Green Roadmap; Not Silk Road: Kazakhstan’s (renewed) Role In World Affairs
Kazakhstan can supply a way more seen contribution to international peace and prosperity. This country needs to be known as upon to play a stronger and more lively position within the mediation of interests between the United States (U.S.) and the European Union (E.U.), on one side, and Russia and the Center East, on the other. Kazakhstan’s latest mediation in the Ukraine disaster and Iranian nuclear talks should not be viewed as an exception, however reasonably as indicators of the more vital function this nation can play in the world area.
It’s in Kazakhstan’s interest to scale back safety threats in the area, advance economic pursuits and elevate its international profile in world affairs. It’s hanging that every time the U.S. and/or the E.U. look for a “suitable” interlocutor to mediate international affairs with the Middle East, Turkey continues to be invariably seen as the one viable choice. This, even after nearly a quarter of a century for the reason that collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the formation of five new independent states so strategically positioned in Central Asia (see map). And to mediate worldwide affairs with Russia ! There are absolutely no options! From a geo-strategic standpoint this poorly diversified portfolio of strategic relationships poses several limitations to “the west” and to the world on the whole. Haven’t we realized from the most basic monetary management principles that a diversified portfolio of investments is highly recommended
Primary ideas of financial geography ought to have sparked the imagination of western leaders in 1991 concerning the position a rustic situated between Russia, the Middle East and China could play in world affairs. But due to the slim-minded mainstream way of looking at international relations from a predominantly aggressive perspective, international locations or areas that stop to be seen as threats develop into much less relevant; this was the case with the previous-soviet international locations after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Because of this, opportunities for international cooperation and reciprocity get lost! This happens because international relations have, tragically, been pushed by worry and mitigation of threats and never by trust-constructing aspirations.
Kazakhstan is one of these five new international locations formed in 1991. And as Frederick Starr from Johns Hopkins College factors out, “someplace in the DNA of the peoples of Central Asia is the capacity to develop into a link and bridge between civilizations.” As soon as the region of philosophers, scientists, poets, travellers, polyglots and entrepreneurs, Central Asia and its potential position in world affairs, as it performed until the Mongol invasion within the petroleum equipment technology petco works 13th century, have been largely neglected by western political leaders. But even when political leaders have no idea or worth historical past a lot, a easy look at a map should have conjured up the genetic vocation Starr mentions: location-location-location.
This generalized myopia in international relations and geo-politics ends in a mainstream notion about Kazakhstan that is for essentially the most half misconstrued or flawed. Perceptions of inaccessibility, periphery, desertification and suspicious soviet heritage, among others, have been retaining this country in the background of the international arena.
For starters, the close relationship with Russia must be seen as completely pure, and obvious, regardless of pre-1991 ties. They are neighbors! But the truth is, from a bilateral trade stand level Russia just isn’t even Kazakhstan’s most necessary associate. Kazakhstan’s complete commerce quantity (gross imports + exports) with China in 2012 was $24.01B towards the $23.56B with Russia. By way of Kazakh exports, Russia (9.02%) is as relevant as Italy (eight.Sixty nine%) and the Netherlands (7.39%). The U.S. solely accounted for 1.07% of Kazakh exports.
With a market share of 36%, Russia is the largest exporter to Kazakhstan (twice the scale of Chinese language exports). Nonetheless, (i) this Russian advantage relies on a really narrow set of mineral merchandise related to the power sector – crude, refined petroleum and Ore alone accounted in 2013 for one quarter of Russian exports to Kazakhstan; (ii) and the burden of whole imports from Russia have been decreasing (43% in 2011, 38% in 2012 and 36% in 2013). Furthermore, a number of power corridors being developed, such because the Southern Gas Corridor – a European Fee initiative for the gas supply from the Caspian and Middle Eastern regions – might reduce Kazakhstan’s energy dependence on Russia. I don’t intend to downgrade the power of Russia within the area however as a substitute to reject the argument that Kazakhstan is just too intimate with Russia to play a neutral position in mediations. To the purpose, the Russian ethnical group in Kazakhstan decreased from 37.4% in 1989 to 23.7% in 2009. In the identical interval the Kazakh ethnical group grew from 39.7% to 63.1%.
Considerations about potential for neutrality, namely for mediation between the west and the Center East, should be extra acute relating to Turkey. While in Kazakhstan Islam is the religion of about 70% of the inhabitants, in Turkey the Islamic inhabitants is about 96%-99%. It seems pretty intuitive that this Central Asian country should have been viewed long ago as a fantastic various to Turkey – not a substitute – in terms of international mediation, specifically between the west and the Center East.
If the international community can be concerned with de facto levels of corruption in Kazakhstan, and if that is seen as a significant barrier for cooperation, it should also notice that the higher the international integration of a rustic the lower its stage of corruption is likely to be. As in any relationship, trust-building requires time, data networks and efficient communication channels. Final month, as a very robust signal of his anti-corruption commitment, President Nursultan Nazarbayev laid out his new Anti-Corruption Technique. And the international group is giving indicators of some reciprocation truly. Kazakhstan is about to change into a member of the World Commerce Group and Brussels created the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs (ECFA) “to facilitate the alternate of knowledge and best practices, in addition to strengthen the hyperlinks between Central Asia and the European Union”.
Conveniently, “International Integration” is in fact one among seven strategic growth areas contemplated in “Kazakhstan 2050 Technique”. Dialogue around inexperienced technology transfers may very well grow to be a daily theme of communication with the west. The truth is, President Nazarbayev, has repeatedly referred to as for a worldwide mechanism for expertise transfer to improve power efficiency and conservation. In a time when local weather change is more possible than not the largest challenge humankind should face within the subsequent fifty years, the U.S. and E.U. should have a look at Kazakhstan’s 2050 Inexperienced Financial system framework as a really well timed entry level to interact in a way more complete and strategic way, and convey Kazakhstan to the middle of world affairs. The Green Bridge Partnership proposed by Kazakhstan in 2012 presents a very particular institutional framework to reinforce the international potential and legit aspirations of Kazakhstan. For that to occur, and in its own curiosity, the west wants to succeed in out to Kazakhstan far more convincingly. The current 30-second CNN ad inviting us to “Spend money on Kazakhstan”, although illustrative of Kazakhstan’s dedication to interact, won’t be sufficient if the west doesn’t reciprocate further. Ernst and Young’s Kazakhstan Attractiveness Survey launched in Might supports my argument. First, Kazakhstan is viewed as a stable destination for traders. Second, in this survey 2 hundred world business leaders included sustainable development and life sciences in the high-development fields of the longer term.
As said in “Kazakhstan 2050 Technique”, this nation’s most crucial growth challenges, reminiscent of air pollution, renewable power sources, energy effectivity, sustainable water administration, waste administration and extractive industries offer more particular entry factors for establishing multilateral investment mechanisms and additional participating western governments, business and industries. Not surprisingly, these national priorities relate to a number of of the world’s put up-2015 Sustainable Improvement Targets, which additional reinforces how well timed the decision is for a stronger alliance around a “inexperienced roadmap”. Furthermore, domestically, Kazakh leaders need to take into consideration petroleum equipment technology petco works that in spite of having the 45th world largest GDP, and being anticipated to develop above 7% in 2014 and 2015, there are other wellbeing-related components that have to be addressed urgently: the nation ranks 119th within the Happy Planet Index. The long-time period focus must be on growing mutual trust between the west and Kazakhstan and to foster this nation’s role as a viable ongoing companion and mediator, thus offering a way more visible contribution to international peace and prosperity.