Kazakh President Addresses Major Economic Challenges in State-of-the-Nation Address

NUR-SULTAN – The basic goal of the economic policy remains unchanged: qualitative and inclusive growth in the well-being of our citizens, said Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in his Sept. 1 state-of-the-nation address delivered at the joint session of the two chambers of the Kazakh Parliament in Nur-Sultan.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivers a state-of-the-nation address. Photo credit: Akorda

“Our people supported the course of political modernization at the nationwide referendum. The constitutional reform became the most important step on the way to building a new and fair Kazakhstan,” – Tokayev said.

President Tokayev said the state will radically modify the “citizen – business – state” relations.

“We are well aware of the underlying problems in our economy. For example, we still depend on raw materials. Labor productivity is low, innovation is insufficient. Not everyone is enjoying the benefits of national income. Of course, all these are complex issues. But there are real ways to solve it,” Tokayev stated.

The new economic course will focus on promoting entrepreneurship, which implies a shift from state capitalism and excessive state intervention in the economy, the development of competition through ensuring equal opportunities for all and, finally, fair distribution of national income.

“First, administrative regulation of prices reduces the investment attractiveness of entire industries, leads to shortage of goods and dependence on imports. Therefore, it is necessary to gradually exclude state intervention in price formation,” Tokayev said.

The exception will be non-competitive markets – monopolists’ tariffs will remain under close control.

“Secondly, further demonopolization of the economy requires institutional solutions. The term ‘conglomerate’ should be defined at the legislative level. Market subjects related to each other must obtain permission for economic concentration,” the President said.

According to Tokayev, sustainable economic growth directly depends on a clear, predictable tax policy. A new tax code will be developed in 2023 to reset the fiscal regulation.

“Its most challenging block – tax administration – must be completely updated. It is also necessary to ensure full digitization of tax control, excluding any face-to-face interaction,” Tokayev stated.

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