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Astana, May 4: Key issues facing modern global economy are the focus of the Fourth Astana Economic Forum that started on May 3 in the capital of Kazakhstan, and the President of Kazakhstan has proposed to take on those issues head on – by inviting all the countries to develop a Pact on Global Regulation.

The forum with a title “New Decade: Challenges and Prospects” has gathered more than 3,000 participants from 80 countries.

In two days, the forum attendees, who included prominent politicians, top leaders of business world, economists, as well as six Nobel Laureates, have been able to take part in 18 events in three main directions: global economics and finance, business and investment, and society and sustainable development.

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev opened the plenary session of the forum saying that in a globalised world events occurring in one country necessarily affect other states, as we are all interconnected.

“Today’s forum is one of the recognised grounds for searching solutions for such issues. I would like to share with you my vision of the lessons of the current crisis, the challenges of the future, and the prospects of a new decade,” Nazarbayev said.

Nazarbayev noted that the world needs a comprehensive and objective analysis of lessons learnt from the current crisis. According to him, the main lesson is inadmissibility of imbalances in economic policy.

“Open capital market, coupled with unregulated financial sector, is a ticking time bomb. It had already exploded all over the world once and may explode again,” he said

The second lesson of the crisis is the growing importance of industrial and innovation policies. Many countries got involved in global competition through innovation, new technologies, and the formation of their own corporate champions, Nazarbayev said.

The third key lesson, according to the Kazakh leader, is the increased understanding of the importance of sound social policies. “The events in the Arab countries and even in some developed countries have shown the relevance of constant attention to the social conditions of the population.”

Nazarbayev continued with a discussion of challenges and future tasks of the world economy in the second decade of the 21st century. According to him, the world economy is facing global challenges in its three main sectors: financial, industrial and innovation, and resources and food sectors.

“Challenges of the financial sector lie in defectiveness of the global financial system and its core composite—the world’s reserve currency... To correct this deficiency, drastic measures that have not yet had a precedent must be used,” the President said.

“Ultimately, all economies of the world will come to the necessity of creating and introducing a supranational settlement payment unit and, then, a global currency of a fundamentally new class. I mentioned this a year ago at the Third Astana Economic Forum,” Nazarbayev added.

As for industrial and innovation challenges, to Nazarbayev, they require balanced industrial development of economies and fair trade. Free trade between the same level economies is mutually beneficial, whereas for weaker countries to trade with the stronger ones often becomes detrimental to their economies, Nazarbayev said.

“Such imbalances have led to the so-called “currency wars,” which are based on trade disputes. Therefore, I think, the establishment of the Customs Union between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus for the development of competition among similar economies ahead of the joint accession to the WTO is understandable,” Nazarbayev said.

Resource and food challenges lie in ensuring global energy and food security. “Rising prices for raw material and energy, together with growth in world consumption and natural disasters led to increase in food prices... The consequences of food crisis included worsening of social and political conditions around the world. In these circumstances, it is necessary to maintain food security at regional and global levels,” Nazarbayev said.

Regarding the energy security, Nazarbayev said that today “no country can live according to the formula: development now, ecology later. Humanity urgently needs a feasible scenario for ensuring safe energy and ecological state of the planet. It must be beneficial for all countries now and in the long term,” he said.

In his address, Nazarbayev highlighted the importance of collaboration among nations in order to achieve sustainable development. “Only joint efforts of nations will help transform the current global challenges into opportunities for ensuring sustainable development. It seems to me the global politics of the future development should be based first, on a coordinated macroeconomic management, second, on the global regulation of markets, starting from commodity markets to financial markets, and third, on the effective monetary and financial system,” the Kazakh President said.

Nazarbayev stressed that to strengthen international coordination he would propose elaborating a Pact on Global Regulation by all countries. All the above mentioned approaches in dealing with challenges discussed today should be reflected in this document. The Pact could become a real instrument for negotiating key elements of international economic policy, according to President.

As a tradition, the main outcome of event was the adoption of an Open Letter to the leaders of the G20 countries that provided recommendations for improvement and development of world economy.

In the framework of the Forum ex-Prime Minister of Japan Yukio Hatoyama has visited Akorda, Parliament and Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan, where he had several meetings with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Chairman of Mazhilis Oral Mukhamedzhanov, Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov.  Hatoyama thanked the President and people of Kazakhstan for compassion and humanitarian assistance to the victims of earthquake and tsunami on March 11 in Tohoku region of Japan.

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