About the AIF
As the international community moves towards an era of growing polarization and geopolitical division, Kazakhstan is launching a new platform for dialogue - the Astana International Forum - in order to unite efforts to address key global challenges.
The forum will serve as a platform for high-level delegates from foreign governments, international organizations, businesses, and academic circles to engage in dialogue and seek solutions to problems such as climate change, food shortages, and energy security.
This year, AIF2024 aims to build upon the successes of its inaugural edition in 2023, anticipating the participation of over 5000 delegates from more than 50 countries. AIF2024 is poised to once again re-energize the global community, offering fresh perspectives and collaborative solutions to some of the most critical challenges facing humanity today.
Foreign policy & International security
Middle Powers: Charting a Third Way in International Affairs
Mind the Gap: AI, Disinformation, and the Battle Against Polarization
Beyond Boundaries: Toward Global Nuclear Disarmament and Arms Control
Economic Chess: Navigating Geoeconomics, Supply Chains, and Trade Barriers
Rebuilding Tomorrow: Diplomacy in the Aftermath of Conflict
Parliamentary Diplomacy Unleashed: A Discussion on its Merits
Summit 2024: Decoding Critical Choices Shaping Our Future
International development and sustainability
Global Mobility: The Complex Challenges of Migration
Grain Drain: Tackling Food Insecurity Amid Global Shocks
Economic Equality: Confronting Inequality, Poverty, and Contractions
Advancing Towards 2030: Accelerating Sustainable Development Goals
Central Asia United: Regional Cooperation for a Shared Future
Learning Reloaded: The Future of Education
The OECD's Global Footprint: Fostering Development in Emerging Economies
Energy & Climate change
Renewables Rising: Towards a Net Zero Energy Landscape
Energy Shifts: Navigating Insecurity and the Just Transition
Critical Resources: Navigating Raw Materials in Demand
Nuclear Dynamics: Energy, Safety, and Civil Applications
ESG Imperative: Shaping the Future of Responsible Mining
Hydrogen Power: Green Energy Systems for a Sustainable Future
Liquid Assets: Addressing the Global Challenge of Water Insecurity
Economy & Finance
Preparing for the Future: Industrialization in the Age of AI
Tomorrow’s Workplace: Navigating the Future of Work & the Creative Economy
Connecting Horizons: New Supply Chains and Global Connectivity
Investment Frontiers: Capital Flows in Emerging Markets
Promoting Growth: Innovation & Intellectual Property
Urban Development: Smart Cities & Sustainability
Empowering Change: Women and Global Economic Growth
India and Central Asia connecting for mutual benefit
Over the last decade, India has developed a strategy of heightened engagement and active diplomacy in Central Asia, viewing the region as an important economic and geopolitical partner. This year represents a critical moment for this fast-growing partnership, as India and the Central Asian five – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Kyrgyz Republic – will have a number of premium opportunities to expand their relationship and identify new avenues for cooperation, including the annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the biannual India-Central Asia Summit, and the second edition of the Astana International Forum. With such agenda-setting events in sight, India must build on its recent progress and establish itself as a key partner for the region.Over the last decade, India has developed a strategy of heightened engagement and active diplomacy in Central Asia, viewing the region as an important economic and geopolitical partner. This year represents a critical moment for this fast-growing partnership, as India and the Central Asian five – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Kyrgyz Republic – will have a number of premium opportunities to expand their relationship and identify new avenues for cooperation, including the annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the biannual India-Central Asia Summit, and the second edition of the Astana International Forum. With such agenda-setting events in sight, India must build on its recent progress and establish itself as a key partner for the region.
Why Does Kazakhstan Matter to the EU?
Kazakhstan is a fast-growing economic actor not only in Central Asia, but also on the world stage. As the globe’s top powers become significantly interested in the success of the Middle Corridor trade route – starting from Southeast Asia and China, running through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and further to European countries – Astana’s role in the international arena is expected to become even more important.
