PRESIDENT’S WEEK

October 17, 2018
Meeting with President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö
Helsinki, Republic of Finland


After the official welcoming ceremony, the heads of state discussed issues of bilateral relations in narrow and extended formats.

The President of Kazakhstan thanked the President of the Republic of Finland for the traditionally warm welcome and stressed that the approaches and principles of the two countries in considering regional and international issues are similar.

– Finland and Kazakhstan are the states that are trusted. An example of this is the important meeting recently held in your country between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation. Similar events are also taking place in Kazakhstan, including on the settlement of the Syrian conflict. We discuss various topics. All this is because we are states that maintain equal relations with everyone. Our countries do not have conflicts with their neighbors, – Nursultan Nazarbayev stated.

The President of Kazakhstan indicated that Suomi is a key trade, economic and investment partner of Kazakhstan in Northern Europe, and noted that our country accounts for 90% of Finland’s trade with Central Asia.

“Both our countries have significant potential for further deepening of interaction, therefore it is necessary to accelerate the work of the working groups in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture and education created during the meeting of the intergovernmental commission and start discussing specific projects,” the Head of State said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev separately focused on the results of the meeting with representatives of business circles of Finland and noted the importance of the documents signed during the past business forum.

– We have agreed to launch completely new projects, the implementation of which will strengthen our cooperation. I propose to instruct our governments to take control of the implementation of the agreements reached, the President of Kazakhstan said.

In turn, the President of Finland welcomed the Head of State and noted that the last bilateral meeting was held during the successfully held international exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana.

– Since then, our bilateral trade and economic relations have advanced even further. I hope that your visit will contribute to their further deepening. I am always very interested in your views on the events taking place in the world. Today, smart opinions and deep assessments are very much needed, ”said Sauli Niinisto.

At the end of the meeting, the parties also discussed issues of bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture, green finance, energy, science and education, cultural and humanitarian contacts.

October 17, 2018
Visit to the Kingdom of Belgium
Brussels, Kingdom of Belgium


The head of state arrived in Brussels to attend the 12th Summit of the Asia-Europe Forum (ASEM).
During the visit, Nursultan Nazarbayev will hold a series of top-level bilateral talks, as well as meet with representatives of European business circles.

PRESIDENT’S WEEK

October 12, 2018
Meeting with President of the AEO “Nazarbayev University” Shigeo Katsu

The meeting was also attended by the Head of the Presidential Administration A. Issekeshev, the Minister of Health E. Birtanov, the Chairman of the Board of the Corporate Foundation of the University Medical Center J. Zhumadilov.
The head of state was presented the concept of creating the National Scientific Oncology Center in Astana, the instruction for the construction of which was announced in the Message “The Growth of Kazakhstan Welfare: Improving Incomes and the Quality of Life.

According to the Minister of Health, the construction of the oncology center will be launched this year. The new medical institution will use advanced technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, including laser, radiation, cell-immune therapy and other modern methods.

In addition, the President of Kazakhstan heard a report on the current activities of Nazarbayev University in the context of the implementation of certain areas of the Message.

Sh. Katsu presented the Head of State information on the work plans of the Innovation Cluster and the launch of the University’s Scientific Laboratory Complex, and also spoke about some of the development issues of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools.

Following the meeting, the President of Kazakhstan gave a number of specific instructions.

October 11, 2018
Meeting with the manager of the International Financial Center “Astana” Kairat Kelimbetov

During the meeting, the Head of State was provided with information on the development of the Astana International Financial Center.
The President of Kazakhstan stressed that currently the entire legal and organizational framework has been created to ensure the efficient operation of the financial structure.

In turn, the manager of the AIFC reported on the results of work on the implementation of the agreements reached during the official visits of Nursultan Nazarbayev to the United States and China this year.

According to K. Kelimbetov, since the launch of the AIFC has already established itself in the international arena. According to the international rating agencies, the AIFC took the 61st place among 100 world financial centers and the second place in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The head of state was also informed about the use of the AIFC Exchange opportunities in the process of privatization and the withdrawal of shares of Kazakhstan companies to IPO.

In conclusion, the President of Kazakhstan gave a number of specific instructions.

October 9, 2018
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Serbia, Alexander Vucic

After the official welcoming ceremony, the parties discussed in a narrow format topical issues of bilateral relations and the international agenda.
The President of Kazakhstan stressed the friendly nature of relations between the two countries and noted the need for their further development.

– Mr. President, you, personally visiting the international exhibition EXPO 2017, supported us and today arrived on an official visit to Kazakhstan to participate in the VI Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. All this shows your exceptionally friendly attitude towards our country, we value this very much, ”said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The head of state dwelt on the prospects for the promotion of bilateral economic relations.

“Within the framework of the agreements reached during my visit to Serbia, we need to expand cooperation in the areas of logistics, transport and communications, the defense industry, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and construction. Your current visit will allow us to raise our relationship to a new level, – concluded the President of Kazakhstan.

During the meeting, the Head of State awarded Alexander Vucic with the Dostyk Order, First Class, for his contribution to the strengthening of peace, friendship and cooperation between the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Serbia.

In turn, A. Vucic thanked Nursultan Nazarbayev for the warm welcome and full support of Serbia at the international level, and also awarded the President of Kazakhstan with the highest state award “Order of the Republic of Serbia” I degree. November 2018

5 October 2018
State of the Nation Address of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev,
October 5, 2018
 GROWING WELFARE OF KAZAKH CITIZENS: INCREASE IN INCOME AND QUALITY OF LIFE

Dear Kazakh citizens!

Over the years of our independence we have achieved a great deal.

Having created a modern progressive state with a dynamic economy, we have ensured peace and public harmony.

We have made qualitative and historically significant structural, constitutional and political reforms.

We have managed to strengthen the international standing of Kazakhstan and its geopolitical role in the region.

We have proved to be a responsible and international partner, in-demand to address regional and global challenges.

Kazakhstan has become the first state among the CIS and Central Asian countries to be chosen by the global community to host the international exhibition – EXPO 2017.

We have built a new capital, Astana, which has become a financial, business, innovative and cultural centre of the Eurasian region.

The population of the country now exceeds 18 million people, with life expectancy reaching 72.5 years.

We have established a strong economic framework.

Over the past 20 years, the country has raised $300 billion of direct foreign investment.

We see the development of small and medium-sized enterprises serving as the foundation for our economic prosperity.

Kazakhstan now ranks 36th among 190 countries in the World Bank Doing Business index.

We have always responded to external challenges in a timely manner and have been prepared for them.

In this regard, I have put forward relevant policy initiatives to modernise the country. Their implementation has become the main factor of our successful development.

Our strategic goal is to join the club of 30 developed countries of the world by 2050.

In 2014, we started implementing a comprehensive programme Nurly Zhol designed to modernise the country’s infrastructure.

Three years ago we announced the Plan of the Nation – 100 Concrete Steps.

Furthermore, we launched the Third Modernisation of the country. Its main aim is creating a new model of economic growth ensuring Kazakhstan’s global competitiveness.

The sustainable development of our country inspires great hope to further increase of our quality of life.

We are ready to tackle new challenges.

Dear compatriots!

Recently we have seen the strengthening of the world’s political and economic transformation.

The world is changing rapidly.

The foundations of the global security system and international trade rules that seemed unshakable are now crumbling.

New technology, robotics and automation complicate the requirements for labour resources and the quality of human capital.

A completely new financial system architecture is being built. At the same time, stock markets are creating another “bubble” that may provoke another financial crisis.

Today, global and local problems are intertwined. In this context, the development of the state’s main asset – an individual – is the response to challenges and the guarantee of its success.

The Government, each and every head of a state agency or state company needs to reconsider their work approaches. The growing welfare of Kazakh citizens must be the highest priority.

This is the criterion I will refer to in assessing personal performance and compliance with the office.

Well-being of Kazakh citizens depends, first and foremost, on the steady growth of income and quality of life.

