Representatives of the OECD and Kazakh Ministers elaborated on the concrete results of the OECD Country Programme for Kazakhstan at the Eurasia Week in Almaty.

At present, Kazakhstan has already applied 14 of the 29 OECD declarations and recommendations.

"In the OECD, this process is cooperated with partners, it is wonderful that we are working in the form of the Country Programme. The OECD declarations became the basis of some of Kazakhstan’s  legislative acts. The program has been extended, the second phase is being implemented until the end of 2018, aimed at modernizing and developing the sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy. The country is taking active steps to implement all recommendations that were given by us, all recommendations and positions were included in the action plan that was created by the Government of Kazakhstan. Important steps have been taken regarding e-government, we hope that the effect of the Country Programme will soon be even higher, that Kazakhstan will share its successful experience with its neighbors in the region,”- William Thompson, Head of the OECD Eurasia Division said during the discussion of the OECD Country Programme for Kazakhstan at the OECD Eurasia Week in Almaty.

Minister of Investments and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zhenis Kassymbek stressed that cooperation with the OECD is productive for his industry. The Ministry works with the organization in five areas - investment climate, transport sector, industry, innovation and subsoil use, actively cooperates with 4 main committees of OECD. Kazakhstan became a member of the OECD Committee on Industry, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Steel Committee. This year the country became the 58th participant of the OECD international transport forum, Kazakhstan is also the 48th country that joined the OECD declaration on international investment and new national enterprises, and the OECD Investment Committee invited Kazakhstan as an associated member this year.

“Two assessments of investment policy have been carried out since 2009. As a result of the first one, in 2011 fundamental changes were introduced to the legislation, including tax legislation. The work shows real results. The growth of foreign direct investment continues. Results of the last year indicate almost 20%. Investments go to the manufacturing sector. Many documents which were adopted taking into account the recommendations of the Committee on Investments yield results. The visa regime for investors has been simplified, citizens of more than 60 countries, including OECD countries, can stay here for up to 30 days without a visa. The labor legislation for investors has been amended, and large changes have been made to the Tax Code and the Customs Code. We adopted an action plan based on the results of the second OECD assessment of Kazakhstan's investment climate and believe that this work should give an additional impetus to attracting investments to the country,” – Zhenis Kassymbek said.

Minister of Labor and Social Protection of Population of the Republic of Kazakhstan Tamara Duissenova told in detail about work with the organization on labor legislation.

"Within two years, jointly with the OECD we have completed an open policy implementation project, aimed at young people, the elderly and socially disadvantaged groups of the population. This is the most vulnerable part of population in the market. The OECD gave more than 30 recommendations, we are working on almost all of them. The first recommendation is the improvement of safety and health conditions. In 2016, we introduced a new Labor Code, which already covers these issues. For the first time we have implemented industrial councils, today there are more than 12 thousand of them, this is a partnership between employers and employees to improve working conditions. Now, within the framework of the recommendations, we are working to improve and update labor standards. We are finalizing the update, before 2021 we will completely have the standards corresponding to the OECD security bar. The issue of improving the skills of personnel and rational use of labor resources was also resolved. The employment roadmap covered 800 thousand people, we have kept the unemployment rate at 4.9% of the economically active population. We constantly improve qualifications, form professional standards, adapt educational programs, we are introducing an independent evaluation of knowledge. The big issue is the availability of services to promote employment; the transformation of employment centers has begun,” – Tamara Duissenova said.

Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kanat Bozumbayev reported on the implementation of the OECD recommendations in the field of environmental regulation, the transition to green technologies, simplification of procedures, measures to assess the environmental effect and the implementation of emission standards. And Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yerlan Sagadiyev reported on the reforms in education, which are only partially based on the recommendations of the OECD. Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov in his turn noted that the OECD review with recommendations for Kazakhstan within the framework of the Country Programme consists of 500 items, 60% of which are implemented, 40% of recommendations to Kazakhstan are still to be implemented.

"Not everything is going as quickly as we would like, there are social and political issues, a big bureaucracy, changes in legislative acts. Nevertheless, I consider our close work with international institutions on the Country Programme successful. We often discuss issues with OECD representatives, learn from the experience of other countries, there are a number of commissions and corporations within the country responsible for implementing the Country Programme on our part," – Timur Suleimenov said.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was founded in 1948. It is an international economic organization of developed countries that recognize the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. The OECD Eurasia week is held in Almaty for the first time. Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev spoke at its opening ceremony.

KAZINFORM

Published: 26 October 2017

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