Aset Abdualiyev has claimed international companies have expressed an interest in sponsorship ©Almaty 2017

Almaty have insisted preparations for next year's Winter Universiade are unaffected by its budget being cut by nearly half. 

The initial budget for delivering the 26th edition of the Universiade was 32 billion tenge (£60 million/$86 million/€79 million).

Due, however, to concerns regarding the Kazakhstan economy the figure has been reduced to 17 billion tenge (£32 million/$46 million/€42 million).

Economy analysts earlier this month predicted the country will suffer its first negative growth in nearly two decades in 2016. 

Years of near double-digit growth were fueled by surging oil prices, and the slump has accordingly been caused by the collapse in the cost of the commodity, which accounts for about 25 per cent of Kazakhstan’s economy.

Almaty 2017 have admitted they will have to economise on certain aspects of the preparations, but claimed the building of facilities for the Games continues unaffected.

“We have to understand that there has been a budget correction, especially in the line of equipment purchase and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies,” Almaty 2017 President Aset Abdualiyev told

“We decided to choose a more economical format.”

Almaty 2017 have claimed construction of venues will not be affected by budget reductions
Almaty 2017 have claimed construction of venues will not be affected by budget reductions ©Almaty 2017

Earlier this month, Almaty Mayor Bauyrzhan Baibek stressed that none of the work on the venues would be suspended.

Organisers have expressed their hope each of the Universiade venues will be finished by August 30, prior to their opening next year as part of Almaty’s millennial anniversary.

Abdualiyev is hoping the Winter Universiade will attract the interest of both Kazakh and international companies who could become sponsors, including public-private partnerships.

“In general we notice a very good synergy regarding the inclusion of sponsors, many business companies, both local and foreign, are interested to be associated with the Universiade brand,” said Abdualiyev.

“We see a good, strong interest, therefore, we will further develop the public-private partnerships format.”

More than 2,000 athletes from 55 countries are expected to take part in the 26th edition of the Universiade, due to take place from January 28 to February 8.

Organisers hopeful the event will boost Kazakhstan’s prospects of hosting future large scale events.

The city's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics was unsuccessful last July after they lost Chinese capital Beijing by 44 votes to 40 at the International Olympic Committee's Session in Kuala Lumpur.