ASTANA – Kazakhstan needs to gain a foothold as a key regional investment hub, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at a plenary session of the Mazhilis, lower chamber of the Parliament on March 30, the Akorda press service reported.
Tokayev stressed the importance of consistently diversifying and strengthening market-based principles to change the economic development model fundamentally.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a high-tech, fully self-sufficient, competitive economy. We need to gain a foothold as a key regional investment hub. Substantial work has been done over the past year on demonopolization and creating a truly competitive environment,” Tokayev said.
The President emphasized that the government should expand economic freedom and reduce the state’s role in market processes. These approaches, he noted, will increase the institutional maturity of Kazakhstan and its resistance to various internal and external shocks.
Tokayev urged the Parliament and the government to mobilize their efforts to develop the economy and improve the well-being of citizens.
The Kazakh economy grew by 3.2 percent last year, he said, commending the measures taken on time by the two branches of power. He instructed the government to bring economic growth to at least four percent per year.
President Tokayev indicated curbing inflation by twofold this year as the next goal for the government, with food price control being the priority.
“One of the key priorities remains development of the agro-industrial complex and trade. The domestic market should be supplied primarily with domestic goods. It is also important to increase the volume of agricultural products and their added value,” he said.
The President focused on infrastructure development, an effective territorial policy, consistent and systematic measures to improve the quality of human capital, and making the state apparatus more efficient.
Tokayev’s address to the Mazhilis plenary session came just a few hours after he met with the leaders of the fractions in the Mazhilis to consider the candidacy for the head of the government.
Earlier today, Yerlan Koshanov, Mazhilis Speaker and Amanat party chairman, proposed Alikhan Smailov’s candidacy. Smailov has headed the government since January 2022 before it resigned to the newly elected Mazhilis, as per the Constitution of Kazakhstan.
Smailov was re-elected as Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, following a vote in the Mazhilis.
Speaking about the goals outlined at the opening of the first session of the Parliament of the eighth convocation, Tokayev emphasized the importance of increasing public trust in the state.
“People should see that the government wants and is ready for changes. In a word, it is necessary to form a responsive state. It is better to involve citizens in the country’s governance and decision-making as much as possible,” he said.