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Nazarbayev calls Kazakhstan paradise

©Turar Kazangapov ©Turar Kazangapov

A Youth Forum with more than two thousand people was held with the participation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana’s Palace of Independence on April 10, Tengrinews reports.

"There is no other paradise on Earth for us than Kazakhstan. Our ancestors had lived here, we live here, and our descendants will live here for centuries. Kazakhstan spends a significant part of its energy to neutralize the cold, and we have to travel long distances. Life is harder for us but it is also more interesting," Nazarbayev said.

According to him, some were asking why life in Kazakhstan was still not like in Western Europe, or the US, or the United Arab Emirates.

"It is not so obvious. There are clear and simple factors that fundamentally affect our economy. These are climate, long distances, and lack of access to the sea. All these years, we have been moving forward in spite of many obstacles. (...) Our differences lie in our geography and climate. Few of the developed countries have the frosty winters that we do. They have access to the sea and the ocean," Nazarbayev said.

The Kazakh President noted that economic prosperity favoured warm climates.

"For example, building a two-storey house in Astana is 10 times more expensive than building a similar house in Malaysia. We need to have thick walls, insulation and heating. While they can simply put up wooden boxes,” the President said.

He added that people in Kazakhstan needed to buy warm clothes, heat their homes and consume high-calorie foods.

“For comparison, the average annual temperature in Germany is 20 degrees Centigrade above zero, 16 degrees Centigrade above zero in Japan, 15 degrees Centigrade above zero in the United States, 28 degrees Centigrade above zero in Malaysia. And the annual average temperature in the most important cities of Kazakhstan, where our economy and industries are concentrated is just 2.5 degrees Centigrade above zero. We have an energy-consuming economy because of energy-consuming nature," Nazarbayev said.

"Canadians call citizens from southern regions, who go to work in the sparsely populated north heroes. We have 17 million heroes living in Kazakhstan," Nazarbayev said.

Nevertheless, Kazakhstan is already among the thirty most developed countries in the world by many parameters, Nazarbayev said.

"In fact, we are among those countries with respect to dynamics of economic development, a number of industrial production spheres, agriculture, education, health and other factors. Now we need to catch up with the world's leading economies on the actual level of quality of life. For this, the GDP per capita in Kazakhstan should be twice that of developed countries," Nazarbayev said.

Reporting by Assemgul Kassenova, writing by Dinara Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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