ASTANA – All government officials should become state reformers striving to improve the quality of citizens’ life, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said at an April 19 meeting on the country’s socio-economic development, the Akorda press service reported.
The meeting was attended by the country’s Prime Minister, Speakers of the Senate and the Mazhilis (lower chamber) of the Parliament, heads of state bodies reporting to the President, members of the government, akims (mayors) of Astana, Almaty, Shymkent, regions and districts, heads of parliamentary factions, as well as chairs of committees of the chambers of Parliament and regional and district maslikhats (local administrative bodies).
According to Tokayev, their task is to increase the population’s income, create a comfortable living environment, ensure security and expand opportunities for the people’s comprehensive development.
The President stated the planned transformations would occur only amid a robust market economy, which the government should focus on to meet the needs of citizens.
Tokayev mentioned the deterioration of traditional economic and logistical ties accompanied by record-high inflation, a slowdown in the global economy, and an increase in the debt burden of states, expressing concern about multiplying trade barriers and growing mutual distrust worldwide.
“This has become a new normality for the global economy, or rather an abnormality. Natural resources are no longer a sustainable source of the country’s wealth,” he said.
A 3.2 percent growth of the economy last year and a 4.9 percent increase over the past three months are not the figures the country should be satisfied with, Tokayev said, adding that Kazakhstan has got stuck in “the middle-income trap” due to economic inertia of the past decade.
He stated that for Kazakhstan to move into the group of high-income countries, yearly growth of 6 percent is required, which is one and a half times higher than the current rate.
The President noted that another essential measure is the promotion of high-performing and honest entrepreneurs from regions who should become the driving force of a new fair economy.
He emphasized the need to create conditions where any entrepreneurial and hardworking businessperson can confidently move up the career ladder and in the social hierarchy.
Speaking about the tax policy, Tokayev reiterated the need for flexibility and adaptation to the country’s realities, proposing to ease the tax burden for new projects with low-profit margins in exchange for job creation, construction of processing facilities, and fulfillment of social obligations.
Noting a record growth of investment to $28 billion in the past decade, the President insisted on working hard to attract more investments and creating new jobs.
“I consider it necessary to assign prosecutor’s officers to each significant investment project. This should increase the efficiency of work to attract investment and serve as a guarantee of the security of investments by foreign entrepreneurs,” he said.
According to Tokayev, national security should be critical amid global turbulence. It is necessary to strengthen defense capability and increase the authority of Kazakhstan and the entire Central Asian region internationally.
“We live in a unique historical period. Rapid changes are taking place not only in science and technology but also in social relations. Approaches to public policy are acquiring a completely new vector of development. All this, of course, requires decisive and dynamic action on our part,” the President said.
Kazakhstan is the only country in the region that is implementing profound reforms, Tokayev mentioned again. Every citizen of the country should feel the effects of these reforms, which must be implemented immediately.