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The new concept of regional development in Independent Kazakhstan: theory and practice

The new concept of regional development in Independent Kazakhstan: theory and practice

Kazakhstan developed in the Soviet period as the federal republic in uniform economic system therefore placement of productive forces was carried out according to the all-union scheme. Thus interests of certain regions of Kazakhstan were considered poorly. Kazakhstan didn't pursue independent regional policy, respectively the theory of regional development had a poor development also. Meanwhile, for Independent Kazakhstan the development trajectory in many respects decides on its extended territory and a considerable variety of social and economic and climatic conditions by transformations at regional level. Therefore the President of RK N.A.Nazarbayev in the Messages to the people of the country emphasized that it is impossible to achieve the forced diversification without reform of regional development, and industrialization of the country has to form a new paradigm of regional policy.

At the heart of any regional policy and a package of measures undertaken by public authorities for regulation of social and economic development of regions, a certain model or the theory lies. Efficiency of realization, and, therefore, stability of rates of economic growth, rational use of resources available in the territory, possibility of alignment of levels of social and economic development of regions of the country and improvement of quality of life of its population depend on a choice of a theoretical basis of regional policy. In this regard the special attention is deserved by studying and adaptation of regional theories to conditions of Independent Kazakhstan, their use in the solution of applied problems of providing a sustainable development of regions.

In the 90th years of the 20th century which have coincided with market economic reforms, formation of the state independence and a deep economic crisis, the basic principles of the theory of regional development were used poorly. Therefore formation of the market relations in each of regions of the republic were carried out against the deep crisis phenomena both in economy, and in the social sphere. Nevertheless, in 20 years Independent Kazakhstan managed to pass a difficult way of transition from planned and administrative to a new democratic and market paradigm of regional development.

If in the early nineties in all territory of the republic the biggest economic recession for all modern history of the development, being accompanied was observed by the unprecedented growth of a rate of inflation, destruction of the saved-up economic potential, mass unemployment and growth of level of poverty, in 1999 macroeconomic stabilization in the majority of regions of the republic was reached, and then the lifting of the economy which has caused positive shifts in social processes is provided. So, since 2000 up to 2008 annual rates of a gain of the gross regional product (GRP) made on different regions of the country from 9,5 to 13,5%, but also during influence of consequences of a world economic crisis the positive tendency of growth remained.

Result of the carried-out social and economic transformations was that Kazakhstan the first among CIS countries received the country status with open market economy, and its banking system the international experts was recognized as the best on the former Soviet Union.

Estimating state of the economy of regions of Kazakhstan for years of reforms, it is possible to tell that indicators of their development remained leading in the territory of the CIS, and according to forecasts of experts the steady growth of economy is planned and in the forthcoming decade, despite negative influence of a world economic crisis. Thus, in recent years starting impulses for realization of the set strategic tasks in Kazakhstan were put. However still it is impossible to call economic recovery self-sufficient, and economy growth steady and long-term as it in considerable and still increasing degree was provided at the expense of a favorable environment of the world raw markets.

The territorial features, different starting level, distinctions in structure and specialization of farms, ambiguity of sharpness and depth of crisis processes in the first years of market reforms, rates and forms of their implementation put regions of our country in unequal conditions that promoted deepening of their differentiation. The analysis of social and economic development of regions of the republic testifies to it for the entire period of rshochny transformations.

Initially and during the whole period of reforms of the 90th years the first places on economic indicators, including on the total amount and an average per capita indicator of the gross regional product (GRP), steadily occupied industrial regions - the East Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Pavlodar areas and Almaty as the largest economic capacity of Kazakhstan here was concentrated. So, the share of the East Kazakhstan region in the total amount of a gross regional product of the republic in 1991-1999 fluctuated within 10,6-10,7%, a share of the Karaganda region - 19,1-11,7%, Pavlodar - 10,3-6,1%, Almaty - 6,7-17,7%. Naimenypy share in structure of VRP occupied Atyraus-kaya (2,8%), West Kazakhstan (4,1%), Kyzylordinsky (2,0%) and Mangistausky (2,6%) areas. But already in the late nineties the situation cardinally exchanged owing to some features of regional development of Kazakhstan.

First, one of the main features of regional development in recent years was that as a result of liberalization of economy there were shifts in territorial and branch structure which can be characterized as action of the external economic factor, adaptation to inquiries of the world market. From it won fuel and raw materials regions suppliers for export which became leaders of economy and investment activity (Atyrausky, Aktyubinsk, West Kazakhstan, partially Kyzylordinsky, Mangistausky). These regions were the most attractive to the foreign capital.

Secondly, sharply lowered the positions the regions agricultural production and military industrial complex were which branches of specialization. So, the share of the Kostanay region in republican VRP fell from 9,6% in 1991 to 4,3% in 2009, Akmolinskoy-from 7,8% to 3,2%, Almaty - from 7,7% to 4,5% in 2009, North Kazakhstan - from 9,4% to 2,7%, Southern Kazakhstan - from 8,5% to 5,5% respectively [5, page 34; 6, page 152; 7, page 17].

As a result, for years of independence and market transformations there was a new hierarchy of regions. If earlier the economic profile of Kazakhstan was defined by such, so-called, industrial regions as the East Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Pavlodar areas, start dominating now regions of production of fuel for export, and also regions of concentration trade баіжовского the capital (гт. Astana and Almaty).

So, the share of Atyrausky area in the total amount of industrial production of the republic increased over the last 10 years by 11,6 times, Mangistausky - by 4,3 times. At the same time the share of the East Kazakhstan region decreased from 13,8% in 1993 to 5,8% in 2004 and 5,4% in 2009, North Kazakhstan - with 6,9 to 0,9% and 0,3%, Zhambylsky - with 6,5 to 1,6% and 1,3% respectively [8, page 53; 4, page 19-20]. Specific weight of oil and gas production in the general structure of industrial production of area increased in Atyrausky area to 89,2%, and the share of the food industry decreased to 0,5%. In the Karaganda region the share of metallurgy raised to 72%, at decrease in specific weight easy - with 6,4 to 0,3%, food - with 9,2 to 3,5% [8, page 165-190].

The major factor which has created structural shifts in regions, uneven attraction of investments into fixed capital is. Investments mainly went to regions where develop extracting and pererabatshayushchy raw materials the industry, and also in the cities of Astana and Almaty. So, the share of Atyrausky area in development of investments into fixed capital made in 2004 24,6%, and in 2009 - 23,9%, the West Kazakhstan region - 17,7% and 5,3%, Astana - 9,5% and 8,2%, Almaty - 12,2% and 8,3% respectively. Specific weight of foreign investments in the volume of investment into fixed capital made in West Kazakhstan - 98%, Kyzylordinsky - 86%, Aktyubinsk

- 69%, North Kazakhstan - 57%, Mangistausky - 58% and Almaty - 55% [5, page 377; 7, page 18; 8, 50].

It is more lawful to judge regional unevenness of economic growth on a row specific and relative and therefore most comparable indicators on the regions which were most important from which VRP per capita (tab. 2) is.





value of a specific indicator


value of a specific indicator






1 .TRP per capita, thousand tenges

Max value





Min value








2.The total amount of investments, % to TRP

максимальное значение





минимальное значение






14,8 times

4,5 times

З.Volume of production of a promyshlepnost (goods and services) per capita, thousand tenges

max value





min value






19,8 times

39,1 times

4.Agriculture production per capita, thousand tenges

max value





min value






27,0 раз

26,5 раза

5.Coefficient of updating of fixed assets, %

max value





min value






4,9 раза

3,4 times

б.Unemployment rate, %

max value





min value






2,1 раз

1,2 times

The analysis of the provided data testifies - the suttsestvenny growth of the main economic indicators on regions of the country was over the last 10 years accompanied by preservation, and even increase in differentiation of regions. So, the gap between the maximum indicator of VRP per capita (Atyrausky area) and minimum (Zhambylsky area) increased from 6,6 times in 1999 to 12,6 times in 2005 and only in recent years began to be reduced and in 2008 made 8,7 times. At the same time the gap between these indicators in Atyrausky and Southern Kazakhstan areas reached 11,7 times [3, page 194]. On an indicator of volume of an industrial output the gap between maximum and minimum values not only increased by a population share, but also changed polarity: at the beginning of the period of reforming (1993) across the Karaganda region it by 20,7 times exceeded an indicator of Kyzylordinsky area, in 1998 - by 7,8 times, and in 2008 - by only 1,1 times. In 2005 leading positions were taken by the Atyrausky area which industrial output by 28,6 times exceeded indicators of the North Kazakhstan area, and in 2008 excess reached 39,1 times. The gap on an indicator of gross output of agriculture per capita remained: if in 1993 the gap between Kostanaysky and Mangistausky areas on this indicator made 26,6 times, in 2008 - 26,5 times [5, page 34].

