Shymkent earmarked as southern industrial centre

symkentShymkent, the administrative centre of the province of South Kazakhstan, should become the region’s centre for social and economic development, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said last week. “We should be developing cities outside the capital,” he told local officials and representatives during the course of a working trip. “In this context, Shymkent should become a centre inhabited by professionals in innovation and industry.” Infrastructure projects such as the proposed road transport corridor linking China to Western Europe and the Beineu to Shymkent gas pipeline would give new impetus to the province’s socio-economic development, he added. Shymkent is situated 690 km west of Almaty and 120 km to the north of Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and is Kazakhstan’s third largest city with a population of more than 600,000. Current industrials include refined zinc production copper, karakul pelt processing, textiles, foodstuffs, and pharmaceuticals, and is home to one of Kazakhstan’s three oil refineries. Times of Central Asia