Kazakh President Addresses Asia’s Key Role in Global Economy at Boao Forum

ASTANA –  President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev highlighted Asia’s leading role in new development paradigms to counterbalance escalating trade disputes and protectionist policies hindering economic growth and investor confidence worldwide at the plenary session of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) in Hainan on March 28, reported Akorda. 

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addresses the plenary session of the Boao Forum for Asia. Photo credit: Akorda

Asia’s economic dominance and innovation

Accounting for 53% of global trade with top technology centers providing 70% of patent developments, Asia is expected to contribute 60% of global GDP growth this year, Tokayev said.

Tokayev regarded the BFA, held for the 23rd time this year under the theme Asia and the World: Common Challenges, Shared Responsibilities, as a testament to Asia’s innovative approach to universal economic progress and China’s commitment to global development.

Touching on Kazakh-Chinese relations, the President underscored Kazakhstan’s prominent role as China’s primary trade partner in Central Asia, with bilateral trade reaching a historic $41 billion in 2023 and cargo transportation increasing by 22% to nearly 30 million tons.

According to Tokayev, Kazakhstan’s strategic location within the Belt and Road Initiative, carrying 80% of all land transport between China and Europe, positions it as a critical transit hub bridging East and West.

Kazakhstan’s strategic position and economic vision

Focusing on the country’s new economic course, the President declared that the country would maintain growth of at least 6% and double the economy by 2029 and invited Asian partners, particularly Chinese investors, to capitalize on Kazakhstan’s open-door policy and liberal market reforms.

Tokayev outlined several urgent tasks to bolster fiscal and monetary systems, expand financial flows, and enhance institutional quality to foster a transparent and competitive economy.

He stressed the global need for a new multilateral trading system based on fairness and openness to address escalating trade barriers, protectionism, and treaty violations.

The President advocated for equitable opportunities in the global financial system and urged intensified efforts in sustainable financing.

He pointed out, “The Eurasian Development Bank plans to issue the first panda bonds as a new financial investment tool. It can become critical for financing global infrastructure projects.”

Elaborating on the food security situation, Tokayev highlighted Kazakhstan’s commitment to leveraging its agricultural potential, particularly in wheat production, to ensure global food stability through international cooperation and innovative technologies.

The President emphasized the strategic importance of enhancing transit and transport cooperation in Asia, noting the critical role of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route and North-South corridor in securing efficient supply chains between Asia and Europe.

Tokayev endorsed China’s Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) Governance Initiative, stressing the significance of strengthening technological cooperation and expressing Kazakhstan’s interest in collaborating with leading Asian technology giants.

He identified extracting critical raw materials, such as rare earth metals, as a promising area for international partnerships.

“We continue to work with international partners on the most effective ways to develop our large deposits of uranium, lithium, titanium and other rare earth elements,” he said.

The President reiterated Asia’s decisive role in shaping the global future course and emphasized the importance of international dialogue platforms such as the BFA and Astana International Forum.

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