I.       GROWING INCOME OF THE POPULATION

Income grows if a person is a hard-working professional in his or her area, has a decent salary or has an opportunity to start and develop his or her own business.

Only by concerting our efforts can we create the Universal Labour Society.

First, I instruct the Government to raise the minimal salary by 1.5 times from 28 thousand to 42 thousand tenge from January 1, 2019.

This will directly cover 1.3 million people, who work in enterprises of different types of ownership in all industries.

The increase will apply to 275 thousand workers of state-funded organisations, whose salaries will grow on average by 35%.

For these purposes, we have to allocate 96 billion tenge annually from the republic’s budget for 2019-2021.

From now on, the minimal salary will not depend on the subsistence level. In general, the amount of the new minimal salary will boost the labour remuneration covering the whole economy.

I hope this initiative will be supported by large companies in terms of increasing the salaries of low-paid workers.

Second, we need to create stable sources for business growth and foster private investment and facilitate freedom of the market.

It is business that creates new jobs and provides higher income to the majority of Kazakh citizens.

FIRST. In 2010, we launched the Business Road Map – 2020 Programme.

I realised its effectiveness while visiting regions of the country.

The programme should be prolonged until 2025.

An additional 30 billion tenge has to be annually allocated to implement the programme.

In three years this will allow the additional creation of at least 22 thousand new jobs, ensure 224 billion tenge of taxes and production of goods for an amount of 3 trillion tenge.

SECOND. We need to take decisive measures to develop economic competition and get utilities tariffs and natural monopolies under control.

Tariff setting and spending of consumers’ money are still not transparent in the field of utilities and regulation of natural monopolies.

We lack the efficient monitoring and control over investment obligations of monopolies.

The Government needs to address this issue within three months and reform the anti-monopoly agency, significantly strengthening functions for competition protection.

This is important because this leads to the growth of business costs and reduction of real income for people.

THIRD. We need to enhance the protection of business from unlawful administrative pressure and criminal prosecution threats.

I am instructing to raise from January 1, 2019, the threshold of criminal liability with regard to tax violations up to 50 thousand MCI and increase fines.

In addition, we need to reorganise the Service of Economic Investigation by transferring its functions to the Financial Monitoring Committee that should be focused on the fight against the shadow economy.

We need to move towards a cashless economy. Here we have to be guided by not only repressive tools but also incentives, for example, by encouraging business to use cashless transactions.

Completion of the integration of tax and customs information systems will make administration more transparent.

The Government needs take effective measures to reduce the shadow economy by at least 40% within three years.

To give business an opportunity for a fresh start, I instruct to launch tax amnesty for SMEs starting from January 1, 2019 by cancelling fines and penalties provided the principal tax amount is paid.

FOURTH. Export-oriented industrialisation should be a central element of economic policy.

The Government must focus on supporting exporters in the manufacturing sector.

Our trade policy needs to stop being passive.

We need to make it vigorous in order to effectively promote our goods at regional and global markets.

At the same time, we need to support our enterprises in developing a wide range of consumer goods and promote the so-called “simple things economy”.

This is essential not only to develop export potential, but also to fill the internal market with domestic goods.

I instruct the Government to allocate additional 500 billion tenge to support the manufacturing industry and non-commodity export in the next three years.

To address the issue of affordable loans for priority projects I task the National Bank to allocate long-term tenge liquidity of no less than 600 billion tenge.

The Government together with the National Bank needs to ensure strict control over the targeted use of these funds.

To implement big breakthrough projects we need to consider the establishment of a direct investment fund in the non-commodity sector that will function based on the principle of co-investing with foreign investors.

We also need to intensify our activity to develop transport, logistics and other service sectors.

We need to pay special attention to the development of inbound and internal tourism to use our rich natural and cultural potential. The Government should adopt a sectoral programme at short notice.

FIFTH. We need to fully develop our agricultural and industrial potential.

The main objective is to increase labour productivity and export of processed agricultural products 2.5 times by 2022.

All state support measures should be focused on the large-scale attraction of modern agricultural technology to the country.

We need to use the best experience in managing the sector by introducing flexible practical standards and attracting reputable and experienced foreign experts to oversee agriculture specialists.

We need to build a system of comprehensive teaching of new management skills among rural entrepreneurs.

For these purposes, I instruct the Government to additionally allocate at least 100 billion tenge annually in the next three years.

SIXTH. Special attention should be paid to the development of innovation and service sectors.

First of all, we need to ensure the development of areas of the “future economy” such as alternative energy, new materials, biomedicine, big data, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, block chain, etc.

They determine the global position and role of the country in the future.

I instruct the Government together with Nazarbayev University to develop special programmes with specific projects for each area.

The opening of a think-tank for the development of artificial intelligence technology within the university may be one of them.

SEVENTH. We need to strengthen the role of the financial sector in developing the real economy and ensure long-term macroeconomic stability.

Now people are mainly concerned with the rise in prices, access to financing and banks’ stability.

The National Bank together with the Government has to finally start using a systemic approach to make the financial and real sectors of the economy healthy and to carry out a comprehensive anti-inflation policy.

Given the current situation, it is crucial to increase loans for the economy, especially for the manufacturing sector and SMEs.

We also need to enhance the efficiency of managing pension assets and social insurance system resources, and effectively develop alternative financial tools – securities market, insurance, etc.

The Astana International Financial Centre should play a pivotal role in providing business with foreign investment and access to capital. To this end, we have created a separate court, financial regulator and stock exchange.

All state agencies and national companies should actively use this platform and facilitate its rapid evolvement and development.

The effective implementation of the above-mentioned measures will boost the income of Kazakh citizens thanks to the growth of salaries and creation of new jobs.

These processes should constantly be in the focus of the Government.

II.      INCREASE IN QUALITY OF LIFE

The second component of wellbeing is the growth of quality of life.

Quality and access to education, healthcare, housing, comfortable and safe life concerns every Kazakh family.

In this regard, the Government should review priorities of budget expenditures focusing on the social sector, security and infrastructure.

FIRST. We need to increase expenditures on education, science and healthcare from all sources up to 10% from the GDP within 5 years.

The funds should be used to carry out the planned reforms ensuring significant improvement of quality of services for the population.

SECOND. We need to drastically improve the quality of pre-school education.

The thinking framework, intelligence, creativity, and learning new skills are built in early childhood.

The emphasis in education is shifting towards the 4C model: creativity, critical thinking, communication skills and co-working.

In this area we need to review qualification requirements, training methods, the labour remuneration system for teachers and other employees of kindergartens.

This year the Ministry of Education and Science together with akimats needs to draft a relevant road map.

THIRD. We have defined the major approaches to secondary education, and at the current stage we need to focus on them.

The teaching system and methods of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools must  become a single standard for state schools. This will be a final stage in reforming school education.

The system of knowledge evaluation should be based on international standards.

Professional analysis and guiding of children in terms of choosing the most in-demand professions should be carried out starting from secondary school. This will help to shape an individual education track and reduce the academic load on students and teachers.

Given the importance of child safety, I task to equip all schools and kindergartens with video surveillance systems, to optimise activities of school psychologists and to adopt other consistent measures.

To make education more accessible, I instruct the Government to allocate an additional 50 billion tenge from the republic’s budget for 2019-2021 to support regions facing the biggest deficit of school places and problems with three-shift schools or those in critical condition.

FOURTH. I suggest it is necessary to develop and adopt a Law on the Status of Teachers next year.

It should envisage all incentives for teachers and employees of pre-school organisations, to reduce workload, protect from unscheduled inspections and uncharacteristic functions.

FIFTH. We need to raise the bar to the quality of education in academic institutions in the higher education system.

We have increased the number of scholarships, now the time has come for greater responsibility.

The main criterion of a successful university is the employment of graduates and high-paid jobs.

We need to conduct a policy of the integration of higher educational institutions.

Only those providing high quality education should remain in the market. It is crucial to establish partnerships with the world’s leading universities while attracting best foreign senior managers as Nazarbayev University does.

