The Digitalization Priorities of Kazakhstan and Cooperation with ITU

The Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the WTO and International Economic Organizations, Ambassador Zhanar Aitzhan, recently held a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Doreen Bogdan-Martin. The meeting aimed to discuss Kazakhstan’s priorities in digitalization and explore potential cooperation with leading IT companies.

During the meeting, Ambassador Aitzhan informed the Secretary General about the country’s digitalization priorities, as outlined in the State-of-the-Nation Address by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on September 1, 2023. The President has set a goal for the government to increase exports of IT services from $500 million in the current year to $1 billion by 2026.

To achieve this goal, Kazakhstan plans to establish strategic partnerships and cooperation with foreign IT companies. The country also aims to attract investment in the construction of large data centers, with the goal of becoming a platform for the sale of computing power to global players.

In addition to these priorities, Ambassador Aitzhan highlighted that Kazakhstan is actively preparing to host the Digital Bridge 2023 Forum in Astana from October 12 to 13, 2023. The forum, the largest event in Central Asia dedicated to technology and innovation, will serve as a platform for experts to exchange views on the development of digital technologies. This year’s forum will focus on exploring the interaction between artificial intelligence and human capabilities.

The meeting also discussed the possibility of an official visit by the Secretary General to Kazakhstan. The visit would aim to sign an agreement on the GovStack project and launch the project in the Central Asian region. GovStack aims to provide governments with the tools to create digital services and organizes forums to promote the exchange of experiences in introducing eGovernment services.

Ambassador Aitzhan highlighted Kazakhstan’s significant progress in digital government, including its 28th rank in the UN Ranking of e-government development and 8th rank in the sub-index of online services. The country expressed its willingness to share its experience and provide detailed presentations of various digital government products, such as Smart Bridge, Smart Data Ukimet, Egov mobile, and Egov.

The Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan reiterated the country’s commitment to digital transformation and expressed hope for continued cooperation with ITU.