Economic unevenness of development of regions caused preservation of considerable social differentiation of Kazakhstan. Essential regional distinctions are observed on such indicators, as the monetary income per capita, unemployment rate. So, the difference between maximum (in Mangistausky area) and minimum (in Zhambylsky) the monetary income per capita made 2,8 times. Unemployment rate in is 1,2 times higher than Apmata, than in the Karaganda region.

On extent of diversification of branch structure of the industry regions can be subdivided into three groups:

The first group - monobranch areas (the enterprises of one branch make over 50% of all industrial output of area) - Atyrausky, Aktyubinsk, West Kazakhstan, Kyzylordinsky and Mangistausky. All four areas have large reserves of oil and gas which intensively accustom.

The second group - well diversified areas (all industries are rather evenly presented) - Aktyubinsk, East Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Kostanaysky, Pavlodar. The Karaganda region can pass to the first group as in it ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy start prevailing over development of other industries.

The third group - poorly diversified areas or agrarian and industrial (two-three branches make over 70% of all industrial output) - North Kazakhstan, Akmolinsky, Almaty, Zhambylsky and Southern Kazakhstan. These regions mainly agrarian, processing of agricultural products borrows from 20 to 45% of industrial production. The southern Kazakhstan area gravitates to transition to the first group as the oil-processing industry gradually occupies the increasing share in its industrial production (about 50 %) .

It is separately possible to allocate regions - the development centers (Astana and Almaty).

Thus, despite carrying out market reforms in the field of regional development of Kazakhstan, key problems in this sphere remain:

- high differentiation on level of social and economic development and quality of life of the population between territories with a "raw" and "non-oil" orientation of economy;

- growing gap in a number of regions, including syryedobyvayushchy, in a standard of living of urban and country people; lag of regions on the main indicators of a standard of living from average republican level.

Existence of the important regional problems which were inherited from the previous stage of development and become even more aggravated in new economic and political conditions, demands correction of regional policy of the state and improvement of mechanisms of its realization.

For scientific and institutional ensuring regionalization of social and economic transformations in the republic certain steps were taken. So, in 1996. The resolution of the government of RK approved the first Concept of regional policy, and in December, 2001. (Resolution No. 1598) - the second, modifed Concept of regional policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2002-2006 [9]. Proceeding from need of forecasting of territorial development of the country, in 2000 development of long-term regional programs was resumed, the Scheme of development and placement of productive forces of Kazakhstan till 2015 taking into account features of market ways of managing (The resolution No. 367 of March 7, 2000) is made.

Thanks to the taken measures, and also influence of favorable factors in recent years in the majority of regions of Kazakhstan economy lifting is observed. However the main regional problems aren't solved yet.

Strategy of territorial development of the Republic of Kazakhstan now is developed for the solution of the listed problems till 2015 [10], approved in 2006, assuming transition from policy of alignment of regional distinctions to policy of formation and full state support of "growth poles", capable to become "engine" of lifting of all economy of the territory. As a whole such approach to formation of regional policy corresponds to world tendencies in регионалистике and practice of territorial development.

With restoration of positive dynamics of economic processes by the main task of economic policy of the state there was an ensuring sustained economic growth in each region of the country. In this regard there was a need for development of regional theories for the purpose of justification of new regional policy, sootvststvuyushchy the modern

to realities of the globalization considering specifics of Kazakhstan and its regions, providing rational placement of productive forces, their sustainable development and on this basis improvement of quality of life of the population living in each territory of our country.

Modern regional concepts of economic development in the increasing measure are connected with increase of a role of certain territories in national economy, with change of extent of intervention of the state in economic processes, with new aspects of development of the space, brought NTP (new types of energy, transport, etc.). Changed traditional and there were the new factors of placement connected with expansion of processes of globalization, emergence of new technological ways, development of information and telecommunication networks and technologies, development of production and market infrastructure. Regional development began to be considered not from the point of view of building of physical objects (the enterprises, roads, etc.) in the territory of the country, and from a position of non-material approach. In other words, in the scientific plan and in practical activities of many countries dominating there is the concept of regional development focused on knowledge, innovations.

