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Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Astana Economic Forum reaching a new trajectory of development – experts

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According to acting Deputy Director of the Institute of Economic Research JSC, D. Gafyatullina, the annual Astana Economic Forum is entering a new development path. Over the past period, the forum has seriously strengthened its authority, became a recognized worldclass discussion forum, open to the direct involving dialogue of the participants on current issues.

The discussion within the track Unified Economy will affect one of the key challenges of today’s reality � the growth of economic inequality on a global scale.

The reforms carried out in Kazakhstan over the past 58 years are aimed at creating a favorable business climate and, above all, macroeconomic conditions, sustainable economic development, and a stable social system.

“At present, the contribution of SMEs to the country’s GDP is 27.1%. About 30% of the country’s economically active population already works in the SME segment,” D. Gafyatullina said.

However, for the further development of medium business in Kazakhstan, project management in all the most important areas of the economy have been introduced, priority areas for involving medium business to solve problems and achieve the indicators of the longterm Strategy2025 have been identified.

“Discussion at the site of AEF of the priority areas for involving medium businesses in the implementation of tasks on technological modernization, digitalization, increasing productive activity and business competences, implementing the principles of green economy to stimulate business activity, will allow the creation of a common policy aimed at the development of medium businesses in the country,” the expert believes.

The director of the Center for Regional Studies of JSC “Institute for Economic Research” of the MNE RK, K. Nigmetov, reflects on the development of cities on the eve of the Forum.

A separate track � Urbanization � is planned within the AEF2018. One of the discussions will be “The Vision of Cities in 2050.” Today, the most developed cities are developing longterm foresights of their future. During the discussion, speakers will try to answer the questions: what is the technology of foresight and what are the lessons for the cities of the world?

The processes of urbanization taking place in the world have not bypassed Kazakhstan. They took more active pace in recent years. The development of economic growth centers contributed to the influx of labor migrants from rural areas. In 2017, the urban population of the country reached 10 336.8 thousand people, and the level of urbanization was 57.3%.

In Kazakhstan, an appropriate policy for the development of urban agglomerations has been developed. In the Strategy Kazakhstan2050: a New Political Course of the Successful State, the Head of State designated the task of forming growth points in agglomerations with centers in Astana, Almaty, Aktobe and Shymkent. In the Concept on Kazakhstan’s accession to the list of the world’s 30 most developed states, the task is to create worldclass agglomerations in the country.

According to the expert, one of the notable events of the AEF will be a round table on the topic “The impact of electric vehicles on the outside world.” The future of cities and the planet will depend heavily on the success of introducing new generations of electric vehicles: clean, efficient, fast and convenient. Experts believe that with their help it will be possible to cope finally with endless congestion and the problem of air quality in cities. However, will their convenience cause people the switch to autonomous electric vehicles and stimulate new transport problems?

The development of agglomerations and cities should, in one way or another, contribute to the welfare of citizens, quality of living conditions. In this connection, the event “Urban quality of life ratings in Kazakhstan” will be especially interesting for both Kazakhstani and foreign participants of the AEF.

“Taking into account the aforesaid, it can be concluded that the topic of agglomeration development, urbanization, urban development can contribute to economic growth,” sums up K. Nigmetov.

As Director of the Center for Strategic Research of JSC “Institute for Economic Research,” Candidate of Economic Sciences B. Khambar, notes that the discussions on the global challenges in the world are expected at the next Astana Economic Forum. Among such challenges are the transformation of global strategies, digitalization and others.

“Within the Global Strategy direction, it is expected to discuss the prospects for cooperation in the conditions of preferential trade. We think that at this session, experts can find answers to questions regarding new opportunities for cooperation,” the expert said.

At present, Kazakhstan is also taking measures to implement the goals of sustainable development. There is a separate session devoted to the discussion of sustainable development in landlocked developing countries.

According to B. Khambar, the exchange of views within this session will allow developing concrete recommendations on the definition of effective mechanisms for ensuring an equal and inclusive world. Speaker expresses confidence that this year experts can develop specific recommendations on the definition of nonprimary sectors of the economy, which may become drivers for the further development of Kazakhstan.

The most important of the trends are associated with the onset of the information age. Since modern society is characterized by the use of a worldwide network, Internet is becoming increasingly important for conducting commercial and other business operations, and getting the access to information and communication. Today we are witnessing the processes of the emergence of a huge number of online communities and social networks.

The digital revolution penetrates into all spheres of life. Therefore, within the framework of the AEF2018, a number of sessions are devoted to digitalization. It should be noted that Kazakhstan has already started active work to keep up with the global trends of digitalization. Within the framework of the Strategic Plan 2025, a separate reform has been adopted, called “Technological Renewal and Digitalization.” In addition, the state program Digital Kazakhstan is being implemented.

The discussion of the practices and challenges of digital governance in a single session enables Kazakhstan to identify effective mechanisms for implementing the strategic tasks for digitalization identified in the above and other strategic documents.

“In the framework of this session, the Adviser on the IT at EGovernment Center of the Ministry of ICT Development of Korea, San Chul Shin, the former President of Estonia, Toomas Ilves, and others will be speakers. Speakers can share their experience, as they are among the first to introduce digitalization into the system of public administration,” B. Khambar notes.

Of particular interest, according to the director of the Center for Macroeconomic Research and Forecasting at the Institute for Economic Research, Doctor of Economic Sciences, Professor S. Alpysbayeva, is one of the main tracks of the Forum’s discussion site � Unified Economy, which opens the first day of the AEF.

A special roundtable is devoted to the fundamental for the development of Kazakhstan topic “Tax and budget policy in the face of global economic challenges.” The announcement of this event reflects the high degree of relevance and timeliness of issues raised within the framework of the round table.

What are the nearest prospects? In 2018, the dynamics of the economy shows an increasing trend. But, there are new global challenges that create risks for economic development and require an adequate economic policy. The world is changing rapidly and growing. How to preserve and increase our positions and potential in these conditions? What does Kazakhstan do for this?

Answers to these and other questions experts will try to find at the Forum

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Source: The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan

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