Kazakhstan has the most stable economy of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), of which it is a member, and is leading all central Asian countries in terms of economic growth. The national currency of Kazakhstan is the Tenge. For around eight years, up until 2007, Kazakhstan recorded an average growth rate of about 10% per year, and although the aftershock of the global financial crisis hit hard in 2008, a remarkably healthy growth of 3-4% was still achieved. In 2014 Kazakhstan published ‘Strategy 2050’ with an objective to become one of the top 30 most competitive nations by 2050.
There are substantial opportunities in Kazakhstan for British companies, especially in the oil and gas sector and extractive industries, due to mass-expansion and development in the Caspian Sea. There are also planned investments in the power, transport, communications and agricultural sectors, as well as skills development, vocational training and retail sectors which all offer significant opportunities for British companies. British companies are well-represented in the financial and professional business services sectors, which are sophisticated for the region. Kazakhstan consists of five large economic regions:
The oil and gas industry remains the key driver of the Kazakh economy and contributes to around 70% of exports. Kazakhstan holds the Caspian Sea region’s largest recoverable oil reserves. According to BP Statistical Review of Wold Energy June 2015 Full Report, Kazakhstan’s total proven oil reserves amounted to around 30 billion barrels which is about 1.8% of global oil reserves to the end of 2013. Total proven reserves of natural gas is 1.5 trillion cubic meters which is about 0.8% of global natural gas reserves.
The landmark foreign investment in Kazakhstan are following projects in the West Kazakhstan: TCO, Karachaganak natural gas condensate field and Kashagan oil field in the northern Caspian. Kazakhstan's economic future is linked to oil and gas development.
Mining sector of Kazakhstan provides 30% of Kazakhstan's export earnings, 16% of GDP, and 19% of industrial employment. According to IAEA, uranium reserves and resources in Kazakhstan actually amounts to 1,7 mln. tons, or about 12% of the total volume of the world uranium reserves and resources
The Country is rich in mineral resources, with 22% of world reserves of chrome, 20% of world reserves of gold, 17% of world reserves of zinc and 15% of lead. The Industry is focused mainly on extraction and export of raw materials and base metals, with further high-value processing abroad.
A new Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) based on the model of Dubai’s IFC and English law will be established as part of the ‘100 Steps’ programme of institutional reforms. Its ambition to be operational by 2018. The Court (as with Dubai’s Arbitration Court) is to be staffed in the first stage by international judges already experienced in English common law and setting up an entirely new Arbitration Court to adjudicate on commercial disputes acting on the basis of English common law. The aim is for the Tax preferences will be provided for companies based in the AIFC with zero corporate, property, income and land tax rates under certain conditions until 2066.
Agriculture in Kazakhstan remains a small scale sector of Kazakhstan's economy. Agriculture's contribution to the GDP is under 10% - it was recorded as 6.7%, and as occupying only 20% of labor. At the same time, more than 70% of its land is occupied in crops and animal husbandry. Kazakhstan's largest crop is wheat, which it exports. It ranks as the sixth largest wheat producer in the world.
Transport infrastructure development today aims to provide a quality transport connection with areas of regional centers, as well as the proper condition of the transport infrastructure in the country. As a country that is at the crossroads of two continents, Europe and Asia, Kazakhstan furthering development of its transit potential within the frame of «Nurly Zhol» State program of infrastructure development for 2015-2019 years, which allows to increase the volume of transit traffic twofold. The priority project in the transport sector is the completion of the international transit corridor Western Europe - Western China. Domestic manufacturing will be boosted for export and Kazakhstan will be established as both a transcontinental transport and a regional logistics hub between China and European markets.
On 22 December 2014 the World Bank approved an $88 million loan that would support Kazakhstan’s efforts to facilitate commercially and socially viable innovation in technology. The Fostering Productive Innovation Project resulted development of the Centre for Technological Competence based on model “Industry 4.0.” and its ambition is to become the first technological platform in Kazakhstan.