Nur-Sultan: Using the slogan “Inspiring growth: people, cities, economies”, the Astana Economic Forum (AES) describes itself as one of the business highlights of the year in Eurasia. It examines the rapid changes in the industry’s 4.0 era, and how the “new technological pattern dramatically changes the way we work, exercise our civil rights, and bring up our children.”
The AEF is regarded as one of the most influential international platforms for discussing the recovery and development of the global economy and financial system.
The plenary session of the XII Astana Economic Forum (AEF) took place on Thursday in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan. At the plenary meeting of the AEF-2019, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that digital transformation is changing the face of our familiar economy, and mobile creative human capital is becoming the main driver of growth. “By 2030, about 375 million people around the world will need to undergo training and change their profession,” said Nazarbayev.
The event, held on 16 and 17 May this year, is an important rendezvous for top-level politicians, Nobel Prize winners and businessmen alike. This year’s AEF is unprecedented. In two days more than 50 sessions and events will take place – these are record numbers for the 12-year history of the AEF. Furthermore, for the first time, students and youth have the opportunity to take part in AEF Talks and meet Nobel laureates and politicians. Also for the first time, a round table was held with the participation of the International Monetary Fund for Ministers of Finance and governors of the central banks of the countries and the first Kazakhstan forum on the UN sustainable development goals.
This year the AEF witnessed 5,492registered delegates from 74 countries, including experts, politicians, businesspeople and scientists, will attend the Forum. Foreign guests participating in the forum are Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Han Zheng, Vice-Premier of the State Council of China,Armen Sarkissian, President of Armenia, Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation, Paul Romer, Chief Economist of the World Bank (2016-2018), Nobel Prize in Economics 2018. AEF-2019 has received significant interest from foreign and domestic media, with 710 representatives from 30 countries participating in the event.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, expressed that “Although we expect a reduction in global tensions in the next six months, we cannot be certain. We hope that the voltages that exist at the moment will be relaxed for certain reasons. And your mediation, perhaps, Mr. President Nursultan Nazarbayev, will help with this. ”
Commenting on the importance of the AEF, Christine Lagarde said: “To put growth on a higher and more inclusive path, the world needs strong international cooperation in addition to good domestic policies. Events such as the Astana Economic Forum provide a platform for regional cooperation. We will also hear from others, including on how the IMF can help.”
“Every nation can benefit from global economic growth,” said Nobel Prize economics (2018), World Bank chief economist (2016–2018) Paul Romer.
Till date the Forum has been attended by about 50,000 delegates from 150 countries across the world, among them are over 20 Noble Prize Winners and 30 top-level foreign politicians. In the framework of the congress, more than 300 memorandums and agreements were signed and totaled over US$ 20 billion.
This year also numerous projects were finalized and agreed to work upon with the investors worth $9bn. The key projects included the project of greenhouse complexes construction is also focused on export-oriented agricultural products, a corresponding project agreement was signed between KAZAKH INVEST NC JSC and the Russian investor ECO-Culture AH. In the field of gas chemistry, the Akimat of Mangistau region and the Singaporean company Westgasoil signed a Cooperation Agreement to implement the project of methanol and olefins production. In order to develop exports, Yıldirim Holding (Turkey) and the akimat of Zhambyl region signed an Agreement to construct soda ash plant in Zhambyl region. In the field of transport and logistics, YDA Holding (Turkey) signed an agreement with the Akimat of the Turkestan region to construct and operate an international airport. Another transport project is the creation of a logistics hub on the basis of the international airport in Aktobe, the corresponding agreement was signed between KAZAKH INVEST NC JSC and AEON corporation (Russia). In the MMC sector, an agreement was reached between Canarax Trading LLC (UAE) and the Akimat of Pavlodar region to produce technical silicon. A Roadmap was signed in the field of education for the implementation of project “Construction of an Educational Metropolis – Kindergarten, School, College, University” with the Singapore investor Kinder World in three regions: cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty and Shymkent. In the field of healthcare, an agreement was signed with the Shanghai Constructions Group (PRC) to construct a 1000-bed multidisciplinary clinic in Shymkent. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Board of Sberbank, Herman Gref, ensures that “If you did not start yesterday, then today you are already late.”