Kazakhstan • 08 July, 2020

How the main city of Kazakhstan developed

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This year, the capital of Kazakhstan celebrates its 22nd birthday. During this time, tremendous work has been done in all directions. Today, the country's administrative and business center is located in Nur-Sultan, large-scale economic, scientific, technical and social problems are solved here, major projects are implemented, tens of thousands of jobs are created. From 1998 to 2019, the volume of investments attracted to the capital grew 47 times.

Role of the First President - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev in the formation of the new capital of Kazakhstan

In the history of independent Kazakhstan, Astana and the name of the First President - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, are inextricably linked. It was he who made the historic decision to transfer the capital to the center of the country. The role of Nursultan Nazarbayev in the formation and development of the city as the capital of a young state is difficult to overestimate. In record time, for two decades, on the banks of the river Esil arose a city whose name today is known throughout the world.

Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the question of transferring the capital of Kazakhstan in July 1994 at a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Republic. The result of the meeting was the Resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated July 6, 1994, “On the Transfer of the Capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” which instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to develop a feasibility study by the end of 1994.

This decision was not easy — the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan repeatedly emphasized in his memoirs. For four years, until the presentation of the new capital, he had to defend his position. The height of the socio-economic crisis, the lack of budgetary funds made us think about the consequences a costly event that could complicate the already difficult situation of the Republic.

Nursultan Nazarbayev had to overcome the conservative thinking of a certain part of the country's political elite. The president convinced his opponents that “the irrevocable costs of transferring the capital were only the costs of moving. Everything else is capital investment, it is investment in the future.”

The rapid development of the former regional center begins in 1997: the population of the city started to grow rapidly, the large-scale construction starts.

The name of the city did not come immediately. In the book “In the Heart of Eurasia,” Nursultan Nazarbayev wrote ‘’To be honest, I have been thinking tirelessly about renaming the capital. So once, once at night, about 2 a.m. at night it hit me — Astana! The capital is the capital! It sounds very beautiful in Kazakh. Catchy, bright, sonorous. It sounds as good in Russian and English.”

On May 6, 1998, a Presidential Decree was signed on renaming the capital from Akmola to Astana. And on May 20, 1998, the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan “On the status of the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan” was adopted.

And soon, on June 10, the day of the international presentation, Astana appeared before the world community in all its glory.

In August 1999, the draft master plan of the new capital was presented, according to which the city will begin to develop on the left bank of the Esil river. The same year, Astana, by decision of UNESCO, received the title of “City of Peace.” Since 2000, the main city of Kazakhstan has been a member of the International Assembly of Capitals and Large Cities.

The year 2000 was remembered for the extensive development of the Left Bank, where the construction of the new administrative center began. And this year, the young capital of the republic declared itself as the most important link in the integration of the post-Soviet space. In October, at a meeting of the Interstate Council of Heads of State of the Customs Union on the initiative of Nursultan Nazarbayev, a new international organization was established — the Eurasian Economic Community.

Investments in the economy of the new capital reached $1 billion by 2001. The inflow of domestic investment has more than tripled, while foreign investment has grown sevenfold. In the spring of 2001, the President approved the State Program “The Heyday of Astana — the Heyday of Kazakhstan.” Its most important component was not only the development of the main city of the country, but also the increase in production volumes in the industrial and construction sectors of the whole republic — due to the multiplier effect and the expansion of interregional integration ties.

A world-wide event was the arrival in Astana of Pope John Paul II. About 300 thousand Catholics from many countries of the world arrived to meet with him in Kazakhstan.

On the eve of the celebration of Constitution Day, Aug. 30, 2002, the opening of the Baiterek monument took place. The idea of ​​creating this unique structure belongs to Nursultan Nazarbayev. Subsequently, the monument will become the main attraction of the Kazakh capital.

The prominence of the young capital grew from year to year. Being the main project of Elbasy, the young Kazakh capital quickly and confidently made itself known in the world’s political arena in a short time and became the venue for major international political forums. In 2003, under the chairmanship of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the first congress of leaders of world and traditional religions was held. Seventeen delegations of various religious faiths of the world took part in its work.

A highlight was the tenth summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, at which the presidents of China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, as well as the heads of delegations of observer countries discussed current issues of global and regional security.

In 2006, the second congress of leaders of world and traditional religions was held. Especially for this event, the Palace of Peace and Concord was built by the famous architect Norman Foster.

