As part of the SpecialEurasia project “Geopolitika Evrazija“, we attended a round table at the Kazakh embassy in Rome to get acquainted with the constitutional reforms and the upcoming referendum held in Kazakhstan on June 5th, 2022.
On May 27th, 2022, Giuliano Bifolchi, SpecialEurasia Research Manager, attended a round table dedicated to constitutional reforms in Kazakhstan held in the building of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Italian Republic.
H.E. Yerbolat Sembayev, the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Italy, informed the participants about the upcoming republican referendum on amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In particular, the priority areas of political reforms will impact the systemic transformation of Kazakhstan and define a new paradigm for the long-term development of the state.
“The amendments to the Basic Law are of crucial importance for our country. The changes will affect a third of the articles of the Constitution. Our Constitution will receive a completely new dimension,” E. Sembaev stressed.
It was also noted that constitutional changes would bring the country to a new qualitative level of development in the face of modern global challenges and will improve the well-being of the Kazakh people.
At the end of the event, a friendly conversation took place. The parties discussed essential areas of bilateral cooperation on the eve of the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Italy and possible joint projects dedicated to the anniversary date.
Kazakhstan, a strategic partner for Italy
Since in recent times, Italy has intensified its activities and relations with Central Asian republics. Due to its strategic position in the region as a logistic hub, energy resources and connection with the Belt and Road Initiative, Kazakhstan has arisen as one of the main targets of the Italian foreign policy (Italy intensifies cultural dialogue with Caspian littoral Turkmenistan and the Kazakhstan). In this regard, Kazakhstan overcame a domestic political crisis and protests in January 2022. The upcoming referendum might be interpreted as another step that marks the path of modernisation and democratisation of the Kazakh society (Protests and state of emergency in Kazakhstan).
Reaching democratic standards and promoting the country’s modernisation are essential goals to guarantee domestic stability and reassure foreign entrepreneurs who have invested in Kazakhstan. Indeed, Italy is Kazakhstan’s “first partner” among the countries of the European Union. According to the statistics of Kazakhstan, since 2018, Italy has been the first destination for Kazakh exports and is in third place in the ranking on a trade exchange, after Russia and China.
Among the Italian companies present in Kazakhstan, there are Ferrero, Iveco, Saipem, Maire Tecnimont and Valvitalia (technologies for energy plants), Tenaris (pipes for the oil industry), Medexport Italia (pharmaceuticals). The oil and gas sectors are the main drivers of Italian investments in Kazakhstan, even though the Central Asian republic is trying to diversify its economy and foreign direct investments (FDIs).