International Virtual Almaty Forum 2021 Kicks Off Bringing Top Tech Experts Together to Discuss Government Policy

NUR-SULTAN – The international Digital Almaty forum has kicked off in Almaty Feb. 5. Prime Ministers of the Eurasian Economic Union as well as leading international experts in the digital sphere have shared the results and success achieved in the digitalization sphere. 

Prime Ministers of the Eurasian Economic Union and leading tech experts during the plenary session. Photo credits: primeminister.kz.

“The Digital Reset: a Leap to the Next Normal” is a topic for this year. 

Before the start of the forum, the participants got acquainted with an exhibition of Kazakhstan’s digital projects in the finance and banking, fiscal, telecommunications and public administration sectors.

The Forum was opened by a plenary session with the participation of Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, Kaspi.kz co-founder Mikhail Lomtadze and the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich. 

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the participants of the forum via videoconference with a welcoming speech.

The head of state noted that over 90 percent of state services are provided in an electronic format. During the crisis, about 6.5 million citizens received state support through digital systems.

“Schools and universities have switched to distance learning. Over 15 million people in Kazakhstan are users of the wireless Internet. We understand well that the future belongs to technology and innovation. The competition in this area is very high,” Tokayev said.  

“According to analysts, in 2021 the market for technical, technological and software solutions aimed only at the development of artificial intelligence of wireless networks, and compact computing systems will grow by 35 percent and will amount to about US$12 billion. By 2025, 5G technology will allow enterprises to conduct cloud processing of up to 70 percent of their data. In such conditions, we need a harmonization of approaches and a general combination of activities in this area,” Tokayev added. 

President Tokayev added that the Nazarbayev University in Nur-Sultan, in cooperation with the World Bank, will create a national tech cluster for the study of artificial intelligence.

The plenary session continued with a welcoming video message from the President of the World Economic Forum Borge Brende. He noted that this dialogue is taking place at a crucial moment as never before.

“We have a year ahead of us that we hope will bring recovery to the entire planet. The steps we are taking so far determine whether we will emerge from the pandemic stronger than when we entered it,” Brende said. 

“After a year of uncertainty, one thing is clear – digital connectivity is no longer a luxury. It is a prerequisite for investing in digital infrastructure in some parts of the world,” Brende added. 

Digital Almaty is one of the key platforms for the establishment and discussion of a global and regional digital agenda, challenges, solutions and policies in the field of digitalization around the world.

The goal of the forum is to provide a regional and global platform for dialogue to discuss the digital agenda in the context of COVID-19, new digital transformation strategies and trends in emerging technologies during the pandemic.

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