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Kazakhstan and Korea: prospects for cooperation in industrial and economic development

In today’s global context, achieving economic development remains the most important task for every country in the world. Kazakhstan is focusing its efforts on transforming its economy from raw materials orientation to the development of manufacturing industry. With his Address to the People of Kazakhstan, the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev launched a profound transformation of the country’s economy, which requires expert involvement from both the public and private sectors.

In this regard, the experience of Korea’s “economic miracle” is of particular interest to Kazakhstan. Thus, the seminar on “Korea’s Industrialization Experiences: Opportunities and Implications for Kazakhstan’s Future” brought together experts and specialists from different fields for a substantive discussion of Korea’s path from a developing to a developed state. The event, organized by the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan together with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Republic of Kazakhstan, is designed to strengthen expert interstate dialogue.

Director of KazISS Yerkin Tukumov emphasized the importance of expanding Kazakhstan’s investment potential and noted that there are already about five hundred joint ventures with South Korean investment in our country, which contribute to the growth of Kazakhstan’s human capital and also give impetus to the country’s economic development. In addition, there are 58 joint investment projects between Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea totaling $4.5 billion. The Republic of Korea ranks 6th in terms of investment in Kazakhstan’s economy. These figures show that cooperation between the two countries has great potential for development.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kazakhstan Mr. Cho Tae-ick noted that Korea, which received material assistance, has gone from the poorest country in the world to an economically strong power that has succeeded in democratization and industrialization of the country. He added that through this seminar it is very important to share its development experience with Kazakhstan.

Mr. Ambassador also emphasized that Kazakhstan is a key partner for his country, accounting for 70% of trade turnover (6.5 billion USD in 2022) and investments in Central Asia. Quoting the Kazakh proverb “Those who join efforts will achieve the goal, those who walk together will overcome the road”, he expressed interest in working together to strengthen and deepen the strategic partnership this year – the year of the 31st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The seminar paid special attention to the exchange of experience and knowledge. Experts from Kazakhstan and Korea discussed different aspects of manufacturing industry development, innovative approaches to production and management, as well as experience in creating a favorable investment environment. These discussions helped to identify key points that Kazakhstan should take into account from Korea’s experience.

Among the speakers were Kim Jin Guk, Professor at Graduate School of Economics, Yonsei University, Nurlan Sakuov, Deputy Director of KazISS, Bekzhan Sadykov, Head of the Department of European and Asian Studies at KazISS, Ko Ho Youn, Assistant Professor at Nazarbayev University, and others. The moderator was Aidar Kurmashev, the Head of the Department of Asian Studies at KazISS.

The seminar emphasized the importance of scientific and expert cooperation between the two countries. Expert dialogue with the participation of leading think tanks of Kazakhstan and Korea can contribute to the development of the most effective strategies and approaches to solving existing problems in the economy and other areas.