Kazakhstan: Initiatives for the Agribusiness, Retail and Information and Communication Technologies sectors


Astana, 29-30 June 2011

On 29 and 30 June 2011, three Working Group sessions were held with the OECD at the Grand Park Esil Hotel in Astana, Kazakhstan. Topics discussed included agricultural support measures, investment policy, attraction of modern international retail and human capital development in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). These meetings took place as part of the OECD Sector Competitiveness Strategy project.

Co-funded by the European Union, the project aims at improving the competitiveness of the economy of Kazakhstan through a sector-specific approach. It was initiated in 2009 by the Government of Kazakhstan with the support of the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme.

On 29 June, the Agribusiness Working Group, chaired by Vice-Minister Tolibayev, gathered to discuss how to best implement the OECD Agricultural Policy Review of Kazakhstan. Olga Melyukhina, Agricultural Policy Analyst at the OECD, presented OECD indicators of agricultural support. Richard Pomfret, Professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia, shared a case study on the Australian reform of agricultural support policy. Presentations were followed by very active question and answer sessions.

On 30 June, the Investment Policy and Promotion Working Group gathered to discuss investment policy in Kazakhstan and approaches to attract modern international retail to the country. As part of the ongoing OECD Investment Policy Review (IPR) of Kazakhstan, Stephen Thomsen, a Senior Economist at the OECD, presented the purpose, methodology and current state of the IPR. A team led by Fadi Farra, Head of the OECD Eurasia Competitiveness Programme, presented the progress on the attraction of modern international retail, a project in co-operation with Kaznex. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Serikov, Chairman of the Committee on Investment, who gave opening and closing remarks.

OECD team and Acting Chairman Serikov attending a presentation at the Investment Policy and Promotion Working Group meeting 

Later that day, the ICT Working Group gathered under the chairmanship of Vice-Minister Sarsenov. Guenter Dahm, Country Manager for Microsoft, gave a presentation on the company’s evaluation of the IT business ecosystem in Kazakhstan. Antonio Somma, Executive Manager of the OECD Sector Competitiveness Strategy project and his team presented a draft proposal to set up a Business Linkage Programme for the IT sector in Kazakhstan.

Guenter Dahm, Country Manager of Microsoft, presenting global best practices in IT business ecosystem development


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