(By Dr Shahid Qureshi, Nur Sultan – Astana Economic Forum): –
Mehmet Şimşek, Turkish politician and economist and former Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, said that Kazakhstan has all the opportunities and resources to attract investment. He suggested that the money received from the commodity sector must not only be set aside, but also channelled into education, reforms, and the creation of research and development projects. This was stated at the plenary session of the third annual Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable, organised as part of the XII Astana Economic Forum.
Mr. Şimşek advised the Kazakh government “not to reinvent the wheel in the field of education”, but to carry out structural reforms. This, he believes, will ultimately lead to increased productivity. He emphasised: “Kazakhstan is in a very favourable situation. There is political stability, you can develop programs and implement them. Usually in emerging markets, politics is a hindrance, people look from a short-term perspective, and think about the future electoral cycle.”
The Turkish politician announced the interest of Turkish companies to implement joint projects. “If you can save money that comes from oil and gas, create fiscal rules, then you need to direct these resources to improve the quality of education, spend this money on reforms, on creating a research and development ecosystem, on supporting start-ups. Technologies are being successfully implemented only where there is an attractive environment”, the expert concluded.
In addition, Askar Mamin, the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, noted that all conditions have been created in Kazakhstan for the development of entrepreneurial activity and business. In 2018 alone, the inflow of foreign direct investment in Kazakhstan increased to $24 billion. The head of the Kazakh government said: “A favourable business climate and our new focus on new and promising industries lead to economic growth. Today, Kazakhstan has the most friendly business environment in the region. Understanding the importance of investments for our economy, we have created a Coordinating Council for attracting foreign investments, and I have been entrusted with the duties of an investment ombudsman.”
Astana Economic Forum is central business event of Eurasia. The XII Astana Economic Forum (AEF), themed “Inspiring growth: people, cities, economies”. 5,600 delegates and 460 speakers from 74 countries participated in the Forum. In addition, 381 journalists from 30 countries covered the event. Six venues were used – the Congress Center, the Hilton Hotel, the Astana International Financial Centre, the Astana Hub, St. the Regis Hotel and the Rixos Hotel.
For the first time in the 12-year history of the Forum, a completely new discussion format, unique for Kazakhstan, was held – the First Kazakhstan Forum on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The round table was organized for finance ministers and heads of central banks, with the participation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In addition, AEF Talks was organized for students and young people, which included open public lectures and meetings with Nobel laureates and politicians. The press center also organized one-on-one debates among speakers, in front of the media.
The AEF has always been a platform for concluding important agreements and memorandums. This time is no different. 43 agreements were signed at the Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable, totaling 8.7 billion dollars.