Twenty seven years have passed since the historic moment when the First President Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a decree to approve the provisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, of Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and of the main duties and rights of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan. This launched the beginning of a new and interesting chapter in the history of Kazakhstan’s diplomacy.
During this time under the leadership of First President Elbasy, Kazakhstan developed its own, unique and pragmatic foreign policy model. At its core lies the multi-vector and balanced approach to cooperation with the countries of the West and the East including Europe and Asia. And no matter how the world around us has changed in the past decades, our country continues to follow its previously identified priorities on the world stage.
Continued cooperation with its partners and a commitment to strategic principles have become a recognizable hallmark of national diplomacy. In his inaugural speech, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted, “Kazakhstan has won great prestige in the world, has established itself as a peace-loving, open country, reliable and responsible partner in international affairs. We will continue constructive multi-vector foreign policy course”.
Throughout these years Kazakhstan has strongly positioned itself through numerous effective initiatives in international security, dialogue and cooperation, including global nuclear safety and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This also includes participation in establishing prestigious international organizations such as the SCO, CSTO, CICA and etc. as well as strengthening dialogue between religions, effective peacemaking, and humanitarian assistance to the countries in need.
We can continue listing our accomplishments for a long time. But more importantly, during this very short historical period of time, we have confidently made our way from being recognized to becoming active partner in world affairs. Our country has made and continues to make its contribution to solving regional and global problems of the modern era. Kazakhstan consciously takes a proactive stance at the international level, promoting pragmatic initiatives and ideas, many of which have long been implemented.
Kazakhstan has consciously built around itself a belt of good neighborliness and a reliable system of relations with all the countries of the world and international organizations. As a result, our country has clearly positioned itself for many years as a prestigious and reliable partner, strong supporter of peace, a pillar of regional stability and steward of international dialogue.
And all of this constructive foreign policy capital is consistently transformed into tangible economic benefits and advantages for development of our country. Indeed, more than $300 billion worth of foreign direct investments brought into Kazakhstan’s economy in the past decades best of all speaks to the confidence and trust that the global community has in us. Kazakhstan has gained this trust through its consistent work, rational foreign policy decisions and responsibility in international cooperation.
At the same time the role of our country in the global geo-economic processes is increasing every year. Thanks to the construction of the modern Silk Road, our country is presently successfully connecting the remote regions of Greater Eurasia and establishing itself as a land bridge between the three oceans - the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian. This substantially changes economic prospects of continentally isolated Kazakhstan and opens new development opportunities.
As a result, the international interest in our country as a valuable partner is increasing every year. Thanks to the domestic stability and development of our infrastructure, delivery of goods to and from Europe to Asia via Kazakhstan takes four times less than delivery by traditional sea routes. We are already seeing concrete results - in 2018 our country’s income from transit exceeded $1.5 billion and is expected to reach $5 billion in the future.
Thanks to the good-neighborliness belt and thoughtful foreign strategy, Kazakhstan is becoming the main getaway and key transit link in Eurasian continental trade. Because of our growing communication network, the country of the great steppe, strategically unites the large European, Asian and Middle Eastern markets and forms the foundation for a new continental geo-economy. This is a real example of how we are converting foreign policy achievements into the real economic return.
Our world is experiencing a period of rapid transformation as technologies, economy and social order are changing in a complex and dynamic way. In this context, our Head of State is setting a clear direction of international activity. “We will firmly promote and defend our national interests on the global stage. Our foreign policy will bring concrete benefits to the country, national businesses and every citizen”, noted President in his inaugural speech.
And thanks to the accumulated experience and professionalism, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry is quickly adapting to the changing global realities. We continue constructive cooperation to promote dialogue and strengthen security. At the same time, to support the growth of our nation’s economy, our diplomacy is efficiently focused on actively promoting our country’s economic interests in the new international environment.
It is known that direct investments as well as industrial projects and transfer of technology are effective drivers of growth and diversification of the economy. Investments, in a complex way, contribute to the creation of new jobs, improve qualifications of Kazakhstan personnel, and introduce innovation as well as increase tax revenues into the state budget.
In the light of the currently growing international competition for investment capital, Kazakhstan is shifting to a new tactic of working with foreign investors. In response to new world trends, the country is building a new ecosystem to attract and retain investments.
Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan has been entrusted with the task of coordinating investment activities at all levels - regional, nationwide and international. The Foreign Ministry pragmatically focuses on synchronizing the interactions between all relevant government organizations and departments using its accumulated knowledge and experience.
One of the key departments, the Committee on Investments, has now become a part of the Foreign Ministry. Today, the working potential and skills of the Committee are being integrated into the daily diplomatic activity at all 93 foreign missions of Kazakhstan. This gives them additional tools and mechanisms to attract foreign investment.
Kazakhstan sets itself a serious goal to strengthen the stability of FDI inflow, making the country highly attractive for major global companies. The role of the Council of Foreign Investors under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan is significantly enhanced within the updated structure for working with investors. For more than 20 years, the Council has been successfully and efficiently engaged in solving strategic issues to ensure a favorable investment climate. It has become a significant platform for the direct exchange of views, ideas and proposals for improving the investment image of our country.
The upcoming 32nd plenary meeting of the Council of Foreign Investors with participation of the Head of State aims at bringing Kazakhstan’s work to attract FDI into nation’s economy to a new level through developing human capital. The Council’s activities are now coordinated by the Foreign Ministry and in these new conditions, Kazakhstan’s diplomats will once again make every effort to transform foreign policy opportunities achieved over the years into a promising economic prospects. As the history of our Ministry shows, the experience, competence and knowledge is already here.