GOVERNMENT WEEK. Anti - crisis Council established. Kazakhstan proposals at 10th ECO Summit in Tehran. II Astana Economic Forum
Astana. March 13. KAZINFORM./ Balym Issenova / The Kazakh Ministry of Industry and Trade introduced the draft regulation to the Government on the establishment of anti-crisis Council. A prerequisite for its establishment is the situation at the world financial markets, which affects the real sector of the economy of the country. “The main purposes of the council are the development of proposals on consolidation of efforts of governmental and non-governmental organizations, business community, optimization of the mechanisms of state-private partnership, creation of the conditions for development of competitive sectors of the economy”, head of the Ministry Vladimir Shkolnik said. At the Government session on Monday Prime Minister K. Massimov set a number of tasks on implementation of the "Road Map" action plan, adopted by the Government on March 6, 2009 in accordance with the President’s Address to Nation. The Prime Minister charged Deputy Premier Y. Orynbayev to coordinate this work. “Financing of this direction of the road map will be provided from the national and local budgets. The financing from the national budget will be amounted to KZT 140 bln”, Deputy Premier said. The Deputy Premier also informed that special inter-departmental commission on the issues of employment and staff retraining, chaired by the Kazakh Prime Minister and with attraction of interested state bodies, Parliament Deputies, NGOs and Mass Media will be established. Local commissions, chaired by governors will be established as well in order to monitor the implementation of the strategy. Possible number of redundant employees, their occupation and qualifications, education level and graduates' specialties will be specified in the employment map. The limit of financing for each region will depend on how many people can face the risk of job loss in 2009. The Deputy Premier noted that every region will be offered several directions of employment and the total volume of financing will be defined as well. Appropriation of funds will be held on the local level and depend on demands and peculiarities of each region. Y.Orynbayev informed on the terms of realization of the plan. The optimization of the local budgets and development of the employment map will be accomplished by March 20. Overall volumes of financing for each region will be defined by March 30, 2009. Directions of the financing strategy will be defined by April 15. Draft amendments to the national budget will be introduced to the Lower House of the Parliament by March 18. Programs of social and youth employment will be extended not later than April 30, 2009. On Thursday a working group on development of a draft Strategy of Social and Economic Development of Kazakhstan till 2020 held its regular sitting chaired by Prime Minister K. Massimov. Representatives of the Presidential Administration, Majilis deputies, members of the Government and local executive bodies took part in the session. The working group was established under the Kazakh President’s commission within the framework of “Kazakhstan-2030” Long-term Development Strategy. The group considered proposals on strategic development of transport-communication complex, employment and social security of the population of Kazakhstan. During this week PM K. Massimov held a number of meetings with eminent foreign politicians and economists: former President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Jean Lemierre; Rector of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia Vladimir Fillipov; French Senator Amerie de Montesquieu; President of the Islamic Development Bank Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali. The PM and Jean Lemierre discussed issues regarding the current economic policy of Kazakhstan, financial stabilization programs and additional measures on economic development in the global economy. Jean Lemierre commended the anti-recessionary measures and steps on ensuring economic stability taken by the Kazakh Government. During the meeting with rector of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia Vladimir Filippov the sides discussed a number of topical issues of higher education. There was paid attention to a theme of extension of cooperation between the Kazakh and Russian universities, in particular, on development of exchange programs and joint magistracy. K. Massimov and French Senator Amerie de Montesquieu exchanged opinions on the issues of further development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and France. The parties discussed a number of issues connected with a visit of France President Nicolas Sarkozy to Kazakhstan. The main issue under consideration of the Kazakh PM and President of the Islamic Development Bank Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali was the development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the IDB. The head of the Bank highly estimated the economic potential, which Kazakhstan can realize in the Central Asian region and in the framework of international organizations. On Thursday the Kazakh Prime Minister met with Minister of Economy and Planning of Saudi Arabia Dr Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Qusaibi. The parties exchanged opinions on further development of economic cooperation between the two states. They discussed investment opportunities of Kazakhstan in various spheres of economy – oil and gas sector and agriculture. In addition, the issue of the forthcoming council of businessmen of Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia planned for May 2009 as part of work of the Intergovernmental Commission was considered. This week PM K. Massimov headed the delegation to participate in the 10th ECO Summit in Tehran. “This summit and all issues on its agenda are very topical. The world crisis passed the limits of the financial system and affected the social-economic development. Today none of authoritative international organizations can offer specific mechanisms and methods to overcome the crisis. The crisis overwhelmed countries and continents, thus the ECO’s big economic potential have a special significance. Our country backs the program of ECO development till 2015”, K.Massimov said. “Kazakhstan also supports the program of the ECO aimed at activating the private sector. In this context we have to think over holding of a business forum with the participation of the ECO states’ businessmen”, Mr. Massimov said. Prime Minister Karim Massimov called on heads of the states and governments of the member countries to support the Kazakh President’s initiative to create a single currency. The participants of the Summit welcomed the initiative aimed at stabilizing financial and economic systems and agreed to use as an early step the currency of ECO member countries for bilateral and multilateral trade operations as the most efficient and reliable financial instruments. The Ministry of Economy & Budget Planning of the Republic of Kazakhstan together with JSC Economic Research Institute and the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists Association (EECSA) has organized the 2nd Astana Economic Forum ‘Economic Security in Eurasia in the System of Global Risks’ on March 11-12. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev opened the Forum. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President of the Islamic Development Bank made a report on Islamic financing as a tool for funding in the financial crisis, while Jan Kubis, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe spoke on the ‘Role of international economic cooperation in the mitigation of the consequences of global economic crises’. The Nobel Prize laureates - economists Professor Edmund S. Phelps and Professor Robert Mundell spoke on the ‘The economic security of Eurasia in the system of global risks’ and a ‘Concept for coping with world economic crises’ respectively. In addition, Jean Lemierre, Advisor to the Chairman BNP PARIBAS devoted his speech to the ‘Financial system after the crises’. Other sessions during the Forum addressed the matters on economic crises and their impact on economic security; public/private partnership development; entrepreneurship development under the global risks; Islamic economy development within globalization; regional economic cooperation; public management of economy under conditions of global challenges. The ultimate aim of the 2nd Astana Economic Forum was to work out recommendations which would become discussion points at the G20 Summit in London on April 2nd. Within the framework of the II Astana Economic Forum President Nursultan Nazarbayev held bilateral meetings with Minister of Economy and Planning of Saudi Arabia Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Gusaibi and the UN Deputy Secretary General– Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Jan Kubis. The Head of the State and the Minister of Economy and Planning of Saudi Arabia discussed the issues of development of bilateral trade-economic relations. It was noted that opening of a direct flight between the two countries can play important role in tuning up business relations. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Gusaibi informed N.Nazarbayev of agreements on avoidance of double taxation and on cooperation in the education sphere prepared by the Kazakh and Saudi Arabian governments. Saudi Arabia is interested in development of investment cooperation with Kazakhstan, in particular, in agriculture, oil and gas, energy and financial sector. N.Nazarbayev and Jan Kubis discussed prospects of development of the Kazakh transport potential. Within the meeting a significance of “Path to Europe” state program was noted. It is aimed at developing all-round cooperation with the countries of Europe and European structures. According to J.Kubis, the program can become a “road map” of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OSCE in 2010.