Government • 28 April, 2018

Askar Zhumagaliyev visits the UK to discuss digital economy co-operation

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On 24-27 April, Mr Askar Zhumagaliyev, Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, visited Great Britain. The United Kingdom occupies leading positions in the global rankings of developing digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI), reports the Kazakh Embassy in London.

This has given the UK the opportunity to enter new markets, which was discussed during talks with the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, who is responsible for digitisation.

As part of his visit, Mr Zhumagaliyev met with heads of digitisation for agencies of the UK Government, including the National Cyber Security Centre and the Government Digital Service. Meetings were also held with the London Mayor's Office and top management of TechNation and

Key to the visit was the meeting with Mr Liam Maxwell, National Technology Adviser and UK Government's chief coordinator for digitisation and new technologies. Askar Zhumagaliyev's meeting with his colleague focused on the issues of Kazakh-British co-operation in digitisation, entry digital technologies into various areas of economy, as well as advancing the system of electronic government.

Both sides agreed to consider issuing a signed agreement on a strategic partnership between the Ministry of information and communications of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the UK's Government Digital Service. This will include a detailed road map, which will incorporate concrete rates involved in the state and business IT agencies of the two countries. It is aimed at introducing the British model of developing IT projects in order to successfully implement the Digital Kazakhstan programme.

In addition, the Deputy Prime Minister presented Liam Maxwell with the main priorities and progress of the strategic programmes on digitisation. They also discussed plans to develop the Astana Hub IT park. Askar Zhumagaliyev noted that the UK's experience in entering and using digital technologies in rendering state services presents a special interest for Kazakhstan. Thanks to the success of digital services and the conditions created for British business on the principles of open data, London became the second largest hub of information technology in the world, second only to California's Silicon Valley. In turn, Liam Maxwell highlighted key elements of the UK strategy in digital transformation, and confirmed the readiness of the British side to render all possible assistance to Kazakhstan.

The next meeting of the head of the Kazakh delegation was with Mr Theo Blackwell, London's first Chief Digital Officer. The meeting focused on the co-operation between the two capitals in digitisation; creating and developing a smart city system and the use of advanced innovation technologies. Mr Blackwell expressed his willingness to continue co-operation around the realisation of the smart city system in Astana. According to Mr Blackwell, the volume of the smart technology market in London will reach $13.5 billion by 2020, focusing on such areas as energy, transport, health and water resources management.

As part of the visit, the Kazakh delegation attended the National Cyber Security Centre and UK's Open Data Institute. The meeting with the NCSC focused on co-operation between the two countries around information security.

At the meeting with representatives of the Open Data Institute, the parties agreed to cooperate in the field of joint research and development of methods for categorising data. In global rankings, the UK ranks first in terms of the openness of government data, thereby providing substantial information support for the development of small and medium-sized businesses, as well as improving the quality of public services for UK citizens. That's why the Kazakh side initiated the signing of an MoU between the "Zerde" National infocommunication holding JSC and UK's Open Data Institute in providing joint research and seminars to enter the open data space.

After the meetings held in London, the delegation led by Mr Askar Zhumagaliyev visited the Cambridge Innovation Centre, which includes 25,000 companies specialised in digital technologies across areas such as agriculture and mining, as well as developing artificial intelligence. The Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan invited Cambridge companies to take part in developing the Astana Hub park, and discussed opportunities of co-operation on entry into the 4.0 industry platform in Kazakhstan. Talks on this topic were held with the management of a large technopark "TechNation", with which the Astana Hub plans to sign a memorandum of co-operation aimed at supporting start-up projects at the main stages of development - from preparation and pitching to IPO.

Mr Askar Zhumagaliyev also met with Mr Sam Bose, the CEO & Founder of, having agreed to continue working within the framework of the current memorandum of co-operation between and the Almaty Tech Garden technology park, as well as expanding the partnership for joint work in the digitisation of the mining industry and the development of the Astana Hub park.

On 27 April, the Kazakh delegation visited Dublin, where it held several meetings with Ireland's technology companies. Representatives of Irish business expressed a keen interest in the Astana Hub project. During meetings with Enterprise Ireland and International Development Ireland the parties discussed tools for supporting and developing the digitisation market in Ireland, as well as forming an ecosystem for IT start-ups. The management of the “Trinity" Irish Innovation Centre has confirmed its readiness to teach technical entrepreneurship to Kazakh students, as well as to take part in the creation of a university specialising in information technologies based around the Astana Hub.

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