Kazakhstan initiated the national economy development by means of cluster approach. In 2004 Kazakhstan has launched its project for Diversification of Kazakhstan’s Economy through Cluster Development in Non-Extraction Sectors of the Economy. Kazakhstani Government is the main initiator of the project. This project involves elaboration of concrete Action Plan intended to raise competitiveness of non-extraction sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy. Successful realization of the program is to result in increased production and sustainable economic growth of the country. The project in general is based on cluster approach, that is well-tried and efficient instrument for raising competitiveness and promoting economic development of regions and countries.
The essence of the cluster approach is in forming of a certain group of geographically localized interconnected companies, suppliers of equipment, component parts, specialized services, infrastructure, research facilities, higher education facilities and other associated institutions needed to achieve a certain economic effect and amplifying competitive advantages of certain companies, the cluster itself and the country in general.
During the first stage of the project 55 thousand enterprises in 46 branches in 12 regions were studied.
By the time being the Government has already defined 7 sectors best prepared for clusterization. These are tourism, transport logistics, oil-and-gas machine building, construction materials, food processing and textiles, and metallurgy. In some of the said sectors there is certain progress already achieved, while the other sectors need to be helped out of their plight.
Simultaneously with this project Kazakhstani Government is working on creation of cotton, wine and fish clusters.
Representatives of the pilot clusters have already identified problems in need of urgent solving. First of all, skill formation needs to be put in place; continuing ties are to be maintained between business, science and education institutions.
Secondly, those holding large capital are to be motivated to participate in the development of domestic industries.
To develop the most relevant and viable Action Plan different interest groups are being attracted to the project: authorities, business, universities, research institutes, business associations and etc. Operators of the project are expecting to achieve first results even as early as in the course of realization of the project and thus to attract greater attention to the competitiveness raising initiatives.
Providing legislation framework to enable cluster development is the first direction of the state-run program. The second direction is to enhance S&MB infrastructure. The third direction is to create a field of operation to accommodate small business. Including through liquidation of branches of large national companies engaged in non-core business.
Thus, realization of the project will result in creation of viable program for raising competitiveness of Kazakhstan and appearance of well-trained local experts having sufficient skills and knowledge for realization of such program. A number of successful projects based on cluster approach indicated that the idea to stimulate economic growth through cluster development bears sustainable and noticeable results.
As is known, Kazakhstan intends to join the club of 50 best developed countries of the world. Еhis project represents Kazakhstan’s another step forwards to achievement of its ambitious goal, set by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in 2002, to double its GDP by 2010 and to increase it 3,5 times by 2015.