If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

The information-image program as an element of foreign policy of Kazakhstan

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«In foreign policy, we will ensure the stability of our commitment to worldwide investors and the business community. Our policy will meet hopes and expectations of all our partners» [1].

Creating an attractive image of the Republic of Kazakhstan as one of the promising, rapidly developing countries, not only in Central Asia but also in the CIS, the development of equal and mutually beneficial international and interregional cooperation is one of the priorities of the current stage of development of the country. Image policy of Kazakhstan — activity aimed at creating a favorable image of the country, promoting the solution of strategic and tactical objectives at regional and international levels in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres, targeted management of information and communication resources at the disposal of the executive authorities of the country [2].

Kazakhstan’s image policy is implemented through targeted advertising and management of political-cultural, economic, geographical, and other methods of creating an image; Republican brands — a combination of names, words, symbols and designs in order to designate the goods (services) produced (provided) on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as sets of features, expectations, associations perceived by consumers and attributed their goods (services); branding positioning of the country — the process of determining the place of Kazakhstan in relation to other entities in the post-Soviet territory, identifying its competitive advantages.

Feature of capacity of Kazakhstan’s image in the international arena is determined by a number of internal and external political, economic and socio-cultural factors. In turn, stability, economic development, cultural integrity and individuality of a sovereign state in the view of the international community are largely determined by the image component. As the analysis of the western print media, on the pages of major English-language dailies and weeklies Kazakhstan is represented sufficiently. Information about the political and economic realities of the Republic of Kazakhstan is predominantly one-sided. Social, cultural, scientific, sporting life of the country is covered in the Western media sporadically, unsystematically.

Present view of Kazakhstan in the international community, formed primarily by the media, is sometimes quite distorted. In the current external image of Kazakhstan inadequately reflected the real political, economic, social, cultural level of its development. This situation affects the prestige of the Republic of Kazakhstan, reduces its investment attractiveness, deteriorating socio-economic situation of the country.
For example, in January 2011 in the newspaper «Financial Times», U.S. published only one article, which states: «N. Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s authoritarian president, seems to remain the undisputed leader of the Asian country rich in oil, which is going to stay on board for three decades after legislators vote for a referendum prolonging his authority»[3].

The following article by Edward Wong, «Beijing is finding new ways to trade and security along its eastern borders» was published in «International Herald Tribune». The author writes that the Chinese officials see Central Asia as an important frontier for its national energy security, trade expansion, ethnic stability and protection. Chinese state-owned enterprises penetrate into the region with its own pipelines, railways and highways. He calls Central Asia the thickest piece of cake given to the modern China by the heavens: Top 5 Muslim countries that gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are again an arena for competition superpowers even more than large Game between Russia and Britain in the 19th century. Online game involves China, Russia and the United States, each of which pursues its goal. And although, as the author notes, the new presence of China in Central Asia have likely seen as a revival of the Silk Road, rather than a return of the Great Games, seen primarily geopolitical interest to these countries and Kazakhstan in particular [4].

The current level of development poses new challenges to achieve a high degree of recognition. In this regard, the Head of State and Government decided to establish a structure of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Committee of International Information for new tasks on the re-branding of Kazakhstan to fully meet the information needs of citizens, public authorities, local governments, organizations and associations, as well as business structures of foreign countries.

As part of the image program, in year summarizing 20 years of sovereign development of the country in the newspaper «International Herald Tribune» the so-called «sponsored section» began to publish materials about Kazakhstan. And unscrupulous Americans always under Article fine print note that this article neither journalists nor the editors of the newspaper have no relationship, and it was sponsored by «Kazakhstan Pravda» and «Egemen Kazakhstan». The Prime Minister Karim Massimov first in the pages of American newspapers rating «International Herald Tribune» published an article, «Kazakhstan — kernel of Central Asia». It talks about the role of Kazakhstan as a key strategic partner between East and West, who appeared core political and economic stability. On the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence the country came not without difficulties, the author writes. In recent years the growth of the economy was a severe test by the global financial and economic crisis. Since 2007 international loans and liquidity crisis have serious pressure on the financial system of Kazakhstan, which was largely dependent on external sources of funding. Then, in 2008, exports fell sharply, due to the sharp fall in the demand for commodities. These shocks affect the entire economy of Kazakhstan, and the risk of endangering the lives of ordinary citizens.

Analyzing the difficult economic situation in the country during the global crisis, K. Massimov said about methods to overcome developed by the Kazakh government and the prospects of development of the financial and industrial and manufacturing sector. Premier says that diversification of the economy of Kazakhstan is the focus of post-crisis development. In this regard, in 2010 the government developed the program of forced industrial-innovative development, which directs public and private resources on a variety of special initiatives. The main emphasis of this program is aimed at productivity, innovation and increased product value chain. At the same time strengthened our influence within the Customs Union of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, to create a single trade area with a population of approximately 170 million. Eliminating external tariff and non-tariff barriers, the Union will stimulate the growth of foreign trade and increasing international cooperation, allowing domestic companies to intensively explore the world markets. Looking ahead, we intend to deepen the level of integration within the Union.

The Prime Minister said that economic stability is ultimately inseparable from the social and political stability. In this regard, the government is investing long-term investments in infrastructure, education and health. This is reflected in the growing regional and international role of Kazakhstan — in 2010, Kazakhstan chaired the OSCE, the largest security organization in the world. In 2011, Kazakhstan will chair the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as well as the SCO in its anniversary year. VII Asian Winter Games, which start in Kazakhstan Karim Massimov noted, this is an important step for the development of Kazakhstan as a center of international sports and tourism [5].

In the article of Kairat Kelimbetov, President National Welfare Fund «Samruk-Kazyna», «Kazakhstan’s National Welfare Fund: activating entrepreneurship», was mentioned that the main objective of the Fund is investment in private enterprise.

Large industrialization of Kazakhstan in the framework of the state program of Forced Industrial-Innovative Development includes 237 projects with a total value of 49 billion dollars. Among them there are 42 projects worth $ 22 billion under the responsibility of Samruk-Kazyna. Kazakhstan and foreign investors are willing to participate in these projects in Kazakhstan. Stably and steadily expanding markets, acting jointly with developing local expertise, open to foreign investment and a favorable investment climate provide great opportunities for investors. Energy and everything connected with it, remains a key sector of the economy of Kazakhstan. Further K.Kelimbetov stopped his attention to the work on the financial and industrial sector. In general, the activity of Samruk-Kazyna, he said, demonstrates search consolidation of state property to private enterprises with the aim of revitalizing the Kazakh industry, further integration of its economy into the global market and positioning the country as the main source for a general improvement in economic indicators. Speaking on behalf of the state, the president of the fund said, Samruk-Kazyna acts as a strategic tool for both Kazakhstan and the international business and trade, to protect the well-being of present and future generations, based on generally accepted economic principles [6].

In the days of the VII Asian Winter Games a whole reversal of the newspaper «International Herald Tribune» was dedicated to this truly historic event for the sovereign Kazakhstan. The overview of events of Asian Winter Games «Kazakhstan on the world stage», will surely attract the attention not only potential investors and business — structures. Kazakhstan becomes more attractive in the socio-cultural cooperation. Name headings: «The goal is to become a major force in the sport, said the Prime Minister», «launch pad for a new kind of winter tourism», «Games represent a new milestone on the way forward», «Torch relay across the country from Almaty to Astana» «Nodes, which obey everything from beginners to professionals," «More valuable resources: the landscape and wildlife», «widely represented both the population and geography», «New sport and cultural complexes country and invited athletes and the public» already speaks for themselves. English-speaking readers of the newspaper «International Herald Tribune» Kazakhstan is represented in all its diversity [7].

Recently, successful propaganda of Kazakhstan as a peaceful nation with global plans for the future is more and more attractive for tourism, cultural, scientific and educational cooperation. Such publications in the Western media have a high effect on promoting a positive image of Kazakhstan abroad, due to the fact that each of the participants is powerful relay information about their own country and enjoys a high reputation among national audiences. Therefore, the creation of conditions for international experts to provide objective information about their country is one of the areas of branding policy.

Thus, the image potential of Kazakhstan, allows to attract investors and significantly increase the flow of domestic and foreign investment, becoming the basis for the development of the country’s economy, its production, cultural and social infrastructure that promotes higher standards of living and improve the social infrastructure that promotes higher standards of living and improve the social and moral climate of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Entering on the number of world leaders it’s not even a goal, but a tool to bring
Kazakh society to the qualitative new level of development. Hence the tremendous resources that are consumed from budget for the formation of a new image of the country. Apart from the purely branding, Kazakhstan has a pragmatic and objective. Sooner or later, these investments will return earned by foreign capital. It is also a purely brand event, but at the same time acts as a kind of guarantee of a high level of political and economic «ability of credit» of the state.

Madina Anafinova,

Candidate of Philological Science, Chief Researcher of the Institute of History of State CS MES RK

References:
1. Послание Президента Республики Казахстан Н. А. Назарбаева народу Казахстана (январь 2011 г.). www. altyn-orda.kz.
2. Программы развития телерадиовещания в Республике Казахстан на 2004–2006 годы. Постановление Правительства Республики Казахстан от 9 апреля 2004 года. http:// rugovernment.kz/docs/р040398_20040409.htm.
3. ВозвышениеКазахскоголидера. «Financial Times» — 6 January. — 2011. — р. 2. www/ft.com/asiapasific.
4. Edward Wong. China expands clout in Central Asia region // International Herald Tribune. — 3 January. — 2011. — Р 5.
5. Karim Massimov. Kazakhstan is the pillar of Central Asia // Financial Times. — 6 January. — 2011. — Р. 2.
6. Kairat Kelimbetov. Kazakhstan’s National Fund: Activating enterprenership // International Herald Tribune. — 28 January. — 2011. — Р. 9.
7. Kazakhstan on the World Stage. Asian Winter Games // International Herald Tribune. — 29–30 January. — 2011.- Р.11–12.

Material provided by the Institute of History of State CS MES RK