Kazakhstan switching to a digital economy

ASTANA (TCA) — Today Kazakhstan implements a digital agenda — digitalization is not only the provision of public services in a digital format, it is the development of the country’s economy in general, Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev said during the International Innovation Forum Digital Bridge on November 5, which brought together key representatives of the international IT community, recognized experts in the field of technology, business leaders, technology entrepreneurs, digital development professionals, scientists, and venture investors, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

Digitalization has already brought results in Kazakhstan.

Thanks to the launch of the Electronic Labor Exchange project, 15% more people than in 2017 were employed. The time spent on employment decreased by two times (from one month to two weeks).

In the health sector, more than 70% of citizens have electronic health passports. More than 90% of medical institutions use electronic systems in their work. The accumulated data about patients helps to change the paradigm of medical care in the light of early diagnosis.

In the field of education, more than 90% of schools are provided with digital educational resources and more than 90% of schoolchildren are provided with electronic diaries. In finance, over 75% of VAT payers write out electronic invoice bills. 100% of customs declarations are executed in electronic format, of which more than 80% within a minute along the green corridor.

In addition, business services are being transferred to digital format: they have been given a greater opportunity to introduce digitalization in their industries. The goal is to increase labor productivity and carry out more measures to modernize production. For this, it is necessary to train personnel and retrain specialists in order to provide permanent skills in new areas of the digital economy. In this regard, the state also provides business support in the form of changes in legislation.

Sagintayev noted that the purpose of the Digital Bridge Forum was to create a virtual bridge between Europe and Asia at the Astana site. Kazakhstan is located between Europe and Asia: on one hand, China with a population of over a billion people, on the other — the European market with more than 500 million people.

Opening of the international technopark of IT startups Astana Hub is also an opportunity for development for start-up businesses. It also completely changed the legislation. There is an opportunity to work on the Kazakh territory not only for residents of Kazakhstan, but also for foreign companies that wish to participate and take advantage of opportunities here. The visa and labor regime for the foreign participants of Astana Hub has been legislatively simplified. Currently, work is underway to simplify taxation for residents of the technopark, to provide grant support and appropriate housing so that they can easily create a product that will be in demand in various markets.

Sergey Kwan