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NUR-SULTAN, June 12, 2019 – The first meeting of the Public Council on the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was held at the Ministry, during whichMukhtarYerman, the Chairman of the Committee on international affairs, defense and security of the Mazhilis of Parliament, was elected as the new Chairman of the Public Council.
Welcoming the new members of the Council, Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov stressed that in his inaugural speech President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasized the importance of increasing the role of the public in state policy implementation.
“The state will focus on the development of civil society. Therefore, it is very important for us that the members of the Council take an active part in discussing the most pressing issues and give expert assessments to the decisions taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the Minister said.
Deputy Foreign Minister YermekKosherbaevprepared a report on the new priorities of the Foreign Ministry's activities in attracting foreign investments and promoting the export of Kazakhstani goods.
The report provided detailed information on investment indicators for 2018. In particular, the gross inflow of foreign direct investment increased by 15.8% to $24.3 billion. Investments in fixed assets for January-April 2019 increased by 6.7% and amounted to 2.9 trillion tenge. Of these, foreign investment accounts for 36% of the total investment capital (1.05 trillion. tenge.)
Regarding the work on improving the investment climate in Kazakhstan, Mr. Kosherbaevemphasized that “the Foreign Ministry is working to createfront offices, which will act asa single platform for investors' access to information, advisory assistance, public services, and support for projects from the initial stage to their full implementation".
The Deputy Minister also noted that Kazakhstan's foreign missionsare holding a number of events overseas to identify new approaches, taking into account the best practices of developed countries and the OECD recommendations aimed at improving the system of attracting investments.
Regarding the Foreign Ministry's role in promoting exports, Mr. Kosherbayev said that the Foreign Ministry has a special Interagency Working Group on promotingnon-commodity exports, which focuses on the development of practical measures and rapid exchange of information.
In addition, the President of the Internet Association of Kazakhstan, ShavkatSabirov,discussed attracting foreign investment as a representative of civil society. The expert focused on export procedures in Kazakhstan and presented a number of proposals for their facilitation.
Furthermore, Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko prepared a report on the “New Foreign Policy Concept of the Republic of Kazakhstan", informing the participants about the work being done on the new edition of the document.
He noted that Kazakhstan will continue to pursue a foreign policy course aimed at developing equal partnerships with all countries. This is fully consistent with the position of President Tokayev expressed in his inaugural speech, according to which Kazakhstan will continue a constructive, balanced, multi-vector foreign policy course laid out by the First President - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev.
“The content of the concept is being updated to reflect the instructions given by Elbasy and the Head of State to strengthen the economic direction of the foreign policy. The global trends such as digital transformation, the development of 'green technologies', the widespread use of 'soft power' are reflected in the concept. The document includes new forms of international activity, including peacemaking and mediation", said Mr. Vassilenko.
According to the Deputy Foreign Minister, after approval from the relevant authorities, the text was posted on the Foreign Ministry's website for public comments.
During the discussions, members of the Council made a number of proposals to improve the investment climate and enhance the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in attracting foreign capital, and discussed the draft of the Foreign Policy Concept.