The President of Kazakhstan reiterated the key development priorities for the country to become one of the top 30 developed countries by 2050. The new strategic vision ‘Kazakhstan-2050’ sets joining the ranks of the top 30 developed countries by 2050 as an overarching goal for the country. The president emphasized that to achieve this goal Kazakhstan will have to transform itself to a knowledge-based economy that is open, fair and inclusive for its citizens and for innovative private sector development. He also emphasized that the government’s long-term strategic agenda should be focused on improving the quality of human capital and building more fair and inclusive institutions for such transformation in a sustainable manner.
The human capital agenda would focus on development of skilled and healthy workforce demanded by the labor market. This will require improving the quality of education through development of professional and motivated teachers and modernization of the educational infrastructure, and also improving the quality of life through preventive healthcare and better access to safe water and air.
The institutional reform agenda would focus on improving the business environment through fair competition and an equal access to justice and other services provided by the public sector. This will be dealt by reducing the role of the state through partial privatization (so called the ‘People’s IPO’), better accountability of state-owned enterprises, and reduction of administrative barriers, and also strengthening the rule of law through better transparency of the judicial system, decentralized and more efficient public administration, and anti-corruption measures.
The need to strategically manage Kazakhstan’s natural capital has also been prioritized. The president encouraged the government to consider a more conservative scenario for oil extraction to support more broad-based growth of the non-oil economy (including utilization of agricultural potential and development of the high-tech industry) and to prevent the spread of the Dutch disease. As part of the country’s green growth strategy, the president also suggested increasing the use of alternative renewable energy (to 50 percent of total energy sources by 2050) and reducing power intensity (by 2.5-3.5 percent a year).
Regional and multilateral economic integration is considered as an efficient instrument to mitigate potential external risks. A more open and active economic integration with the members of the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia Customs Union, the World Trade Organization and the other countries in Central Asia will facilitate more stable economic development and will help to mitigate potential risks associated with drug-trafficking, terrorism, religious extremism and ethnic conflicts in the region. Kazakhstan will use its transit potential to improve connectivity with its neighbors and the rest of the world.