On 10th January 2018, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev gave his annual State of the Nation address, which outlined objectives for the country’s development in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The address specifically notes that to date, sixty steps out of the one hundred specified in the “100 Concrete Steps” national plan, have been completed. It also highlights several of the past year’s achievements, such as:

  • GDP growth of 4% and industrial production growing by more than 7%.
  • Poverty declining 13-fold.
  • The unemployment rate falling to 4.9%.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev specified ten objectives for Kazakhstan’s successful future development:

  1. Kazakhstan’s industry should become the flagship for the introduction of new technologies.

Industrialisation should become more innovative, taking advantage of new technological developments in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT).

New technologies need to be developed, aimed at modernising and digitising enterprises with a focus on exports. The manufacturing industry needs to increase labour productivity through the digitisation of manufacturing chains and the adoption of modern business models.

Demand for new technologies needs to come from various sectors, with a functioning private venture financing market, supported by appropriate legislation.

  1. Resource potential needs development and natural resource efficiency needs improvement.

It is necessary to rethink the organisation of commodity industries and revaluate the approaches through which natural resources are managed.

Requirements for energy efficiency, corporate energy savings, and the considerations that energy producers have for the environment, all need to be increased. This involved updating relevant legislation, such as the Environmental Code.

Business needs to be encouraged and stimulated to further invest in green technologies.

  1. The agricultural sector must develop according to new technologies.

Agrarian policy should seek to increase labour productivity and support a growth in exports of processed agricultural products. The development of agrarian science is a priority and should focus on new technologies and their adaptation to domestic conditions.

Agrarian universities need to further develop their programmes and become centres of advanced knowledge for research and industry.

The State, together with the private sector, should find strategic niches in international markets and promote domestic production in these areas.

  1. Transportation and logistics infrastructure needs to be developed further.

The introduction of digital technologies and construction of intelligent transportation systems will provide the opportunity to shorten the cargo delivery time and increase revenues from transit.

The introduction of an Intelligent Transport System will allow for the effective management of transport flows and determine the requirement for further infrastructure development.

  1. Modern technologies should be applied more readily in construction, housing and utilities.

New construction methods, increasing the requirements for energy efficiency of buildings, and the introduction of intelligent infrastructure management systems will improve the quality of life of Kazakhstani citizens.

In order to continue the increase in housing supply, it is important to utilise modern materials, and adopt fundamentally different approaches to the design of buildings and urban planning.

  1. A “Reset” of the financial sector.

Measures to enhance the banking system should be accompanied by increased supervision. The supervision of financial institutions by the National Bank should be tough, timely and effective.

It is necessary to significantly raise the level of accountability of those who own banks and those who manage them in order to protect the interests of shareholders and ordinary citizens.

It is important to further improve the investment climate and the development of the stock market.

  1. A new quality of human capital.

The education system has to meet the realities of the modern world and address the demands of the economy at all levels.

A clear timetable for the transition to the Latin alphabet up to 2025 should be established at all levels of education.

In healthcare, the use of new technologies should significantly improve disease prevention and treatment, and raise the quality of health services.

This year, welfare budget expenditure will be increased by 12% and will exceed 4 trillion tenge. The basic pension will increase by an average of 1.8 times, taking into account employment history.

  1. Effective public administration.

Digital technologies will allow for the continuation of business deregulation, improve the quality of public services and state support, and help Kazakhstan better meet the needs of citizens. The economic independence of regional and local governments will be expanded.

The Government will work to introduce a package of measures, including simplifying visa procedures, developing infrastructure and removing other barriers in the tourism industry.

  1. The rule of law and the fight against corruption remains a State priority.

Institutional reforms of judicial and law enforcement systems are being carried out. The fight against corruption will continue.

  1. Develop “Smart City” Technology.

The introduction of “Smart City” technologies will allow Kazakhstan to effectively solve the problems of expanding urban centres and help increase their attractiveness for investors.

Smart Cities will be the engines of regional development, spreading innovations and improvement to quality of life throughout the country.