“Republic Day Reflects Kazakh people’s Centuries-Old Dream of Independence” – by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

Written by Anna Popper

Kazakhstan’s major national holiday, Republic Day, observed on 25 October, holds a great historical importance. The adoption of the Declaration on State Sovereignty marked a crucial step on Kazakhstan’s journey towards independence. The principles enshrined in this declaration, such as territorial integrity, inviolability and strengthening national identity, laid the groundwork for the country’s progress. The subsequent adoption of the constitutional law on state independence on 16 December 1991 solidified Kazakhstan’s path to becoming an independent nation. Republic Day is considered a reminder of the commitment to democracy, peace, and stability, highlighting the values and principles that Kazakhstan stands for, based on freedom, unity and equality.

In 2022, by a Decree of the Head of State, 25 October was again included in the calendar of Kazakhstan as a national holiday. Republic Day is celebrated annually, providing an opportunity to represent the country’s rich traditions and major achievements.

On the occasion of Republic Day, which honours the country’s history, H.E. Zhanibek Abdrashov, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Hungary and Mrs. Anel Akbergenova hosted a diplomatic reception at the elegant Ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Budapest, attended by high officials from the Hungarian Government, the National Assembly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, members of the diplomatic corps, and representatives of business, cultural, scientific, and academic circles as well as Kazakh nationals living in Hungary.

Following the national anthems of Kazakhstan and Hungary,

in his welcoming address, Ambassador Zhanibek Abdrashov spoke about the historical significance of Republic Day, the socio-economic and political achievements and ongoing reforms in the country, highlighting the «Economic Course of Fair Kazakhstan» plan by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in addition to the multifaceted bilateral relations between the two countries.

“I am pleased to welcome all of you at the reception dedicated to Kazakhstan’s Republic Day. I am delighted to greet the State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Hungary H.E. Mr. Tibor Tóth, our honourable guests from the Government, National Assembly, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, representatives of the diplomatic corps, business, cultural, scientific, educational communities who joined us tonight. Today Kazakhstan celebrates Republic Day, a day of unique significance because it marks the turning point in 1991, when Kazakhstan declared its sovereignty. This declaration was more than a political statement; it signalled the nation’s commitment to its people to forge a destiny that reflected their aspirations and cultural identity.

Nowadays, Kazakhstan stands tall as the biggest economy in Central Asia. Since gaining sovereignty, the nation has witnessed a meteoric rise in living standards, with its citizens experiencing improved health, education and overall quality of life.

The last few years have been especially transformative for Kazakhstan. The country has achieved substantial progress in its democratization journey, exemplified by the implementation of wide-ranging political reforms, including constitutional amendments, which opened a way to redistributing of power in favour of the elected legislative body. In line with the constitutional amendments, the country witnessed the direct election of rural mayors and the adoption of a proportional-majoritarian model in the last parliamentary election.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

More recently, Kazakhstan has become the top investment destination in the region and a major financial centre. This is a result of concrete reforms and initiatives over the years. In his latest state of the nation address on 1 September, the country’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed additional economic reforms with the aim of promoting fairness, inclusiveness and pragmatism.

These economic transformations, inspired by the president’s vision of a Just Kazakhstan, aim to contribute to the creation of a more balanced, sustainable and globally integrated economy.

The people of Kazakhstan and Hungary are connected by common deep historical roots, which give us a great opportunity to build fruitful cooperation and a prosperous future. We genuinely value strong relations with Hungary – our close and reliable strategic partner in the European Union. Over 31 years of diplomatic relations, we have reached a high level of political dialogue, fruitful economic cooperation and solid humanitarian ties. Our interaction is developing not only on a bilateral basis, but also within the framework of multilateral platforms.

We highly appreciate Hungary’s active participation in the Organization of Turkic States. As you may know, its 10th Anniversary Summit will be held in Kazakhstan on 3 November 3 this year and we are expecting an official visit of the Prime Minister of Hungary Mr. Viktor Orbán to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

The next session of the Kazakh-Hungarian Strategic Council and the official visit of the Speaker of the Kazakh Parliament to Budapest are planned by the end of this year. I believe that these visits will contribute to the development of closer ties between our countries.

Hungary is a promising trade, economic and investment partner for Kazakhstan. Despite the global economic crisis, the volume of mutual trade is increasing year by year. Our goal is to further increase the volume of mutual trade and expand and diversify the structure of trade turnover. I would like to note that we have great potential for the development of economic cooperation. A well-known Hungarian flagship like «MOL» is well represented in Kazakhstan and has a project in the oil and gas industry. By the end of this year, the company «MOL» plans to launch one of the largest gas condensate fields «Rozhkovskoye» in Kazakhstan.

I would like to note that our country has taken concrete measures to decarbonise the economy. Kazakhstan is on its way to achieve the ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2060. In this context, it is important to mention another promising green energy project – the construction of solar power plants and hydrogen generators in Kazakhstan by the Hungarian company «Globalia». These joint projects are the result of successful cooperation and will provide additional impetus to the comprehensive development of our trade and economic cooperation.

Furthermore, we are grateful to the Hungarian Government for the annual allocation of Stipendium Hungaricum grants for Kazakh students. Today more than 500 students study at Hungarian universities. Currently, we are planning to sign a Memorandum on the extension of this program. We hope that our cooperation in this area continues further and more Kazakh students will be able to get a quality Hungarian education.”

In his speech, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Mr. Tibor Tóth as an honorary guest of the event, spoke on behalf of the Hungarian Finance Minister Mihály Varga, who is co-chairman of three interstate structures of bilateral cooperation: the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, the Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Strategic Council.

On behalf of the Government of Hungary, Guest of Honour Mr. Tibor Tóth conveyed heartfelt congratulations to all Kazakhstanis on Republic Day, recognising their great achievements in all areas of life. He emphasized the unique role that Kazakhstan plays through active diplomatic activity in the international arena in advancing global dialogue in various fields and efforts for international peace, security and understanding of different cultures. He underlined the importance of strong cooperation and partnership between the two countries and highly valued the enduring friendship that has stood the test of time. He extended best wishes and successes for their further endowments, prosperity and stability under Kazakhstan’s steadfast leadership for the benefit of the people of the Central Asian country.

The official part ended with a cake cutting ceremony and the Ambassador’s toast. Long Live the Republic of Kazakhstan!

The momentous evening also included a generous reception offering samples of Kazakhstan’s national gastronomy. The guests enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and delightful culinary experience provided by the host country.

Source: Embassy of Kazakhstan in Budapest

Photos by the Embassy of Kazakhstan and DPA