Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA

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Kazakhstan Committed to Opening Economy and Modernizing Society, by Karim Massimov, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan

Posted on July 15, 2016 by KazCham

The Diplomat

“The interests of our overseas partners are taken fully into account when new policy is being shaped.”

From our earliest days as an independent country, Kazakhstan has consistently pursued a dual track policy: actively seeking international investment and knowledge to help drive economic development, while building political stability, national unity and human capital for social progress. It was a deliberate choice which, over the last 25 years, has helped transform our nation and its prospects for the better.

Good relations were established with countries all around the world, leading to increased trade. Our welcome to overseas companies has seen long and successful partnerships forged to the benefit of them and our country. Similarly, we have been able to establish a strong track record of political stability, ethnic and religious harmony and sustained improvement in human development indicators. Needless to say, the dual policy tracks have not only been complementary but mutually reinforcing.

The result is that Kazakhstan has been the favorite destination for overseas investment in our region. More than $210 billion in foreign direct investment has flowed into our country over the last two decades. The strong growth that this has helped drive has provided the revenue to improve dramatically the living standards and quality of life of our citizens. And Kazakhstan’s citizens and international investors alike have come to expect safety in everyday life and respect for diversity as a matter of fact.

There is no question but that the country cannot stand still or slip backwards, because we are committed to building on the progress we have already achieved and strengthen and diversify our economy and modernize our society. Achieving our ambition of joining the ranks of the top 30 developed countries by 2050 requires us to continue removing any barriers which stand in the way of sustainable development.

This is why, at a time when economic shocks from beyond our borders and control could have caused us to slow the pace of reform, we have responded by accelerating the modernization of our economy and society. We have been implementing wide-ranging reforms to improve the performance of our institutions, opening up state industries through a comprehensive privatization program and taking decisive steps to improve the investment climate.

Equally important, one of the planks of the institutional reforms we launched last year aims to create an open government that is more accountable to our citizens. This means that in the first instance we have to communicate in the clearest, most concise way to explain government’s intent, policy designs, implementation approaches and timelines behind reform packages. The recent public outcry over proposed land use reforms is a case in point – we are learning to listen, and as a result we have set up a land reform commission with participation of a cross-section of citizens. Moving to this more participatory approach may not be all smooth sailing, and there likely will be ups and downs, but the fact is that we are learning.

Read full article at The Diplomat

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