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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kazakh entrepreneurs: Tax incentives fail to remove business obstacles

Entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan have recently reported that the tax system and government incentives have not removed all obstacles toward running a small business.

The government has been keeping business taxes low and supporting other efforts to stimulate development, Central Asia Online reports.

The government backed the DAMU Entrepreneurship Development Fund in 1997, which finances enterprises through second tier banks, subsidized interest rates, bank guarantees, training, consulting, and financing. The country also established a chamber of commerce.

"Since the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan was created [last September], interest in helping businesses ... has begun to appear," Lyudmila Martyukhina, the founder of a clothing manufacturer, said, according to Central Asia Online. "And possibly, in five to seven years, Kazakhstan will have a flourishing small- and medium-sized business sector of its own."

Martyukhina, however, has called for revisions to DAMU and small-business lending practices, because banks can still reject the business plans of clients.

"They don't want to provide credit ... at fair rates," Martyukhina said, adding that banks should be eliminated in the disbursement process for government funds, Central Asia Online reports.