KAZAKHSTAN-QATAR TIES FOCUS ON ECONOMIC SPHERE: ENVOY

Bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Qatar are expected to soar to a new level as the two countries  collaborate in various fields, particularly in the economic and investment sphere, Kazakhstan ambassador Askar Shokybaev has said.

“I have the honour to say that our relation with Qatar is at a very high level,” the envoy told Gulf Times on the sidelines of a recent roundtable discussion, which was attended by a number of diplomats and representatives from government and non-governmental organisations.

The event, organised by the Kazakhstan embassy in Doha, is dedicated to the ‘Annual Address’ of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, dubbed as the ‘Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan: Global Competitiveness’.

The modernisation includes five main priorities, designed to ensure economic growth and sustainable development to help Kazakhstan join the top-30 most developed countries by 2050.

In the field of economy and investments, Shokybaev noted that Qatar Investment Authority decided to invest around $100mn on the infrastructure front.

Qatar, he added, is also investing around $13mn for the construction of a school in Kazakhstan under the name of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani.

Part of the ‘Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan’ includes reforming its education system by reducing the gap in quality of education between urban and rural schools.

“Last month, a big delegation from Qatar Central Bank visited our country and met with ministers, government officials and business leaders to discuss co-operation in economics and investment,” the envoy noted.

He expressed optimism that co-operation between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar and Kazakhstan would grow.

“Kazakhstan is open to any field of co-operation with Qatar and we are currently developing our economic and investment co-operation,” Shokybaev said.

At the discussion, the envoy said the ‘Third Modernisation of Kazakhstan’ involved creating a new model of economic growth that would ensure the country’s global competitiveness.

The five main priorities are: accelerating technological modernisation of the economy, improving and expanding the business environment, macroeconomic stability, improving the quality of human capital, and institutionalising change, security and the fight against corruption, which also includes fighting cybercrime by creating a “Cybershield of Kazakhstan” system.

Under priority No 2, the Kazakhstan government wants SMEs to contribute at least 50% of its gross domestic product by 2050, as well as expand the use of microcredit to ensure entrepreneurs are guaranteed the support they need.

Kazakhstan is also planning to transfer a number of state services to business and expand public-private partnerships.  http://www.gulf-times.com/story/544680/Kazakhstan-Qatar-ties-focus-on-economic-sphere-env