VI ASTANA ECONOMIC FORUM TAKES PLACE
Astana, May 26: The VI Astana Economic Forum took place this week under the title “Ensuring Balanced Economic Growth within the G-Global Format”. This is an indication of the strength which the G-Global online platform has achieved since it was set up by President Nazarbayev in December 2011. Another first for the Forum was that the World Anti-Crisis Conference, another initiative of President Nazarbayev, ran alongside the Forum. This ensured that many of the world’s leading experts in a variety of fields were among the 10,000 delegates who came to Astana.
Sessions at the Forum, which was supported by the United Nations (UN), were divided into fi ve key topics, or “tracks”: Perspectives of Global Economic Growth; Infrastructure and Innovative Technologies; Competitiveness in International Markets; Social Aspects of Economic Growth; and Financial Systems, Global Risks and Countermeasures.
In his opening speech, President Nazarbayev thanked the UN for its support of the Forum and the Anti-Crisis Conference. He said that there was still a need for such a conference, even though some had declared the global fi nancial crisis to be over. The experience of Cyprus this year showed that this was not the case. Furthermore, the International Labour Organization is predicting that global unemployment will be over 200 million people this year. In Europe, for example, there were 26 million unemployed at the start of this year, which is one and a half times higher than fi ve years ago.
A major factor in the global crisis, according to President Nazarbayev, is a lack of trust: “There is no trust between the international financial institutions; between states; between those who participate in the financial sector; or between countries,” he said.
Speaking of Kazakhstan’s own standing in the financial world, the President noted that some years ago he had set the task for Kazakhstan to be among the 50 most competitive countries in the world; and that in 2012 they had achieved this when the World Bank rated Kazakhstan 49th for “Business Dealing”. What is more, the World Bank now places Kazakhstan tenth in terms of “protecting investors”. And the World Economic Forum has put Kazakhstan 51st for its competitiveness rating. The next stage, the President added, under the Strategy “Kazakhstan-2050”, is to transform the country into one of the 30 most developed countries.
The Minister of Economy and Budget Planning, Yerbolat Dossayev, picked up on this theme in one of the Forum sessions. “In order to enter the top 30,” he said, “we shall have to increase our GDP per capita by six times in the next 37 years.” At the same time, he added that Kazakhstan had reached the peak of its production in the past 20-25 years, underlining that the country must not limit itself to using its natural resources, but must diversify the economy, developing new technologies and growing its human capital.
The main results of this year’s Forum will be sent in an open letter to members of the G20 with recommendations for revitalizing and developing the world economy.
Main outcomes of the VI AEF and WAC
VI Astana Economic Forum Recommendations for G20 leaders
Effective countermeasures to global uncertainty and economic downturns (Astana Declaration)