I find it necessary to open a new regional higher education institution following the example of the Nazarbayev University based on the existing education infrastructure.

SIXTH. The quality of medical services is a key component of social well-being of the population.

First of all, we need to make primary health care more accessible, especially in rural areas.

To motivate PHC workers, from January 1, 2019, I task to gradually increase by 20% the salary of district medical workers that introduced new approaches for treating diseases.

Next year 5 billion tenge will be allocated for these purposes.

All hospitals and clinics need to switch to paperless digital medical documentation from January 1, 2019.

This will allow the creation of electronic health passports for the whole population, eliminating queues and bureaucracy, and improving quality of services by 2020.

In 2019 we need to start the construction of a National Oncology Research Centre in Astana using the experience of operating cardiological and neurosurgery clusters.

By doing so, we will save many human lives.

SEVENTH. We need to find reserves at the regional level to increase the access to sport and physical education.

I instruct the Government and akims to construct at least 100 physical and health facilities.

In addition, we need to effectively use existing sports facilities, in particular in schools, and to equip outdoor areas, parks and squares for physical education purposes.

EIGHTH. The health of the nation is the main priority of the state. This means that Kazakh citizens should consume good-quality products.

Currently, we lack a comprehensive policy aimed at protecting our population from low-quality goods and services and those posing a threat to health and life.

I task the Government to take measures and get this activity under control.

A Committee on the Control over Quality and Security of Goods and Services should start operating from the next year.

It will be responsible for expert examination of food products, medicines, potable water, children’s goods and medical services.

For this, we need to establish state-of-the-art laboratories and to build teams of skilled specialists.

Furthermore, public associations protecting consumer rights should be institutionally strengthened and actively involved.

We always support business, but for a human being, his or her rights and health are more important.

As part of the reduction of administrative barriers, the state has cancelled numerous inspections, permits, etc.

That is why the business community also bears responsibility for the quality and security of offered goods and services.

In general, business should think not only about profit, but together with the state should ensure security and a comfortable environment for our citizens.

Qualitative social services provided for the population should be harmoniously complemented by broad opportunities to improve housing conditions, ensure comfortable and safe living in any residential area of the country.

III. CREATING A COMFORTABLE LIVING ENVIRONMENT

A comfortable environment means, first and foremost, affordability of housing, a beautiful and safe outdoor area, and a residential area that is convenient to live and work in as well as having qualitative infrastructure.

FIRST. Qualitative and affordable housing.

Today, we are successfully implementing the Nurly Zher Programme that gives a powerful impetus to the housing construction.

We have launched a new large-scale programme 7-20-25 that enhances the affordability of housing mortgages.

I instruct akims to work on a partial subsidising of down payments according to mortgage benefits from the local budget.

The allocation of such housing certificates will enhance the affordability of mortgages for highly-skilled teachers, medical workers, police officers and other experts the region needs.

In addition, we need to enhance the construction of rental housing for socially vulnerable population in big cities.

These measures will help more than 250 thousand families to improve their housing conditions.

Taking into account the construction of utility infrastructure for massive housing areas, in five years the state will help 650 thousand families or more than 2 million of our citizens.

SECOND. We need to ensure the introduction of new approaches to the territorial development of the country.

Currently, economies of leading countries are mostly represented by global cities and megalopolises.

Over 70% of global GDP is generated in cities.

Throughout history, we have developed our own way of life dominated by agricultural economy with mono-cities and small regional centres.

Therefore, it is a great achievement for a country with 18 million people to have three cities with a million-plus population, two of them having become so during Kazakhstan’s independence.

Astana and Almaty already generate over 30% of the country’s GDP.

However, the city infrastructure does not always correspond to the rapidly growing needs of enterprises and population.

In recent years, we have built infrastructure of republican importance in line with the Nurly Zhol Programme.

Since 2015, we have built and reconstructed 2.4 thousand kilometers of roads. This work is ongoing, and we will commission an additional 4.6 thousand kilometers of roads by 2020.

Now, we need to ensure the systemic development of regional and urban infrastructure.

To this end, this year financing for local roads has been increased up to 150 billion tenge, and funds for rural water supply up to 100 billion tenge.

Akims should focus on addressing the most acute problems in the regions using these funds.

The Government also needs to develop a systemic approach to this task, draft a list of additional infrastructure issues, assess projects and find sources to finance them.

The construction of new schools, kindergartens and hospitals needs to be synchronised with plans on the development of residential areas, it is also necessary to create conditions to bring private investors to this sector.

At the same time, we need to gradually transit from the “infrastructure-people” model to the “people-infrastructure” model.

This will facilitate the development of residential areas, enhancing the efficiency of using the allocated funds.

Each region and big city should develop based on their own model of sustainable economic growth and employment taking into account the current competitive advantages.

In this regard, we need to develop a regional standards system for different residential areas – from backbone villages to cities with the republican status.

The standard should include specific indicators for the listing and accessibility of social benefits and public services, transport, cultural, sport, business, production and digital infrastructure, etc.

We need to intensify activities aimed at improving the environmental situation, including polluting emissions, soil condition, land, air, waste disposal, as well as developing environmental monitoring systems with free online access.

Special attention should be paid to the creation of a “barrier-free environment” for people with disabilities.

I task the development of a Predictive Scheme for Territorial and Spatial Development of the Country until 2030 that will serve as a New Map of Administered Urbanisation of the Country until September 1, 2019.

To implement practical steps, I task the draft of a pragmatic Regional Development Programme until 2025 outlining specific events, projects and financing.

The above-mentioned aspects of regional development should be taken into account in Nurly Zhol and Nurly Zher state programmes, their implementation terms should also be prolonged until 2025.

The first programme should focus on the development of transport infrastructure. The second one should centre on utilities and housing construction.

We need to give these programmes “a new lease of life”.

THIRD. We need profound and qualitative transformations in the activity of law-enforcement agencies.

Security is an integral part of quality of life.

Internal affairs officers are at the forefront of the fight against crime and protect citizens from it, quite often risking their lives.

At the same time, society expects a drastic improvement in the work of law-enforcement agencies, mainly, of the police.

I task the Government together with the Executive Office of the President to adopt a road map to modernise internal affairs agencies.

These reforms must be launched on January 1, 2019.

First, we need to optimise the staffing of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and relieve the police of uncharacteristic functions.

The funds saved should be allocated to raise the salaries of police officers, solve their housing and other social problems.

Second, we need to adopt a new standard for police officers and change the system of career advancement, as well as training and selecting personnel in police academies.

All officers must be recertified. Only the best ones will continue to serve.

Third, we need to introduce new modern formats of working with the population, drastically changing police assessment criteria.

We need to switch the police to a service model.

It should be ingrained in the minds of citizens that a police officer does not punish but helps in a difficult situation.

We need to create comfortable conditions for receiving citizens in city and regional internal affairs agencies on a Public Service Centre basis.

All cities of Kazakhstan must be equipped with public security monitoring systems.

Public trust and a sense of security among the population should become the key parameters for assessing the work of the police.

FOURTH. Further judicial system modernisation.

We have achieved a lot over the past years, but we have not tackled the main problem: ensuring a high level of trust in courts.

Moreover, the rule of law is a key to success of our reforms.

First, we should continue introducing modern formats of the work of courts and advanced electronic services.

Every year 4 million of our citizens are dragged into litigations.

We invest so much effort and funds!

We need to reduce the number of excessive judicial procedures, which require an unreasonable spending of time and resources. Processes which used to require personal presence can now be implemented remotely.

Second, we need to ensure a qualitative development and an upgrade of judicial personnel management system, providing incentives so that the best lawyers would strive to become judges.

Third, we need a clear and predictable legal practice, especially for legal disputes between business and state agencies, as well as excluding the possibilities of having an unlawful influence on judges.

I task the Supreme Court, together with the Government, to develop a relevant set of measures by the end of the year.

A smaller and efficient state apparatus, which should consider all of its actions through the prism of increasing the wellbeing of the nation, will play a crucial role in the implementation of any reforms.

IV. CITIZEN-ORIENTED STATE APPARATUS

How should the state apparatus change in a new reality?

FIRST. Drastic increase in the effectiveness of state agencies

“Quality” should become a new lifestyle of civil servants, and personal growth – their main principle.

The new kind of civil servants should shorten the gap between the state and society. This means regular feedback, lively discussion and explaining specific measures and results of the state policy to people.

The Public Administration Academy together with the Nazarbayev University needs to develop a “Brand-new Leader” programme and special retraining courses when appointing to senior positions.

It is important to attract specialists from the private sector that have work experience in the best foreign companies or graduated from leading universities of the world.

This year we have introduced a new remuneration model in four state agencies.

All pilot projects have achieved good results.

We made the civil service more attractive, which is especially relevant at the regional level.

By optimising ineffective expenditures and reducing the number of senior positions, salaries of lower and mid-level civil servants grew 2-2.5 times.

The so called brain drain decreased by two times. The intake of highly-skilled professionals from the private sector increased by three times, including graduates of top higher education institutions.

The competition to the central administration at the Agency for Civil Service Affairs has increased up to 28 people per job position, at the regional offices – up to 60 people per job position.

16 people apply for one vacant position in the akimat of Mangystau, and 13 people on average in the Ministry of Justice.

We managed to save up over 30 billion tenge in Astana thanks to new approaches to financing PPP projects alone.

In order to move to a new remuneration model I granted heads of state agencies the right to make a budget and personnel maneuver.

They gained an opportunity to use the funds saved to increase the salaries of civil servants.

Now, many state agencies want to switch to a new model.

However they must understand that it is not a mere automatic increase in salaries, this means, first of all, the increase in effectiveness of their performance.

I task to ensure that the growth of expenditure on remuneration is compensated by optimisation and saving of budget expenses including the expenses of subordinate organisations.

Red tape and egalitarianism must not be allowed to keep this project from being discredited.

SECOND. In this challenging time, we need to ensure the maximum return for each tenge allocated.

Inspections show that the cost of construction is set too high as early as at the drafting stage of the project documentation.

There are projects that have not been finished or those that had no future in the first place.

If we take a responsible approach to the task assigned, we can free hundreds of billions of tenge from the budget and channel them to the real needs of population.

The Government needs to take systemic measures to optimise spending and save funds by excluding ineffective and untimely expenditures.

THIRD. Active fight against corruption will be continued.

First, we need to decrease direct interaction of civil servants with the population when providing public services.

One of the issues that concern people is red tape around land and construction.

This area lacks transparency, requiring full access for the population and business to information.

I task to create a single information database on land reserves and real estate properties.

We need to take this issue under control and give land to real investors!

This is just one example.

We also need to carry out relevant activities on other remaining areas criticised by people and business communities.

In 2019, 80% and in 2020 at least 90% of public services must be digitalised.

To this end, the Law on Public Services should be updated as soon as possible.

Second, we need to address the increase in personal disciplinary responsibility of senior officials when committing corruption-related offences by their subordinates.

At the same time, diligent workers should not be afraid of inspectors.

Third, we need to spread the capital’s experience in implementing the anti-corruption strategy as part of “Corruption-free Regions” projects.

FOURTH. We need to reduce formality and red tape in the work of the Government and all states agencies.

Recently, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of lengthy meetings and sessions in the Government, state agencies, as well in the paperwork.

Sometimes the Government holds up to seven meetings attended by akims and their deputies per day.

When should they have time to work?

We need to put an end to this practice and take this issue under control.

We need to give decision-making freedom to ministers and akims, who should undertake specific responsibilities and be publicly accountable.

This should be based on the developed map of indicators of the Strategic Country Development Plan until 2025.

FIFTH. To effectively implement the objectives set, we need to strengthen the mechanism of control over reforms.

By the end of the year the Government and state agencies must develop specific indicators and road maps covering all mentioned development issues, as well as submitting all necessary reforms-related bills to the Parliament in due time.

Parliament, in turn, should consider and adopt them in a qualitative and timely manner.

To monitor and assess the implementation of reforms and main strategic documents, I task to create a National Modernisation Office in the Executive Office of the President and grant it the relevant mandate.

Apart from monitoring statistic indicators, it will be responsible for conducting regular opinion polls among the population and business regarding issues of interest to the population as it is done in the OECD.

The Office will regularly report to me on the situation in each area.

Each Government member, head of a state agency, head of a state company will be personally responsible for achieving the objectives set.

V. EFFECTIVE FOREIGN POLICY

We need to further implement a proactive foreign policy in order to ensure the successful modernisation of Kazakhstan.

Our peaceful vision and clearly defined principles in this area prove their worth.

Interaction between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation is exemplary for interstate relations.

The Eurasian Economic Union is successfully functioning as a fully integrated association and an active participant of global economic relations.

A new chapter of cooperation in the Central Asian region has been opened.

A comprehensive strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China has been gradually developing.

The One Belt – One Road programme gave a new impetus to our relations with China.

During my January official visit to Washington and negotiations with President Donald Trump, we reached an agreement on an enhanced strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and the USA in the 21st century.

We will continue our dynamic collaboration with the EU as our biggest trade and investment partner.

Mutually beneficial bilateral ties with CIS countries, Turkey, Iran, Arab and Asian countries have also been advanced.

The Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea adopted on the Aktau Summit opens new opportunities for cooperation with other Caspian states.

Kazakhstan is successfully completing its mission within the UN Security Council.

The Astana Process on Syria is nearly the only effective working format of talks on a peaceful settlement and recovery of this country from the crisis.

Additionally, in the context of difficult modern conditions, the foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan requires adaptation and promotion of national interests based on the principles of pragmatism.

***

The Strong will to succeed and people’s unity have always shaped the future of countries.

Only by uniting our efforts can we reach great heights.

VI. ENGAGEMENT OF EVERY KAZAKH CITIZEN IN TRANSFORMATION OF THE COUNTRY

Every Kazakh citizen should clearly understand the essence of the conducted reforms and their significance for prosperity of our Homeland.

To successfully implement them, it is important as never before to consolidate the society around common goals.

The Rukhani Zhangyru Programme was widely supported and gave a powerful impetus to modernisation processes in society.

This initiative should not only be continued, but also filled with new content and directions.

Comprehensive support to youth and institution of the family should become a priority for state policy.

We need to create a wide platform of social mobility, which will cover a full set of support measures for all youth categories.

I suggest declaring the next year as the Year of Youth.

We should start the modernisation of the social environment in rural areas.

This will be facilitated by the launch of a special project “Auyl – Yel Bessigi” (“Village is the cradle of the nation”).

This project will help us to promote a labor ideology in the regions.

We need to establish child and youth associations Sarbaz similar to the Boy Scout movement, and to strengthen the role of military and patriotic education in schools.

We should restore mass school tourism in the regions of the country within the new “Discover Your Land” initiative.

Today, unique measures are offered in the main fields determining the social well-being of the population.

The financial value of the initiatives is over 1.5 trillion tenge, and their aggregate effect is even more ensuring a huge leap in the quality of the population’s life.

This is the most reliable and beneficial investment.

Dear Kazakh citizens!

Well-being of the population and accession of Kazakhstan to the list of 30 developed countries are the long-term goals of our independent state.

We always adequately respond to the challenges of the time.

We manage to do so, primarily, thanks to our unity.

As we say, “A rich country is the country where people live in harmony”.

We face complex challenges at this current time.

If we have harmony, there are no heights we cannot reach.

In all my addresses I pay special attention to improving social conditions and people’s quality of life.

The main purpose of today’s 7-20-25, Nurly Zhol, Nurly Zher and other state programmes is the improvement of the population’s quality of life.

Kazakhstan still has a lot of heights to climb.

People’s trust raises our spirits and gives us strength on this path.

