Kazakhstan’s “Third Modernisation” discussed with Canadian MPs

February 22, 2017

On February 22 in Ottawa, Mr. Konstantin Zhigalov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Canada, discussed President Nazarbayev’s Address to the Nation 2017 and proposed Constitutional reforms with the members of the House of Common’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Canadian foreign service officials and leading experts.

In his annual address to the nation, Nazarbayev announced five main priorities as part of what he described as “Kazakhstan’s third stage of modernisation”. The priorities are aimed at ensuring economic growth and supporting the country to become one of the top 30 most developed countries in the world by 2050.  The five priorities are: Accelerationof technological modernisation of the economy, improved business environment, macroeconomic stability, improved quality of human capital and institutional reforms, including improved security and more action to tackle corruption.

President Nazarbayev said in his annual address: “I am setting the task of ensuring the implementation of the Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to create a new model of economic growth that will ensure the country's global competitiveness.” He added: “This modernisation is not a plan to combat current global challenges, but a reliable bridge to the future, to meet the objectives of Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy. It will be carried out on the basis of the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.”

The annual address followed a special announcement given by the President last week, in which he set out bold plans to increase the powers of parliament. President Nazarbayev stated that these constitutional reforms are aimed at furthering the democratic development of Kazakhstan, as the Government will be accountable to parliament.

During his presentation, Ambassador Zhigalov briefed about the measures taken by Kazakhstan’s Government during the first and second stage of modernization in 1990’s and 2000’s that made the country one of the 50th most competitive countries in the world. He also touched upon major achievements in socio-economic development and building a robust middle class economy, President Nazarabyev’s international initiatives aimed at promoting global and regional security, peaceful dialogue and strategic stability across Eurasia.

Canadian MPs acknowledged the importance of Kazakhstan’s ongoing institutional reforms and capacity-building measures envisioned by the 100 Steps Plan and supported the Government’s efforts in improving the investment climate and promoting small and medium-sized enterprises.

Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development also discussed their visit to Astana in January 2017 and fruitful discussions with Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev, Senate Chairman Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Mazhils Chairman Nurlan Nigmatulin, Minister of Religious and Civil Society Affairs Nurlan Yermekbayev, Chairman of the Mazhilis Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security Maulen Ashimbayev, and Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev.

In this regard, the meeting participants reviewed recent developments in bilateral relations and agreed to continue close cooperation on a number of issues, including the upcoming celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Kazakhstan-Canada diplomatic relations in April 2017.

An official reception to mark the 25th Anniversary is scheduled for April 7, 2017 in Ottawa.