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Former head of the World Bank complimented Kazakhstan Prime-Minister

10 december 2011, 11:07
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James Wolfensohn (R) at Kazakh-American Investment Forum
James Wolfensohn (R) at Kazakh-American Investment Forum
The 9th president of the World Bank, chairman of Wolfensohn&Company; James Wolfensohn took part in Kazakh-American Investment Forum-2011 held in New York on December 7, Tengrinews.kz reports. The Forum is organized by Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund.

The expert who headed the World bank for 10 years (1995-2005) shared his knowledge of Kazakhstan, its economy and development priorities with the U.S. business community. Wolfensohn said that for him Kazakhstan “holds a unique place among the developing countries.” “…as this country is transiting from its Communist past to independence and uses the principles of private property, competitiveness and countering corruption. Of course, corruption is everywhere and I’m afraid it is not rare in Kazakhstan either, but I hope that Kazakhstan government will continue countering it.”

Speaking of Kazakhstan Government, James Wolfensohn gave compliments and expressed his personal opinion about Karim Massimov and the Cabinet.

“Kazakhstan has a huge desire to build an intellectual economy and step up competitiveness in different areas. I think that you will get a huge support from your government in this aspect and Prime-Minister in particular who we just saw giving a speech in Astana (Karim Massimov greeted the participants of the forum via a video call). This is exactly the person, who is always ready to sit down and think about what needs to be done. In my personal experience, he is a pragmatic person. I know that bureaucracy in Kazakhstan is not excessive and its state machinery is relatively small, I know almost everyone there, I know the statistics and data. I have to say a compliment that these 20 years have convinced me of the huge progress achieved by Kazakhstan. If I were younger and had more money, I would have definitely invested into Kazakhstan," he said.

According to his forecasts, Kazakhstan will play a “growing” role in the 21st century. At the same time, the expert thinks that the gravity center of the world’s GDP will move to China and India.

“In recent years 80 percent of the GDP was concentrated in Europe, the U.S. and Japan, but in 2050 50 percent of the world GDP will be produced in China and India. Should such serious fundamental change happen, you need to think of the status of your country in this new order,” the former head of the World Bank said addressing the Kazakhstan delegation. “In my opinion, Kazakhstan is currently in a very successful period of its history. It will be an old country in 20 years. For me it is an extremely interesting country that is planning to enter the WTO, wonderful people. Comparing to other developing countries, I think that Kazakhstan has a very important location”.

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