National Emblem of Kazakhstan

Official website of the

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Official website of the

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan


International community

The Head of State addressed the plenary session of the Boao Forum for Asia

March 28, 2024

Boao, China

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev attended the opening ceremony of the plenary session of the Boao Forum for Asia (BAF), held annually in Hainan Province, China. This year's 23rd edition of the Forum is themed "Asia and the World: Common Challenges, Shared Responsibilities".

The President of Kazakhstan spoke at the forum as a guest of honour.

Welcoming the participants of the event, our Head of State noted the important role of this platform as a center of dialogue and international cooperation against the background of unprecedented global uncertainty fueled by geopolitical turbulence and economic turmoil.

– As we approach the midpoint of a decade devoted to transformative development, the sober reality is that the global economy is expected to record the slowest half-decade of GDP growth in 30 years. Simultaneously, one of the major challenges facing the world economy is the ongoing trade tensions between major economies. Protectionist policies and escalating trade disputes disrupt global supply chains, hamper economic growth, and undermine investors’ confidence. It is evident that the global economy requires a new development paradigm. Failure to address this challenge may result in missed opportunities in the coming decade, – noted Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

As the Head of State emphasized, in this respect Asia is leading the way towards a new era of sustainable development.

– Asia is expected to contribute 60% of global GDP growth this year. It also accounts for 53% of global goods traded and several of the world’s largest and most vibrant economies. Foreign direct investment in Asia has grown significantly in recent years. It is also home to some of the world's leading technology hubs, accounting for 70% of global patent filings. The region has substantial human resources. 21 of the 30 largest cities worldwide are in Asia. Of the anticipated 30 trillion dollars in middle-class consumption growth by 2030, only 1 trillion dollars is expected to come from today’s Western economies. Together, these factors point to a so-called “Asian renaissance”, – the Kazakh leader said.

Our Head of State noted that the Asian region has good potential to continue to drive global growth and development in the years ahead.

– The Boa Forum has emerged as an embodiment of Asian innovative approach to achieving universal economic progress.  It has also established itself as a prominent symbol of the China’s commitment towards global development, – stressed the President.

According to him, today Kazakh-Chinese relations represent a model of effective partnership, within which our country has become China's main trade and economic partner in Central Asia.

– Kazakhstan accounts for half of Chinese trade and investment in the region. Kazakh-Chinese mutual trade turnover reached a historical record of 41 billion US dollars last year. In 2023 the cargo volume between our countries increased by 22%, amounting to almost 30 million tons. The groundbreaking megaproject Belt and Road Initiative was initially unveiled during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Kazakhstan over a decade ago. This project serves as a key bridge between East and West, and Kazakhstan accounts for 80% of all continental traffic between China and Europe. This is a critical advantage that we must fully utilize. Our own investments are strategically aligned with the Belt and Road Initiative, and aim to build a modern, multimodal, environmentally friendly, and sustainable infrastructure system, – said Kassym-Komart Tokayev.

The speech paid special attention to the new economic course of our country. 

– It registered economic growth of 5.1% last year, almost twice the projected rate of global growth. In the mid-term, we aim to sustain at least 6% growth and double our economy by 2029. To achieve this, I initiated a New Economic Course, one that requires structural reforms, but that also builds a more dynamic and stronger nation. Kazakhstan’s open-door policy, vast resources and free market reforms have attracted many foreign companies, including Chinese. We have also recently created a high-powered investment board to bolster implementation of investment projects through prompt decision-making and comprehensive end-to-end state support. In this regard, we invite our Asian partners to invest into our economy and open new avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation, – the Head of State suggested.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev believes that measures to improve the fiscal and monetary frameworks, enhance financial flows and strengthen the quality of institutions will contribute to fostering a market-driven and competitive economy, making it more transparent, robust and vibrant.

However, as he noted, achieving this goal and simultaneously confronting modern global challenges requires joint efforts. In this regard, the leader of Kazakhstan outlined several urgent tasks, for the implementation of which the entire world community should unite.

As the President emphasized, the world needs a new multilateral trading system based on the principles of fairness and openness.

– Today, trade barriers, protectionism and treaty withdrawals are gaining momentum, posing significant challenges to the global economy. Addressing these challenges requires elimination of unfair trade barriers, as well as making supply chains more transparent through digitalization, – believes Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

He believes that new approaches should be applied to the global financial system. As stated in the speech, the focus should be on equal opportunities for all countries, rather than benefiting only a few. The Kazakh leader called on the international community to take more effective action on sustainable finance initiatives.

– Huge Asian bond market has the potential to fuel many development projects. The Eurasian Development Bank plans to issue the first panda bond as a new financial investment instrument. It can be critical to finance global infrastructural projects, – noted the Head of State.

The food security situation was also discussed.

– Nearly one-third of the global population still suffers malnutrition. Kazakhstan, as a leading producer of wheat in Central Asia, is committed to utilizing its agricultural potential to ensure global food resilience. In general, we must collectively enhance international cooperation by establishing targeted programs, collaborative agro-innovation hubs, and transfer of innovative technologies, – the President suggested.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also pointed out the strategic importance of expanding transit and transport co-operation between Asian countries.

– It is crucial to double up our efforts to develop both existing and new transportation routes. Thus, the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, or the “Middle Corridor,” as the most viable path to secure supply chains between Asia and Europe. Last year the cargo volume through this route doubled to 3 million tons. In coming years, we expect to reach 10 million tons. At the same time, Kazakhstan is ready to cooperate with its neighbors in developing the North-South corridor, – the President Tokayev said. 

The Kazakh leader also stressed the importance of strengthening technological cooperation, especially in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), to ensure sustainable growth of the global economy. In this context, he supported China's “Global Artificial Intelligence Governance Initiative.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated Kazakhstan's interest in co-operation with leading Asian technology giants in order to implement joint innovative IT projects.

The President named the extraction of critical raw materials as another promising area of co-operation.

– Rare earth metals have become an essential component for a wide range of technologies. They are indispensable to achieve net-zero in strategic sectors such as industry, digital, space and defense. We continue to work with international partners on the most effective way to harness our significant deposits of uranium, lithium, titanium, and other rare earth elements, – stated the Kazakh leader.  

In conclusion, our Head of State reiterated his confidence that Asia, with its economic, technological and cultural advantages, can play a decisive role in shaping the world’s future. In this context, he noted the practical prospects of such important international dialogue platforms as the Boao Forum for Asia and the Astana International Forum (AIF). The President took the opportunity to invite the BFA guests to participate in the upcoming AIF Forum in June this year.

The Boao Forum for Asia was also addressed by BFA Board Chairman Ban Ki-moon, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhao Leji, President David Adeang of Nauru, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of the Commonwealth of Dominica, OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation Daren Tang and Chairman Hun Sen of the People's Party of the Kingdom of Cambodia.


Go back Go back Twitter Facebook Print

The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan