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Astana Forum Boosts UNCTAD-Kazakhstan Cooperation

Sunday 27 May 2012

(UNCTAD) – Deputy S-G of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Petko Draganov met on 23 May, during the Astana Forum, the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and the country’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov, discussing opportunities for strengthening the cooperation between UNCTAD and Kazakhstan.

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Mr Petko Draganov, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD with Mr Karim Massimov, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
Established in 1964, UNCTAD promotes the development-friendly integration of developing countries into the world economy. UNCTAD has progressively evolved into an authoritative knowledge-based institution whose work aims to help shape current policy debates and thinking on development, with a particular focus on ensuring that domestic policies and international action are mutually supportive in bringing about sustainable development.
The Mission of the Astana Economic Forum is to unite economists and other experts, as well as representatives of the public, in discussing and searching for solutions to socio-economical, legal and cultural issues of Kazakhstan and the world’s economic development. In addition, the Forum will provide economic-development, growth and sustainability recommendations to the Government of Kazakhstan, the governments of the countries participating in the Forum and the Group of Twenty (G-20) nations.
The5th forum took place from May 22 to 24, 2012.

Speaking at the Fifth Astana Forum, taking place 22-24 May in Astana, Kazakhstan, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev presented his ideas for promoting transparency and fairness in international trade and economic systems and in the international financial architecture. These ideas will be further elaborated on by the Kazakhstan delegation at the coming RIO+20 conference.

Many of the views expressed by the President echoed the development-centred globalization concept that guided the recently concluded UNCTAD XIII conference. In this regard, Petko Draganov, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General, delivered to the participants UNCTAD’s assessments the issues of multilateral trade talks, regional integration, WTO accession, and offered his remarks on the continuing challenged posed by the global financial crisis.

Mr Draganov also met the country’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Minister of Economic Development Mr Sagintaev, who attended UNCTAD XIII, Minister of Economic Integration Ms. Aytzhanova, President of the Eurasian Scientific Club Mr Kerimsakov, and the Customs D-G Mr Esenbaev, to discuss opportunities for future collaboration.

This collaboration, it was noted, will help facilitate the accession of Kazakhstan into the WTO, expected to take place by the end of 2012. In particular, Kazakhstan would expect advice from UNCTAD on combining the benefits of the country’s memberships in both the WTO and the EURASEC Customs Union.

Another important area for future cooperation will be the implementation of the New Silk Road Initiative, initiated by President Nazarbayev, which will help facilitate trade and customs procedures, strengthen the country’s transit potential, attract investment, as well as improve international business ratings of the Republic.

The Kazakhstan Government expressed an interest in establishing collaboration between the President’s initiative on the G-GLOBAL electronic community and UNCTADS’s Global Network of Think Tanks/Virtual Institute, with a view to creating a common platform for debate on topical issues of development.

In 2009 President Nazarbaev, in his article “The Fifth Way,” called UNCTAD one of the most reputable international bodies dealing with issues of future financial architecture. The Kazakhstan Government has expressed appreciation of past positive experiences of technical cooperation with UNCTAD, particularly on competition legislation, the WTO accession, and international accounting standards. Kazakhstan is the first transition economy to start donor support to UNCTAD through financing participation of experts from low-income countries in UNCTAD’s meetings.

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