.2 | THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2011 SPONSORED SECTION INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNEKazakhstan’s 20th anniversaryLooking back, thinking aheadECONOMY | Credit-rating rise OECD | Bid for observer statusIntegrating economic performance with social gains A role in global decision-makingT O wenty years of national development ‘‘Over the past nine months, real-money in- percent compared with the same period in n Nov. 22, during a working visit to has shown that Kazakhstan, while far come in Kazakhstan rose by 6.8 percent,’’ 2010, according to the Moscow-based CIS Paris, Prime Minister Karim from immune to global booms and Kelimbetov noted, adding that with an un- Interstate Statistics Committee. The figure Massimov presented Kazkahstan’sslumps, is sufficiently alert to global eco- employment rate of 5.3 percent, Kazakh- puts Kazakhstan ahead of the overall CIS bid for observer status to the council of thenomic conditions to put in place effective stan is experiencing ‘‘visible growth in con- economic growth estimate for the period, Organization for Economic Cooperation andsafety nets aimed at preventing the worst. sumer demand due to the easing of the which is 4.2 percent for the first half of this Development. This would enable Kazakh-The result so far, in the government’s view, situation in the labor market.’’ year. stan to take part in the work of the OECD’shas been a consolidation of positive mac- In early November, Standard & Poor’s Kazakhstan’s external trade is in line various commissions.roeconomic and socioeconomic trends. made economic history by raising Kazakh- with its domestic economic performance. ‘‘Half a century ago, when the OECD was Strong growth continues to mark the per- stan’s credit rating, to BBB+, as did Fitch Exports in the first nine months of 2011 established, few could imagine that one dayformance of virtually all sectors of Kazakh- Ratings (to BBB-) on Nov. 21. Fitch forecast reached $65.8 billion, up from $43.9 billion Kazakhstan would be able to submit such astan’s economy. ‘‘In the first nine months of that Kazakhstan’s sovereign net foreign as- in the same period the previous year. Im- request to the organization,’’ Massimov2011,’’ Economic Development and Trade sets would reach 49 percent of gross do- ports increased from $21.1 billion to $26.1 said. ‘‘Twenty years ago, when our countryMinister Kairat Kelimbetov recently told a mestic product by the end of 2013, up from billion year on year, resulting in an external gained independence, such an ambitioncabinet meeting, ‘‘Kazakhstan’s foreign 37 percent at the end of 2010. trade surplus of $39.8 billion, or more than seemed incredible. Now, we are an economy IGOR BURGANDINOVtrade turnover grew more than 40 percent. For Kazakhstan, these new indicators a quarter of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic open to new ideas and investments. We areHigh economic growth rates, along with the are likely to open more doors to external product, up from $22.8 billion a year earlier. investing in the development of a diversifiedfavorable foreign market environment, con- funding on a world capital market still show- Following a mild retreat in 2010, capital and innovative economy with modern infra- UKIMET.KZtributed to an increase in foreign trade ing signs of stress. According to the investment in Kazakhstan is back in the structure and high-quality education with theturnover of 41.3 percent in January-Septem- Azerbaijani-based regional news agency black, with a year-on-year increase of 1.5 aim of optimizing our citizens’ potential.’’ber this year, to reach $91.9 billion.’’ Trend: ‘‘The upgrading of the credit rating percent in the first nine months of 2011. In- For the government, Kazakhstan’s Kazakhstan has been resolute in building contributes positively to the country’s inter- Economic Development and Trade Minister Kairat flation has been contained so far, with the strategy of improving its industrial perfor- Prime Minister Karim Massimov: ‘‘We are anup financial reserves to support the econo- national prestige and gives it such advant- Kelimbetov. overall consumer price index remaining at mance and moving beyond its role as a pro- economy open to new ideas.’’my wherever and whenever needed. ‘‘Ka- ages as the opportunity to decrease in- 6.2 percent year on year in the first three ducer of commodities justifies raising itszakhstan’s international reserves rose by terest rates on loans borrowed from strengthening its competitiveness on inter- quarters of 2011. As of Oct. 1, unemploy- profile on the world stage. Today, emerging implementing the crisis-management and26.6 percent in the first 10 months of 2011 abroad, a potential increase in the value of national markets.’’ ment stood at 5.3 percent. economies — of which Kazakhstan is one prevention measures that have to be taken.against the same period in 2010, reaching Kazakhstan’s securities, expansion of ac- According to Grigory Marchenko, gov- Kazakhstan has been proactive among — play an increasing role in overall global Its timely creation will be a great help in mit-$75 billion,’’ Kelimbetov said. A healthy bal- cess to international financial markets and ernor of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, the ex-Soviet republics in adapting to the economic growth. Kazakhstan’s experience, igating the impact of current economic prob-ance between savings and spending allows diversification of the base of potential in- the upgrade can also be seen as a way of new situation, as figures show. After inde- as well as its desire to share that experience lems on national economies.’’the population to reap tangible benefits. vestors and their geography, hence encouraging Kazakhstan to make further pendence, the country’s economy, like with regional and global partners, is turning it Joining Massimov on his visit to Paris economic strides. In November, Marchenko those of most other newly independent So- into a laboratory for economic reform and was Zhanar Aitzhanova, minister of econom- called the improved rating a step in the right viet republics, found itself in dire straits. As a development. ic integration, who presented Kazakhstan’s direction, adding: ‘‘Kazakhstan should have result, industrial output fell by 13 percent in Massimov highlighted the government’s candidature to hold the World Trade Exhibi- an even higher rating because it’s a net 1992 and by 13 percent in 1993, only to bid to the OECD during the third economic fo- tion Expo 2017 in Astana. ‘‘Kazakhstan is Key macroeconomic indicators, 2007-11 creditor to the world. We have a huge credit- drop nearly 30 percent in 1994. rum Expert-100-Kazakhstan in Astana on the ninth-largest country in the world,’’ or position. That is why we believe Kazakh- As early as 1996, economic growth Nov. 25, in connection with Kazakhstan’s Aitzhanova pointed out. ‘‘It is equivalent to Period 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Q1-3 ’11 stan deserves a rating of at least a single A.’’ picked up, with a modest increase in GDP of quest for membership in the World Trade Or- the size of Western Europe. While located GDP +10.7% +8.9% +3.3% +1.2% +7.0% +7.0% He noted that the government’s external 0.5 percent, reaching a high of 13.5 percent ganization and its partnership with Russia primarily in Asia, part of Kazakhstan is also debt was just $4.5 billion, while the national in 2001. Capital investment, which had seen and Belarus in the Customs Union. On Jan. located west of the Urals in Eastern Europe. Industry +7.0% +5.0% +2.0% +1.7% +10.0% +4.3% oil fund had increased to $42.5 billion. a net decline of 43 percent in 1995 and of 1, 2012, the union is to be upgraded to a Therefore, by choosing Kazakhstan as host Agriculture +6.0% +9.0% -6.0% +13.8% -11.7% n.a. Moreover, the central bank has reserves of 40 percent in 1996, rose 12 percent the fol- Single Economic Space and, eventually, into country for Expo 2017, you are choosing in $32.5 billion. ‘‘There are no doubts whatso- lowing year, and peaked at 49 percent in a Eurasian Union, with membership open to favor of the bridge connecting Asia with Investment +11.0% +14.0% +5.0% +2.1% -0.5% +1.5% ever about the sovereign ability to repay the 2000. All this demonstrates that Kazakh- other former Soviet republics. Europe in the heart of Eurasia. Consumer index +9.0% +11.0% +17.0% +7.3% +7.1% +6.2% debts,’’ Marchenko said. stan’s policy of limiting the consequences of ‘‘Russia is on the brink of its entry into ‘‘Kazakhstan’s vast surface also makes In the first three quarters of this year, Ka- the global financial crisis has been consist- the World Trade Organization,’’ said it rich in wind resources, which gives it a Sources: CIS Interstate Statistics Committee, State Statistics Agency, Reuters zakhstan’s economic growth stood at 7 ent from the start. C.v.d.L. Massimov, ‘‘and we hope that Kazakhstan clear perspective to develop and consume will follow in the next 12 months.’’ Kazakh- wind energy,’’ Aitzhanova said. ‘‘The average stan’s goal of increasing its international annual wind speed in most parts of Kazakh-IN HIS OWN WORDS | Yerzhan Kazykhanov, minister of foreign affairs competitiveness and involvement in global stan is up to six meters per second. In co-For the Islamic world, prosperity and peace go hand in hand issues does not conflict with the creation of a single economic space, he observed, but rather complements it. operation with the U.N. Development Pro- gram, wind potential was studied in a number of areas, resulting in the develop-I n June, Kazakhstan took on the role of and investment policies based on effective opment of and recognition for the Islamic According to the prime minister, recent ment of a wind atlas for Kazakhstan, which chairing the 57-country Organization of Is- investment in education, science and tech- world, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan developments within the European Union is an interactive electronic map showing the lamic Cooperation. We did so because nology. The average gross domestic product Nazarbayev has put forward a number of make the world’s largest political and eco- distribution of wind speeds across the coun-we saw an important opportunity to give per capita