Kazakhstan: Selected Trade and Economic Issues

25-09-2013

In a number of ways, Kazakhstan has performed best among the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Benefitting from rich natural resources, the country recovered from the collapse of the Soviet plan economy and posted very good results for most of the last decade. With a relatively open and market-oriented economy, Kazakhstan has increasingly integrated into the world trading system, although with some serious distortions, particularly in key economic sectors such as mining and oil. Kazakhstan is currently an upper-medium income country, and one viewed – thanks to its hydrocarbon reserves – as a strategic economic (and often political) partner by most of its neighbours, the EU and the US. Trade with Europe is on the rise, and the EU is the country's first trading partner. Increased revenues have helped improve infrastructure and social services, and the country has experienced significant progress in terms of human development and the fight against poverty. Social and regional disparities have not been entirely erased, however, and the country still faces serious economic, environmental and social challenges.

In a number of ways, Kazakhstan has performed best among the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Benefitting from rich natural resources, the country recovered from the collapse of the Soviet plan economy and posted very good results for most of the last decade. With a relatively open and market-oriented economy, Kazakhstan has increasingly integrated into the world trading system, although with some serious distortions, particularly in key economic sectors such as mining and oil. Kazakhstan is currently an upper-medium income country, and one viewed – thanks to its hydrocarbon reserves – as a strategic economic (and often political) partner by most of its neighbours, the EU and the US. Trade with Europe is on the rise, and the EU is the country's first trading partner. Increased revenues have helped improve infrastructure and social services, and the country has experienced significant progress in terms of human development and the fight against poverty. Social and regional disparities have not been entirely erased, however, and the country still faces serious economic, environmental and social challenges.