There is nothing greater than this noble goal!

PRESIDENT’S WEEK

September 29, 2018

Meeting with the public of the region and residents of Turkestan
Turkestan, Turkestan region

Addressing the residents of the city, the Head of State stressed the historical and socio-economic importance of creating a new Turkestan region and transferring the regional center to the city of Turkestan.
– Turkestan is important for our people. It is one of the oldest cities in Central Asia. In 2000, we celebrated its 1500th anniversary at the UNESCO level, the President of Kazakhstan emphasized.

Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke about the role of Turkestan in the process of spreading Islam in Central Asia.

The head of state also noted that great personalities and worthy sons of the Kazakh people were buried in the sacred land of Turkestan.

– In the fateful times of our history, important decisions were made here regarding the future of the whole nation. Many famous representatives of our people rest in Turkestan. In general, the history of the city is the history of all Kazakhs, the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev also emphasized the special place of Turkestan in the life of all Turkic people.

The head of state expressed confidence that the city will soon be significantly transformed by the implementation of the measures taken and will reach new heights in its prosperity.

In conclusion, the President of Kazakhstan wished all residents success in building Turkestan.

September 29, 2018

Familiarization with the project for the development of the new administrative center of the city of Turkestan
Turkestan, Turkestan Oblast

During the visit to the territory of the new administrative center of Turkestan, the Head of State took part in the ceremony of laying the memorial stone.
The President of Kazakhstan heard a report by the oblast akim Z. Tuymebayev on the development prospects of Turkestan. Nursultan Nazarbayev was provided with information on the plans for the construction of infrastructure facilities, socio-cultural and sports facilities, as well as the city’s administrative buildings.

September 22, 2018
Telegram of condolences to the Chairman of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan
The head of state took with regret the news about the demise of the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Chiang Dai Kuang.”In these difficult days, sharing an irreplaceable loss, on behalf of the people of Kazakhstan and on my own behalf, I express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.Chiang Dai Kuang devoted her whole life to the development and prosperity of Vietnam, to raising its international prestige. She will remain in the memory of Kazakhstanis as a prominent figure who has made a significant contribution to strengthening of friendly and partner relations between our countries, ” said in the telegram.Biography
He graduated from the School of the People’s Police of Vietnam (1972), the School of Foreign Languages (1975), the Institute of National Security (1986), Hanoi University of Law (1994) and the State Political Academy. Ho Chi Minh (1997). Doctor of Law, Professor (2009).From October 1975 to June 1987, he was a member of the Department of Political Protection, as well as deputy head of the Department of Political Protection of the Personnel Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Vietnam.From June 1987 to June 1990, the head of the human resources department and the head of the civil service department of the II Department of Political Protection under the Ministry of the Interior of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.June 1990 to September 1996 – deputy secretary of the party committee and deputy head of the Department of Homeland Security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Vietnam.

September 1996 to October 2000: Head of the Department of Homeland Security, Ministry of Public Security; member of the Department of General Security of the CPV; member of the Department of General Security of the Standing Committee of the CPV and secretary of the security headquarters of the party committee in the department of the Ministry of Public Security.

From October 2000 to April 2006, the deputy secretary of the party committee and deputy chief of the General Security Directorate, the Ministry of Public Security; promoted to Major-General (2003); and awarded the title of Associate Professor (2003).

In 2006-2011 – Deputy Minister, from 2011 to 2016. – Minister of Public Security of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The General of the Army (2012).

He was a member of the Central People’s Committee for Public Security, secretary of the Central Party Committee for Public Security, a member of the Permanent Central Party Committee for Public Security, a member of the National Defense and Security Council. He was also deputy head of the central steering committee for fighting corruption, deputy head of the central internal subcommittee of political protection.

In January 2006, he was elected a member of the Central Committee of the CPV. Was reelected in 2011 and 2016. In 2011, he joined the Politburo of the Central Committee (re-elected in 2016). Since May 2011, he was a deputy of the National Assembly (NA, Parliament) of Vietnam of the 13th convocation.

Since 2016 – President of Vietnam. Chairman of the Council of National Defense and Security of Vietnam.

He spoke Chinese .

September 21, 2018
Meeting with Galymzhan Pirmatov, Chairman of the Board of NAC Kazatomprom JSC  


The head of state stressed that Kazatomprom is one of the largest national companies in Kazakhstan and holds leading positions in the world nuclear industry.
The Chairman of the Board of NAC Kazatomprom JSC reported to Nursultan Nazarbayev about the main results and prospects of the company’s activities.

– We carefully analyzed the current situation in the world nuclear industry and adopted a new development strategy. For the year 2017 and for 8 months of this year the company has fulfilled all production and financial plans. It is expected that this year the payment of dividends will increase more than 2 times in comparison with the results of the last year, said G. Pirmatov.

According to the head of Kazatomprom, in the current year the sales volumes of uranium will exceed the average figures for the last three years. Thus, the company will become the largest player in the world market, not only in terms of production volumes, but also sales.

At the end of the meeting, the President of Kazakhstan gave a number of specific instructions.

20 September 2018
Telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation 

The heads of state exchanged views on topical issues of the regional and international agenda.

In this context, Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed his condolences to Vladimir Putin in connection with the death of Russian servicemen as a result of the crash of the Il-20 plane in Syria.

The leaders reviewed the schedule of forthcoming meetings, including the preparations for the upcoming meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States in Tajikistan.

PRESIDENT’S WEEK

13 September 2018
Briefing for media representatives on the results of an official visit to the Republic of Turkey
Ankara, Republic of Turkey


Speaking to media representatives, Nursultan Nazarbayev thanked Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his hospitality and congratulated him on his victory in the last presidential elections.
The head of state stressed on the strategic nature of relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey.

“Our relationships based on common history and spiritual values are rapidly developing and strengthening in all directions,” said the President of Kazakhstan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev dwelled in details on the results of the talks with the President of the Republic of Turkey R. Erdogan.

– Today we held meaningful and fruitful negotiations with the President of Turkey. This meeting allowed us to exchange views on topical issues. In general, I want to note that Astana and Ankara always openly discuss regional and international problems, according to which our positions are similar, – the Head of State said.

The President of Kazakhstan also expressed confidence that the Third Meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council between Kazakhstan and Turkey will give an additional impetus to bilateral relations.

Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed the interest of both countries in further strengthening and deepening of political dialogue and friendship between fraternal peoples.

In addition, the Head of State dwelled on the issues of trade, economic and investment cooperation between the two countries.

– Now in our country there are more than 1800 enterprises with the participation of Turkish capital. The volume of trade between the countries last year amounted to almost 2 billion US dollars. We agreed that in the future this figure will reach 5 billion US dollars, “said the President of Kazakhstan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the interim results of the implementation of the joint program “New Synergy” and dwelt on the results of negotiations with the “captains of the Turkish business”.

– In general, on the basis of the visit, agreements on commercial projects worth about 2 billion US dollars were signed. In the near future, we need to make efforts to implement the agreements reached today, “the Head of State underlined.

The President of Kazakhstan also urged Turkish investors to actively participate in the development of the transport and logistics hub that operates on the basis of the Aktau and Kuryk ports.

– Today, during the talks, we discussed our cooperation in transit transport, oil and gas, military-technical, agricultural, tourist, cultural, educational, scientific and technological fields. We agreed to strengthen our cooperation in these areas, – concluded Nursultan Nazarbayev.

In turn, R. Erdogan expressed gratitude to the Head of State for the official visit and highly appreciated the results of the meetings held.

The President of the Republic of Turkey spoke about the key results of the talks on expanding trade and economic relations, deepening cooperation in the educational and cultural spheres, noting their positive dynamics.

13 September 2018
Participation in the Third Meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council between Kazakhstan and Turkey
Ankara, Republic of Turkey


Addressing the meeting participants, the President of Kazakhstan elaborated on the current issues of bilateral cooperation.
“Relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey are developing in the spirit of strategic partnership, an important component of which is trade and economic interaction,” Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The head of state stressed that Turkey is one of the important investment partners of Kazakhstan.

