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AEF experts: the ability to transform national welfare into the well-being of citizens plays a key role in the modern economy

If overcoming the point of no return to poverty was a key goal for many countries in ХХ century, today these priorities change. Such concepts as happiness and well-being, come to the fore, thinks Dauren Abayev, the Minister of Information and social development of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He expressed this point of view today, at XII Astana Economic Forum, in the framework of panel session “Involvement of civil society in wellbeing policy”.

“During 28 years of Kazakhstan’s independence, every year we observe growth of GDP. But have citizens of Kazakhstan become happier to some extent, over these 28 years? We must think on this and discuss it. If overcoming the point of no return to poverty was a key goal for many countries in ХХ century, today the bar for us are such subjective concepts and happiness and wellbeing”, - stated Mr. Abayev.

As an example, he took the World Happiness report. Its composers base it on such criteria as GDP per capita, social support and expected life span. As a result, leading positions are occupied by Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Alongside with that, a very interesting experience was presented by the New Economy Fund, which has developed its own unique index, based on subjective life satisfaction.

“In 2012, Costa Rica, Vietnam and Colombia took the first places in this index. Since 2011, the OECD has been conducting a comprehensive study to measure a better life index. The index identifies 2 groups of well-being parameters. The first group includes such material criteria as housing conditions, revenue from work. The second group is education, ecology, civil rights, state of health, life satisfaction, safety, balance of work and personal life,” - said Abayev.

In general, in his opinion, the issue of involving civil society in well-being policy is more relevant than ever.

Experts also admit that there are times when the performance of countries was determined by GDP, gold reserves, and economic growth indicators. Today it is much more important how the state copes with distribution of these economic benefits among all segments of the population.

In general, the ability of developing countries to transform national welfare into well-being and quality of life for citizens plays a key role in modern economy. The indicative income per capita and, at the same time, insufficient citizens’ quality of life is evidence of insufficient economic growth quality.

Socio-economic inequality of citizens is the result of society development and country as a whole. Having set a goal to enter the top 30 most developed countries in the world, Kazakhstan adopted the standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Membership in this organization requires provision of high investment rates, scientific research, labor productivity, business development, population living standards.

 


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