Mutual interest in combined efforts. Creating a new CES will help overcome economic challenges

Nov 25. Kazpravda

By Rysty Alibekova

Mutual interest in combined efforts. Creating a new CES will help overcome economic challengesThe Customs Union, Common Economic Space and Eurasian Union in future and their role in rise of competitiveness of domestic business under the circumstances of growing manifestations of the global economic crisis was the main topic on the agenda of the III Economic forum “Expert-100-Kazakhstan” in Astana.

Karim Masimov, stressing the relevance of the Forum after signing of the Declaration of the Eurasian Economic Integration and the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Commission recalled that the idea of the Eurasian Union had been first advanced by Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1994.

– During these 17 years our country and the world on the whole have changed, and now we see many problems and challenged through another prism. But in this light we more appreciate the agreements reached last week – said the head of the Government. – There are always pros and cons, supporters and opponents in the integration process. And the problems must be treated in a balanced way for mutually acceptable solutions.

The Premier talked about a number of recent events; particularly he answered the questions raised on the eve by the members of the Council of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, where the presentation of Kazakhstan as a potential candidate for membership in the OECD had been made.

– Russia indeed is on the eve of the accession to the World Trade Organization and we hope that Kazakhstan will do it in the next 12 months. RK principles of the global competitiveness and involvement in the world processes do not conflict with creation of a single economic space, but rather complement each other, – said Karim Masimov.

The head of the Cabinet also considers it necessity to take into account both positive and negative experiences of the EU, thinking over each step in moving forward. We know well the problems faced by European and the global economy. Therefore, the Heads of Governments of the CU decided to create a single working group at the level of the ministers of economy to adequately counter the problems and help business.

– Our economists must pursue adequate and timely economic policy to confront this wave. And we can assist each other. In the next 12 months we will have to make difficult but important decisions. Creating the CES, in spite of all challenges, is very timely and will help mitigate the impacts, – concluded Karim Masimov.

In turn, Director General of the media holding “Expert” Valery Fadeyev, said that the Customs Union and further integration process were historical events, comparing them with the union of Europe in the 50s. He recalled that the initiative came from Kazakhstan back in the 90s. But Russia then was not ready for such solutions, as its GDP in 1998 on the exchange rate was 200 billion dollars. Last year this figure reached USD 1.5 trillion. And this is a different size of economy and markets. Last year Kazakhstan was moving sometimes even faster.

According to V. Fadeyev, our leaders have realized the historical necessity of uniting such powerful subjects of the world economy, and it’s impossible to stop this progress.

Within the forum there were three thematic sessions. At the section “Innovation as a factor in increasing competitiveness of business and the country” they talked of the established in the republic institutions to support innovations, and the adopted medium-and long-term programs. Special attention was paid to the key topic of innovation – people and corporate culture in addition to technologies and algorithms.

During the session “Financing of economy: in search for alternatives” they considered important issues of alternative funding, quoting such examples as attracting capitals by issuing corporate bonds and shares. They also discussed the “appetites” of the local investors, especially domestic pension funds that having accumulated about $ 17 billion were in search of high-quality borrowers in the market of corporate securities. Much attention was also paid to improvement of financial literacy and the prospects of the national IPO.

Finally the initiatives of major consulting companies in study of corporate governance in Kazakhstan were highlighted at the third session “Corporate management”. Thus they considered the best practices of corporate secretaries of the NWF “SamrukKazyna”.  The meeting’s participants were interested in experience of “R&D” KazMunayGas”, which one of the first was listed on the London Stock Exchange and had one of the highest corporate governance ratings in the country. The participants agreed that it was not always reasonable to “try on” the latest trends in corporate governance, borrowed from the west, where the experience of the stock market’s development had been accumulated for centuries. In our institutional environment, many companies are achieving results through effective leadership of head of the company, who takes full responsibility and makes decisions.

In general, the third national rating of big business in Kazakhstan noted recovery of economy after a deep crisis phase on the results of 2010 and the leader of the national economy is now the National Welfare Fund “SamrukKazyna”.