ASTANA – Kazakhstan aims to become one of the largest digital hubs in Eurasia, said President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as he chaired the 35th plenary session of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC), which coincided with the Astana International Forum (AIF) on June 8.
Foreign investors gathered at a round table to discuss global challenges related to the investment climate. Over the years, the FIC has become an effective dialogue platform and has contributed to improving the investment climate, Tokayev stressed.
“Geopolitical tensions and increasing protectionism are shaking the global economy. This threatens not only a slowdown but also depresses global growth,” he said.
The President emphasized that the general international new concepts and objects, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things, and Big Data, are changing the game in the agriculture and finance industries.
Digitalization has become a determining factor of the competitiveness of entire countries and nations, Tokayev emphasized. According to him, the digital technology market is expected to increase by 50% to $6.8 trillion by 2025.
The President recalled that 62 countries recently unanimously supported establishing the United Nations Digital Solution Centre for Sustainable Development of Central Asia in Kazakhstan, considering it to be one of the most promising countries for digital well-being.
Odile Renaud-Basso, the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), underscored the importance of Kazakhstan’s digital transformation, saying that reliable digital infrastructure will stimulate this renewal, create a better environment for investors and foster economic growth.
Wabtec Corporation, a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions, and value-added services, is now partnering with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy national railway company to provide digitalization and sustainability and continue to improve its operational efficiency, said Wabtec CEO Rafael Santana.
The FIC this year was also attended by Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu, Kazakh Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry Bagdat Mussin, Kazakhstan Foreign Investors’ Council Association Board Chairman Erlan Dosymbekov, President of the Asian Development Bank Masatsugu Asakawa, China National Petroleum Corporation President Hou Qijun, CEO of Shell oil and gas company Wael Sawan, and Executive Vice President of Chevron Corporation Nigel Hearne, among others.
Founded in 1998, the FIC promotes direct dialogue between the Kazakh government and foreign investors by providing an opportunity to address issues related to the development of the national economy and the improvement of the investment climate.