from 61% to 95% in the region.
According to the Head of the West Kazakhstan region Gali Iskaliyev, the realization of the overall plan in 2022-2025 in the region would require $5.9 billion.
“Almost 80% of this money we are expecting to get at the expense of private businesses and through a public-private partnership. In order to attract this amount of investment, we need support from the state as mentioned in the overall plan of development. Aside from the investments, there are several vital issues in the region that need to be done with the support of the state. First of all, this is a lack of commercial-grade gas. Even though the West Kazakhstan region is the biggest producer of natural gas in the country, the vast majority of possible investment projects cannot be implemented as there is no extra gas,” he said.
Another vital issue is the poor condition of roads and the electric power grid system. The power grid system in the region is 80% worn out which is why so many outages have been reported in the region. Also, the local authorities want to repair roads, water and heat supply systems as well as sewage facilities. They promise that 100% of residents in the region’s rural area will have no problems with access to drinking water by 2025.
As Mahambet Dosmukhambetov, head of the Atyrau region reported, in 2022-2025 the region is going to spend $20.4 billion including $1.2 billion from the state budget and $258 million from the local budget.
With help of these funds, the authorities are going to improve the condition of 95% of roads in the region by 2025.
The Mangystau region plans to spend $4.8 billion over four years; private investments must account for 62% of these funds.
In September 2021, when President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev visited the region he ordered the government to prepare an overall plan on how to bring an end to those key issues in the region.
“This overall plan was already approved. Currently, it’s being updated. This updated plan consists of 226 actions: 96 in the area of economy, 54 in the sphere of housing and infrastructure, 63 in the social sphere and environment and 13 action in the area of civil defense,” said Nurlan Nagayev, head of the Mangystau region.
Once all planned actions are implemented, about 55,000 jobs will be created in the region. Moreover, these plans take into account an increase in the population and future needs in housing and additional infrastructure. As a result, all infrastructural projects are based on demographic forecasts. To solve the water supply problem, the region is going to implement nine projects aimed at desalination of 260,000 cubic meters of water from the Caspian Sea.