Kazakh single-industry towns to get government help

Petra Wijnesma

Kazakh single-industry towns: Kazakhstan’s  Interdepartmental Commission for Regional Policy yesterday approved a three-year plan focussing on the sustainable development of the country’s so called “monotowns”- towns that have grown up around a single industry or company but which have now sunk into economic decline.  In an attempt to reintegrate them into the country’s economy and to improver their inhabitants’ quality of life,  the plan will help them identify new economic ares to specialise in and to promote, and to develop their SME communities.
According to First Vice Minister of Regional Development Kairbek Uskenbayev, more than 1.5 million people or 16.8% of Kazakhstan’s  urban population live in 27 company towns, only six of which are deemed to have high development potential. The towns with the highest unemployment rate are the former bauxite mining town of  Arkalyk (9.4%), Kentau (8.7%: polymetallic ores and reinforced concrete) and Aksu (7.9%: cement and chemicals). AKIPress