On February 8, 2018, Ambassador Konstantin Zhigalov delivered a presentation about Kazakhstan's development strategies and Kazakhstan-Canada partnership at Carleton University. The Ambassador Speakers Series featuring the Kazakh Ambassador was hosted by Mr. Lawrence David Lederman, former Canadian Ambassador and Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), and was attended by Government officials, diplomatic community, representatives of private sector, academia, media, and students from across Canada's Capital Region.
Ambassador Zhigalov's presentation covered different stages of nation-building and socio-economic development of Kazakhstan after 1991, when it joined the international community as an independent country. He particularly touched upon the economic reforms and institutional development strategies carried out under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who announced the Third Modernization of Kazakhstan's economy in 2017 and laid out specific priorities in his January 2018 State of the Nation Address titled “New Opportunities under the Fourth Industrial Revolution". The Ambassador also briefed about the major achievements of Kazakhstan's first ever presidency at the UN Security Council in January 2018 focused on weapons of mass destruction, stability in Central Asia and Afghanistan, and countering international terrorism.
Speaking about the evolving relations between Kazakhstan and Canada, he stressed that the two countries have a huge potential for strengthening ties based on a lot of similarities. “The important role of energy and agriculture sectors, emphasis on innovation and digital economy, diverse and skilled workforce - these are just a few thigs, along cold weather with love for hockey, that our nations share. The Third Modernization presents a great opportunity for further diversifying our trade and investment cooperation", he said. Ambassador Zhigalov also pointed out that the new areas of cooperation are being actively explored within the Kazakhstan Canada Business Council which brings together more than 100 companies from both sides and will hold the third meeting in June 2018 in Ottawa.
After a productive Q&A session, Dr. Andre Plourde, Dean of Carleton University's Faculty of Public Affairs, and Ms. Margaret Skok, former Canadian Ambassador to Kazakhstan and NPSIA Senior Fellow, shared their views on Kazakhstan's achievements in institutional development and foreign policy, and highlighted the timely initiatives put forward by President Nazarbayev in his State of the Nation Address 2018.
The Embassy of Kazakhstan thanks Carleton University, NPSIA, and Ambassadors Speakers Series for hosting this important event and is looking forward to new opportunities to discuss Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and our cooperation with Canada.