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Green Roadmap; Not Silk Street: Kazakhstan’s (renewed) Function In World Affairs

Kazakhstan can supply a way more visible contribution to international peace and prosperity. This nation needs to be known as upon to play a stronger and extra energetic function within the mediation of interests between the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (E.U.), on one aspect, and Russia and the Middle East, on the other. Kazakhstan’s recent mediation within the Ukraine disaster and Iranian nuclear talks should not be considered as an exception, however fairly as signs of the extra significant position this nation can play on the earth area.

It is in Kazakhstan’s interest to scale back security threats in the area, advance financial interests and elevate its international profile in world affairs. It’s placing that every time the U.S. and/or the E.U. search for a “compatible” interlocutor to mediate worldwide affairs with the Middle East, Turkey continues to be invariably seen as the only viable possibility. This, even after virtually a quarter of a century because the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the formation of five new impartial states so strategically located in Central Asia (see map). And to mediate worldwide affairs with Russia ! There are completely no options! From a geo-strategic standpoint this poorly diversified portfolio of strategic relationships poses a number of limitations to “the west” and to the world usually. Have not we realized from the most fundamental monetary administration ideas that a diversified portfolio of investments is very beneficial

Basic principles of financial geography ought to have sparked the imagination of western leaders in 1991 in regards to the position a country positioned between Russia, the Center East and China could play in world affairs. But due to the narrow-minded mainstream way of looking at international relations from a predominantly aggressive perspective, countries or areas that cease to be seen as threats become less relevant; this was the case with the former-soviet nations after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In consequence, opportunities for international cooperation and reciprocity get lost! This happens because international relations have, tragically, been driven by fear and mitigation of threats and never by belief-building aspirations.

Kazakhstan is one of these 5 new countries formed in 1991. And as Frederick Starr from Johns Hopkins University points out, “someplace in the DNA of the peoples of Central Asia is the capability to become a link and bridge between civilizations.” As soon as the area of philosophers, scientists, poets, travellers, polyglots and entrepreneurs, Central Asia and its potential position in world affairs, because it performed till the Mongol invasion within the 13th century, have been largely neglected by western political leaders. But even when political leaders have no idea or value historical past a lot, a simple have a look at a map ought to have conjured up the genetic vocation Starr mentions: location-location-location.

This generalized myopia in international relations and geo-politics results in a mainstream notion about Kazakhstan that is for essentially the most half misconstrued or improper. Perceptions of inaccessibility, periphery, desertification and suspicious soviet heritage, amongst others, have been holding this nation in the background of the international arena.

For starters, the shut relationship with Russia must be considered as perfectly pure, and apparent, regardless of pre-1991 ties. They are neighbors! But the truth is, from a bilateral commerce stand level Russia is not even Kazakhstan’s most important accomplice. Kazakhstan’s whole commerce volume (gross imports + exports) with China in 2012 was $24.01B in opposition to the $23.56B with Russia. By way of Kazakh exports, Russia (9.02%) is as relevant as Italy (eight.69%) and the Netherlands (7.39%). The U.S. only accounted for 1.07% of Kazakh exports.

With a market share of 36%, Russia is the biggest exporter to Kazakhstan (twice the size of Chinese language exports). However, (i) this Russian benefit is based on a really slender set of mineral products related to the vitality sector – crude, refined petroleum and Ore alone accounted in 2013 for one quarter of Russian exports to Kazakhstan; (ii) and the burden of complete imports from Russia have been lowering (forty three% in 2011, 38% in 2012 and 36% in 2013). Furthermore, a number of power corridors being developed, such as the Southern Gas Corridor – a European Fee initiative for the gasoline provide from the Caspian and Center Japanese areas – could cut back Kazakhstan’s energy dependence on Russia. I don’t intend to downgrade the power of Russia within the area however as a substitute shengli oilfield highland petroleum equipmentmpany jobs to reject the argument that Kazakhstan shengli oilfield highland petroleum equipmentmpany jobs is too intimate with Russia to play a neutral function Oil in mediations. To the purpose, the Russian ethnical group in Kazakhstan decreased from 37.4% in 1989 to 23.7% in 2009. In the same period the Kazakh ethnical group grew from 39.7% to sixty three.1%.

Considerations about potential for neutrality, particularly for mediation between the west and the Center East, ought to be more acute concerning Turkey. Whereas in Kazakhstan Islam is the religion of about 70% of the population, in Turkey the Islamic population is about 96%-99%. It appears pretty intuitive that this Central Asian nation should have been seen way back as an awesome different to Turkey – not a substitute – in terms of worldwide mediation, specifically between the west and the Center East.

If the worldwide neighborhood can be concerned with de facto ranges of corruption in Kazakhstan, and if this is viewed as a serious barrier for cooperation, it must also notice that the upper the worldwide integration of a country the decrease its level of corruption is prone to be. As in any relationship, belief-building requires time, info networks and effective communication channels. Last month, as a very sturdy signal of his anti-corruption dedication, President Nursultan Nazarbayev laid out his new Anti-Corruption Technique. And the worldwide neighborhood is giving signs of some reciprocation really. Kazakhstan is about to grow to be a member of the World Commerce Organization and Brussels created the Eurasian Council on Overseas Affairs (ECFA) “to facilitate the trade of data and finest practices, in addition to strengthen the links between Central Asia and the European Union”.

Conveniently, “Worldwide Integration” is in reality certainly one of seven strategic development areas contemplated in “Kazakhstan 2050 Technique”. Dialogue round inexperienced expertise transfers could very nicely turn out to be an everyday theme of communication with the west. In reality, President Nazarbayev, has repeatedly called for a global mechanism for know-how switch to enhance vitality effectivity and conservation. In a time when climate change is more probably than not the largest problem humankind must face within the subsequent fifty years, the U.S. and E.U. should take a look at Kazakhstan’s 2050 Inexperienced Economy framework as a really timely entry level to engage in a way more comprehensive and strategic way, and produce Kazakhstan to the center of world affairs. The Inexperienced Bridge Partnership proposed by Kazakhstan in 2012 presents a very particular institutional framework to boost the international potential and legitimate aspirations of Kazakhstan. For that to occur, and in its own curiosity, the west wants to succeed in out to Kazakhstan far more convincingly. The current 30-second CNN ad inviting us to “Invest in Kazakhstan”, though illustrative of Kazakhstan’s commitment to interact, is not going to be enough if the west doesn’t reciprocate additional. Ernst and Young’s Kazakhstan Attractiveness Survey released in Could helps my argument. First, Kazakhstan is considered as a stable destination for traders. Second, on this survey 2 hundred international business leaders included sustainable improvement and life sciences in the high-development fields of the longer term.

As stated in “Kazakhstan 2050 Technique”, this country’s most critical development challenges, reminiscent of air pollution, renewable power sources, vitality effectivity, sustainable water administration, waste administration and extractive industries provide more particular entry factors for establishing multilateral funding mechanisms and additional partaking western governments, enterprise and industries. Not surprisingly, these nationwide priorities relate to a number of of the world’s post-2015 Sustainable Growth Objectives, which additional reinforces how timely the decision is for a stronger alliance around a “inexperienced roadmap”. Moreover, domestically, Kazakh leaders have to take into consideration that in spite of getting the 45th world largest GDP, and being expected to develop above 7% in 2014 and 2015, there are different wellbeing-associated factors that have to be addressed urgently: the country ranks 119th in the Glad Planet Index. The lengthy-term focus ought to be on developing mutual belief between the west and Kazakhstan and to foster this nation’s function as a viable ongoing partner and mediator, thus providing a much more visible contribution to worldwide peace and prosperity.