by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev
at the VI Astana Economic Forum
Astana, May 23, 2020
Dear participants of the Forum!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Welcome to the hospitable capital of Kazakhstan!
Astana Economic Forum has been held for 5 years now.
The Forum turned into a special dialogue platform in terms of both shape and content.
First, the 67th session of the UN General Assembly has supported the targeted mission of the Forum – to develop a Global Anti-Crisis Plan.
Along with the VI Forum, we are hosting a World Anti-Crisis Conference under the UN auspices for the first time ever.
Over 100 countries are represented at the Conference.
I wholeheartedly welcome its participants and thank the leadership of the UN and its entities for their support.
Second, over these five years, the number of participants and nations represented at the Forum has significantly grown.
The present Forum and the Conference has brought together over 10,000 participants, including some 3,000 foreign guests from 132 countries of the world.
Third, I am especially grateful to the outstanding scholars, Nobel prize winners for establishing their own club in Astana and their active support for the Forum.
Fourth, thanks to the online communicative platform G-Global the Astana Economic Forum has become a place for continuous discussions.
Over 120,000 permanent users are engaged in those debates.
Fifth, what testifies to the increasing potential of the Astana Economic Forum is the following fact.
A year ago, from this rostrum, I proposed an idea about a NEW WORLD ORDER in the 21st century and called it G-GLOBAL.
Today, the Google search engine alone will give you about a billion links mentioning that word.
I am confident that the outcomes of the discussion at the Astana Economic Forum and the World Anti-Crisis Conference will enjoy growing demand regionally and globally.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I would like to share my views on the pressing issues on today’s agenda.
First off, let’s talk about the important conceptual approaches towards combating the crisis.
While intensifying the process of developing a Global Anti-Crisis Plan, a number of critically important LESSONS should be taken into account.
Just think about it.
Only recently, late last year, everybody in the world was convinced that the first universal crisis of the 21st century globalized economy is a previous page of our history.
This is what many financial institutions have persistently argued.
But there turned out to be no place for euphoria.
The collapse of the financial system in Cyprus made us question the proximity of the era of universal economic stability.
I know there are estimates that reject the connection between the Cyprus event and the global crisis.
But we face the fact.
Even a layman not shrewd in economics can easily name the similar causes of the problems of Cyprus banks and the US mortgage crisis five years ago.
These are, first of all, an artificial blow up of financial bubbles and craving for easy money, absence of proper responsibility of national financial institutions and the weakness of the global financial management.
In fact, these and other fundamental causes of the global downturn have not been eliminated yet.
Hence, the world crisis cannot be considered as finished.
Moreover, it seems to be transferring into a new stage to be accompanied by painful “bursts” of a number of local financial systems.
I believe this is exactly the FIRST LESSON that should be learned and taken into account when developing a Global Anti-Crisis Plan.
The SECOND LESSON is that, ironically, the global recession is caused the anti-crisis measures taken on national levels.
Undoubtedly, during a crisis, action is better than no action.
Kazakhstan, as you know, has also carried out a successful Anti-crisis program. It ensured saving jobs and positive dynamics of economic growth.
Not every single anti-crisis recommendation developed within the G20 has been implemented.
Many states have taken protectionist measures.
This caused a slowdown of the global trade growth, drops in prices on global and regional markets.
The volumes of cross-border lending and investment have decreased and now amount to just 60% of the pre-crisis level.
Another aspect is a sharp deterioration of people’s social feelings.
Unemployment is growing globally.
The International Labor Organization forecasts indicate over 200 million unemployed in the world this year alone.
Early this year Europe had over 26 million unemployed that is 1.5 times as much as five years ago.
Many countries cut the government spending for education, healthcare, human potential development.
All of these are clear indicators of a global social crisis threatening to lower the standards of living even in developed societies.
Oxford experts report that half of all low-income people of our planet live in G20 countries.
250 million people are forced to migrate in search for a better life which also triggers lots of social problems.
The social injustice existing in many countries is also a caused by financial and economic inefficiency.
National anti-crisis plans cushioned the consequences of the crisis, but were not followed by efficient root-targeting actions on the global level.
In my article “Keys to Crisis” published four years ago I identified the deficiency of the global currency system as the main reason for the current global economic storm.
Let me remind that I persistently urged to change the ways of global currency emission and circulation that do not meet the criteria of legitimacy, democracy, efficient controllability and responsibility.
Yet to this day, there have been neither efficient global anti-crisis mechanisms, nor reliable global reserve currency or a group of regional currencies.
No sufficient will and responsibility was present to make radical decisions.
The THIRD LESSON that should be taken into consideration when working on the Global Anti-Crisis Plan is about overcoming the lack of trust.
I fully share the viewpoint that the global crisis primarily has been the crisis of trust.
There is no trust between global financial institutions and national-states, between the actors of the financial sector and the real economy, among countries, and so forth.
I strongly believe that without universal trust, any anti-crisis plan will basically turn into another practice of “closing the gaps.”
In the 21 century, the world needs a new economic model.
It should be based primarily on a fair and just global financial system free of deception, irresponsibility, and wastefulness.
Where goods produced by humanity will be directed at creation and progress in the name of happiness and development of each society.
The fourth lesson is the pursuit for sense of proportion.
First of all, financial sector cannon and must not develop in isolation from the real sector, both at global and national level.
Situation prior to the crisis, when the derivatives market turnover was eight times higher than the total GDP of the entire planet, is suicidal for the global economy.
Therefore special emphasis in reforming global financial management should be made on creation of effective regulation model for the derivatives market.
Secondly, it is important to resolve the issue of global control over offshore zones. Volume of funds mover out from national economies to offshore zones (tax havens) amounts up to 30 trillion dollars.
In fact these funds can be seen as delayed-action mines that can detonate any minute.
And situation around Cyprus is a strong warning about this problem.
Fifth lesson is related to the fact that current global crisis is multidimensional.
It’s no coincidence that I called it the first universal crisis of the globalized world.
Its course and dynamics are set not only by economic but also political, humanitarian and moral reasons.
Today, for example, one can not ignore the problems related with rising number of countries that have become “chronic recipients” of international aid.
Internal conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa burden the world economy significantly.
But “global economic fire” is impossible to stop with “global flood” of political destabilization.
New global economy is unthinkable without establishing the new just world order.
I emphasize that considering these five lessons, learnt and comprehended during the global crisis, is fundamentally important for setting the right anti-crisis development trend for the world in the coming century.
It is encouraging to see the increased role of the United Nations Organization in searching the global anti-crisis solutions.
In September 2011, talking at the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, I have called the world community to start working immediately on Global Regulation Pact.
This document must become a real instrument for coordinating key aspects of international economic policy.
This includes development of functioning mechanism of the new global financial system and establishment of a global regulator that would set the common rules of the game.
Today it is also vitally important to expand the dialogue on global anti-crisis management within the framework of G-8 and G-20.
Kazakhstan as an invitee for the upcoming G-20 Summit in Saint Petersburg will bring the suggestions and recommendations of Astana forum and World Anti-Crisis Conference to the attention of participants of the Summit.
If we are going to be anxious about the future, then the future will look with anxiety at us.
Any crisis is first and foremost an opportunity for dramatic (cardinal) changes.
One year ago from the platform of this forum I have offered the idea of G-Global. I am thankful to all who has valued it positively.
The key point of G-Global is to offer a positive alternative to a chaotic dynamics of the changing global development paradigms.
It is based on unifying potential of five simple and clear principles. Let me remind you that these are:
Let me briefly outline them.
First, evolution and rejecting revolutionary changes in politics:
Second, fairness, equality, consensus;
Third, global tolerance and trust;
Fourth, global transparency;
Fifth, constructive multi-polarity.
These principles can serve a basis for a successful dialogue on any global issue and come up with universally acceptable solutions.
Today the world needs a new global financial and economic system and effective global security structures, including the nuclear security.
The continuation of global dialogue on strengthening tolerance and accord has a huge potential.
In conditions of global transformations, the world as never before needs the political will, decisiveness, coordination, openness and trust.
I dearly hope that the number of G-Global followers will keep rising.
For further development of this idea I suggest to establish G-Global Board of Trustees, based on examples of Club de Madrid and Club de Rome.
This board should carry out financing the research of fundamental aspects of the idea.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Kazakhstan has appeared on political world map just over two decades ago.
We were starting everything from ground, and today the achievements of our economy are acknowledged by all.
In 2012 in the World Bank “Doing Business” ranking our country was ranked 49th, in terms of “investor protections” it was ranked 10th.
In the World Economic Forum competitiveness report Kazakhstan was ranked 51st.
We have come all the way to achieving the target set by me few years ago-to enter the club of 50 most competitive countries in the world.
As you know, we have developed the new political course –Strategy “Kazakhstan 2050.”
Its key goal is to transform Kazakhstan into a top 30 most developed country of the world, where progress is based on innovative economic and social principles.
The most important among them is harmonious development of the trinity “Economy-Energy-Ecology.”
And this is not an utopian dream, but a real necessity for entire humanity.
The coming recovery of the global economy form the crisis will inevitably lead to even more massive growth of production and consumption.
Moreover, today’s reality is that in the modern world every fifth person does not have an access to electricity at all.
Therefore it is an unjustified carelessness to postpone the solution of energy and environmental problems.
At last year’s Rio Summit my initiatives on Global energy and ecological strategy and the Green Bridge program were supported by the world community.
Transition to “green” energy and introduction of “green” technologies-this is a growing vector of the global economy.
Despite possessing huge natural wealth, including hydrocarbons, Kazakhstan is determined to actively develop renewable energy sources.
These goals are set in our Strategy 2050.
We are determined to allocate 2% of GDP annually for investments into “green modernization”.
All this is reflected in our adopted Concept on transition towards the green economy.
In four years Astana will host the International specialized exhibition EXPO-2017.
It is no coincidence that we have offered to host the event under the motto “Energy of the future”.
I invite the business circles from all over the world to take the most active participation in preparatory works for the EXPO-2017.
The XXI century is taking its course, “condensing” time and distance.
Development of the new type of global economy, new principles of international relations and new values of social life are underway.
Therefore today it is important to find the right solution to the global problems.
I wish success and fruitful discussions with development of new recommendations to the participants of the forum and delegated of the World Anti-Crisis Conference.