In 2008, Astana changed its heraldry. The ears of the old coat of arms were replaced by the symbol of the city — Baiterek. The author of the concept of the new coat of arms of the city was Nursultan Nazarbayev. Another symbol of the new state was the monument "Kazakh Elі.’’ For the first time in the history of the Kazakh people, a monument appeared in their honor.

The construction of Astana has become a powerful locomotive for Kazakhstan's urban development. The capital becomes a center of science, medicine, and education. The flagship institution of higher education in Kazakhstan, Nazarbayev University, has opened. A medical cluster has been created in which unique operations are carried out, including organ transplants.

The city is becoming more beautiful every day. Its appearance is changing, the most beautiful buildings, squares, parks are appearing. The green belt of Astana is expanding — a unique man-made forest planted in the steppe.

The idea of ​​building the most popular buildings in Astana, such as Baiterek, Khan Shatyr, Astana Opera, the Khazret Sultan Mosque was put forward by Nazarbayev himself. The capital has become the center of Eurasia, where international collegial meetings are held, historical decisions are made. The historic OSCE summit was held here, where 56 states took part, on an ongoing basis there are congresses of leaders of world and traditional religions, and the Astana Economic Forum. All this is the result of the authority and limitless work of Nursultan Nazarbayev at the world level.

It is worth noting that all regions and cities of Kazakhstan took part in the construction of the capital, which strengthened the cohesion of the multinational people and strengthened confidence in a brighter future.

Today, 11% of the country's gross domestic product is produced in the capital, which also provides 10% of all investments in the country's economy, that is, the capital has become a competitive industrial center, where the country's large enterprises are concentrated. Thanks to the construction of the capital, new industries appeared in many regions of the country. Thus, new jobs were created, the service sector is developing. In addition, the investment attractiveness of the capital also makes a significant contribution to the growth of the economy of Kazakhstan.

In addition, the capital of Kazakhstan has become a platform for peace talks on Syria. Astana, as a place for meetings and important negotiations, arranged for all participants in the Syrian process. This is a convincing demonstration of high authority and trust in the country's leader.

In 2017, the International Specialized Exhibition Expo-2017 was held, which gave a positive impact both for the city's economy and for the economies of the regions of Kazakhstan.

Today, the Astana International Financial Center, which in the future should become one of the leading financial centers of Asia, is actively operating in the territory of Expo-2017.

March 23, 2019, Astana was renamed to Nur-Sultan.

Annually, 20 thousand jobs are created in the capital

Over the past 22 years, the gross regional product of the city has grown more than 272 times, from 25.7 million tenge to 7 trillion tenge. Since 1997, industrial production has increased 50 times, from 15.2 to 755 billion tenge.

The commissioning of new industries in the real sector and social facilities contributes to the creation of more than 20 thousand new jobs annually, including about 70% in small and medium-sized businesses.

For example, only in 2019 the data on created 26,699 new jobs in various sectors of the economy were updated (in 2003 — 12,552, 2013 — 17,787, 2018 — 22,237).

This had a positive effect on the welfare of residents. So, over 22 years, the average monthly nominal wage increased by more than 27 times, reaching 267 thousand tenge. The unemployment rate decreased by 2.8 times and today stands at 4.4% against 13% in 1998.

A solid driver of economic development has become small and medium-sized businesses. More than 57% of GRP is formed here. Subjects of small and medium-sized enterprises of the city produce 20% of all work and services of this sector in the country. The volume of output by SMEs increased by 33 times from 177.8 billion tenge in 2005 to 5.9 trillion tenge in 2019.

Today in the capital there are more than 134 thousand business entities. Every third resident of the capital works in the field of small and medium-sized businesses. If earlier Nur-Sultan was a city of public servants, now it is a city of entrepreneurs.

The population of the capital increased 3.8 times from 300.5 thousand people in 1997 to 1,149.9 thousand people in 2020, including due to a natural increase of 263.1 thousand people, a migration increase of 586 , 3 thousand people. It is estimated that the population of the city will reach 2 million people in 2030, and 3 million people in 2050.

Today, more than 1.1 million people live in the city, or 6% of the republic’s population, while the population compared with 1997 has increased by more than 3.8 times (300 thousand people in 1997).

Over 22 years, the volume of investments attracted to Nur-Sultan grew by 47 times

The constant attention and care of Elbasy and the Head of State about the development of the capital turned Nur-Sultan into a dynamically developing metropolis.

Since 1997, about 10 trillion tenge of investments have been allocated to the city’s economy. The annual volumes of attracted investments steadily increased from 19.3 billion tenge in 1997 to 913 billion tenge in 2019. The volume of investments grew 47 times from 19.3 billion tenge. in 1997 to 914 billion tenge in 2019. Extrabudgetary investment growth amounted to about 85%.

