Astana Economic Forum
The world’s leading financial experts, distinguished politicians and 11 Nobel Prize winners, as well as heads of international organizations and regional associations, gathered for the Fifth Astana Economic Forum on 22-24 May 2012 at the Independence Palace in Kazakhstan’s capital. The annual international forum’s agenda focused on the challenges of – and prospects for – the global economic recovery and development in the 21st century.
In the five short years since it was founded, the Astana Economic Forum, which is the Eurasian Economic Club of Scientists, has grown into a major international and regional platform for dialogue. This year’s highly anticipated event played host to more than 5,500 delegates representing 93 countries, participating in 55 events aimed at promoting broad discussions on economic issues and solutions. These events saw over 50 memorandums of understanding and agreements on cooperation.
During his remarks at the opening ceremony of the Forum, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, welcomed the keynote speakers, delegates and other Forum participants, before laying out his thoughts on the major challenges facing the world economy. President Nazarbayev proposed the test of a new online dialogue format for the Astana Forum along the lines of the ‘G-GLOBAL’ project that he initiated last year. The idea quickly received broad support from the political, expert and business delegates in attendance.
A major highlight of the Forum was the ‘Astana Invest 2012’ investment forum which was held on the sidelines to showcase investment opportunities and future prospects for the Kazakh economy. ‘Astana Invest 2012’ was well attended and successful, too – financial agreements totaling $1.5 billion were signed.
Other highlights of the Forum were the ‘Dialogue of Leaders: The New Financial and Economic Policy’ event and the permanent Conference of Finance Ministers of the CIS countries, which focused on countering the regional recessions as well as the development of new mechanisms of financial and economic stability.
Overall, the Astana Economic Forum proved to be an important dialogue platform that brought together
decision-makers, business executives and economic scientists. Their discussions contributed to the global discourse on economic challenges, while international business leaders focused on the vast investment opportunities that the fast-growing Kazakhstan economy offers not only to major corporations, but also to small and medium enterprises.
By tradition, the Forum was wrapped up by an open letter to the leaders of the G20 member states,
‘The Astana Consensus’. Its key messages include recommendations on ways to develop the global
multipolar governance system based on the principles of G-Global; to reform the international monetary and financial system; to support sustainable development and to address energyecology and food security issues.
The next Sixth Astana Economic Forum will be held on May 22-24, 2013, in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The upcoming event will be traditionally chaired by President Nazarbayev. The Forum’s agenda will be focused on the main challenges facing the world economy today: volatility on commodities markets, perspectives of sustainable development, incentives for global competitiveness, increasing role of innovations and technologies, fragile financial systems, regional and country risks etc.
It is expected that the event will bring together more than 8500 global and regional policymakers, world corporate leaders and reputable academics from over 100 countries. One of the key events of the Forum will be the World Anti-Crisis Conference focused on developing effective solutions to help countries weather the global economic downturn. The Forum will be concluded with the issuance of policy recommendations to the leaders of the G-20 member states.