Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 17 / Trend /
Elena Kosolapova, Trend commentator
The Kazakh president has recently reorganised several government ministries and departments and made new appointments to key government posts. Based on these orders predictions can be made concerning the prior goals of the Kazakh government in the coming years.
Development of the regions is expected to be one of the general directions. The head of state has repeatedly stated the need for change in the governance of the regions. At a conference on regional development held in late 2012 with participation of regional authorities at all levels, Nazarbayev particularly noted the need to address regional problems for further development of the national economy.
"Jointly with the government, regional authorities have to ensure creation of quality jobs in the regions, identification of reserves, attract investments, growth of people's income and also a visible development of small and medium businesses," Nazarbayev said at the meeting.
Addressing social imbalance issues in regions has been identified amongst the main directions of economic policy by the president in his recent address to the people in the 'Kazakhstan-2050 strategy'.
Recently an agency has been officially created to address regional problems set up as the Ministry of Regional Development. The fact that the new ministry's head has been appointed as the first Deputy Prime Minister shows the importance attached to the work with the regions.
Furthermore, Bakhytzhan Sagintayev, who enjoys the confidence of the president and previously was the second in command after Nazarbayev in the Nur Otan Party, was appointed to this position. Sagintayev has extensive practical experience in governance as earlier he served as Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and head of Pavlodar region.
Preparations for holding the international EXPO-2017 exhibition in Astana can be listed as another priority in the work of Kazakh government in the coming years.
Kazakhstan put a lot of effort to obtain the right to host this major event which resulted in the victory of Astana's bid in international voting by a wide margin in November 2012.
The Kazakh government now faces the task to hold EXPO-2017 at the highest level and benefit most from this event. A separate national company 'Astana EXPO-2017' has been created particularly for this purpose and the actual preparation for the event is under the direct control of the President.
Although according to many experts, the investments attracted by EXPO are unlikely to recoup the cost of its implementation, the event can significantly increase Kazakhstan's prestige on the world stage which has also been one of the country's priorities in recent years.
The OSCE chairmanship and holding of world congresses and traditional religious leaders and the Kazakh president's numerous initiatives announced from the venues of several international organisations and events can be mentioned as examples. So there is every reason to believe that this course will be continued in the future.
However, attracting investments and creating a favourable investment climate is also one of the main tasks set by the president before the government.
"Kazakhstan has to become a regional magnet for investments. Our country must be the most attractive in Eurasia for investment and technology transfer. This is crucial. We need to show our advantages to investors," Nazarbayev said in his message to the people.
As a result of reorganisation in the ministries, this function was assigned to the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning.
This means changes in government agencies and official positions in Kazakhstan can be seen as a step towards realisation of the country's development strategy which envisages the country's entry as one of the top 30 developed countries by 2050.