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GDP: US$56.1 billion (2005).
Main exports: Oil, ferrous and non ferrous metals, machinery, chemicals, grain, wool, meat and coal.
Main imports: Machinery and parts, industrial materials, oil and gas, and vehicles.
Main trade partners: USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, The Netherlands, China (PR), Uzbekistan, Korea (Rep), Turkey and Ukraine.


Kazakhstan has enormous natural deposits: iron, nickel, zinc, manganese, coal, chromium, copper, lead, gold and silver are presently being mined. The coalfields of the Karaganda are some of the largest in Asia. There are substantial oil and gas deposits, many of which have only recently been located and the Kazakh government has signed joint production deals with US and European consortia. New pipeline projects agreed with the Russian Federation and Oman will offer further outlets for Kazakh oil and boost national revenues.

The rapid increase in the size of the sector mainly accounts for the country’s recent healthy growth, which has seen GDP increase by around 10% annually since 2000 (9.4% in 2005). Inflation in the same year was 7.6%.

The government’s economic policy has limited the involvement of foreign investors (the oil and gas industry apart). A privatization programmed has seen the bulk of the country’s commercial enterprises transferred to the domestic private sector. The government has established a strong financial position, albeit at the expense of much-needed investment in Kazakhstan’s decaying infrastructure.

Other than oil and gas, stone, such as marble and granite, is produced in large quantities. The country’s industries are predominantly concerned with processing these raw materials. Domestic production also fulfils Kazakhstan’s own energy needs.

Agriculture still accounts for half of economic output. The main commodities are wheat, meat products, wool and a variety of crops: sugar beet, potatoes, cereals, cotton, fruit and vegetables. Livestock rearing is also important in this very arid region. However, one of the consequences of extensive cultivation has been heavy demand on water supplies, most particularly the rivers of Kazakhstan and its neighbor Uzbekistan: this was the major cause of one of the greatest ecological disasters of recent times – the shrinking of the Aral Sea.

Since independence, Kazakhstan has joined the IMF, World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and has signed a partnership and co-operation agreement with the EU. It also belongs to the main regional economic co-operation venture, the Central Asian Economic Union (ECO). Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Kazakhs have sought economic independence from the Russian Federation but find that they are still affected by developments in their larger neighbor.

Created by Cody Bearden – All images and information are property of their respectful owners. Images and information were barrowed for purely academic purposes.