Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Briefs International Media on Upcoming Astana International Forum

ASTANA — Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko spoke about the highlights of the forthcoming two-day Astana International Forum (AIF) and its significance for Kazakhstan’s development during a June 7 meeting with foreign reporters.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko spoke about the significance of the Astana International Forum with foreign journalists. Photo credit: Dana Omirgazy/The Astana Times.

Welcoming the meeting participants, Vassilenko drew attention to Kazakhstan’s political and socio-economic reforms, international obligations, and multi-vector foreign policy centered around promoting global peace, security, and stability.

In light of the continuing geopolitical tensions, he emphasized the country’s commitment to maintaining positive relations with all countries, near and far, while ensuring its own independent position in the world and facilitating closer political and economic cooperation among countries and regions.

“Kazakhstan does not have bad or tense relations with any country and has positive and constructive relations with all nations,” he said.

Speaking on the AIF objectives and the forum’s role in advancing multilateralism, international cooperation, and dialogue, Vassilenko highlighted Kazakhstan’s significant capabilities to implement intended targets.

He mentioned Kazakhstan’s experience in promoting diplomacy on the global scale for several decades, including initiatives to establish important fora and platforms such as the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, among others. 

With its strategic geographic position in the heart of Eurasia, Kazakhstan is well-suited to bring together representatives of different countries and regions, becoming a prominent transcontinental transport hub.

Vassilenko said that Kazakhstan’s economy, which grew by 3.2% in 2022, “is now almost one third bigger than the economies of other Central Asian countries combined.” Kazakhstan receives roughly 60% of foreign investment in the region. Since its independence, the country has garnered $410 billion in foreign investment. 

“Kazakh economy has proved resilient to the geopolitical upheavals. At the same time, we are fully aware that our country is not immune to current global economic shocks and challenges, including inflation and decreased investor confidence. As such, we look forward to hosting several panels at the AIF on economic issues, including promoting sustained and inclusive growth while ensuring sustainable development,” he said.

The event is expected to welcome over 1,000 participants and over 100 speakers, including government leaders, representatives of international organizations, CEOs of multinational companies, as well as international experts.

The June 8 plenary session with the participation of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, Chairwoman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željka Cvijanović, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva, and Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay will become the flagship event of AIF. 

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will chair this plenary discussion moderated by the renowned British journalist and news anchor at CNN International, Richard Quest.

Several AIF sessions and discussions will assess ways to promote peace, prevent conflict, and organize the global order for the world’s benefit, as well as consider the future of multilateralism and the role of the United Nations in ensuring security, Vassilenko said.

“We believe the forum can help the international community identify innovative solutions to the key challenges of our time, from water security and climate change to future energy and health crises. Kazakhstan has always pushed for dialogue and mutual understanding. This is especially important today when there are increased calls for armed solutions and eroded trust in the international law-based order,” he added.

Vassilenko thanked foreign journalists for visiting Astana, supporting the forum, and wished them a fruitful stay.

“I have no doubt that thanks to your contribution, the AIF will grow in stature and influence, reaching new heights in the coming years. I am pleased to say that more than 130 foreign journalists have registered so far to cover the forum, in addition to our main media partners, CNN International and The Astana Times,” Vassilenko said.

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