After the fall of the Soviet Union a number of new players entered the international political scene as independent States. Initially, the international community was quite sceptical and cautious facing these new realities. At the same time the process of globalization encouraged development of international relations and interdependence between states. An important contribution in this process was made by cultural and scientific collaboration.
Thus, in frames of the internationalization project, University of Rome “La Sapienza” has been recently developing cooperation with universities of Kazakhstan. It seems very important for Sapienza to enhance ties with these “new” emerging realities of strategic and economic importance, thus getting to know them better. These ties and joint research would help not only the University itself to get know new regions, but would also help Italian companies to optimize and make more efficient and smooth their work and collaboration with these countries. Many Italian companies, like Eni, are already moving in this direction.
Last month Sapienza hosted a delegation of Kazakh academic and scientific community representatives in order to sign framework agreements as well as executive protocols on specific research projects in various scientific fields in the future. It is the first step in creating a long lasting and fruitful collaboration of the academic communities of both countries. Taking into consideration this reciprocal interest of the academic worlds, the National Television Channel of Kazakhstan has interviewed the Vice-Rector and Prorector for International Relations and Cooperation of the University of Rome “La Sapienza” Prof. Antonello Folco Biagini.
During this interview, which lasted almost an hour, many interesting and vital issues for both countries have been raised. Professor commented on the program of development of Kazakhstan’s economy for the next 40 years, titled “Strategy-2050”, proposed and clarified by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in his Address in January 2014. This ambitious program’s ultimate goal is to make Kazakhstan enter in World’s Top 30 developed countries by the year 2050. Prof. Biagini considered the program to be an important document of a large scale, that not only aims at the rapid economic growth and equal distribution of wealth among the citizens, but also pays attention to the all social classes even those, usually left out of the developing countries’ economic system, such as disabled persons.
Vice-Rector underlined an importance of the infrastructure and industry development, guaranteed by the state to be implemented by the five-years plans, mentioned in the program. This will provide an opportunity for foreign investors and private sector to act more efficiently and to better contribute to the country’s future development. He stated that this type of planning helped many now developed countries to modernize and industrialize their economies. An interesting point in common which somehow ties Kazakhstan to Italian experience, is intention of the government to support small and medium enterprises, preferably of a family ownership, which were typical of the Italian economic boom of ‘60’s-‘70’s.
The other important issue discussed was the constant importance to invest in scientific research, which does not diminish with a country’s economic growth, but on the contrary, is constantly growing as the science has to face new challenges, like energy saving, alternative energy sources, green economy and so on. Kazakhstan is planning to allocate at least 3% of the GDP for scientific research, which is a significant part, says Professor, and should contribute to the life quality improvement.
No doubt, Italian universities in general and Sapienza University of Rome in particular, with its long history and scientific traditions could contribute to development of innovative scientific research in countries, like Kazakhstan, open to cultural, economic and scientific collaboration.
It is important to remember, as underlined Prof. Biagini, that it is always both parties that gain from any cooperation, thus enriching each other’s experience and broadening mentalities.