Kazakhstan’s Successes Are Uzbekistan’s, Too
20 years is the best age, when you are full of hopes and the strength for their embodiment. And for Astana, it is an active creative age. July 6 the city will celebrate its twentieth anniversary, and on that day the leaders of Central Asian nations are expected to gather there. In the meantime, events are spearheaded in Tashkent on this occasion, organized by the Embassy of Kazakhstan.
Nursultan Nazarbayev: The transfer of the capital from Almaty to Astana was a geopolitical decision for the sake of development of statehood.
The skeptics, who doubted the correctness of this step, were plenty. Still, one cannot but wonder what the reason for the transfer of the capital was, because Almaty had everything needed for the administrative center of the country?
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan in Uzbekistan Yerik Utembayev answered this question during the roundtable discussion “Astana: 20 years of creation”. He said, “first, Almaty is on the periphery of the country, and in those conditions when the conservation task was not only the difficult control over all regions, but also international consent, as well as the territorial integrity of the young state, it was necessary to lead the country from a geographical center. Second, Almaty had largely exhausted the spatial resources for further development. Thirdly, and this was, perhaps, the most important - the head of state was looking for a way to raise the spirit of the people, to make them believe in their statehood, in their ability to solve big problems.
This was a test for the people of Kazakhstan, but at the same time Astana is a symbol of the people’s faith, embarked on a far from easy time to erect a new capital, in their own strength. Nursultan Abishevich personally followed the progress of construction and paid attention to every detail. Sketches of some objects even were drawn by him. For example, it was the main symbol of Astana, the Baiterek Monument. The National Museum preserved the samples of these drawings.
For 20 years, the capital has become a symbol of the country’s independence, the center of Kazakhstan’s socio-political and cultural life. Today it is a modern city with its own architectural style, incorporating the best traditions of the East and modern trends of the West. Changes that have occurred in the life of the city during this time really amaze the imagination with its scope and execution.
The transfer of the capital created maximum conditions for self-realization and career growth for energetic and ambitious young people, the formation of a new generation of leaders, active builders of the new capital, they are the ones that model the image of the new capital.
The energy and power of the people, who for the first time in their history built their own capital, give a strong impetus to the development of the whole country, attract the attention of the world community. It is no accident that the largest international organizations open their representative offices in Astana, and various events organized by Kazakhstan gather the color of the world’s political, scientific and business elites.
I will mention only a few of the most ambitious events. It is the OSCE Summit, held in 2010 in the capital of Kazakhstan, which led to a significant restructuring of the activities of this organization. Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions, regularly held in Astana, has turned it into an important dialogue platform for representatives of various faiths, including those who are in conflict.
One of the most significant and remarkable events is the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO 2017 held last year on the topic “Energy of the Future”, which presented the world the latest trends in the field of green technologies. 115 countries and 22 international organizations took part in the exhibition. The total number of visitors was a little under 4 million, with an initial forecast of 2 million. And the pavilion of Uzbekistan was the most visited.”
In his speech, the ambassador noted the great joint work carried out in Central Asia and gave the floor to the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan Adham Ikramov, who, according to the head of the diplomatic mission, makes a serious contribution to the development of the region with his daily work.
Adham Ikramov: “I was in Astana in 1998, 2004, 2007, 2013 and had the opportunity to observe the development of the city. I want to say that the transfer of the capital is a heroic step of the Kazakh people, but all investments made in the construction of this city have already fully returned to the country. The wide celebration of this date is important not only for Kazakhstan, but for all Central Asian countries. After all, attention to our region at the global level is very important for us. Today we are witnesses of how the attitude of the world community to the states of Central Asia is changing.
Thanks to the wisdom and foresight of N. Nazarbayev, within a brief period of time, the young city became the economic center of Kazakhstan and a place of bright and largescale events and projects of international level.
The Kazakh people managed to realize in Astana the history of their independence, combining it with modernism, which resulted in interesting architectural masterpieces. All splendor of Astana in 2017 became possible to demonstrate during the world exhibition EXPO 2017, which was visited by millions of people.
