Kazakhstan's Reforms Gain Speed, Dynamism

Article excerpt

Time and again in the course of their long history the people of Kazakhstan have had to make a vitally important choice. They have done so when it was necessary to combine their efforts to fight external challenges and to stand up for their independence.

Vital choice was made shortly before the new millennium, a mere decade ago from now. The newly acquired independence was triumph of the dreams and aspirations of our people during the past centuries. The country has emerged from a totalitarian blind alley and begun to move forward towards progress. Presently, Kazakhstan is undergoing an irreversible transition to a new social situation, meeting to the requirements of the new millennium. The move to a civil society is taking it through the thorn way of establishment of the market relationships and new political institutions.

The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has put forward in 1997 a new vision of the future, as set out in the "Kazakhstan -- 2030" strategic concept. Most of its provisions are already taking special shape, as they are implemented in state policy and everyday actions. The strategy concerns all aspects of the life of the country and sets priorities for its development.

For the last years the political and legal conditions for the development of market economy and Kazakhstan's access to the world markets have been built up.

Fundamental economic reform began during the acute crisis of the early 1990s. However, in a short time, Kazakhstan's reforms speeded up and gained necessary dynamism. A privatization process, laying the foundation for new property relations, was carry out promptly.

The Kazakhstani economy had to endure the negative consequences of the Asian crisis, which resulted in falling prices of many kind of Kazakhstani export recourses and the floating of the tenge -- national currency. In these circumstances, it proved to be sound and stable.

Today, one of the main strategic task is to create conditions for further economic growth. Now Kazakhstani economy is under way of transition from the macroeconomic stabilization period toward sustainable economic growth. Mechanisms of economic interaction between market entities are being dynamically adjusted. In spite of hardship, the existing level of inflation has been decreased, the budget deficit maintained within in the prescribed bounds.

We should emphasize that public consciousness has also undergone a form of psychological change. Today, the notion that there should be no enterprises requiring incessant subsidy injections under modern conditions is becoming increasingly dominant. It is necessary to study the market constantly and act flexibly and rapidly. A lot of new enterprises have emerged during these years. These have managed to enter the market and now successfully compete and flourish.

The issue of determining our country's place in the world economy, to which it may rightly claim, is increasing at the edge of millennium. Kazakhstan's prospects are mainly dependent on its successful integration into the world economy. Moreover, we should also know what needs to be done to properly use those resources, and to multiply the available potential as far as possible.

According to the GDP per capita ratio, Kazakhstan is included in the top group of countries with transition economy and stable average incomes.

Now the main task of Kazakhstan's economy policy is to overcome its row material orientation. The dominance of the extractive industries has called for row specialization of Kazakhstan exports, the half of one is row. This production structure is increasing country's economic dependence on external factors, particularly on the fluctuations in world prices for main Kazakhstan's export. The next serious problem is the high concentration of industrial production. At present, almost 16.000 enterprises operate in the country, of which about 250 large enterprises produce more than 77% of Kazakhstan's products. …