x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Kazakhstan warns on social sites

Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, has criticised social-media outlets that have played a big role in the Arab Spring.

ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN // Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, has criticised social-media outlets that have played a big role in the Arab Spring.

"New global communications should not be used for provocation or the destruction of morals in states that have fallen out of favour," he said.

The 71-year-old president, who has run Kazakhstan since it broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991, said there should be "mandatory principles for world order, and the first one should be evolution, not revolution. You have got to preserve the global architecture.

"The Arab Spring shows how revolution can put the brakes on the social and economic development of countries in the Middle East."

In a wide-ranging speech at the first plenary session of the Astana Economic Forum yesterday, Mr Nazarbayev also outlined his country's future economic policy, aiming at further diversifying away from dependence on oil and other natural resources.

"There is a need for more justice in the global economy," he said. "The exploitation of natural resources in the Third World is immoral."

He estimated foreign direct investment had injected a total of US$150 billion (Dh550.98bn) into his country's economy, and he appealed to foreign investors for further assistance in helping Kazakhstan to industrialise more rapidly.

He also wants Kazakhstan to be at the heart of Asian development in a "new silk road" linking China and Europe.

Kazakhstan already has a customs union with Russia and Belarus, and Mr Nazarbayev said he would like to see the creation of a Eurasian economic union by 2015.

Kazakh policymakers had put in place a crisis management plan, he said, based on further global financial instability and scenarios for a fall in oil prices by as much as $50 per barrel.

"I believe we are still on the first wave of the financial crisis," he said. "We have $86bn in foreign reserves and sovereign wealth funds, so we are in a good position to manage any crisis."

 

fkane@thenational.ae