Astana: Kazakhstan is a fast growing economic power in
Central Asia. A country, with a rich history and tradition, also
abounds in immense natural resources. The vibrant leadership of
President Nursultan Nazarbayev has enabled the former Soviet
republic to make giant strides in all spheres of life, especially
in the economic sector.
After successfully withstanding the severe
economic crisis, which is an aftermath of the Soviet
disintegration, in early 90s, the country is now witnessing robust
economic growth and optimum utilization of its untapped natural
With a GDP per capita over $7000, Kazakhstan is not
only a leader in the Central Asian region, it is also regarded as
the leading country with the most favorable business climate in
the Central Asia Region, Kazakh government sources told the
International Islamic News Agency (IINA).
The modern history of independent Kazakhstan began in 1991, within
a few months after the collapse of the Soviet Union that remained
in power for about 70 years.
The first challenge that the former
Soviet republics had to tackle with was a severe economic crisis.
All these republics had to cope with themselves problems of the
erstwhile Soviet economy that had remained unresolved for decades.
Independent Kazakhstan has chosen a path that can be described as
"progressive development without conflicts and upheavals -from
economic development to political development."
The soundness of
this path is well manifested in the economic success of the
present-day Kazakhstan, and this success is widely recognized by
With a GDP per capita over $7000, Kazakhstan is not only a leader
in the Central Asian region, but also occupies equal economic
position with other post-Soviet and post-socialist countries,
which are currently members of the European Union and G8.
in mind a well-known thesis that the main wealth of a state is its
people, it is possible to conclude that today Kazakhstan has
managed to reverse the negative effects of the 1990s, when the
country’s population was rapidly decreasing, both because of
negative growth rate and migration.
Since the beginning of 2000s,
the birth rate in Kazakhstan exceeded the mortality rate, and the
population began to rise slowly, reaching 16,149,000 as on July 1,
Certainly, it is not so much for the ninth-largest territory
of the world, but nevertheless, a positive trend is evident. It is
also to note that the flow of migrants to the country augmented.
mong migrants are not only ethnic Kazakhs, but also residents of neighboring states, who seek to obtain citizenship of Kazakhstan.
There are also those, who earlier moved for permanent residence
from Kazakhstan to other countries (Russia, Germany, Israel,
etc.), and now come back.
About a quarter of the population are those under 15. Young people
are the determining factor, when it comes to creativity and
innovation, as the youth stimulates a society to develop.
developing human capital, Kazakh authorities are paying special
attention to education. Ever since the Soviet era, the literacy
rate of Kazakhstan has remained almost 100%, whereas through the
years of independence the number of higher education schools in
the country dramatically increased and that resulted in a huge
surge in the number of students and holders of higher degrees.
an early stage, the most prestigious professions were that of
economists and lawyers, but currently a large number of school
graduates prefer engineering, technical and teaching degrees.
Kazakhstan also abounds in natural resources, whose extraction and
export have become "engines" of Kazakhstan's economy and led her
on a path of sustainable growth.
To date, Kazakhstan has
positioned itself as one of the largest and promising exporters of
most important goods in the global market - oil, metals and grain.
The sale of raw materials has served as "safety cushion" for the
Kazakh economy at the most uneasy times, and thus enabling the
government to meet its social obligations and implementing its
This was the case during the hard days of
1990-s, as well as during the last global financial crisis, when
many of the leading countries were forced to reduce their social
expenses drastically, but the government of Kazakhstan found
reserves even to index all social payments (pensions, public
sector wages, various benefits, etc.).
Natural resources have served as a starting capital for economic
growth. But now there is a need for structural changes in the
national economy, which would allow to use the gains from vast
natural resources for developing the state-owned high-tech
industries as well as in reducing import of consumer goods,
primarily of agricultural and food industry.
In this regard, the
Kazakh government takes a series of measures, aimed at ensuring
industrial and innovative development of the country, the latest
of which is the state program of forced industrial-innovative
development of Kazakhstan for 2010 - 2014 years.
Among other former Soviet countries, Kazakhstan is regarded as the
country to have the most favorable business climate. It is well
appreciated by foreign investors.
Kazakhstan is a leader in the
CIS in terms of the volume of foreign investment. According to the
Ministry of Industry and Trade, Kazakhstan's economy attracted
$113 billion during the period from 1993 to March 31, 2010.
main investor-countries were the Netherlands, USA, UK, Virgin
Islands, France and Italy. The top ten investors’ list also
included Russia, South Korea, Canada and China.
Recently, there is a growing interest to invest into the Kazakh
economy from the Middle East and Far East countries, which were
not among leaders in investing in Kazakhstan before the last
global economic crisis.
Wishing to diversify the structure
of their overseas investments, many rich Arab countries as well as
China, Japan, South Korea and other countries, which previously
preferred to invest in Europe and the USA, turned into the Kazakh
market. Foreign investments in Kazakhstan are secured by the
national “Law on foreign investments”.