Fri, 22 Sep 2023

Astana [Kazakhstan], June 8 (ANI): A Canadian professor has termed the Astana International Forum (AIF), which is held annually, as an "important addition to major economic forums" at a time of overlapping crisis, reported The Astana Times.

Professor of Practice at McGill University, Bart W Edes who is also a distinguished fellow at Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, made the above remarks in an interview with The Astana Times.

The Astana Times is the English-language news outlet about Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

AIF began on June 8 with a plenary session addressed by President Kasysm-Jomart Tokayev.

Edes reached Astana on June 6 for the forum. In the interview, he drew parallels between AIF, Davos, Boao, and the International Economic Forum of the Americas, as per The Astana Times.

Edes is a policy analyst with years of vast experience in sustainable international development and developing Asian economies and former director of the Regional and Sustainable Development Department at Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He laid focus on how vital the platform is now in times of the "ongoing overlapping crisis," including food insecurity, developing country debt, Ukraine, inflation, and economic slowdown.

Edes said, "I welcome the opportunities presented by this high-level forum to discuss solutions to global challenges with other participants."This is not Edes's first visit to Astana. He has been here twice, including in 2014 when Kazakhstan hosted the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the ABD, as per The Astana Times.

He also underlined that he is "impressed by the list of assembled heavyweight speakers, which will help to establish the forum as a significant yearly event for decision makers and policy influencers from Central Asia and globally."Among high-level guests are Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov, Chairwoman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zeljka Cvijanovic, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Audrey Azoulay, and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, and Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Ivana Zivkovic, as per The Astana Times.

In response which sessions ignited particular interest, Edes noted mentioned regional economic cooperation and trade, the use of strategic foresight to better anticipate and prepare for change, and international development cooperation.

He added, "These topics overlap substantially with the topics of discussions that are likely to take place at the forum this week.

Edes also mentioned several notable opportunities in cooperation between Kazakh, and Canadian think tanks.

He said, "I believe that leading research institutions in Kazakhstan and Canada can collaborate in a meaningful fashion to increase understanding among analysts and public policy makers about each other's countries, opportunities for bilateral economic cooperation, and how Kazakhstan and Canada are approaching crises and critical challenges confronting the world today," The Astana Times reported. (ANI)

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