Opening the meeting, the Head of State noted that currently Almaty is a financial, cultural and research centre of Kazakhstan.
- For a quarter of a century the city's economy has grown 100-fold, the volume of production in the sphere of small and medium-sized business increased 130-fold, and the area of the city and housing stock increased 2-fold. We are witnessing the transition from the era of competition between countries to competition between cities. At present 600 cities produce 2/3 of world GDP, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
The President of Kazakhstan noted Almaty’s improving infrastructure; over the past two years 100 thousand trees were planted inside the city, 42 km of the irrigation network were rebuilt, more than 60 km of bicycle paths were built. He has also focused on growing number of tourists visiting the city.
- Today every second foreign tourist visits Almaty. The city has a well-developed network of hotels, theatres, museums and sports facilities. This year, there is an increase in the number of tourists, including through holding of the international exhibition EXPO-2017. Its success has raised the authority not only of Astana and Almaty, but of the whole of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
The Head of State has emphasized that Almaty will forever remain the golden cradle of our Independence.
- Here the fateful decisions for the country have been made. The Constitution was adopted, state symbols were approved, and the national currency was introduced. At the same time, the transfer of the capital gave a powerful impetus to Almaty’s progress. Existence of a strong political centre and a large metropolis in the country is common to many developed countries, the President of Kazakhstan said.
The Head of State also noted that the prosperity’s substructure of any city is its sustainable economic development. It is of paramount importance in the light of a new stage in the national development.
- We have announced the beginning of the country’s Third Modernization; we have had a constitutional reform on the power transfer, and launched the process of improving public consciousness, "Digital Kazakhstan" program is being developed. Effective implementation of these initiatives depends largely on the regions. Almaty plays a key role here. The city was formed as the largest economic centre of the country and a key donor of the national budget, the President of Kazakhstan said.
At the same time, Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized the importance of balanced development and the need for a systemic solution of several issues affecting Almaty’s economic potential.
- Early in this year, I have instructed all regions to ensure the brisk growth of large scale, including family-run business. Now in Almaty, small and medium-sized businesses are basically financed through bank loans. At the same time this year, the volume of bank loans to small businesses has reduced by 43%. The volume of business support from the akimat and Damu Fund is only two percent, the Head of State said.
The President of Kazakhstan also instructed to ensure withdrawal of the shadow business into the legal sphere of activity.
-The city legalizes property and money for four trillion tenge, which should give an additional increase in tax revenues by about KZT100 billion, the Head of State said.
Separately, Nursultan Nazarbayev dwelled on the need to continue work on identifying hidden reserves of growth and inadequate use of potential in the sphere of public-private partnership. Attention was also focused on reducing the volume of innovative products, which was halved.
- All major universities of the country are in Almaty, including the largest Satpaev Technical University. However, we do not see serious innovative developments. Here the akimat together with the interested state bodies should take all necessary measures, the Head of the State said.
To ensure the growth of innovations, Nursultan Nazarbayev pointed to the need to make maximum use of the potential of Alatau Free Economic Zone.
- 20 billion tenge were invested in its construction from the budget, and only 22 billion private investments were attracted for 12 years of FEZ activity. Akimat does not affect its work. It's time to put order concerning this issue, ensuring effective control over the work of the FEZ, the President of Kazakhstan noted.
The Head of State also recalled the industrial zone created in Almaty.
- For today 40 projects for 191 billion tenge have been registered in it. So far only one project was launched, 13 are under construction, and the rest is just undergoing preparatory work. I charge the akim with increasing the occupancy of the industrial zone with new projects, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
The Head of State called effective infrastructure as one of the most important issues in the city’s successful development.
- Over the past five years, more than 430 billion tenge have been invested in its development from the budget. 30 junctions have been built, 330 kilometres of engineering networks have been commissioned, the metro is progressing. One third of Almaty’s historical centre has been modernized. At the same time, there are still many unresolved issues. First, this traffic congestion of the city - 700 thousand cars run daily. This problem must be solved by introducing elements of an "intelligent" transport system based on smart technologies. This will help build the effective transport system to make the life of the townspeople more comfortable, the President of Kazakhstan said.
Considering the growth of the city's population and the constant expansion of its territory, Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the issue of expediency of restoring the institute responsible for the development of the city's master plan.
- Over 10 years the city has grown more than twice, two new districts Alatau and Nauryzbay have been created. However, the Master Plan has remained the same since 2004. The institution charged with the development of the general plan was abolished in 2008. If there is a pressing need for that, it is necessary to recreate such an institution again, the Head of State said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev put emphasis on the need to continue the akimat's work to identify idle plots of land, as well as their seizure and effective development.
- Today, 500 hectares of urban land are still undeveloped. Meanwhile, the land is the main asset of any large city’s development. It is necessary to radically reorganize the work of architecture and construction. Urban policy should correspond to modern trends, the President of Kazakhstan said.
The Head of State has also spoken about the need to develop a program to further improve the architectural appearance and modernization of the city’s central part, reduce old and dilapidated housing, and improve streets. It was noted that a lot of significant objects of the metropolis are under the jurisdiction of the central state bodies, which do not give due attention to them.
Nursultan Nazarbayev paid special attention to the ecological matter.
- Over recent years, the city's atmospheric pollution index has decreased by 20%. This work needs to be continued. I instruct the akim together with Samruk-Kazyna to take measures to transfer CHP-2 to gas by 2020 and to complete the private sector’s gasification. It is necessary to establish systematic work and control over green spaces in the metropolis. Only last year, five thousand trees were cut down. It is necessary to tighten control in this area, increase the norm of compensatory planting, provide care for greenery, the Head of State concluded.
The President of Kazakhstan pointed to the city’s akimat also on the need for a systematic solution to the problem of garbage, ensuring its comprehensive processing and a full cycle of utilization.
At the end of the speech, Nursultan Nazarbayev wished the participants success in their future work for the benefit of Almaty and Kazakhstan in general.