A historic event connected with Astana for the heads of Central Asia was the consultative meeting of the Central Asian leaders held this March in the capital of Kazakhstan. And then Astana became a place of strengthening good-neighborliness, respect, development of economic and cultural-humanitarian ties, creating projects for the prosperity of the region.
Focusing on trade and economic relations, I would like to note that it was in Astana that a historic step was taken in the field of business cooperation between our countries. It was decided to establish an Uzbek-Kazakh business council, which in the future is called upon to play an important role in expanding trade and economic relations.
The interaction between the business communities of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is not calculated by the activities that we hold once a month or once a week, it is very important for us to participate in the regions. On May 22 in Shymkent we held a business council meeting. It was attended by more than six hundred representatives of the business community, while they came from all 14 regions of Uzbekistan and from 17 regions of Kazakhstan. This is very significant for the implementation of the plans voiced by our President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to bring the volume of bilateral trade to $ 5 billion.
Uzbekistan will continue to attach high priority to strengthening friendship, brotherhood and good-neighborliness with Kazakhstan. Also, multifaceted cooperation between Tashkent and Astana is important; we increase the number of flights that will allow us to better understand this young beautiful city.
On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan I would like to congratulate Astana on the 20th anniversary, and wish success to the heads of state who will gather in this wonderful young capital on this day in discussing issues concerning the future of our region.”
Such an extensive work, according to the ambassador, would not have taken place without the participation of parliaments, lawmakers of the two countries. In this regard, the diplomat gave the floor to the co-chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan, Vice Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis Boriy Alikhanov, who said in his turn: “Today we are on the threshold of an important event for Astana, its best age, full strength and energy. According to eyewitnesses, every year it is becoming more beautiful, growing and developing. Personally, I first visited Astana last December, and in front of me also appeared an interesting modern city, one might say, the national brand of Kazakhstan. Before the trip, I was interested in the history of this area, and it turned out that it is very old. Even Herodotus in the first millennium, describing his route through the great steppe, which later was called the Great Silk Road, which connected the East with the West, mentioned this locality. In the Middle Ages it was called Buzak, then it was called Akmola, Akmolinsk, Tselinograd, and now Astana.
In his book The Heart of Eurasia, Nursultan Nazarbayev cites 32 factors that justify the transfer of the capital to the left bank of the Yesil River. Among them are national, socioeconomic, environmental, seismic and others. I’m not afraid to say that the development of Astana is a model for the development of the entire country.”
Chairman of the National TV and Radio Company of Uzbekistan (NTRC) Alisher Khojayev congratulated Astana on behalf of the Company: “If we talk about the links between the media structures of our countries, I can say that the relations have been reformatted and over the past two years will reach a high pace of development. It is clear that this was facilitated by the mutual relations between the leaders of the two countries. Their regular meetings and friendly relations make it possible to timely discuss topical national and regional problems, the solution of which can form the image of Central Asia as a single developed space.
In its turn, the National TV and Radio Company of Uzbekistan actively cooperates with the leading television and radio broadcasting companies of Kazakhstan. This March, a representative of the NTRC took part in the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the creation of television in Kazakhstan. In April, a meeting with the delegation of Khabar took place in our company and a memorandum of cooperation was signed. To date, a memorandum of cooperation has been prepared and agreed between the NTRC and the Republican Telecorporation of Kazakhstan. In May, a media tour was organized for the crew of the National Television Company of Kazakhstan on tourist routes of Uzbekistan. Currently, a special TV report about the Kazakh folklore is being prepared.
Our work, maybe even in advance, is highly appreciated by the leadership of Kazakhstan. By order of President Nazarbayev, the creative team of the NTRC received message of gratitude for the coverage of the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan. This high assessment will undoubtedly serve as a new impetus in strengthening cooperation, highlighting important events in the life of the two fraternal countries.”