Kazakhstan pays great attention to urbanization processes – expert
Industrial and innovative development path chosen by Kazakhstan will inevitably lead to the acceleration of urbanization processes, the rapid growth of urban population of the country at the expense of the active migration of rural population to the cities in the near future. This natural process will be accompanied by an increase in labor productivity, as much of the urbanized rural areas get jobs at the enterprises of the industrial sector, where productivity is traditionally higher than in the agricultural enterprises. Thus, according to Zh.Kulekeyev, urbanization will increase the country’s competitiveness in the global space.
Most of the cities of Kazakhstan were formed in the Soviet period as a result of industrialization and the discovery and development of mineral deposits. The number of cities in Kazakhstan increased from 19 to 82 from 1920 to 1983, which led to a sharp increase in the proportion of urban residents. However, a fact extremely low rate of urbanization has become characteristic of the country over the 25 years of Kazakhstan’s independence; the proportion of rural residents (43%) is still maintained at a high level. It should be noted that the urban population was reduced in the period from 1993 to 2013, and there has been even reverse migration from cities to villages in some years.
According to Zh.Kulekeyev, this process has been associated with the open economic policy carried out in the country since the first days of independence, resulting in many manufacturing industries, located mainly in the southern regions of the country, unable to withstand the competition, were forced to either reduce production or completely stop its production. As a result of these circumstances, people who lost their jobs in the cities began to move en masse to the countryside, swelling the ranks of the self-employed.
The turning point was reached in 2013, beginning this year a steady growth of the urban population in Kazakhstan is observed. According to the expert, the implementation of the State program of industrial-innovative development played the positive role, as the number of employed people in the industry over the years of implementation of the program has increased by about 150 thousand people, and those employed in agriculture decreased by 900 thousand.
The government is planning to increase the share of urban population to 70% in 2030 (currently 53%). According to the expert there are objective prerequisites for that.
Currently, the second five-year industrialization program is implemented in the country, the course of implementation inspires optimism. For example, in the first year of implementation of the Programme of tools of SPIID created almost 34,000 new permanent jobs, most of which relate to the manufacturing industry. The second sector, which attracts a large number of workers, it is trade and consumer services.
“Today, trading companies are based in large cities, catering and consumer services that create new jobs, albeit with low pay. These sectors have also become attractive for rural youth, the number of employed in the agricultural sector was sharply reduced, especially pleases reduction in its share of the self-employed, ” Zh.Kulekeyev said.
In his Address “Third Modernization of Kazakhstan: global competitiveness” the President Nursultan Nazarbayev has set serious tasks before the Government to ensure new economic growth model. At the same time, the President stressed the need for the economy on the innovation track, focused on the most advanced digital technologies, and demanded the creation of the best conditions for business development. According to the expert, in the context of growing international competition for sustainable economic growth and social development is possible only when the country will create better conditions for capacity building of human capital, as well as for their effective use.
“Therefore, we need to constantly work on improving the quality of human capital, raising educational levels, qualifications, job skills, tempering capacity for entrepreneurship, as well as providing space and freedom of initiative people of the country to implement their own ideas into practice,” a member of the Expert Council said.
He also emphasized the importance of supporting the initiative, enterprising people, because in this age of dynamic change it is impossible to succeed, forcing people business ideas above. If the necessary conditions are created, the educated, enterprising, adventurous people will lead the country to new heights, he said.
A great attention to research urbanization processes is paid in the world. For what? It’s simple, says Zh.Kulekeyev.
“The best conditions for productive labor, and human habitation: advanced education, better health facilities, comfortable accommodations with all the comforts, as well as the availability of a wide range of services contributes to building human capital are created in the cities. Overall, this will improve both the living conditions of the population and improve the competitiveness of the country,” he said.
In addition, it is no news that the contents scattered over a vast territory of Kazakhstan population costs the state very expensive, because it is necessary to build roads, water supply system and other infrastructure, schools and hospitals in each village. Of course, the optimal distribution of the population across the country would have saved much of the state budget, to which, according to Zh. Kulekeyev, you must seek the realities of the present.
Considering the process of urbanization, we can not say about the other side of the issue. People, who move from rural to urban areas, do not have a lot of money, and the opportunity to immediately find decent jobs they have. In this regard, the Head of State did not accidentally spoke about the need to reduce the cost of housing by the use of new building materials and technologies.
“In order to reduce the cost of housing, we need to set up production of cheap building materials, using new technologies. Only the use of new technologies and more efficient equipment reduces the cost as building materials, as well as the final object,” the expert believes.
The expert believes that urbanization can not be regarded as a panacea for solving all the problems of our society. This is a natural process that will inevitably be characterized for Kazakhstan in the near future. Therefore, it is not recommended to artificially provoke people moving from rural areas to cities. On the vast territory of Kazakhstan there are many beautiful towns and good places whose residents may contribute to the development of the economy, organizing agribusiness. Therefore, along with the sustained development of the industrial sector to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, it is necessary to constantly take care of the development of agriculture and the improvement of living standards of rural workers.
Source: The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan