Kazakhstan focussed on strategy of sustainable development in 21st century: Nazarbayev
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has said that his country is independent and confident enough to continue with its strategy of sustainable development into the 21st century, while maintaining and building on its existing achievements.
Outlining plans for the country up to the year 2050 in an address to the nation on the occasion of the country completing 20 years of independence, Nazarbayev said: "We want to have a society based on a strong state, a developed economy with universal labor opportunities."
He added: "A strong state is especially important to ensure accelerated economic growth. This is not about survival. It is about planning long-term development and economic growth."
Outlining his vision for the nation's development prospects, Nazarbayev spoke of a new political course to be undertaken.
Recalling the chaos that prevailed 15 years ago after the break-off from the erstwhile Soviet Union, Nazarbayev talked of an economic crisis in South East Asia and Kazakhstan, and how it was surmounted.
"As we faced these challenges and others our strategy served as a beacon to guide our way forward and
keep us focused on our target. To reach this aim we had to work to improve three areas: build a modern nation state by making the leap towards a market economy, lay the foundation of a social system and, finally, transform people's thinking and outlook. We had to define our own path. This path was outlined in "Kazakhstan 2030 Strategy," he said.
"This strategy helped define our strategic goals and targets and provided a crucial breakthrough in our world outlook. Only with an objective in mind can we set targets that will lead us to success," he added.
"Today, I'm honored to announce that we made the right decisions all those years ago. Our resilience
through the 2008-2009 global financial crises has proved that. Kazakhstan has withstood. The crisis has not destroyed our achievements, but has made us stronger. The political, socio-economic and
foreign policy model of development that we chose proved to be the right one," Nazarbayev said.
"We have a clear formula to follow: "Economy first, then politics," said the Kazakh president in his state address.
"Every step of our political reforms is closely tied to our level of economic development. The only
way to modernize our country and make it competitive is to progressively follow the path of political liberalization. Step-by-step, our society is approaching the highest standards of democratization and human rights. We have secured fundamental rights and liberties in our country's Constitution. Our
citizens have equal rights and opportunities," he said.
"We have worked to restore our historic Kazakh culture and language after many years of decline, Kazakhstan is home to over 140 ethnic and 17 religious groups. We are proud of our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, and even prouder that we have maintained peace and stability in our country.
Civil peace and inter-ethnic harmony remains a key value for us," Nazarbayev said.
"To date, we have attracted over 160 billion dollars of foreign investment. We have established basic conditions for entrepreneurship, as well as a modern taxation system. We have systematically diversified our economy. I set forward a clear task to accelerate the industrialization program - to help transform the shape of our economy, make it immune to global commodity price fluctuation within the decade," he added.
"Over the past 15 years the incomes of our citizens have grown 16 fold. The number of people with an income below subsistence level is seven times lower than what it was; the number of unemployed is twice as low as it used to be. We have laid the foundation of a social-oriented society. We have also managed to achieve substantial progress in improving our nation's health," Nazarbayev said.