President Tokayev Charts Economic Blueprint with Focus on Structural Reforms and Growth in New Interview

ASTANA — In a Jan. 3 interview with Egemen Qazaqstan newspaper, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined an ambitious economic course aimed at achieving a Just and Fair Kazakhstan and doubling the size of the national economy to $450 billion by 2029. The President shared insights and addressed concerns about the feasibility of this goal during the interview.

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President Tokayev responded to questions about the realism of the economic target, particularly in light of projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, indicating that the economic growth in Kazakhstan from 2023 to 2024 is expected to be no more than 3-4%.

“This is a completely achievable goal. According to analysts of the IMF, by the end of 2023, the volume of GDP in current prices in Kazakhstan should be over $259 billion, which is 15% more than in 2022. This is the most significant nominal growth in Central Asia,” Tokayev said.

President Tokayev emphasized positive trends in GDP per capita, citing a forecast of nearly $13,000 for 2023 with an annual growth estimate of $1,600. He highlighted that according to the IMF, this figure is expected to increase by a third to $16,800 by 2028.

“While macroeconomic indicators are important, the real well-being of citizens is paramount,” the President said. 

President Tokayev outlined two main directions the government should focus on to achieve the economic goal, emphasizing the need for targeted tasks to stimulate country development, such as large industrial projects. 

“The first is the solution of several targeted tasks that can stimulate country development. These include the implementation of large industrial projects. In the September address, the government was instructed to determine a list of possible large projects and prepare an Infrastructure Development Plan. These projects are being studied, and consultations are held with large businesses, institutional investors, and the expert community,” he said. 

He mentioned the creation of an Investment Headquarters endowed with broad powers to improve the investment climate and facilitate the high-quality implementation of investment projects.

“The second direction includes measures to implement systemic reforms to consolidate new ‘rules of the game’ for the entire economy. The government, on my instructions, is developing a new Tax Code designed to restart the relationship between the state and business,” President Tokayev explained. 

He stressed the importance of balancing creating comfortable conditions for investors and maintaining the required budget revenue. President Tokayev also highlighted the significance of a new Budget Code, emphasizing rationality, thrift, and the relevance of budgetary use. He added that new laws on public procurement and public-private partnerships were deemed crucial for transparency and financial stability.

President Tokayev acknowledged the global economic challenges but emphasized the need for a detailed action plan to capitalize on new opportunities.

“It is important that all measures to stimulate economic growth are accompanied by structural reforms aimed at developing entrepreneurship and competition, protecting private property, and ensuring fair justice. With this approach, we will achieve all our goals, including doubling the volume of the national economy within the planned time frame,” Tokayev said. 

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