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Economic Opportunity and Cooperation Against Global Hardships At The 2023 Astana International Forum

Photo from The Astana Times

In 2008, the international and regional dialogue platform, the Astana Economic Forum, invited delegates from over one hundred countries to Kazakhstan. For 2023, amid the challenges of today, Kazakhstan is launching a new international conference, the Astana International Forum (AIF).

On June 8-9, Kazakhstan will host the AIF to discuss climate change, food scarcity, and energy security with governments, international organizations, businesses, and academia. Kazakhstan has played the centre point between the east and the west, and the AIF is an opportunity to continue to build bridges and strengthen ties to address these ongoing economic and global challenges.

“Today, across the globe, we face historic challenges, the likes of which we have not encountered for decades or longer. These challenges are putting unprecedented pressure on the international community, creating new dividing lines and challenging the principles of globalization and multilateralism,” says Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

The forum will cover four key topics, foreign policy, security and sustainability, energy and climate, and economy and finance. It will open a platform for middle global powers to express their views and positions on these issues while promoting cooperation. President Tokayev says there are increased risks of turning to short-term, unsustainable solutions to long-term problems. In an age of polarization, he notes nations must find common ground and coordinate against human-caused climate change. This cooperation can lead to partnership and economic opportunity. In 2019, at the Kazakhstan Global Investment Roundtable (KGIR-2019) during the Astana Economic Forum, there was the signing of 43 agreements totalling $8.7 billion and an increase of around $4 billion during the KGIR-2018. 

As conversations continue on the reliance on fossil fuels, there is a tremendous opportunity for new business and innovation, as the world must transition towards renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Canada is a world leader in renewable energy sources. About 18.9 per cent of Canada’s total primary energy supply is renewable. According to Natural Resources Canada, Canada’s energy sector accounted for approximately 9.7% of the nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021. In 2019, the value of the Canadian environmental and clean technology products sector was $70.5 billion. With the global renewable energy market projected to reach $1.98 trillion by 2030, there’s plenty of economic incentive to get involved. 

After the economic struggles brought forth by COVID-19 will be another discussion at the forum, including trade tensions between major world powers and rising income inequality as individuals and businesses struggle.  

“I look forward to welcoming global leaders from both public and private sectors to the Astana International Forum this summer to identify actionable solutions to these challenges. Let us come together to find a new way forward through strong and inclusive global cooperation,” says President Tokayev.

The Astana International Forum takes place from June 8-9. 

– Ryan Funk, U Multicultural

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