Economy News in Brief

On May 23, President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with Nobel Prize winners in economics, physics, and physiology and medicine at the sixth Astana Economic Forum. The state of the international financial and economic system and Kazakhstan’s initiatives for developing design solutions for the world economy to transition to a path of sustainable development were discussed at the meeting.

Kazakhstan plans to reach the final agreements on its accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) within six months, Vice Minister of Economy and Budget Planning, Timur Zhaksylykov, stated during the sixth Astana Economic Forum on May 22. Kazakhstan has already completed bilateral market access negotiations on goods and services. Bilateral talks on access to the commodities market have been completed with 30 countries and on access to the services market with 15 countries, including the countries of the EU (the EU acts as one country in the negotiations) and the United States. Kazakhstan is also entering into commitments on ten major sectors of services, including commercial services, communications, construction and other engineering services, distribution services, education services and services related to leisure activities. Following the negotiations, there is agreement on the preservation of local content in the procurement of works and services, as well as the involvement of Kazakh personnel in subsoil use contracts. The second agreement is on the entry and temporary stay of foreign workers. Third is on the access to the information and communication services market.

The eighth Innovative Congress, “Innovative Development of Kazakhstan – on the way to a knowledge economy,” took place within the Sixth Astana Economic Forum. Congress organisers were the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan and the National Agency for Technological Development JSC. The congress brought together about 400 international and Kazakh experts, government representatives and local authorities, heads of national holdings and national companies, development institutions and research institutes, businesses and other innovative entrepreneurs. At the congress, 13 memoranda with an economic effect of about 20 million euros were signed, including an agreement on establishing the Kazakh-American Centre for Technology Transfer, an agreement on the implementation of technology for producing rubber from dandelions and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of higher education of engineering and technical personnel of enterprises of Kazakhstan on the basis of a special economic zone called Park of Innovative Technologies.

According to the Kazakhstan’s Central Bank Chairman (Governor) Grigoriy Marchenko, a single currency within the Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus may emerge within 10 years’ time, the country’s Prime Minister’s press service reported on May 24. “It took Europe about five decades… It could take us a decade if we build on the Eurozone experience. So far no concrete moves have been made towards introducing a single currency,” Marchenko said. According to him, “to run a single currency, the Customs Union member states should work out single macroeconomic parameters similar to those in place within the EU.”

On May 23 at the opening ceremony of the Sixth Astana Economic Forum President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed the creation of a board of trustees for G-Global following the example of the Club of Rome and the Club of Madrid. “A year ago, at the previous Economic Forum, I proposed the idea of G-Global, and I am grateful to all those who positively appreciated it. The main purpose of G-Global is to offer a positive alternative to the chaotic dynamics of the changing global paradigms of global development,” he said. Nazarbayev expressed his sincere hope that the number of followers of G-Global will grow, and suggested for further development the idea of creating the G-Global Board of Trustees. “Within this framework, it is necessary to carry out funding of fundamental aspects of research,” the president said.