The President of Kazakhstan dwelled on concrete measures to further strengthen bilateral ties.

In particular, Nursultan Nazarbayev pointed to the need for effective use of the opportunities of the intergovernmental commission between Kazakhstan and Turkey in resolving issues of mutual cooperation.

In addition, the Head of State noted the results of the joint program “New Synergy” and talked about the prospects for the development of the investment partnership.

– Today, Kazakhstan is updating the transport infrastructure in the framework of the program “Nurly Jol”. As a result of its implementation, we plan to become the leading logistics hub in Central Asia. In this regard, we need to effectively use the transit potential of our countries, “said the President of Kazakhstan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev also focused on strengthening relations in the oil and gas and military industries.

At the same time, the Head of State especially emphasized the importance of establishing productive ties in the agro-industrial complex, tourism and scientific and technical spheres.

During the meeting of the Council, special attention was also paid to issues of cultural and humanitarian cooperation.

13 September 2018
Meeting with representatives of business circles of the Turkish Republic
Ankara, Republic of Turkey


Speaking to representatives of Turkish business, the Head of State noted the positive dynamics of trade and economic cooperation between the two states.
– Relations between Kazakhstan and Turkey are based on mutual friendship, brotherhood and trust. Turkey is one of the top ten trading partners of Kazakhstan. The trade turnover between our countries in 2017 grew by 27% and amounted to almost 2 billion US dollars, – said the President of Kazakhstan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev focused on issues of investment cooperation and implementation of joint projects in various sectors of the economy. In particular, it was noted that Turkey has invested in Kazakhstan since its independence of more than 3 billion US dollars, and today there are about 2000 enterprises with the participation of Turkish capital.

In addition, the Head of State spoke about the results of the New Synergy program aimed at supporting entrepreneurs of the two countries.

– Within the framework of this program, 23 projects worth US $ 800 million were launched, which allowed creating three thousand jobs. Yesterday representatives of business of our countries signed 24 contracts worth more than 1.7 billion US dollars. This is a clear example of our mutual trust and cooperation, “the President of Kazakhstan stressed.

During the meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev drew attention to the economic advantages of Kazakhstan and the favorable conditions created for doing business there.

– Kazakhstan is carrying out comprehensive work to improve the investment climate. In order to develop entrepreneurship, relevant amendments were made to the legislation. In the World Bank’s “Doing Business” rating, Kazakhstan ranks 36th among 190 countries. Our state is a member of the OECD Investment Committee, “the Head of State noted.

Nursultan Nazarbayev also spoke about the activities of the Foreign Investors Council under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Invest company and various preferences for investors.

– In Kazakhstan, there are 11 special economic zones and 24 industrial zones. For their participants, tax and other benefits are provided. I invite Turkish companies to develop their business in Kazakhstan, “said the President of Kazakhstan.

The head of state also dwelled in detail on the transit-transport capabilities of Kazakhstan.

– Kazakhstan is actively developing transcontinental multimodal transport between Europe and Asia. Through our country there are 5 railways and 6 highways of international importance. A lot of work is underway to develop trans-Caspian multimodal transport. We modernized the port of Aktau and expanded its potential, “said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The President of Kazakhstan pointed to the possibility of participation of foreign investors in the process of privatization of industrial enterprises and the implementation of innovative projects in the agro-industrial complex.

In addition, the Head of State invited Turkish businessmen to take part in the work of innovative clusters created on the basis of the Nazarbayev University and the Park of Innovative Technologies, as well as to consider the prospects for implementing joint projects in the tourism industry.

– The International Financial Center Astana was established on the basis of Expo-2017, which works on the basis of the best models of financial centers in New York, Singapore, London and Dubai. Its legal status is enshrined in the Constitutional Law, the working language is English. This is the only center in the region whose activities are governed by English law, “the President of Kazakhstan stressed.

Speaking about the main advantages of the financial center, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the existence of special tax, currency, visa and labor regimes for the participants of the IFAC.

In conclusion, the Head of State urged the businessmen of the two countries to actively participate in the development and strengthening of interstate relations, using all the conditions created.
13 September 2018
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Ankara, Republic of Turkey

After the official welcoming ceremony, negotiations were held between the presidents of Kazakhstan and Turkey.
During the meeting, the heads of state discussed topical issues of bilateral cooperation and strengthening of trade and economic relations.

In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan exchanged views on key topics on the international and regional agenda.

September 11, 2018
Meeting with the executive staff of the Presidential Administration


During the meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev thanked Adilbek Dzhaksybekov for his work as the Head of the Presidential Administration and other public positions, and also highlighted his contribution to the formation and development of the statehood of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

– You all know Adilbek Ryskeldinovich, who has been with me for many years. He was the first akim of the capital, at all posts he worked responsibly and honestly. I wish him good health and further success, “said the President of Kazakhstan.

The head of state presented the participants of the meeting with the new Head of the Presidential Administration Aset Isekeshev.

– Aset Orentayevich was my assistant, served as minister, vice-premier. Over the past two and a half years of work in the main city of the country, he received a good estimate of Astana residents. He is distinguished by his active position and creative approach. Now we need such a person. When he was akim of the capital, we duly held EXPO-2017 and the 20th anniversary of Astana. I am sure that Aset Orentaevich will cope with this duty, “Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

At the end of the meeting, the President of Kazakhstan focused on the key role of the Presidential Administration in further ensuring economic growth and improving the well-being of the people, and outlined the main priorities of its activities for the forthcoming period.

– The apparatus is faced with an important task – to promote the qualitative implementation of all previously adopted state programs and monitor their implementation. I especially want to emphasize that now the work is moving to the regional level, the activities of the akimats of all levels need to be coordinated effectively, help them and act together, “the Head of State instructed.

PRESIDENT’S WEEK

6 September 2018
Visit to Karaganda Pharmaceutical Complex LLP
Karaganda
 Nursultan Nazarbayev visited the enterprise equipped with advanced hardware, with rated capacity of 4 million packages of biotechnological medications per year.

In addition, the Head of State was informed about the healthcare system digitalization in the region and the execution of PPP projects in this sector.

6 September 2018
Acquaintance with construction of Karaganda city’s new centre
Karaganda
 The President of Kazakhstan inspected the construction site of residential areas located in South-East district of Karaganda. The Kazakh leader was informed about the progress and results of  constructing housing and socially significant facilities as part of the city’s growth. So, it is planned to erect a number of administrative buildings and sports facilities, a concert hall, a children’s and youth home, a wholesale distribution logistics centre and a school in the territory of the new centre.

In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev was informed about the execution of Nurly Zher and Nurly Zhol Programs, including the construction progress of Kapchagai-Burubaytal-Balkhash route and the results of reconstructing intra-regional roads.

September 4, 2018
Visiting LLP “Scientific-research institute” Almatengplan “
Almaty city

During the visit, the President of Kazakhstan got acquainted with the work of the situational center, which is a large data platform (Big Data) for effective city management. Integration of 10 city and republican systems allows you to analyze information on traffic in the city, the daily volume of passenger traffic in public transport, the congestion of schools and kindergartens, the crime situation, and monitor budget implementation.
In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev was presented with a holographic mock-up of Almaty in the form of a 3D projection with the possibility of scaling, imitation and modeling of various processes in the metropolis.

Following the visit to the research institute “Almatengplan”, the Head of State gave a number of instructions for the further development of the city.

PRESIDENT’S WEEK

August 24, 2018
Participation in the meeting of the heads of the founding states of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea
Turkmenbashi

After the welcoming ceremony, the heads of state held meetings in a narrow and enlarged format.
The President of Kazakhstan stressed the symbolism of holding the summit in the year of the 25th anniversary of the creation of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and noted that from the very first days of functioning of this important region the work is directed towards solving complex socioeconomic, water and environmental problems in the Aral Sea basin and the Aral Sea.

