Kazakhstan to include social, environmental aspects in measuring GDP

ASTANA – Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov said July 18 that the indicator of gross domestic product is planned to expand with new parameters taking into account the social and environmental aspects in Kazakhstan. The ministry intends to submit the draft of the strategic plan 2020-2025 for public discussion in mid-August. After discussion and finalisation, the plan will be submitted for approval in November.

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“We are currently developing a strategic plan 2020-2025. This document will contain not only some aspects about economic development but also about the ecological and social aspects. We plan to develop a matrix of indicators, ranging from life expectancy, infant mortality, GDP, on the basis of which the overall progress of the state will be monitored,” said Suleimenov.

According to the minister, it is difficult and inexpedient to do away with the methodology for calculating GDP as a macroeconomic indicator since international comparison is the key in the field of statistics.

“We plan to include more elements of social, environmental statistics and ratings in the methodology. This rating will be based on what we currently have. We will not introduce something that we cannot follow in the future. Therefore, the introduction will not be difficult; the main thing is to choose a set of correct metrics and indicators that will be fundamental in assessing the overall development of the state,” he noted.

Earlier, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested revising the methodology to calculate the GDP per capita as the traditional GDP creates a false perception of economic prosperity at the plenary session of the 10th Astana Economic Forum in June.

“The GDP indicator has a number of significant flaws. It does not reflect the long-term nature of economic activity and does not show the citizens’ well-being and it does not take into account population stratification by income,” said Nazarbayev.