On 25 October each year, Kazakhstan commemorates Republic Day, a day of unique significance, as it marks the pivotal moment in 1991 when Kazakhstan declared its sovereignty, and signaled the nation’s commitment to carve out a destiny reflecting the people’s aspiration and their cultural identity.
Today, Kazakhstan stands tall as the biggest economy in Central Asia. Since gaining sovereignty, the nation has witnessed a meteoric rise in living standards, with its citizens experiencing improved health, education, and overall quality of life.
In the realm of domestic politics, Kazakhstan swiftly adopted a constitution, delineated the roles of president and parliament, and has since conducted several rounds of competitive elections. The emphasis has always been on unity in diversity, ensuring that its myriad ethnic groups find voice and representation in the nation’s political fabric.
The last few years have been especially transformative for Kazakhstan. The country has achieved substantial progress in its democratization journey, exemplified by the implementation of wide-ranging political reforms, including constitutional amendments following last year’s national referendum.
Kazakhstan’s commitment to progress is also evident in the country’s economic story, one that has earned international acclaim. With vast reserves of oil, gas, minerals, and metals, the nation effectively leveraged its natural wealth. Strategic infrastructural developments, enticing foreign investments, and diversification initiatives propelled Kazakhstan from an agrarian landscape to become a leading economic powerhouse.
The decision to establish Astana as the capital in 1997 symbolized this forward-looking vision, melding modern architectural wonders with the indomitable spirit of the steppes. More recently, Kazakhstan has become the top investment destination in the region and a major financial Centre. This is a result of concrete reforms and initiatives over the years, including the establishment of the Astana International Financial Centre. Yet the journey is far from over.
In his latest state of the nation address on 1 September, the country’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, proposed additional economic reforms with the aim of promoting fairness, inclusiveness, and pragmatism. He outlined objectives to diversify the economy, strengthening industry, and targeting stable economic growth of 6-7 percent.
On the international stage, Kazakhstan has etched a unique identity through its astute diplomatic endeavours. By championing nuclear disarmament — evidenced by the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the relinquishing of its nuclear arsenal after the country gained independence — the nation positioned itself as a global advocate for peace.
Additionally, Kazakhstan has fostered regional cooperation, playing significant roles in platforms such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Union. By ensuring positive relations with major powers like Russia, China, the European Union, and the US, Kazakhstan manifests as a bridge between East and West, offering a harmonizing narrative in an often-divided world.
Regarding the interaction of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the State of Kuwait, I would like to especially emphasise that Kazakhstan and Kuwait are bound together in historical and cultural ties and bilateral relations are very cordial. We cooperate in political, strategic, and economic affairs. Our cooperation ranges from bilateral to regional and international/multilateral fora. Top level exchanges in recent months have given a new momentum to ties. Kazakhstan attaches high significance to its relations with Kuwait.
However, both sides realize that this is a time of close economic cooperation and our ties in this arena are much below the potential the two nations have. Similarly, people to people contacts and communications linkages are minimal. These need to be enhanced and we jointly are striving for that.
During his address at the most recent UN General Assembly, President Tokayev reaffirmed that his country will continue cooperation with its major allies on all strategic issues. This approach has positioned Kazakhstan as a viable mediator in international crises, a role that it has already fulfilled successfully through the Astana Process on Syria.
The progress Kazakhstan has made since its declaration of sovereignty is not just a testament to its past, but a robust foundation for its future. This foundation is fertile ground from which new innovations, deeper diplomatic ties, and further advancements in all spheres — social, political, and economic — will undoubtedly spring. The momentum generated by these achievements is poised to propel Kazakhstan even further in the coming decades, reinforcing its position as a global beacon of growth and development.
For the people of Kazakhstan, Republic Day is not just a nostalgic nod to the past, but an embodiment of their commitment to a unified and prosperous future. This day is a celebration of their resilience and vision, a vision that elevated Kazakhstan from a former Soviet republic to a beacon of progress and diplomacy on the global stage. The promise of tomorrow, illuminated by the achievements of today, ensures that Republic Day remains a celebration of not just sovereignty, but of endless possibilities.