The judgment of ideas of the President of the country concerning prospects of economic growth in Kazakhstan and its regions in long-term prospect till 2030 became a dominant of new theoretical concepts of regional development in the period of independence in the Kazakhstan regional economic science. Since the end of the 90th years, the twentieth century, in domestic регионалистике essentially new directions of researches which gradually develop in a new regional paradigm began to be looked through. Researches ceased to carry, purely pragmatical character, proving comprehensive regional programs which, since the second half of the 90th years began to develop in each region of Kazakhstan. Again there were actual temporarily forgotten problems of optimum placement of productive forces and rational moving of the population. The new direction of the regional economic theory is recognition of subjectivity of the region or formation of a paradigm of partnership between the center and territories.

According to the Concept of transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to a sustainable development [11] main goal of the Local program of a sustainable development for Kazakhstan was assistance to the balanced development of regions (areas, the cities, country settlements), minimization of their negative influence on surrounding environment.

As a result at the beginning of the XXI century in Kazakhstan, also, as well as in some republics of the CIS (Russia, Azerbaijan), developed high rates of economic growth - 8-10%. Despite negative influence of a global economic crisis (2007-2009), in the republic in modern conditions positive dynamics of economic growth remains, there are considerable internal reserves for development of regions and carrying out a course on alignment of regional distinctions.

As showed the analysis, in modern researches and program documents of Kazakhstan the increasing emphasis is placed on dot approach in regional economy. The President of RK N.A.Nazarbayev aims at this approach in the Message to the country people also, emphasizing need to begin formation of the centers of economic growth in the West, in the center, in the north, the South and the country East.

The theory of the polarized development partially already received realization in Strategy of territorial development of the Republic of Kazakhstan till 2015. Its difference from earlier existing program documents is the reference point on formation of "growth points" or the principle of the polarized development assuming realization of the following priorities:

- formation of the rational economic organization of territories of the country and improvement of their specialization for the purpose of competitiveness increase on the basis of mechanisms of cluster development;

- change of system of moving of the population and concentration economic and a manpower in zones of the advancing growth with climatic conditions favorable for activity;

- improvement of infrastructure providing territories;

- formation of economic space of Kazakhstan as Central Asian trade and economic and service and technological center and its effective integration with world economic system.

In Kazakhstan as the centers of growth develop, first of all, regions where there is an optimum environment for increase of innovative activity, in particular are available the manufacturing industry enterprises as potentially the most active innovators, the market infrastructure, financial sector and sector of services is developed. In this regard the best prospects have first of all of Almaty and Astana, and also a number of the old industrial centers (Karaganda, Petropavlovsk, Pavlodar, Ust Kamenogorsk, Uraljsk).

At realization of strategy of support of "growth points" in our country taking measures who will allow to provide minimum acceptable standard of living and volume of the state services in the poorest regions is possible. In Kazakhstan it is such regions, as Zhambylsky Southern Kazakhstan and North Kazakhstan areas. Thus the purpose of new approach in the regional policy in the conditions of economic growth has to consist not so much in alignment of level of economic development of regions as it became at the Soviet planning, and in ensuring welfare of the population and poverty reduction in all territory of the country.

Thus, in new conditions of post-crisis development of Independent Kazakhstan expediently formation and implementation of "new regional policy", being characterized the following distinctive features.

First, transfer of accent from the state, gratuitous subsidies for support of the decentralized initiatives at the level of local authorities and self-government. Such policy of justified and yielded positive result, for example, in Italy, China.

Secondly, stimulation and support of growth in the poorest regions that found reflection in the active regional policy of Brazil which had effect in rather poor northeast regions of the country.

Thirdly application of the integrated approach providing use of competitive advantages of the region and the country and assistance to development regional "growth points". At such approach it is greatest attention it is paid to investments into innovations and the scientific and technical sphere, into the human capital as such investments give the greatest return.

Fourthly, now in the conditions of globalization of world economy rather broad approach to structure of productive forces where, along with traditional economic indicators, new elements, such as information, organizational and a geographical position are included gained distribution.

The advantageous geographical position of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the center of the Evraziisky continent allows it to be the international transport corridor, and use of territorial advantage at sufficient development of transport infrastructure can play a significant role in formation of effective structure of economy of the country.

The listed approaches to implementation of regional policy are directed on modernization of economy of regions, economic growth, creation of conditions for social development and ensuring ecological safety.


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