Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development at Al-Farabi KazNU took part in the XII Astana Economic Forum “Inspiring Growth: People, Cities, Economy,” which was held May 16-17, 2019 in Nur-Sultan. The Forum – dubbed as the “Davos of Central Asia” – examined the wide range of changes in theglobal and regional economies, from the challenges of the “de-globalization” to the crisis of the system of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and from digitalization of manufacturing and governance to the forthcoming Industrialization 4.0 revolution.
The Astana Economic Forum (AEF) is one of the largest platforms in this part of the world for discussing the issues of improving and developing the world economy and financial system. The event annually gathers thousands of delegates from a number of countries, including top officials, Nobel Prize winners, leading politicians, famous scientists, journalists and representatives of the business elite. This year, about 5,500 delegates from about 70 countries of the world and from all major companies from Kazakhstan attended the AEF-2019.
The main topic of the Astana Economic Forum in 2019 – “Inspiring Growth: People, Cities,Economies” is divided into five key areas: the global agenda; regional macroeconomic agenda; cities of the future; technology agenda; human capital is the inclusive development of Kazakhstan.
Speaking at the opening of the XII Astana Economic Forum, the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the significance of the forum and listed the main issues to be discussed at the AEF. According to him, digital transformation is changing the face of our familiar economy, and mobile creative human capital is becoming the main growth driver. He also shared the forecast that by 2050, 7 out of 10 people will live in cities or large urban centers. “Therefore, investments now do not come in countries, but in cities,” explained Nazarbayev.
The participants of the forum also discussed the economic cooperation of the Silk Road Countries;joint efforts to develop the Silk Road Transport and Logistics Hubs, the impact of the “One Belt, One Road” program on Central Asia, and the future of the “Digital Silk Road” project. In addition, experts presented their assessment of the urban tourism and trade development, urban ecology, SMEdevelopment and Smart-City Technologies transfer in the case of Kazakhstan.
In addition, the AEF-2019 assessed the visions of the “city of the future” and hosted “Global Silk Road-Forum of Mayors of Cities” attracting a number of the world top experts. The Forum of Mayors of the cities of the Silk Road countries of the Global Silk Road is considered to be a unique platform that brought together favorites of cities and governments, industry experts for the formation of the latest quality of growth and development of regions / cities. The purpose of the Forum is to unite the potential of the peoples of the Silk Road countries for the purposes of socio-economic and cultural interaction, trade and economic integration, as well as to connect the European and Eurasian Economic Union with the initiative “One belt-one way”.
Rector at Al-Farabi KazNU Galimkair Mutanovich noted that Al-Farabi KazNU makes a great contribution to the development of innovation and this forum is an excellent space for the introduction of new technologies in various fields, for the implementation of ideas for improving the quality of life through technology. According to the rector, in the center of a “smart city” should be a “smart university campus.”The Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development presented its year-long research “Smart Sustainable Cities on the great Silk Road”.
The key speakers at the Global Silk Road Forum of Mayors of Cities Forum were Bakhyt Sultanov, akim of the city of Nur-Sultan, Sergey Cheremin, Minister of the Moscow Government, Head of the Department of Foreign Economic and International Relations of Moscow, Ketevan Bochoroshvili, General Director of Anaklia (Georgia ).