Germany and Kazakhstan: A win-win relationship
This week, the World Bank announced it would expand the Resilient and Inclusive Supply-chain Enhancement initiative in Central Asia, with the aim of further improving the region’s capacity to produce, refine and transport key resources and minerals. This news has once again focused attention on Central Asia and its potential as a middle corridor, especially as an energy hungry Europe looks to find new pipelines to satisfy its ever growing needs. More importantly, however, the Bank’s announcement reflects the region’s rapid rise to global relevance following the war in Ukraine, and signals its long-term prominence in the face of sustained conflict and continued supply line disruptions.
German think tank ranks Kazakhstan as ‘world middle power’
Kazakhstan, a landlocked country in Central Asia with a population of 20 million, has been ranked for the first time as a “middle power” by a German think tank specialised in international relations and security studies, on a par with G20 powers such as India, Turkey, or Brazil.
A study by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), focusing on the world’s ‘middle powers’ and published on 23 January, has identified twelve of them: Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, India, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Mexico and Brazil.
As the authors explain, although the twelve states are very different, what they have in common is their focus on economic development, the strong emphasis on security and stability and the pursuit of strategic autonomy.
The OECD will take part in the Astana International Forum
On February 1, 2024, Zhandos Imanaliyev, Executive Director of the Astana International Forum (AIF), met with William Thompson, Head of the Eurasia Division at the OECD Global Relations Secretariat. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the forthcoming visit of the OECD delegation to Astana scheduled for June 13-14, 2024, where they will be actively participating in this year’s Forum.
During the meeting, Mr. Thompson expressed keen interest in organizing joint sessions at the Forum on relevant topics such as enhancing transport infrastructure to bolster the logistics sector and addressing issues regarding sustainable development and climate change. Additionally, both parties underscored the significance of showcasing the ongoing cooperation projects between the OECD and Kazakhstan during the Forum.
Assessing the ‘Middle Corridor’ in a Risky World
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 18th, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili affirmed his government’s commitment to developing the “middle corridor,” a transit route connecting Europe to East Asia. In the past months, discourse surrounding the route has intensified amidst the mounting instability in the Red Sea and the ongoing war in Ukraine. In a recent World Bank report, the “middle corridor” was described as a vital link and a mitigating factor in geopolitical risk.
The Head of State held a meeting with Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the UN World Food Program
During his official visit to Rome, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev met with Cindy McCain, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the meeting was a good opportunity to discuss the partnership between Kazakhstan and the UN WFP in solving the problem of global food security.
The Head of State spoke about the measures implemented by Kazakhstan to ensure global food security and provide humanitarian assistance through international organizations, including the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) and the UN.
In 2023, Kazakhstan provided humanitarian assistance to six countries for $9.2 million. Against the background of the difficult humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, Kazakhstan donated $1 million to the people of Palestine and delivered two shipments of humanitarian aid. Financial assistance was also provided to Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, and other countries affected by natural disasters.
The President paid special attention to the situation in Afghanistan. In his opinion, the international community must continue to make efforts to prevent a humanitarian crisis in that country.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that work is currently underway to establish a UN Regional Center for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty. The activities of this Center will streamline the interagency coordination of the United Nations in Central Asia to strengthen regional peace, security, and sustainable development.
At the end of the meeting, the Head of State invited Cindy McCain to take part in the upcoming Astana International Forum.
How Central Asia became a key region for the West
The global significance of Central Asia has been steadily growing. The past year, marked by the tumultuous war in Ukraine and the ensuing confrontation between Russia and the West, has not only reshaped Eurasia’s political landscape but has also highlighted the increasingly critical role of Central Asia in the intricate balance of power between East and West.
Among the Central Asian states, Kazakhstan stands out as the largest and a key player. This heightened importance of Central Asia has not gone unnoticed by Western countries, as evidenced by several high-profile visits to the region. The presidents of France and Germany, as well as the foreign ministers of the United States and United Kingdom, have made trips to the region over the past year, signifying a growing recognition of its strategic value and potential as a partner in various domains, from security to economic collaboration.
Kazakhstan's Pivotal Role in the Global Energy Transition: A Look at President Tokayev's JETP Initiative at COP28
An ambitious initiative unveiled by Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the Twenty-eighth Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai has the potential to significantly shape the global energy landscape. This initiative – namely the Joint Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) for Kazakhstan – is not just a domestic energy policy but a strategic manoeuvre of international policy and energy security.