ROAD MAP TO SUCCESS

Kazakhstan 2016 | ECONOMY | FOCUS: KAZAKHSTAN’S 2050 STRATEGY

The ultimate goal of President Nazarbayev's new strategy is to bring Kazakhstan among the world's 30 most advanced nations by 2050.

The “Kazakhstan 2050” strategy, a comprehensive state plan aimed at bringing the country into the ranks of the world's 30 most developed economies by mid-century, was introduced by President Nazarbayev during an annual state of the nation address in Astana in December 2012. Nazarbayev announced a series of milestone reforms in every aspect, calling for better governance, improvement of the welfare and tax systems, support for SMEs, and further development of the country's infrastructure. This new scheme was designed to serve as a seamless transition of the “Kazakhstan 2030” development strategy that Nazarbayev first presented in 1997. The country has already achieved remarkable results since emerging from the collapsing Soviet Union 24 years ago, as the World Bank's annual 2016 Doing Business Report ranked Kazakhstan 41st of 189 countries surveyed, a 12-place increase from 2015. Kazakhstan is one of the biggest recipients of FDI among the former Soviet-bloc countries—the country has attracted more than $180 billion in FDI since gaining independence, which represents approximately 80% of all FDI into the five former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Moreover, Kazakhstan is considered one of the most business and investment-friendly economies among the 12 members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Kazakhstan achieved its Strategy 2030's goal ahead of expectations when it became one of the world's 50 most developed economies in the world.

Currently ranked as the 42nd most competitive country in the world in the latest Global Competitiveness Index, Kazakhstan will now need to further integrate its economy into the global and regional market by capitalizing on its great energy, transit and agriculture potential.

As an oil-rich economy and a reliable international partner, Kazakhstan is now making an effort to attract more foreign investment into the country. Bringing in advanced technologies and investment will support Kazakhstan's overall industrial development and creation of new production. “To accelerate the transfer of knowledge and new technologies to the country, we need to fully use the potential of foreign direct investment” explained Nazarbayev during the announcement of the 2050 Strategy.

The South West Roads Project

One of the most important initiatives undertaken in regards to the transport sector is the ongoing construction of the Western Europe-Western China transportation corridor. The South West Roads Project is a series of intercontinental highways and large capacity railway lines and terminals that will transform Kazakhstan into the transportation hub, connecting Europe and Asia. The project is expected to be fully functional by 2018 and will cost $2.5 billion.

Agriculture

President Nazarbayev has also tasked the government with increasing the share of agricultural sector in the country's GDP through a series of measures including government stimulus packages. “We should remove all barriers that impede business development in agriculture, farmers' cooperation and efficient land use,” he said. Drawing attention to the role of technology, he added, “Agricultural lands should be used by those who introduce new technologies, continuously improve productivity, and perform on the basis of the best international standards.”

Human development

According to Gulshara Abdykalikova, Secretary of State of Kazakhstan, “all priorities on ensuring of the advancement of Kazakhstan into the most competitive and dynamic countries of the world are related to human development. Introduction of innovative technologies allows to meet the challenges of social policy, provide high quality services to the population and create opportunities for development and self-realization.” Further establishing this, Abdykalikova added that Kazakhstan managed to position itself as a stable and developed country against a background of the difficult global economic situation, “In the short term, the Head of State in the National Plan '100 concrete steps' indicated the creation of state corporations, the governments for citizens, which will be the single provider of public services. Being actively involved in the global social processes, Kazakhstan cannot remain aloof from global trends, we are also affected by globalization, the growing instability of world development, the aging of the population, the technological challenges of our time.”