The welcoming speech of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev at the opening ceremony of the “OECD Eurasia Week 2017”. October 24, 2017.

Esteemed Mr. Secretary General, Esteemed participants and guests of the forum, ladies and gentlemen!

First and foremost, I am glad to welcome you on Kazakh soil. Welcome to Kazakhstan – The Country of the Great Steppe!

The "OECD Eurasia Week 2017" is for the first time held on the territory of one of the Eurasian Competitiveness Programme member countries. And it is a great honor for me to welcome members of the Governments of 13 Eurasian countries, ambassadors of OECD countries, prominent representatives of international organizations, scientific and business circles.

Allow me to especially thank the Secretary General of the OECD, Mr. Angel Gurría and the Organization as a whole, for supporting Kazakhstan’s initiative to hold the Eurasia Week in Almaty.

The Government of Kazakhstan considers this step as a demonstration of mutual understanding and a mutual desire to strengthen cooperation between Kazakhstan and the OECD. For Kazakhstan, which sets a national task to join the 30 most developed countries of the world by 2050, the level and standards achieved by OECD countries are an absolute guide in economic development.

Kazakhstan, which is one of the first countries in the post-Soviet space to create a free market economy, demonstrates very high growth dynamics. Today, we are among the top 50 countries by the size of economy and by per capita income level. We hold the 35th place in the World Bank's "Doing Business" rating.

Having become the 162nd member of the WTO, our country adheres to international trade rules. At the same time, Kazakhstan’s trade with OECD countries amounts to almost half (for reference: 50.9%) of the total commodity turnover of the country.

Kazakhstan supports the integration processes for the development of the economy and trade in the Eurasian space. The share of Eurasian countries in global GDP today is almost 500 billion USD. And the market is represented by the population of about 180 million people.

This is a huge potential for interaction between the EAEU and OECD countries, which Kazakhstan seeks to strengthen through the development of the region's transport and transit potential. Our country supports the development of the international megaproject “One Belt One Road” and is ready for full integration with the New Silk Road.

We have fully completed the Kazakhstan section of the Transcontinental International Road "Western Europe - Western China", which has the potential to become the main transportation route in the Central Asian region. We built a railway connecting Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran - another transit corridor for entering the markets of the Middle East.

All these are new opportunities for economic cooperation between the countries of the region and the OECD.

* * *

A new agenda is being formed in today’s world, the development paradigm is changing, the latest technologies are changing the face of our civilization. In Kazakhstan, as in the entire world, the time has come for a paradigm shift in the development of our country.

The Government consistently implements five institutional reforms of President Nursultan Nazarbayev aimed at improving the quality of public services for the population; ensuring the supremacy of the statute law, guaranteeing property rights; strengthening the anti-corruption policy; strengthening the favorable business climate; expanding civil society.

Earlier this year, Kazakhstan's leader Nursultan Nazarbayev announced the launch of the Third Modernization of Kazakhstan, aimed at creating a new model of economic growth and ensuring the country’s global competitiveness.

To date, the main decisions on the Third Modernization have been adopted.

A Constitutional reform was carried out. The justice system has been reformed. Serious work is being carried out to modernize public consciousness. The policy of trilingualism and large-scale learning of English language is being introduced. The phased transition of the Kazakh alphabet to the Latin script is planned. This will contribute to the growth of the nation's competitiveness.

The Government has prepared the Strategic Plan 2025 - a detailed plan for the implementation of the Third Modernization of Kazakhstan in the next ten years.

At the core of state policy is technological modernization, strengthening of the quality of human capital, and development of innovations.

The Digital Kazakhstan State Program, new investment and export strategies, the corresponding legislative base have been developed. It is planned that they will come into force beginning 2018.

There are first results already. After global trials and external shocks in 2014-2016, we began to restore economic growth. This year, the country's GDP has risen to 3.5%.

At the same time, in a modern world, the degree of a country’s competitiveness directly depends on the quality of human capital, the pace of development of new technologies, investment activity. And here, cooperation with the OECD and all member countries of the Organization is especially important to us.

Kazakhstan intends to expand its partnership to reform and implement the OECD's advanced economic standards in accordance with the Country Programme of Cooperation of Kazakhstan with the Organization.

To this end, this year the Government has approved a National Roadmap for the implementation of OECD recommendations.

I can say with confidence that the recommendations presented by the OECD allow carrying out structural reforms in such areas as public administration, development of small and medium-sized businesses, development of competition, development of local value chains and green finance.

The Government of Kazakhstan is ready to promote the spread of best practices and the exchange of our experience in interacting with the OECD with the countries of Eurasia.

Our goal is common. It is to promote the sustainability of social and economic development in Eurasia. It is to increase the competitiveness of the countries in our region, attract investment, build up a modern export policy, stimulate innovative entrepreneurial activity.

I am confident that our meetings and discussions within the framework of the Week will be very fruitful and will lay an intellectual fairway for long-term and successful cooperation between the countries of Eurasia and the OECD. May there be fruitful dialogue within the framework of the “OECD Eurasia Week2017”.

I wish you success in your work!

www.primeminister.kz

Published: 24 October 2017

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