OECD Strengthens Partnership with Kazakhstan

On Jan. 22 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov and Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria signed a memorandum of understanding between Kazakhstan and the OECD on the implementation of the Country Programme of Cooperation for 2015-2016.

161_02The country programme acknowledges Kazakhstan’s commitment to a plan of reforms and its willingness and ability to design these reforms taking into account good international policy practices. The programme could lead to more than 20 policy reviews, cooperation in capacity building projects, increased levels of participation in six OECD committees and possible adherence to 28 OECD legal instruments.

Kazakhstan is one of four partner economies that have been selected for this bilateral work programme covering areas such as public sector integrity and governance, environment, health, taxation, competition and business climate and statistics.

After signing the agreement, Massimov said that the “introduction of the OECD best practices in our policies is a prerequisite for strengthening our role in a global economy.” Gurria also said “Kazakhstan is a leading economy in Central Asia strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. I am confident that positive spill-over effects of the country programme will benefit the reform agendas of other countries in the region.”

The country programme is a new OECD tool that enables partner economies to leverage OECD expertise and standards, strengthen institutions and build capacity for policy reforms. The programme marks the beginning of a new phase of the OECD’s ongoing cooperation with Kazakhstan.

The Coordination Council for OECD-Kazakhstan Partnership chaired by Prime Minister Massimov decided March 2 to assign personal responsibility for implementation of the project of the country programme to the heads and first deputy heads of government bodies, which will facilitate the process of strengthening linkages between Kazakh stakeholders and OECD Committees.

Saltanat Janenova is a policy consultant and instructor at the Graduate School of Public Policy, Nazarbayev University.