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Right to Labour: there are 3 million self-employed people in Kazakhstan

On November 9, Astana hosted the first “Open Economy” forum, organized by Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan (SFK). This year’s forum theme was “Economic growth through social equity: person-centered approach”.

Participants included members of the Government, deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, researchers in the field of economy and finance from the United States and Italy, experts from the OECD, USAID and EBRD, economists from New Zealand and Kazakhstan. Kazakh and international experts presented the results of their research and recommendations.

The forum, which is planned to be held annually, should become an independent multilateral platform for the discussion of important and pressing issues of economic policy. This year, the participants focused on the right to labour for the people of Kazakhstan and discussed conditions for the self-employed, pension reform and economic rights of women in Kazakhstan.

According to the Chairman of the Board of Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan, Anton Artemyev, the ‘open economy’ concept implies free floating of capital, technology, information, and creation of a favorable environment, both for attracting investments, and for developing and conducting business – especially small and medium-sized businesses. It is this type of inclusive economic model that best creates the prerequisites for withdrawal from commodity dependence, and offers opportunities for our country to become one of the most developed countries in the world’.

‘The issues that were discussed today are of concern to the majority of the country’s population, because we have 3 million self-employed individuals, 6 million pension system participants and 8 million women’, – said Kasymkhan Kapparov, coordinator of the Open Economy Initiative of Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan.

As part of ensuring the economic rights of current and future participants of the pension system, SFK supported the initiative of active contributors to creating a thematic platform – www.enpi.kz. On this platform, the Unified Pension Savings Fund (UPSF) contributors can get updated information on the performance of the UPSF, which problems the pension system is facing, and about new pension system modernization concept, which is being discussed in Kazakhstan. SFK plans for this project to become independent in the future through the support of the contributing participants themselves.

For more information, please contact SFC’s Public Affairs Coordinator, Ainel Kainazarova at +7 701 4402895 or by e-mail: akainazarova@soros.kz