Al Farabi KazNU. The representatives of Al-Farabi KazNU took part in the XII Astana Economic Forum “Inspiring Growth: People, Cities, Economy,” which was held May 16-17, 2019 in Nur-Sultan. The Forum – dubbed as the “Davos of Central Asia” – examined the wide range of changes in the global and regional economies, from the challenges of the “de-globalization” to the crisis of the system of the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), and from digitalization of manufacturing and governance to the forthcoming Industrialization 4.0 revolution.
The Astana Economic Forum (AEF) is one of the largest platforms in this part of the world for discussing the issues of improving and developing the world economy and financial system. The event annually brings together thousands of delegates from a number of countries, including top IMF and World Bank officials, Nobel Prize winners, leading politicians, famous scientists, journalists and representatives of the business elite. This year, about 5,500 delegates from about 70 countries of the world and from all major companies from Kazakhstan attended the AEF-2019.
The main topic of the Astana Economic Forum in 2019 – “Inspiring Growth: People, Cities, Economies” was divided into five key segments: the global agenda; regional macroeconomic agenda; cities of the future; technology agenda; human capital is the inclusive development of Kazakhstan.
Speaking at the opening of the XII Astana Economic Forum, the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev noted the significance of the forum and listed the main issues to be discussed at the AEF. According to him, digital transformation is changing the face of our familiar economy, and mobile creative human capital is becoming the main growth driver. He also shared the forecast that by 2050, 7 out of 10 people will live in cities or large urban centers. “Therefore, investments now do not come in countries, but in cities,” explained Nazarbayev.
The participants of the forum also discussed the economic cooperation of the Silk Road Countries; joint efforts to develop the Silk Road Transport and Logistics Hubs, the impact of the “One Belt, One Road” program on Central Asia, and the future of the “Digital Silk Road” project. In addition, experts presented their assessment of the urban tourism and trade development, urban ecology, SME development and Smart-City Technologies transfer in the case of Kazakhstan.
In addition, the AEF-2019 assessed the visions of the “city of the future” and hosted “Global Silk Road-Forum of Mayors of Cities” attracting a number of the world top experts. The Forum of Mayors of the cities of the Silk Road countries of the Global Silk Road is considered to be a unique platform that brought together favorites of cities and governments, industry experts for the formation of the latest quality of growth and development of regions / cities. The purpose of the Forum is to unite the potential of the peoples of the Silk Road countries for the purposes of socio-economic and cultural interaction, trade and economic integration, as well as to connect the European and Eurasian Economic Union with the initiative “One belt-one way”.
During one of the side-events at the AEF, Al Farabi KazNU signed a MoU on cooperation between Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (Qatar), and the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) in providing training and developing cooperation on the Islamic Finance. The AIFC Governor Kairat Kelimbetov, President of Hamad Bin Khalifa University Ahmad Hasna, and Rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Galimkair Mutanov represented parties.
The signing of the Memorandum opened up prospects for promoting the development of the dynamically growing sector of Islamic finance not only in Kazakhstan, but also in the countries of Central Asia. The purpose of cooperation is the formation and development of joint educational and research initiatives in the sphere of Islamic finance, aimed on continuing professional development and training in this area, as well as academic exchange of professors and students.
Rector of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University Galim Mutanov noted that KazNU initiated work on expanding the knowledge about Islamic Finance, unique in the post-Soviet countries and establishing a training center at Al-Farabi KazNU. KazNU also plans to continue joint research activities and certification of specialists in the field of Islamic finance, capable of working with the requirements of Sharia.
President of Hamad Bin Khalifa University Ahmad Hasna emphasized the key role of universities in the socio-economic development of any country. «Modern economic challenges go beyond one country and become global. In order to successfully overcome such challenges, as well as build effective cooperation between universities, financial centers and the business sector, it is essential to nurture and keep talents», – he highlighted.