in OIC countries is $9,500, while major initiatives. These include the estab- nomic federation an example to follow, but try. Moreover, Kazakhstan has several cli-fresh impetus to the OIC’s longstanding ob- in the European Union it is more than lishment of a dialogue platform for the 10 also offer lessons to be learned as the matic zones, in which solar energy re-jective of promoting modernization in the $24,000. There is a disproportionate distri- leading Islamic economies, the creation of former Soviet troika moves forward. sources are stable. The number of sunnyMuslim world in line with the values of Islam, bution of wealth among OIC countries, with an international center of innovation, sup- ‘‘We are all too aware of the problems hours reaches 3,000 per year.’’based on peace, tolerance and human dig- 10 out of the 57 member states producing port for small and medium-sized businesses faced by the European and global econo- Conversion in stages to the use of sus-nity. Kazakhstan’s own experience as a pre- 80 percent of the combined economic out- in the Islamic world and the development of mies,’’ Massimov said. ‘‘Therefore, the tainable energy as a substitute for dwindlingdominantly Muslim nation with more than put. Several leading economies in the Islam- a food-security system within the OIC. heads of governments of the Customs Un- hydrocarbon resources also fits into Ka-100 ethnic groups and 40 religions, with no ic world are overly dependent on raw materi- As a country that unilaterally renounced ion have decided to create a common think zakhstan’s plan for industrial development.history of inter-religious or interethnic als and need to diversify their development. its nuclear weapons, we are strongly com- tank consisting of the member states’ min- ‘‘Kazakhstan has one of the world’s MFA RKenmity, is a case in point. History shows that countries relying too mitted to global nuclear disarmament. Ka- isters of economy to address the issues at largest reserves of silicon,’’ Aitzhanova said. The Arab Spring has thrown into sharp heavily on natural resources end up with dis- zakhstan dismantled the world’s fourth- stake in an adequate manner with the aim ‘‘The country has all the potential for the de-relief the lack of progress in some parts of torted economies vulnerable to swings in largest nuclear arsenal and was the first to of helping businesses succeed.’’ velopment of solar photovoltaic cells, pan-the Islamic world, underlining the inability of commodity prices. This is a challenge that shut down one of the world’s largest nuclear Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Kazykhanov. Taking the other partners’ needs and re- els and solar thermal collectors to generatea number of countries to address mounting Kazakhstan has known it can face for some test sites. Kazakhstan initiated a special quirements into account offers no threat to heat on its own basis, using the newesteconomic and social problems. Addressing time. To meet it effectively, we have been OIC resolution urging further efforts to pre- nature of Islam. Just as there should be no member states, he said. ‘‘Our countries’ technologies. The potential of renewable en-the root causes of stalled development in quick to invest in industrial and innovation vent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. place for hatred of the West in the Islamic economists face the task of formulating ergy in our country is estimated at morethese states and integrating them into the sectors while attracting foreign capital and We have also given our backing to establish- world, there should be no Islamophobia in time-effective and cohesive measures to al- than 1 trillion kilowatts per hour a year.’’global mainstream is an urgent priority that upgrading our education system. We have ing a conflict-prevention and mediation me- the West. At the same time, key Islamic low the process to be completed,’’ said In conclusion, the minister said: ‘‘Bywill help prevent radicalization of attitudes made this a top priority, even though we chanism within the OIC. countries need to focus on solving their Massimov. ‘‘This means that during the up- choosing Kazakhstan, you are also choos-toward the West. have already been able to increase the aver- Through concerted actions to solve glob- political and socioeconomic problems by coming 12 months, painful and harsh de- ing not only multicultural, multilingual and We believe that the OIC’s main focus age income of the people of Kazakhstan by al problems, OIC countries can do much to raising the living standards of their citizens cisions will have to be made. Yet, the Single multiethnic diversity, but also diversity ofshould be on promoting economic develop- 17 times since independence in 1991. raise the profile of the Islamic world and ad- and creating stability. Leadership in the glob- Economic Space should be considered future energy resources for sustainablement and competitiveness through trade To contribute to achieving greater devel- dress misperceptions in the West about the al arena begins at home. the best available tool for guiding and development.’’ C.v.d.L.