Revenues to the state budget increased 94 times from 13.6 billion tenge in 1998 to 1,280.4 billion tenge in 2019. State investments in the city were returned to the treasury more than 3 times. The capital became a donor of the republican budget. To date, the city of Nur Sultan has replenished the country's treasury by more than 7 trillion tenge.

For January-May 2020, there has been a positive trend in investment in fixed assets. In general, systematic work is underway to attract investors and implement investment projects. At present, about 200 projects worth 2.8 trillion tenge are being implemented.

In addition, new high-tech industries have been created in the city that have no analogues in the country, including with foreign participation (factories for the production of passenger cars "Tulpar", electric locomotives LLP "Electric locomotive kurastyru zauyty", refinery Tau-Ken Altyn LLP, electron-optical devices Kazakhstan ASELSAN Engineering LLP, military and civilian equipment Kazakhstan Paramount LLP Engineering ”, modems and switches of“ Digital System Servis ”LLP, house-building plant of“ GLB ”LLP, etc.).

From 1997 to 2018, more than 24 million square meters of housing commissioned in the capital

Nur-Sultan is still a leader in the construction sector, over 24 million sq.m. were commissioned by enterprises in this sector from 1997 to 2018.

In the period from 1998 to May, 2020, 1,290 houses with a total area of ​​24,930 thousand m2, 1,589 social facilities with a total area of ​​10,802, 931 thousand m2 were put into operation at the expense of private and state sources of financing.

Housing stock has grown 5 times. The area of ​​the city increased by 500 square kilometers.

Since the transfer of the capital, 21 pedestrian and road bridges have been built.

Since 1997, according to the Decrees of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the boundaries of the capital city have changed three times. Currently, the territory of Nur-Sultan is 79,733 ha.

Transport system of capital consists of over 1.1 thousand streets

Since the transfer of the capital, the total length of roads has increased from 494 km to 852.8 km. 21 pedestrian and road bridges, 9 overpasses, 9 underground and 4 above-ground pedestrian crossings were built. Today, the city’s transport system consists of 1,110 streets with a total length of 852.8 km, including 83.5% of roads with asphalt concrete pavement and 16.5% of roads without hard surface.

In order to relieve traffic tension, the construction of the Small Ring Road with a total length of 46 km is underway, which will allow more than 90 thousand cars a day to bypass the administrative center of the city, which will significantly reduce traffic on the main avenues of the city.

In addition, last year a gas pipeline with a length of 1 thousand km was carried to the capital. Currently, work is underway on gas distribution networks within the city, especially in the private sector. This year it is planned to bring gas distribution networks to 8 thousand private houses.

On the eve of the Day of the Capital, the first social facilities and houses were provided with gas. For residents of the city, akimat provides meters for free. Citizens will need to prepare stoves for connection to gas distribution networks. Gas supply to the industrial sector and housing estates will be held in 3 stages. Implementation period — 2020-2023. Gas supply of the capital will reduce harmful emissions into the city by 6 times, solids — 40 thousand tons.

Higher educational institutions of the capital

The capital of Kazakhstan has become a center of attraction for applicants from all over the country. The flagships of national education are located here: Nazarbayev University, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakh National University of Arts, Kazakh Agrotechnical University named after S. Seifullin, Kazakhstan branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Medical University of Astana and others.

There are 16 universities in the capital, 3 of them are national, 11 are private, a branch of a foreign university and an autonomous organization of education. Each institution has achievements in terms of important educational indicators.

According to the annual results of the international authoritative ranking of universities around the world, QS World University Rankings, Eurasian National University, having shown growth by 61 positions, rightfully took 357 place among the 1002 best foreign universities.

Due to the increase of recognition and strengthening of the international image, the Eurasian National University has shown the highest result in the field of development of academic reputation.

According to the results of the “National Rating of Demand for Higher Education in the Republic of Kazakhstan - 2020,” published May 15, 2020, by the Independent Agency for Accreditation and Rating, the Eurasian National University was recognized as the leader, showing the best indicator of 152,943 points.

Kazakh Agro Technical University named after S. Seifullin strives to become a research university of the international level in the field of agriculture and related industries. According to the "General rating of universities of the Republic of Kazakhstan 2020" took 2nd place. In 2019, the Top 20 universities of Kazakhstan entered the 3rd place in the “National Rating of Demand for Higher Education in the Republic of Kazakhstan - 2019”.

