Sayasat Nurbek: The Geopolitics of Kazakhstan

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In this interview we speak with Sayasat Nurbek who is the managing director of the Astana International Financial Center and the director of the Public Policy Institute which is associated with the Kazakh government's "Nur Otan" political party. We discuss the geopolitics of Kazakhstan and what it’s future looks like as it integrates into the global economy with a new stock exchange, cryptocurrency and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

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Show Notes


About Sayasat Nurbek
At a very young age, Sayasat Nurbek has been fortunate in achieving significant heights in education and career. A graduate of educational institutions in the United States, Italy and Kazakhstan, he held internships and various training courses in public administration and public policy, HR management, management of technology in the USA, Singapore, Belgium, Japan, the UK and the Netherlands. In 2000-01, he worked as an assistant to Congressman Mark Smith (USA) and was employed by the Government of the State of Iowa (USA). In 2006-2009, Sayasat worked in the Investment Projects department of the Sustainable Development Fund Kazyna, and held positions of Head of the HR Policy Division of the Administration of the President of Kazakhstan, Vice-Rector of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of Kazakhstan, Executive Director and Department Director of HR policy of National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna. In 2009, he was appointed Director of the National School of Public Policy. The President of Kazakhstan has decorated Sayasat Nurbek with several medals and commendation letters.

Sayasat was elected as a young leader and member of various councils and state committees and represents Kazakhstan in the Bologna Process Working Group on Mobility and Internationalization where he contributed to the implementation of the EHEA Mobility for Better Learning Strategy. He is an active member of the Youth Policy Council under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan where he took part in formulating youth policy and implementation of youth-oriented projects. Since 2007, he has been on the board of the National Expert Commission, a body in charge of selecting top candidates for the Bolashak scholarship. As a long-term member of the Expert Council of Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Civil Service Affairs, he participated in the new reform of civil service currently implemented in Kazakhstan. He is also an active member of the Alumni Association of President’s Bolashak International Scholarship. In 2012, he succeeded in launching the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers community hub which brought significant social change to the development of Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan.

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💬 Comments on the video

Hello! Thank you for posting this interview, since it's interesting to hear about the development (or transformation) of Kazakhstan from politician's perspective. Sayasat Nurbek definitely has the global view and looking at Kazakhstani issues from global perspectives, but I am, as the local citizen who "accept and recognize local problems", would like to comment and critique about the notion of "changing mentality". He is asserting that Kazakhstani citizens should change their mentality and rebuild themselves. I think that in the country where policies and law were set from top down and where people just perceive and live with these rules will never be a huge transformation of personalities. I personally, don't feel that there is the responsiveness from the govenment, but focus on global market. For instance, let's talk about the educational system. Today policy makers strive to implement trilingual education and Eglish medium instruction from secondary school. But there are schools in Kazakhstan with the poor condition of buildings, no Internet connection, poor teacher staff and other problems. Why not to solve these problems before talking about the introduction of trilingual education. Then we can see that government is responsive, then we can see positive changes of people in KZ, then we can confidently go ahead with changes and rebuilding. My stance is that government should provide with equal opprtunities for everyone, then take steps to rebuild our mentality which will come naturally.

Author — Assem Tazhiyeva


The interviewer doesn’t look interested at all

Author — YourTV