Scandinavian model in Central Asia

The Central Asian republic surely moves to the status of the social state, developing the analog of the world famous “Scandinavian model”. The president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev presented the new strategy of the country where growth of welfare of citizens, increase in level of income and quality of life are designated as the main priority.

Kazakhstan takes the worthy place in the international rating of social development and welfare of citizens (a comment of The Legatum Prosperity Index). The 72nd position is exactly the middle of the list among the states of the whole world and the best place among all countries of the former Soviet Union. Only for the last year, Kazakhstan flew up on 11 positions in rating and now holds the 35th place on the level of access to education and its quality.

Dynamics of Kazakhstan in this rating reflects high-quality changes which happen in the country for the last decades. The country systematically goes to creation of the social state aimed, first of all, at ensuring welfare of the citizens, and already then on satisfaction of some political ambitions. It, actually, was also confirmed by Nursultan Nazarbayev in the recent address to the people. The president of the Central Asian republic enumerated the long list of initiatives which on condition of their successful realization have to turn the country into the real social paradise.

So, Kazakhstan plans to raise considerably expenses for education, science and health care. Now only developed states spend 10% of GDP for these spheres. Part of this money will go for increase in salaries to physicians though there will be less work to them. The healthy lifestyle in Kazakhstan from now on is brought to the level of national ideology. The country plans to begin large-scale building of sports and improving complexes, to carry out full modernization of hospitals and to increase control of quality of water and food.

Kazakhstan changes also approach to education, even in spite of the fact that the present model successfully works. I will remind that in the world ranking the country on this indicator enters in top-35. However, there is much to do in this sphere. Future qualified personnel in Kazakhstan will be prepared in kindergarten now, all schools will pass to the international standards, and higher education institutions will be estimated not by the number of “star” teachers or cost of training, and on how successfully their graduates find work.

Construction of new houses, preferential mortgage, the comfortable urban environment and strengthening of safety on streets – all these aspects have to become puzzles of a new social and economic picture of Kazakhstan in the nearest future. The country gives strong support to business development. Conditions for opening of the matter in Kazakhstan are one of the most attractive in the world. Tax amnesty, soft loans and lack of checks give the chance to the beginning businessmen to get on feet and grow further. Now the share of small and medium business in GDP of the country consists 30%, in plans of the authorities of Kazakhstan to reach 50%.

The remained GDP share in Kazakhstan is planned to be covered not at the expense of oil revenues. Though the price of black gold is again on take-off and, apparently, it is possible just to sit on fields, to get more and to earn more. But Astana had never had “the Dutch disease” and did not rely only on one sector of economy. Kazakhstan stakes on agriculture and manufacturing industry. In the next three years the country will spend for development of these spheres in addition nearly one and a half billion dollars. Besides, in Kazakhstan the Direct investment fund to the non-oil sector will be created it will carry out the activities on the principle of co-investment with foreign partners.

These measures will allow creating new stable sources of growth of the Kazakhstan economy, to stimulate inflow of investments and to promote freedom of the market. And it, in turn, will influence directly welfare of citizens and level of their income. It actually is the ultimate declared goal of all transformations which started the Kazakhstan authorities.

The model of the social state which is developed by Kazakhstan can be compared to “Scandinavian”. It is symbiosis of the most successful elements of capitalism and socialism. At the heart of the model is capitalism which weaknesses are corrected by the best experts of socialism and all system is built to work only for the population benefit.

It is possible to judge how successful “the Scandinavian model” of economic development is by the GDP level per capita of the states of this region and to the places which they take in the various world rankings, indexes of welfare and lists of the happiest countries. Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway steadily are in the top ten.

Stability of economy, social mobility, general employment, identical access to education and to health care, redistribution of wealth are distinctive features which these Scandinavian countries already have and which Kazakhstan are working now, creating the unique model of the social state, taking into account the historical past and still modest to world measures independence experience.