On the 19th of October the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Kairat Nematovich Kelimbetov, delivered a lecture at the London Business School on the topic: “The resource curse, the financial crisis and Kazakhstan’s long-term strategy”. Organised by the Kazakh–British Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with London Business School’s Energy Club, the event was attended by Kazakh and international students from top UK Universities including the LBS, Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, UCL, Imperial College, King’s College, City University London, and others.
The Managing Director of the KBCC, Artur Krivov, in introducing the distinguished speaker, highlighted the importance of innovation projects and announced the implementation of such initiatives through Cambridge University’s Al-Farabi Scholarship, which will enable all international students to study Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
In his lecture, Mr. Kelimbetov presented an overview of the economic situation in Kazakhstan, described the effect on it of recent financial crises, outlined the country’s strengths and weaknesses and the challenges it will need to confront in order to sustain long-term development and ensure economic growth.
The lecture was of great interest to the audience and stirred up a heated discussion afterwards. Kazakh and foreign students asked probing questions about Kazakhstan’s internal and external programs. For example, Kamilya Altayeva, recipient of the “Bolashak” Scholarship who is pursuing a Master’s degree at Cass Business School in London, asked Mr. Kelimbetov:
“Why does the Kazakhstan National Fund fully pursue the Norwegian investment model and use resources of the National Fund by investing them in foreign assets, when it would be better for Kazakhstan to use these resources for the development of its own economy by providing loans to the population through commercial banks at lower interest rates?”
Many more questions of interest were raised, about the Public IPO program, agricultural potential, Kazakhstan’s migration policy, its resource curse and other issues, which cast a spotlight on directions for further discussion and provided ideas for future research by Kazakh students in the UK.