– IFAS actively cooperates at the international level, thanks to which the Aral region receives substantial assistance from the international community and international financial institutions. Our joint efforts contributed to the fact that the Fund received observer status in the UN General Assembly, “Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The head of state pointed out that the transboundary water resources of Central Asia are the common property and good of the peoples of the region and stressed that all states actively seek solutions, rational ideas and specific projects are generated.

– At the initiative of the Turkmen side, the issue of adopting the United Nations Special Program for the countries of the Aral Sea basin under the aegis of the United Nations is under consideration. At the suggestion of the Tajik side, the UN General Assembly declared the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” in 2018. The Uzbek side at a high level in June this year in Tashkent hosted the Central Asian International Environmental Forum. On the initiative of the Kyrgyz side, with the support of UN agencies, a “Strategic Action Program for the Chu and Talas River Basins” was developed, “the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan is also actively working in this direction and invited the delegations of the countries to participate in the Eighth Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, which will be held in Astana on October 10-12 this year.

The head of state separately dwelled on the positive results that became possible due to the joint efforts being undertaken.

– As a result of the large-scale project “Regulation of the Syrdarya river bed and preservation of the northern part of the Aral Sea,” the ecological situation in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya River has significantly improved. The Northern Aral has been restored, where since 2010 the water level is kept at a stable level of 42 meters, the salinity of water is decreasing, the forage base of the sea, flora and fauna are being restored. The microclimate and social conditions in the Kazakhstan part of the Aral Sea have improved. A number of fish processing enterprises have been opened, whose products are exported abroad, “said the President of Kazakhstan.

Nursultan Nazarbayev drew attention to the fact that the topical issues, the tasks of the IFAS, aimed at improving the efficiency of the organization and coordinating joint efforts, were discussed in detail in the narrow structure, and separately focused on the measures proposed by the Kazakh side.

– It is necessary to improve the organizational structure and the legal basis of IFAS on the basis of the existing institutions of the Fund. It is time to automate the management, distribution, accounting and monitoring of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, including their quality. In the current conditions it is important to return to the issue of establishing the International Water and Energy Consortium of Central Asia. It is necessary to consider the issue of the permanent deployment of the Executive Committee of IFAS in one of our countries, “the President of Kazakhstan said.

The Head of State noted that today’s meeting is a landmark event of an international scale and will give a new impetus to the process of regional cooperation in the use of water resources and ecology.

– We defined new priorities and tasks here. The solution of these issues is of fundamental importance for ensuring the sustainable development and prosperity of Central Asia. Therefore, all this requires from us further coordinated joint actions. From my part, I want to assure you that Kazakhstan has been and remains a consistent and reliable partner in the issues of regional cooperation, “Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

August 24, 2018
Meeting with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
Turkmenbashi

The Head of State greeted the President of Turkmenistan and stressed that today’s meeting is very important.
Nursultan Nazarbayev stated that regular meetings at the highest level clearly demonstrate the interest of both sides in further strengthening the strategic partnership.

– We will discuss issues relating to the basin of the two rivers – the Amudarya and the Syr Darya, where our states are located. These rivers give life to our children and grandchildren. It is very important to discuss these problems together, “said the President of Kazakhstan.

The head of state stressed the timeliness of the meeting in Turkmenistan, recalling that the previous IFAS summit was held in 2009.

“I closely watch the development of fraternal Turkmenistan and wish the Turkmen people all the best,” the President of Kazakhstan concluded.

In turn, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov greeted Nursultan Nazarbayev and thanked for accepting the invitation to participate in the summit of the heads of the founding states of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

– Dear Nursultan Nazarbayev, we welcome you in Turkmenistan on the Caspian Sea, connecting our fraternal country – appealed to the Head of State, President of Turkmenistan.

Berdymukhamedov congratulated President of Kazakhstan on the success of the Fifth Summit of Caspian States and the signing of the historic document – the Caspian Sea Convention.

The heads of state considered the implementation of the Roadmap, development of cooperation in the transport and transit area, as well as issues of regional security.

In conclusion, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov congratulated Nursultan Nazarbayev and all the people of Kazakhstan on the holiday of Kurban Ait.

PRESIDENT’S WEEK

12 August 2018
Participation in the briefing for the media following the Fifth Caspian Summit
Aktau
 Speaking to reporters, the Head of State pointed to the symbolism of the Fifth Caspian Summit on the International Day of the Caspian Sea.

– My colleagues and I have summed up the results of many years of work to resolve the legal status of the Caspian Sea. We have discussed the state of affairs and further measures to promote multilateral practical cooperation. We have signed a number of important agreements in the areas of trade, economy, transport and security, the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, noting the success of the talks, stressed that in the process of preparing the Convention, all countries proceeded from the interests of ensuring political stability, development of the Caspian region, preservation and enhancement of its natural resources.

– The culmination of many years of painstaking work is signing the Convention today on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. The Convention is a kind of Constitution of the Caspian Sea. It is called upon to resolve the entire complex of issues related to the rights and obligations of coastal states, and also to become a guarantor of security, stability and prosperity in the region, the President of Kazakhstan stated.

Nursultan Nazarbayev told the journalists present that the Convention creates an effective legal basis for cooperation of riparian countries in a wide range of areas and determines the basic principles of each of the parties.

– Among them is the transformation of the Caspian Sea into a zone of peace, good-neighbourliness and friendship; its use for peaceful purposes; respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; lack of the armed forces on the Caspian Sea that do not belong to the parties. We have established territorial waters with a width of 15 marine miles, while their external borders acquire the status of state ones. The territorial waters are adjoined by ten-mile fishing zones, where each state has exclusive rights for fishing. Outside the fishing zones, the common water area remains unchanged. Outside the sea frontiers, freedom of navigation will be applied to ships flying the flags of coastal countries. The agreement on freedom of transit to other seas and the oceans is of great importance. Each state implements sovereign rights to subsoil use within the boundaries of its bottom sector. At the same time it is possible to lay main pipelines and cables along the seabed with the condition of observing ecological requirements, the Head of State said.

The President of Kazakhstan has stressed that observance of these principles is intended to contribute to the development of transport infrastructure of the coastal states, to increase the transit potential of the Caspian region, as well as to preserve the ecological system and the unique population of the Caspian’s biological resources.

In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed a number of additional measures for the further development of cooperation in the Caspian Sea, including conclusion of a separate five-sided agreement on agreed confidence-building measures in the field of military activities, stimulation of trade and economic relations of coastal countries, especially on investment cooperation and implementation of projects in the energy sphere, optimization of tariff policy and improvement of transportation conditions, as well as adopting a document to combat illegal fishing biological resources.

In conclusion, the Head of State stressed that Aktau Summit once again demonstrated the ability of the Caspian countries to jointly solve large-scale tasks and expressed confidence that the adopted international treaties and agreements reached would contribute to the fullest disclosure of the potential of the Caspian Five.

At the end of the summit, the Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani, Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov have made statements.

***

Following the Fifth Caspian Summit, the following documents have been inked:

1. Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.

2. Protocol on Cooperation in the field of combating terrorism in the Caspian Sea.

3. Protocol on Cooperation in the field of combating organized crime in the Caspian Sea.

4. Agreement between the governments of the Caspian states on trade and economic cooperation.

5. Agreement between the governments of the Caspian states on cooperation in the field of transport.

6. Agreement on prevention of incidents in the Caspian Sea.

7. Protocol on Cooperation and interaction of border agencies.

12 August 2018
Meeting with President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani
Aktau, Friendship House
 The Head of State has greeted the President of Iran and noted that the relations between the two countries have always been stable and based on the principles of friendship and brotherhood.

– Thanks to your policy and effective bilateral meetings at the highest level, trade between our countries is growing and the volumes of cargo transportation are increasing. The supplies of agricultural products have become especially active, the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev has noted that Kazakhstan and Iran are close neighbours in the Caspian region, and stressed that the visits in 2016 gave a good impetus to bilateral relations.

– Our historic meeting based on trust and mutual understanding will settle all issues related to the Caspian Sea and strengthen cooperation between the Caspian countries,  the Head of State said.

In turn, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hasan Rouhani thanked Nursultan Nazarbayev for the opportunity to visit Kazakhstan and the cordial welcome extended to the members of the Iranian delegation.

– We are happy to meet with you. I hope that today’s summit will achieve the most positive results. Our countries are very close not only geographically, but also on a number of other aspects. At the same time, we have common interests, the Iranian leader said.

H.Rouhani has stressed that Kazakhstan always supports Iran on international platforms and invariably complies with nuclear agreements.

– Your country is carrying out a very important peacekeeping mission in the global arena, including as part of Astana Process. Our relations are of a strategic nature and are developing in all directions. Today Aktau hosts a significant summit on the Caspian theme, which once again confirms the great authority of Kazakhstan, the President of Iran concluded.

Meeting with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin
Aktau

The Head of State thanked the President of the Russian Federation for his active participation in the landmark summit for the Caspian countries, which opens up new opportunities and prospects for cooperation.
– Our bilateral relations are moving in all directions, especially in the sphere of economy, military-technical and space industries. Economic issues are developing dynamically within the framework of the EEA, “said the President of Kazakhstan.

In turn, Vladimir Putin congratulated Nursultan Nazarbayev on the results of the summit of the Caspian states and noted that this event will go down in history as held exactly in Kazakhstan.

– This is a great event, to which we have been going for two decades. After lengthy discussions and arguments, finally, a solution is found. Undoubtedly, this will contribute to the development of our cooperation in the Caspian region, “the President of the Russian Federation said.

V.Putin noted the growth of mutual trade turnover and expressed confidence that all major projects and programs, including in space, energy and transport, will be further developed, and both countries will achieve good results.

“I want to thank you for the attention that you personally give to Russian-Kazakh relations,” said the President of the Russian Federation.

In addition, the parties discussed the upcoming interregional forum in Petropavlovsk and the CIS summit in Dushanbe.

12 August 2018
Meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
Aktau, Friendship House
 The President of Kazakhstan pointed out that the process of regulating the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which began under the President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, has now been finalized by signing the relevant Convention.

Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that the day before there was a landmark event – the launch of the multimodal hub of Kuryk port, which opens up new transport and logistics opportunities for all countries of the region, Azerbaijan including.

– We built a railway along Kazakhstan and 6 automobile crossings, two of which are on the border with China. We built a logistics terminal in Lianyungang Port in the Pacific Ocean and built a modern highway through the whole territory of our country, the Head of State said.

In turn, Ilham Aliyev congratulated Nursultan Nazarbayev on the opening of the multimodal hub in the Caspian Sea and the great achievements that demonstrate Kazakhstan’s dynamic development.

– I am very glad to visit the land of fraternal Kazakhstan again. For us, Mangistau region is very close, both historically and geographically. The new opportunities of Kuryk port will allow us to cooperate even more closely, the President of Azerbaijan said.

I.Aliyev said that in May of the current year Azerbaijan opened the port of Alyak, which will ensure full integration of traffic flows, and noted the political and economic benefits of using the transit opportunities of the two countries.

– The Caspian has become the external transport artery. I would particularly like to note your contribution to the consensus on many complex issues. We will strive to ensure that all provisions of the Convention are implemented, and that the Caspian continues to play the role of stabilizer in the region, the President of Azerbaijan stated.

PRESIDENT’S WEEK

August 9, 2018
Meeting with Prosecutor General Kairat Kozhamzharov


During the meeting, the Head of State was provided with a report on the activities of law enforcement agencies of the country and the execution of these instructions earlier.
The President of Kazakhstan noted that the prosecutors were given a task to implement higher supervision of observance of the rights, legitimate interests of citizens and the implementation of legislation.

– Nowadays all measures have been taken to ensure legality in the country: law enforcement agencies and the judicial system have been reformed, and relevant laws have been adopted, including protecting businesses from unreasonable inspections. Only their qualitative execution is necessary, – Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

The head of state stressed the importance of continuing work on humanizing criminal legislation and indicated that the number of prisoners in Kazakhstan decreased by 35 percent.

In turn, Kairat Kozhamzharov informed the President of Kazakhstan about the ongoing work to reform the criminal process and noted that due to this activity, the common crime in the country in comparison with the previous year was reduced to 10 percent.

– The prosecution authorities take systematic measures to protect legal rights and legitimate interests. During the six months of this year, inspections were carried out in the sphere of observance of labor rights, land relations, tariff legislation, which resulted in the protection and restoration of the rights of more than three million citizens, “Kozhamzharov said.

Following the meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev gave a number of specific instructions.

August 7, 2018
Meeting with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Astana city


During the meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that for 25 years, thanks to the efforts of the state and personnel, the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan, which have a serious military potential, have become a reliable support for the country’s independence.
– In recent years, much has been done in the development of the Armed Forces. A number of important strategic documents were adopted, including the National Security Strategy, the Military Doctrine of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Concept for the Development of the Armed Forces, as well as regulatory and legal acts in the field of defense, “the Head of State said.

The President of Kazakhstan pointed out that in the light of changing the geopolitical situation and the formation of new challenges, one of the main tasks of the Ministry of Defense is technological upgrading and modernization of weapons.

– Therefore, I decided to appoint a civilian – security assistant, the Secretary of the Security Council – Yermekbayev Nurlan Bauzakovich to be the Minister of Defense. At the same time, N. Yermekbayev – a career officer, has experience of military service, also in hot spots. He was an assistant for international affairs, Kazakhstan’s ambassador to the PRC and several countries of South-East Asia, minister, twice appointed Secretary of the Security Council, “said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The head of state stressed the need to improve the training of military personnel, taking into account modern requirements.

– I want to thank Colonel-General Saken Adilkhanovich Zhasuzakov for the impeccable service  and instruct him to head the National Defense University. Before the university, there are big tasks to upgrade the skills of the command staff of the Armed Forces and the development of military science. The university should become the main scientific and educational center, where students will be trained not only from our country, but also from neighboring countries, “the President of Kazakhstan said.

In conclusion, Nursultan Nazarbayev gave a number of specific instructions on the further development of the country’s Armed Forces.

August 4, 2018
Telegram of condolences to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin
The Head of State took with deep sorrow the sad news about the tragic death of people as a result of the crash of the Mi-8 passenger helicopter in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

“Sharing the irreplaceable loss, on behalf of the people of Kazakhstan and on my own behalf, I ask you to convey the words of condolences and support to the relatives and friends of the deceased,” the telegram reads.

August 3, 2018
Meeting on preparations for the Fifth Caspian Summit
 

The meeting was attended by the Head of the Presidential Administration A.Dzhaksybekov, the Minister for Foreign Affairs K.Abdrakhmanov, the Assistant to the President N.Onzhanov, the Minister of Defense S.Zhasuzakov and representatives of the central state bodies.
During the meeting, issues of preparation for signing the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea and other agreements were discussed, as well as a schedule of forthcoming international events with the participation of the Head of State.

– For many years we were preparing for the holding of the Caspian summit. Our experts have done a great job with their foreign colleagues. In addition, a meeting of the heads of the founding states of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea will be held in Turkmenistan, where we should also take part, “said the President of Kazakhstan.

During the discussion, the report of Foreign Minister K.Abdrakhmanov on the preparations for the Fifth Caspian Summit was heard.

– Within the framework of the Fifth Caspian Summit, it is planned to complete the process of multi-year negotiations on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea. The key document of the summit will be the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, the adoption of which will allow resolving the entire complex of issues related to the rights and obligations of the coastal states in the use of the Caspian Sea, – K. Abdrakhmanov reported.

Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized the importance of the Convention in strengthening mutually beneficial economic relations between the Caspian countries.

At the end of the meeting, the Head of State instructed to continue work on preparations for the Fifth Caspian Summit.