University KAZGUU named after M.S. Narikbayev joined the Top 3 universities in the ranking of educational programs in 2019 according to the study of the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. The rating was carried out according to 17 criteria, among which: the percentage of employed graduates and their average salary, the duration of job search after graduation, as well as an assessment of the relevance of the programs.

KAZGUU University annually invests in the professional development of its employees, innovative educational technologies and infrastructure. The educational process takes place using LMS Canvas, Turnitin (anti-plagiarism), Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and Proctorio, which are used by leading universities in the world.

Nazarbayev University is a university that has become an alma mater for its nearly 5,000 graduates, of whom more than 95% studied on state grants. Over the years, the university has expanded, opened up new programs and projects, showing that education, science and innovation can and should develop together. Nazarbayev University strives to become an internationally recognized research university, the main principle of which is the integration of education, science and innovation.

To its anniversary, NU has made many accmplishments: graduates have shown themselves to be highly qualified specialists in Kazakhstan and international companies or have continued their studies winning scholarships at world universities; The innovative developments of our students were implemented and received the support of investors; research projects of university scientists have been published in more than 2,500 articles of authoritative journals. International accreditations were also received by the Higher School of Public Policy, the University Preparatory Program and work is underway on obtaining accreditation for the Higher School of Business.

NU has consistently continued its mission to be the flagship of Kazakhstan's higher education. Nazarbayev University is actively introducing artificial intelligence in the development of new products and services.

Nazarbayev University for 10 years has released 6 streams of students, the last of which recently received their diplomas in a virtual format, unusual for graduation ceremonies. Among the graduates, it is possible to proudly note the main areas of their activity: the development of an entrepreneurial culture on the example of successful projects of students such as ReLive, Mama Pro, Aquapoint, etc .; work in Silicon Valley, global IT giants, international and state organizations; as well as continuing studies at leading universities in the world on master's and doctoral programs.

It is worth noting that the NS-16 project is being implemented in the city, in which special logos for the NS-16 platform are developed (NS — Nur-Sultan, 16 — number of universities). This project unites the leaders of 16 universities of Nur-Sultan in order to attract them to social and political work. Using this platform, important and correct information for students is effectively delivered through horizontal communication through leaders, chairs of youth affairs committees, and youth policy centers. Within the framework of this platform, socially significant projects in the field of youth policy are being implemented.

Number of foreign tourists in the capital of Kazakhstan increased by 13%

The number of tourists in 2019 amounted to 871,851 thousand people, including the number of non-residents — 236,280 people, residents — 635,571 people. In 2019, the number of foreign tourists increased by 13% compared to 2018.

Currently, 229 hotels with 15 thousand beds are operating in the territory of the city of Nur-Sultan. 49 hostels with 1,908 beds operate.

The volume of services provided by the placements in 2019 amounted to 32.5 billion tenge (25.7 billion in 2018).

As noted in the capital’s akimat, the global pandemic has shown that more attention needs to be paid to domestic tourism.

So, in the zone of the "green belt" work is underway to reconstruct the road-path network. On the territory for active spending time, skateboarding and roller-skating platforms (in winter on skates) will be equipped, we will establish tennis, football courts, and children's play areas.

To attract tourists, the Flying Theater project is being implemented. The flying theater is a fascinating attraction in which visitors move with the help of a complex mechanism in the dome illuminated by an integrated audiovisual system. The key elements of this type of attraction are the ride system with a wide variety of possible seat configurations, several integrated special effects such as wind and water, a concave screen with a semicircular dome, a sophisticated projection system, and audio support.

Today in the capital there are 66 cultural institutions, including 7 palaces (concert halls), 5 museums, 8 theaters, 20 libraries, 8 cinemas, 4 private art galleries, 3 concert organizations, 1 circus, etc.

For reference: For 2015-2019, modern cultural and sports objects appeared in the capital — Barys Arena MLD, Astana-Ballet Theater, Amphitheater on the banks of the Esil River, Nur Alem sphere, Congress Center, Energy Hall, TSE Gallery Art Destination, Jekpe-Jek Martial Arts Palace.

Measures are also being taken to ensure the preservation of historical and cultural heritage.

For reference: Repair and restoration work was carried out on historical and cultural monuments: the Triumphal Arch "Mangilik El", the Monument "Baiterek", the building of the Russian Academic Drama Theater of Drama named after Gorky, landscaping works at the Ethno-memorial complex Atameken Map of Kazakhstan.

All objects are currently ready for the tourist season. Currently, the facilities are not functioning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but are ready to open in compliance with sanitary standards.

After the pandemic is over, work will continue on activities of various formats and sizes.

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