Kazakhstan's Economic and Political Plan
Tokaev, Kassymzhomart K., Presidents & Prime Ministers
What is your country's objective in coming to the UN's General Assembly session? What are some of the goals you hope to accomplish?
My mission is to introduce the views of Kazakhstan, and to find some way of solving international problems of central Asia. I will also address the General Assembly of the United Nations about Kazakhstan's domestic and foreign policies and to try to explain the ultimate goals of Kazakhstan.
In the economic sphere we are pursuing the policy of liberal economy. Approximately 80 percent of the Kazakhstan's enterprises have been privatized. In relation to our size, we are the biggest country in the world in terms of mineral deposits. At the same time, we would like to be the greatest in the world community, economically as well as politically, and recently; many things have been done to achieve great progress.
Kazakhstan is trying to contribute to the set up of security and peace. We hosted the United Nations meeting with the ministers of foreign affairs from numerous countries to discuss Asia's security problems. The ministers of major countries like Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Egypt, countries of central Asia, Israel and Palestine took part in this meeting. The declaration on the principles guiding the relationship between Asian countries was co-signed by all.
We are preparing for the next parliamentary elections. I think Kazakhstan, in terms of its economic and foreign policies, has made great progress. We obtained our independence seven years ago, and anyone who is assessing our policies should recall the position of major countries, like the United States and France, when they had only seven years of independence.
At this point, I think it is important to see whether the country is developing along the right path. In this respect, Kazakhstan is absolutely committed to the policy of developing democracy, and our progress has become irreversible.
Describe your relationship with your neighboring countries.
Currently, we are exploring the experiences of other countries. We are located in the midst of huge countries like Russia and China who share complicated history.
Near the southern part of Kazakhstan, there are a group of countries in turmoil. In general, I would say that in relation to our location, Kazakhstan's political situations are unique. This is why we emphasize the importance of issues regarding foreign policy.
Today we witness the process of globalization. Kazakhstan is undergoing change, but at the same time we are maintaining good relations with our neighboring countries. Globalization is vital in maintaining continuity, but at the same time it is important to preserve our specific interests.
Is Kazakhstan actively trading with its neighboring countries?
We trade actively with Russia and China. The trade volume is more than 650 million dollars. We believe that in the future we will exceed one billion dollars in trade.
We also operate with the United States, Switzerland, and other countries since we began exporting oil, gas and metal. Kazakhstan is very rich in mineral resources. The country has the largest chrome deposits in the world behind South Africa, and we have gold and copper deposits. The international markets are important to Kazakhstan because as an inland country, we have no direct access to the open sea.
What kind of planning does Kazakhstan undertake to attract foreign investors while avoiding the problems some countries face during economic liberalization?
We have been careful in developing our financial system. Kazakhstan's government is developing its private sectors by taking into account the negative and positive experiences of other countries.
I understand Kazakhstan has a 98 percent literacy rate.
The population of Kazakhstan now is 15.5 million people. The literacy level is very close to 100 percent and the population's educational level is very high. …