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Kazakhstan President Tokayev Stresses on Need for Economic Reforms

Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed the need for economic reforms and growth of the country, reported Astana Times.

Speaking at Kazakhstan’s socio-economic development on April 19, he urged all government officials should become state reformers striving to improve the quality of citizens’ life, the Akorda press service reported.

According to Tokayev, their task is to increase the population’s income, create a comfortable living environment, ensure security and expand opportunities for the people’s comprehensive development.

The President stated the planned transformations would occur only amid a robust market economy, which the government should focus on to meet the needs of citizens.

The meeting was attended by the country’s Prime Minister, Speakers of the Senate and the Mazhilis (lower chamber) of the Parliament, heads of state bodies reporting to the President, members of the government, akims (mayors) of Astana, Almaty, Shymkent, regions and districts, heads of parliamentary factions, as well as chairs of committees of the chambers of Parliament and regional and district maslikhats (local administrative bodies), reported Astana Times.

Tokayev mentioned the deterioration of traditional economic and logistical ties accompanied by record-high inflation, a slowdown in the global economy, and an increase in the debt burden of states, expressing concern about multiplying trade barriers and growing mutual distrust worldwide.

“This has become a new normality for the global economy, or rather an abnormality. Natural resources are no longer a sustainable source of the country’s wealth,” he said.

He stated that for Kazakhstan to move into the group of high-income countries, yearly growth of 6 per cent is required, which is one and a half times higher than the current rate, reported Astana Times.

A 3.2 per cent growth of the economy last year and a 4.9 per cent increase over the past three months are not the figures the country should be satisfied with, Tokayev said, adding that Kazakhstan has got stuck in “the middle-income trap” due to economic inertia of the past decade.

The President noted that another essential measure is the promotion of high-performing and honest entrepreneurs from regions who should become the driving force of a new fair economy.

He emphasized the need to create conditions where entrepreneurial and hardworking businesspeople can confidently move up the career ladder and in the social hierarchy, reported Astana Times.

Speaking about the tax policy, Tokayev reiterated the need for flexibility and adaptation to the country’s realities, proposing to ease the tax burden for new projects with low-profit margins in exchange for job creation, construction of processing facilities, and fulfillment of social obligations.

Noting a record growth of investment to USD 28 billion in the past decade, the President insisted on working hard to attract more investments and creating new jobs.

“I consider it necessary to assign prosecutor’s officers to each significant investment project. This should increase the efficiency of work to attract investment and serve as a guarantee of the security of investments by foreign entrepreneurs,” he said. (ANI)